Lawsuit offers peek into exec compensation

Former Fox TV president's contract is revealed in court documents

Ever wonder what a president of a television studio’s employment contract looks like?

The curious can take a gander at the deal attached to this breach of contract lawsuit, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court by former Fox Television Studios president David Grant. Grant founded Fox TV Studios in 1997 and headed the News Corp.-owned production arm until he was fired in 2004 and replaced by Angela Shapiro. He now claims he was never paid a promised bonus and compensation from Fox’s Equity Appreciation Plan. (READ IT: View the documents at THR, Esq. blog.)

The contract over which he’s suing covers 2001-05. According to the deal, Grant started at an annual salary of $875,000, which was to increase to $1,025,000 in his final year, plus a bonus of 25% of his salary for each year Fox TV was profitable (or $112,500 if it didn’t make money).

The exec also was granted a one-time bonus of 5% of the company’s profits up to $1,250,000, to be paid in a manner and time frame to be negotiated in good faith between the parties, as well as the unspecified payments from the company’s EAP plan (even though that plan had been discontinued). Grant now says he wasn’t paid this bonus or the EAP money and that Fox didn’t negotiate in good faith.

Grant’s lawyer on the negotiation was Abel Lezcano, whose firm is well-known for handling top studio executive deals, and the contract contains pretty standard perks for an exec of his standing: $1,100/month car allowance, travel, stock options, etc.

The lawsuit was filed by Century City solo practitioner Jeffrey Winikow.