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PROMISES NOT BEING KEPT

QUESTION:

What do you do when you've got a contract that spells out tools for the morning show..prep services,voice talents, billboard, new jingles every year, etc. Your online prep service doesn't get paid and is shut off.

You ask nice, you have your agent ask nice, you ask more firmly; bottom line, things don't get done. From my standpoint the only thing left is to file suit..and who needs that.

I simply can't understand it. I'm #1 or #2 in all of our target demos. The scary thing is that I've been here seven years, have acquired great amounts of market equity, and no one is exactly beating a path to my door.

Add to that alI ever hear is, "Hey, you piss of one company and you could be pissing off 9 companies. Yet it's obvious that its not fair. My

agent gets his commission, my owners gets 200% from me..what am I missing that maybe some other guys have figured out. I'd love your input

DAN REPLIES:

I would think that part a BIG of your agent's job is to take care of crap like that. And if asking nicely doesn't help, s/he has to nag, threaten and/or cajole them until it's taken care of. If it's in the contract, then presumably your agent can politely inform them that unless they cease violating the contract s/he will have no choice but to advise YOU that your contract has been abrogated and that you are free to entertain any and all other offers of employment.

(When the GM complains to you, you of course respond, "S/he said that to you??? Wow, he shouldn't have spoken to you that way. I mean, of course he's RIGHT about the contract and everything, but he really has to learn the art of diplomacy. I'll tell you what: You take care of that renewal today, and then when I call (Agent) to complain about his behavior he'll really feel like an idiot.")

An additional method is NEVER to let the station get away with "falling behind" in its obligations. Be in the GM's office every morning after your show, "reminding" the GM and offering a pen for him/her to write the check, sign the order, etc. Get the GM trained to think, "Oh, Jesus, I'd better authorize that Radiostar renewal now before That Damn Jock gets all bent out of shape."

When all else fails, at contract renewal time estimate all of those costs and have them added on as part your salary; then YOU pay those bills when they're due. (They'll be completely deductible, of course, so it shouldn't cost you any more.)

None of the above, of course, can be accomplished without you being willing to suffer at least some degree of confrontation...which most of us don't enjoy.

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