Kentlands Resident Sues MSNBC Host

MSNBC's Ed Schultz

Kentlands resident Michael Queen is suing MSNBC talk show host Ed Schultz, claiming he helped the former radio host move to television but was never paid for his efforts.

Queen, a broadcast engineer working for NBC for 32 years, claims he helped launch Schultz’s TV career and the two had a verbal agreement in 2008 he would get paid a percentage of Schultz’ salary if the venture took off.

Queen is suing for that percentage he said he’s never gotten.

Attempts to reach Schultz were unsuccessful.

The breach of contract lawsuit, filed in federal court May 11, alleges Queen is owed at least $100,000.

Schultz has since become a popular liberal radio and TV talk show host with his own program, “The Ed Show,” on MSNBC. Queen said he believes Schultz’s success is in part due to his effort in developing his program.

“I told him I would try to develop his program in 2008, and the two of us were off to the races. I taped his guest appearances, compiled a reel and pitched it to the brass of NBC,” Queen said, adding the two made a verbal agreement to partner.

According to the complaint, Queen approached MSCBC President Phil Griffin in April 2008 with the idea of Schultz as a talk show host. Griffin at the time said he was not interested, but he hired Schultz a year later in March 2009 to host “The Ed Show” airing on MSNBC.

Queen alleges that Schultz agreed he owed him for the work but never paid.

“We pitched the TV idea to various network executives, produced a TV pilot, secured an apartment in D.C. for Ed and his wife, Wendy, and even gave them a car to drive free for three months. We picked them up at the airport and went shopping for them — all while helping them become millionaires, and we received nothing for our efforts,” Queen said.

While the two never signed a formal contract, Queen says a series of e-mails are proof that the agreement existed and is binding.