We Have a Full Copy of Anthony Gargano's Contract, and a Better Read on the Beasley Lawsuit
Earlier this week, Beasley Media Group filed a lawsuit against Anthony Gargano and the All City network for breach of contract. Beasley alleges that Cuz violated his non-compete and other clauses by “providing services to a competing business” and they claim he helped put together the All City staff while soliciting other under-contract 97.5 the Fanatic employees.
We’ve talked to legal experts who think Beasley has a case here, though we had previously been unable to examine Gargano’s contract. However, the contract, which was supposed to be filed “under seal,” was in fact not sealed at all, and is currently available in its entirety as a public document through the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system.
We took a look at Cuz’s contract in an effort to determine the strength of Beasley’s lawsuit, and found a couple of interesting things:
“Employee shall not enter into any agreement or contract on behalf of employer or commit to any obligation without the prior approval of employer… employee shall faithfully and diligently discharge his/her duties and responsibilities…”
Some vague language there, but Beasley will use this in their argument that Gargano went behind their back to work with All City and begin compiling the staff. In their suit, they say that they “bring this action to prevent All City from running roughshod over Beasley’s Agreement with Gargano, a strategy that All City and Gargano have apparently hatched in order to steal Beasley’s investments for their own new venture in Philadelphia.”
Beasley claimed exclusivity in their lawsuit, so they’ll reference 9(a) and several similar passages.
Paragraph 10(b) is the non-compete clause, which essentially frames this case, so I’ve clipped that in its entirety for you to read:
Okay, so it’s a six-month non compete for “services of the same or similar nature” within the Philadelphia DMA. This is what lawyers are going to really focus on here, the language in these two paragraphs, because in the Beasley lawsuit they allege that “Gargano advised Beasley that he intends to continue producing content for The Fanatic, but also that he has accepted employment with All City where he will perform on podcasts, write articles, and likely create other forms of Philadelphia sports-focused content that will compete directly with Beasley. In other words, Gargano intends to work simultaneously for two competing business to provide sports coverage and commentary to the Philadelphia marketplace, targeting the same audience and competing for the same local advertisers on each platform.”
Now here’s the relevant portion about solicitation:
“Non-recruitment of employees” is interesting here, because the Beasley suit mentions that All City took Devon Givens as well, though the extent of Gargano’s involvement isn’t specified. They will, however, argue that this violates paragraph (e), where Gargano was not allowed to “directly or indirectly, solicit, recruit, or induce any employee to terminate his or her employment relationship with the company in order to work for any other person or entity engaged in Employer’s Business.” In the Beasley suit, Devon is mentioned 12 times, but their angle here seems to be aimed more at All City for poaching, and not necessarily Gargano himself:
“In mid-August, 2023, Beasley learned that All City had approached and made offers of employment to several of its employees who are affiliated with 97.5 The Fanatic. At or around that time, Gargano approached his station manager to propose an arrangement whereby he would continue producing content for Beasley and 97.5 The Fanatic, but he would also work for All City to establish a media presence in Philadelphia and to create sports-related content for All City. Gargano further suggested that Beasley should partner with All City and publish The Fanatic’s show content on All City’s platform. Gargano did not disclose the specific terms of his proposed employment for All City. Beasley declined Gargano’s request to accept other employment and communicated that it was not interested in a partnership that would involve assisting a media company establish a competing enterprise in Philadelphia. At or around the same time, All City solicited several other Beasley employees with the intent of hiring them to produce content for its Philadelphia platform. One such employee, Devon Givens, had an employment agreement with Beasley dated April 1, 2022, which provided for a term of employment through March 31, 2025.”
The rest of the contract looks to be pretty standard. Non-disparagement, indemnity, that sort of stuff. However, at the end, Gargano’s base salary and bonus structure are revealed to be:
- $275,000 the first year
- $300,000 the next two years
- $20,000 for finishing 1st place in the Nielsen ratings (Men 25-54 demo)
- $15,000, $10,000, or $5,000 for finishing 2nd, 3rd, or 4th
- $60 per live read (exact language: “employee is eligible to receive the following fees for live reads: $60.00 each during the term)
- “unlimited recorded commercials during employee’s daypart: $175.00 per week during the term
- 5% commission on net revenue “for any new business that he brings to the station during the term”
The salary and bonus information is relevant because Beasley argues in the lawsuit that “Gargano is one of The Fanatic’s top talents and is highly compensated for his work.” I would assume they will use this to point out that he’s doing just fine and certainly does not need extra income via a second gig. Essentially they’re saying “hey, Gargano is one of our top guys here,” and so breach of contract from a main daypart host who is well-compensated does significant damage to the Fanatic and compromises advertisers as well. Gargano is very good with sponsors and has myriad connections in this region, so losing him is a big deal in that regard, and it’s something they are going to argue. It’s not like Beasley filed a lawsuit against a part-time producer. Cuz is one of their top talents, if not #1 entirely, and so this is a very relevant part of their argument, which incorporates a little bit of everything: non-competition, non-solicitation, and exclusivity.