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Drafting tip: Do like Stephen Colbert’s agent

Stephen Colbert and David Letterman -- LA Times articleTalk about planning ahead: Stephen Colbert and his agent demonstrated that there’s more to contract drafting than just putting words on the page — they timed Colbert’s Comedy Central contracts to expire at the same time as David Letterman’s contracts, so that if Letterman ever decided to retire, Colbert would be available. As the NY Times reported:

Mr. Colbert became the immediate front-runner for the position both because of an increasing recognition of his talent — his show won two Emmy Awards last year — and because he clearly wanted the job. His representation had ensured that he would be available to CBS by syncing his recent contracts with Mr. Letterman’s.

Well done, Colbert’s people.

(The story reminded me of a similar one about how Conan O’Brien’s lawyers did right by him in not asking NBC to guarantee that The Tonight Show would always be on at 11:35 p.m. Eastern time.)