Not Enough Meat in Battle Over ‘The Ed Show’

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge dismissed all claims and counterclaims between MSNBC talking head Ed Schultz and his former agent.
     Michael Queen sued Schultz last year for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraud. He claimed he spent $11,500 of his own cash to finance Schultz’s pilot and shopped it around to the networks, and that Schultz told him in an email that “any TV deal will obviously involve you. I will not do a TV deal without your involvement and that includes a financial involvement. Rest assured we are together on this.”
     While the duo worked to bring Schultz’s radio show to a television format, Schultz and his attorney, Jeffrey Landa, “encouraged – and exploited – the plaintiff [Queen] to expend time, energy and resources for this goal,” U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said Thursday.
     “What is far from clear, however, is what the nature of the parties’ relationship was, what damages either or both parties may have suffered, and what might have constituted the final terms of any deal struck between the parties,” he added.
     The 46-page ruling notes how Queen and Schultz’s relationship soured after MSNBC offered Schultz a show. Queen says Schultz “virtually ceased contact” with him.
     In his counterclaim, Schultz says Queen defamed him in the press, and stalked him and his wife. He also says Queen duped him into moving to Washington from his home in Fargo, N.D., with a bogus promise of a Sunday morning show on the WUSA network.
     Citing the unclear details of the verbal agreements at the heart of the case, the judge tossed both men’s claims.
     “Although the defendant encouraged the plaintiff to expend time and resources on behalf of their shared goal of getting the defendant on television and, to this end, provided the plaintiff with ongoing assurances that he would be rewarded with some compensation for his efforts, the amount and nature of that compensation was never agreed upon,” Howell wrote.
     Schultz ultimately reimbursed Queen for the money he spent on the pilot, and the vague terms on which the two men verbally agreed are not concrete enough to give Queen his claimed ownership in the show – which he values at more than $100,000, according to the court.

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