Brown says his current show grosses about $100 million a year. CBS declines to comment but a syndication source says that $100 million figure seems high.
When Brown signed his last contract in 2010, he says he believed it meant he would be entitled to about $20 million a year. He says he has never received more than about $5 million a year.
“After I signed my contract with them for three years,” says Brown, “the week it was to go into effect they changed the categories and definitions. If you do it the way it was supposed to be done, you get awfully close to $20 million. When you change the categories and definitions, you come out with about $5 million.”
Adding insult to injury, Brown says, at the same time CBS Inc. was reporting record results for the company and for the division that includes its distribution arm, company executives were “telling everyone from camera crews to talent … that money was tight and everybody would have to take a cut and bite the bullet.”
In his negotiations, Brown recalls, “I looked at them and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding. You’re telling me you’re broke, and you want me to take an IOU for what you owe me already. I think you guys have lost it.’”
Brown has other complaints. He says CTD put Judge Judy on top stations and combined multiple airings to come up with its ratings (a common practice). His show, he says, is mostly on lesser stations, gets only a handful of extra runs each day and has not received as much promotion as he believes was required.
Brown says he has formed a new company and he intends to launch both a new court show and a talk show that he will host as early as fall 2014. He’s also launching a daily radio program and says he is developing numerous other shows.