Devilish details in Moonves contract…

Several years ago, The Smoking Gun, which focuses on different types of documents, but was something of a model for footnoted, started delving into the quirky things that celebrities asked for while on the road.

We thought about that as we delved into this contract with CBS CEO Leslie Moonves that was attached to the 10-Q that the company filed late last week. While it doesn’t have the kind of amusing details that were in this Foo Fighters contract from 2008, like how much and what kinds of salad dressing to set out, it does provide some additional details to a post-production contract that CBS first disclosed back in this 8-K filed on May 4.

As this LA Times story notes, CBS entered into an agreement with Moonves back in early May. While it provided some broad-brush details at the time, it waited until last week to actually file the agreement. Now, keep in mind that we’re not experts at these types of Hollywood agreements. Still, some of the details in Schedule A jumped out at us:

  • a. Producer Credit. Individual producer credit (may be shared only with star/director/financier/distributor baggage), on a separate card (even if any individual producer credit is accorded to baggage), on prints and in paid ads issued by or under CBS Films— direct control, in each case, in first position. LM can also designate 1 executive producer credit and 1 co-producer credit.
  • LM to make a one-time election whether or not offices will be on or off the lot. Employer’s obligation to provide LM with an office and personal secretary under paragraph 12(e) of the LM/CBS Employment Agreement will be Employer’s exclusive obligation to fund an LM office and personal secretary (i.e. the overhead provided under this Section A2 will not be used to reimburse expenses for additional office space or secretarial support for LM’s use).
  • 8. Moonves Cut. Subject to customary conditions and picture specifications, LM will be entitled to one (1) cut and one (1) preview after the last contractual cut of the director (unless the director has —final cut), provided that, at CBS Films— election, LM’s preview will be a —friends-and-family preview, rather than a —public preview (CBS Films will make such election following a discussion between LM and the CEO of CBS Films about LM’s cut).

Some of the financial specifics have been redacted under an SEC Confidential Treatment request (it remains to be seen whether the SEC will require the details to be published at some point in the future since they don’t typically grant these requests when it comes to individuals). The basic financial arrangements are essentially the same as what CBS disclosed back in early May: a four year production agreement that pays Moonves $1.5 million a year and gives him $2 million for overhead and another $1 million for “discretionary development costs”.

But the thing that really made us think about this was that some attorney — actually several attorneys — actually had to draft language that spelled out things like the size of a production credit and how many parking spots were involved.

Image source: Leslie Moonves via Shutterstock


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