ASCAP Board Votes to Not Release Its Own Attendance Records

By • October 16, 2006

Film Music Magazine has confirmed with ASCAP ombudsmen Seth M. Hufstedler and Morton David Goldberg that the ASCAP Board of Directors has voted to not release to the membership its own Board meeting attendance records that include which Board members have and have not been attending Board meetings.

In a letter to Film Music Magazine publisher Mark Northam, the ASCAP officials disclosed that the ASCAP Board of Directors “had concluded that such information should not be released.”

Film Music’s Mark Northam responded, “This strikes at the heart of any idea of a transparent election system at ASCAP. How are members supposed to make informed decisions about who to vote for when the incumbent ASCAP Board won’t even disclose which members are showing up for board meetings? What have they got to hide? This is a self-serving decision to protect the personal interests of a few people at the cost of tens of thousands of ASCAP members not knowing if their elected representatives are doing what they were elected to do or not. We urge the ASCAP Board to reconsider their decision and do what obviously is the right thing here.”

“I believe all ASCAP members have a right to know which of their elected representatives actually show up at committee and Board meetings” says ASCAP Board member Doug Wood, who has championed various reforms at ASCAP including proposals for making more information about the Board’s activities available to the membership.

The decision comes after implementation of language created by the ASCAP Board that virtually eliminated independent candidates from the ASCAP Board election process, raising the number of signatures a member needs to be listed on the Board ballot from 25 to now over 1,000 unless the candidate is selected by a Nominating Committee, which is handpicked by the incumbent ASCAP Board. After implementation of this rule, the entire incumbent ASCAP Board of Directors was re-elected in the last Board of Directors election.

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