DeWitt Sheds SNTA Suit for Xmas

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Gene DeWitt, former president of the Syndicated Network Television Association, has settled the suit against his former employer. DeWitt had sued the SNTA for $1.25 million charging breach of contract after he was fired early in the second year of a three-year contract.

He had asked the court to order SNTA to pay him at least $1.25 million in wages that he claims would have been due him if he had served out the full term of his contract. Under it, he said, he was supposed to earn $500,000 a year in salary with a possible bonus of up to $150,000.

SNTA had argued instead that DeWitt was fired for "insubordination, disobedience and failure to follow the proper directives of the [SNTA] board of directors." Thus, the organization argued, he doesn't deserve additional compensation under the terminated employment contract.

At issue was DeWitt's public statements charging "most buyers" of TV time with "whining and moaning" about the upfront market in 2003 and its steep price increases. "The solution is not to whine," DeWitt said, but rather "to find a solution."

SNTA argued the statements constituted malfeasance.

The talk was all happy Friday, with both parties describing the settlement as "amicable."

SNTA Chairman Howard Levy said: "Gene was a major contributor to the success of the SNTA.  We appreciate his efforts and wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors."  For his part, Dewitt said in a statement: "My time at the SNTA was positive. The SNTA¹s fortunes improved greatly during my tenure as their President, and I¹m proud of that.  I¹m eager to return to my career as a media manager and strategist."

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