PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 10: Manny Ramirez #1 of the Oakland Athletics before the start of a spring training baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium on March 10, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

When you read the headline: Red Sox STILL Paying Manny Ramirez, one might say, HOW is that possible? The former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez is STILL on the Red Sox payroll? Well it is possible. In fact, there are many business deals in that may go down that sound unbelievable. Long term deals that pay, long after the talent leaves, is more normal that you know.

Talent Contracts

This type of contract structure usually appears more in sports and broadcasting mostly. But it doesn’t stop there. It may show up in movie actor contracts as well. You may surprised to see that artists that have even DIED, could be still getting an an income for their likeness, and previous work.

Obi Wan

My favorite one to share is almost legendary. It seems like The Force was with iconic actor Alec Guinness, who of course played Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. Rather than take a $100,000 salary for the few lines in the first movie, something else went down. He BRILLIANTLY opted to take TWO percent of the gross box office proceeds. So instead of $100,000 Guinness made $7 MILLION immediately, which is about $36 million today. It get’s better. By the time of his death in 2000, he reportedly made $100 million!! Now some reports say it’s more like $50 million. Not bad for 19 minutes and 33 seconds of screen time in Star Wars IV. Add in V and VI, the total Star Wars screen time for Guinness, 23 minutes, 13 seconds. So doing the math, that’s about FOUR MILLION per minute.

Manny’s Deal

Manny’s star power for the Sox is legendary. Yes, he was instrumental in “reversing the curse” helping the Sox win their first championship in 86 years. He was named World Series MVP in 2004. Manny helped take the the Sox to another championship in 2008. In, I found a fascinating report that says Manny is STILL being payed today by the Red Sox. Manny signed a $160 million deal before 2001 with $20 million options for the 2009-2010 seasons. He was traded before the END of his contract. According to

“the Red Sox still owed Ramírez $32 million dollars which they agreed to pay him over 16 years as deferred salary. So every July 1st from 2010 through 2026, Ramírez receives roughly $2 million from the team.”

So while we see the Red Sox STILL paying Manny, let’s take a look to see WHO ELSE got a Manny style deal!

  • David Letterman

    (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    Ya, Dave got a sweet little deal when his DAYTIME NBC show ended in October of 1980, (yes, he had a DAYTIME show) after four months, Dave was reportedly told by then NBC chief Fred Silverman to “stay put, and don’t take a job.” NBC reportedly paid Dave $1 million dollars to stay home and wait for NBC to create a slot that better fit his sarcastic style. Could it have been late night? Some say it wasn’t a great deal, but it seemed to turn out ok!

  • WBZ-Radio News Anchor Gary LaPierre

    WBZ Radio

    Image by Jaybeau

    There is not a bigger radio name when it came to Boston news than the iconic morning news anchor, WBZ-AM’s Gary La Pierre. I will say here, that there will never be anyone better. For years, he began our news day on WBZ-AM 1030. Gary was known as the Walter Cronkite of Boston. (Walter was the famous CBS News anchor.) The comparison was made, because Gary was considered the most trusted radio newsman in Boston. I was told that during election night coverage, Gary knew the stories and candidates SO well, all he needed was a few, hand written note cards. He WAS the news. Gary told the news by memory.

    Gary was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2010. I was there to watch.

    Gary retired from WBZ-AM in 2006. The managers at then owned CBS Boston paid Gary a yearly salary for YEARS after he retired, to keep him OFF of any FUTURE competition. Let me say that again: FUTURE competition. At the time of Gary’s retirement, there was NO other radio news outlet other than WBZ-AM. But, WBZ radio managers knew that Gary was so powerful and well known, another local broadcaster could launch a news brand with him, and take down WBZ-AM!  Gary passed away in 2019, and will be remembered as Boston’s most famous and trusted radio news anchor.

  • WLS Radio-Chicago-Larry Lujack

    (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    Larry Lujack was maybe the most popular Chicago radio personality from the 1970’s and 1980’s, on Top 40 station WLS. While Larry wasn’t as dark as Howard Stern, Larry’s sarcasm made his morning show the most listened to show in Chicago for years. So much so, Larry signed a multi-MILLION dollar NO CUT TWELVE YEAR deal with then owners ABC Radio, who owned WLS-AM, in the late 1970’s. Well, just two years into Larry’s 12 year deal, WLS-AM, switched from music to talk. Larry’s contract was bought out, and he was paid his salary the remaining TEN YEARS, not having to work. He retired very comfortably in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • Friends Cast STILL EARNS $$$$$$


    (Photo by Warner Bros. Television)

    “Friends” ran for ten seasons from 1994 to 2004. But the syndication is still VERY successful paying the cast each year. Warner Brothers still earns reportedly $1 BILLION a year from “Friends” reruns. The cast get’s 2% of the royalties, or $20 million EACH, to Matt Perry, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow. 

  • Seinfeld

    Jerry Seinfeld

    (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    Unlike the Friends cast, the only big AFTER the show payday went to the show’s creators, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Reportedly, Seinfeld and David each make $400 million per syndication cycle.

  • Ray Romano


    (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

    Well, SOMEONE still loves Raymond! Reportedly actor Ray Romano is paid $18 million annually in royalties from CBS’s Everybody Loves Raymond.

  • Gilligan's Island PAID ZERO


    (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

    Reportedly according to star Dawn Wells, who played the adorable Mary Ann, the cast of Gilligan’s Island did not receive ANY payment for the reruns that aired for YEAR, after the shows short three season run on CBS. In those days, the actor contracts did not structure in language for syndication deals. Reportedly, the only person who got syndication money, was the creator Sherwood Schwartz. His payday was a reported $90 million.



  • Jack Klugman

    Jack Klugman

    (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

    In a weird twist of fate, I actually had DINNER with Quincy M.E. star Jack Klugman, through a broadcast contact back in the late 1980’s, in Philadelphia, where Jack was from. Jack was STILL a Hollywood celebrity even after three years when Quincy M.E. ended. It still remains one of my greatest thrills of my life. We picked him up at his hotel, and he was mobbed in the lobby for autographs. The same at the restaurant. It was like we were having dinner with Oscar Madison. Jack’s off screen persona was a lot like the characters he played. Rough and tough outside, gentle on the inside. He hysterically made fun of me, on why I ordered tapioca pudding for dessert at an expensive Philadelphia restaurant.


    Jaybeau: “Well I like it…”

    Jack: “Ya, if you just got out of colon surgery……”

    After the laughs settled, I asked him about Quincy. He told us an amazing story on how the owners of the show breached his contract, mostly by accident. In his contract, he was supposed to get paid for ANY Quincy merchandising that was created. Jack had found out about two Quincy books about the show that were created, that he never knew about and was never compensated for.  I believe at the time the television production company was a massive company called MCA Television. To show you how big this story is about to get, MCA later became Universal Television. That same people that now own NBC, Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, the Universal theme parks and more. When Jack found out that his contract was breached, he threatened to quit Quincy. He was in full legal right to do so. Here’s where it gets better! MCA could NOT let Jack walk, because they had ALREADY SOLD the syndication rights of Quincy on future shows that were NOT even made yet! HE was the star of Quincy, and was irreplaceable. It was like trying to replace Jerry Seinfeld, on Seinfeld. This massive win for Jack, allowed him to renegotiate his entire deal, and also get paid for money that was owed to him from the books. Jack was an avid horse fan and breeder. The giant payout allowed him to buy a horse ranch, which reportedly by his death in 2012 stabled 100 horses.

    Jack’s biggest personal thrill came in 1980 was his horse Jaklin Klugman came in third in the Kentucky Derby.

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