Contracts and the Future Talk Show Internet Host
Many future talk show hosts like them, but many hosts don’t like them. Why use a contract at all?
When I first put up my station, PWRNetwork, it was suggested by one of the hosts that I write a short, concise contract for all of the future talk show hosts. In that way, they would know all of our policies, rules, what’s expected of them, what they can’t do, etc. I contacted a lawyer who pointed me to the library and told me what to look for. I crafted an agreement between two parties, PWRNetwork and the host.
On this day ______, _____, Passionate World Radio Network LLC and __________________HOST agree to the following.
Name of Program
Length of Program
sethis paragraph, I added the fee total, when it was due, and how it was to be paid.
I put in a penalty clause should the fee be paid late.
Below this paragraph, I provided the station’s rules: no obscenities, no hate messages, no politics, no religion. The usual terminology one finds in a contract.
At the conclusion, I gave the length of time for the contract, and then asked the future talk show host to sign and return the signed copy to PWRNetwork.
As PWRNetwork grew, so did the contract. I started adding what I thought were necessary additions to the contract. These additions got so lengthy that several of my hosts refused to sign the document and PWRNetwork was left with fewer hosts. New talk show hosts refused outright to sign the contract because they didn’t want anything binding them. They wanted the freedom to walk any time they wanted.
That’s because inside this new contract, PWRNetwork demanded a thirty day (30) days notice if the talk show host was leaving the station. The station asked for this because it usually takes about a month to find a new talk show host to come into the station.
You’re kidding, right?
Nope, I’m not. With today’s electronics, free streaming software, and people’s awareness of setting up their own independent programs, many future talk show hosts refuse to go to a station because they can build it themselves. Advertise. Promote. Word-of-mouth. Press Releases. You Tube, and generally make a go of it without needing to join someone else’s station.
In some respects that’s absolutely true, but these hosts must remember this. When you start up your own programming, there’s no one else to cover your tracks should you not be able to go on the air. Audiences are fickle. When you promise them a good thing, they expect a good thing. Not only do they expect it, they’ll want it. And you don’t want to leave them disappointed.
Building an audience is like trust. Once you lose it, it takes forever to get it back.
PWRNetwork offers contracts the first year. Why only the first year? Because hosts stay or leave after that first year. Most of my hosts stay on. Many of them have been with PWRNetwork for several years and some longer than that. One host, Janet E. Smith, remained with the station for over 10 years. She passed away two years ago, but I still receive email for her asking if she’d be interested in hosting with another station.
Ms. Smith remained with PWRNetwork because the station provided her with everything she needed: her ministry and the status of best-selling author.
Something to think about when you decide to go out and join a station. Should you or shouldn’t you?
Signing a contract is like getting married. It’s a commitment through hell and high water and heavenly roses.
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