Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The $8 Million Man

During my time in television news, I must've easily worked with at least two-dozen highly paid anchors or reporters who were, for one reason or another, removed, replaced and sent packing with either a memo stating that we should all wish him/her well in his/her future endeavors or without so much as a freaking peep. The thing is, almost every one of them, in order to engineer the dismissal, had to have his or her contract bought out. This means exactly what you think it means: If, let's say, an anchor whom management has inexplicably tired of has, let's say, a year left on a contract, that year usually has to be paid in full in order for the person in question to be let go. In other words, nine times out of ten, when you wake up one day and suddenly notice that your favorite TV personality is no longer sitting in the chair he's been comfortably warming with his passive, happy ass for a couple of years, you can guaran-damn-tee that he's now sitting even more comfortably on the oversized couch in his huge home collecting the same paycheck he received when he was actually doing something to earn it. I've known people who've gotten paid for two full years while doing absolutely nothing.

I always considered this the dream to which I aspired.

I bring this up because word is that Lou Dobbs still has a year-and-a-half left on his CNN contract. He's not on the air anymore (and regardless of what he might be saying to save face, of course he was forced out). What this means is what the New York Post -- generally completely untrustworthy -- is currently reporting: Dobbs will likely now make $8 million dollars for not doing a goddamned thing. According to Dobbs himself -- and once again this can't necessarily be trusted -- his dismissal didn't come with a non-compete clause, meaning that he could ostensibly go across the street and begin working for Fox News tomorrow morning; meaning that he could ostensibly earn millions and millions over the next year-and-a-half from both Fox and CNN.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you today's corporate media in action. It's just like Wall Street, only with more inane public rants against Mexicans.


Squidboy said...

We have the same dream. I might care except that I stopped watching TV news years ago and with the exception of the occassional sporting event (DVR - no commercials) the TV does not come on in my house. Once America stops watching, this will go away and the blowhards will be reduced to boring their drunken friends down at the racoon lodge every night.

Chris said...

What a shame Lou Dobbs is no longer on the air to give an outraged, freewheeling rant about how he is getting paid to do nothing.

Le Penseur said...

It's hard to believe that in a world where such thing as this is possible, there are still some cynical malcontents who maintain that life is not fair.

Randy said...

and yet hard working, writers, producers, and yes EP's are busting their ass for peanuts in a business that's going broke and one man banding!
f-ing lovely!

CNNfan said...

Chez said, "I always considered this the dream to which I aspired."

Please keep on aspiring to your dreams. No doubt some of your readers may easily top this here, but I've appeared on TV a few times (in the USA, Australia and Canada,) on PBS, G4, and once I was signed and filmed by MTV.

I am also published in hardcover computer science college textbooks in bookstores and campuses nationwide and worldwide. And my 3D animation videos have been featured on: CNN TV, CNN.com,
The Huffington Post and The Nation.

Let's keep on aspiring to our dreams. Oh, before I forget, I found this excellent article, which is also on topic:

CNN’s Klein Explains the Departure of Lou Dobbs

You may owe The New York Post an apology after reading this New York Times article which explains how Jon Klein managed this situation very well.