Friday, July 15, 2005

Schwarzenegger Magazine Deal: "It's a contract on steroids."

The NYT reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger's consulting contract with a magazine publisher will earn him at least $5 million:
Much of that advertising is for nutritional supplements and other performance-enhancing products.
That is attracting scrutiny because Mr. Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill last year that would have tried to restrict the use of performance-enhancing supplements by high school athletes.
The Governator's spokesman, Rob Stutzman, downplayed the importance of the revelation, noting that the contract had been reviewed. "Only the compensation was new to the public, Mr. Stutzman said." No kidding.
The consulting agreement, including the amount and structure of the compensation is detailed in an 8-K form filed yesterday with the SEC by American Media Operations, Inc.:
Under the five-year contract, Oak Productions, Mr. Schwarzenegger's company, is to receive 1 percent of the net print advertising revenues of Weider Publications. But the payment must be at least $1 million a year.
Mr. Schwarzenegger has also been granted "phantom equity," a way of sharing in the growth of the value of the company. The equity could become worth 1 percent of the company's value, which was stated at the time of the contract as $520 million.
In the governor's financial disclosure form for 2004, required of public officials, American Media is listed as a source of income, but no amount is disclosed.
Disclosure of the deal also raised eyebrows in the publishing community. "It's a contract on steroids," said Chip Block, a longtime publishing industry consultant. "I have never heard of a magazine company paying this kind of money to a contributor, including a royalty on advertising."

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