MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Sued for Fraud and Breach of Contract

11 May

Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” and self-proclaimed champion of labor unions and  workers’ rights, is named in a federal lawsuit filed by his former partner and labor union official, Michael  Queen of NBC.

AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Queen, an NBC employee claims MSNBC host Ed Schultz owes him 25 percent of his TV earnings because he developed the network’s “The Ed Show.”

Michael Queen, a broadcast engineer  for NBC, alleges in a lawsuit that he pitched an idea for a show to be hosted by Schultz to MSNBC’s Phil Griffin in 2008. ”

Almost a year after Mr. Queen had pitched the show to Phil Griffin, and Griffin turned down the show, Griffin called Schultz and hired him directly for ‘The Ed Show,’ ” the complaint states.

Queen also claims that he found an apartment for Schultz and his wife in Washington, DC, and even loaned him a car for three months gratis.

Queen told the New York newspaper: “We picked them up from the airport, and went shopping for them — all while helping them become millionaires, and we received nothing.”

In a press release sent out in conjunction with the lawsuit. That release says Schultz is accused of fraud and breach of contract in the suit.

Schultz’s attorney, Jeffrey Landa, told the Post that Queen and Schultz once worked together on a pilot for a syndicated weekly show at a local Washington, DC, affiliate, and that Schultz has no further obligation to Queen. “[Queen] wanted a contract with Ed, and we turned him down,” said Landa. “We have no interest in settling this. We will defend it aggressively.”

Schultz’s lawyer, Jeffrey Landa, told TVNewser: “Ed paid [Queen] in full for every cent he spent,” adding that he and Schultz would aggressively battle defend the lawsuit.

Landa also said there was never any contract between the two men, though the two did film a pilot together at CBS’s Washington affiliate WUSA in 2008 and Schultz reimbursed Queen for those pilot expenses.

Queen’s suit alleges that Queen acted as Schultz’s TV agent, and Schultz owes him at least $100,000 for a stake in the profits of “The Ed Show,” according to the North Dakota website Inforum.

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