Chapter 739: Arguing with the leader again!
Translator: Legge Editor: - -
In the afternoon.
Central TV Department 1's official Weibo posted an update.
The contents were as follows: Central TV Department 1 will invest a hefty 80 million RMB in its next TV show. Estimated broadcast date: TBA. Production Team: From the team that brought you The Voice. Executive Producer: Zhang Ye. Executive Director: Zhang Ye. Host: Zhang Ye. Broadcast Schedule: Friday Primetime Slot.
When this news came out, it immediately made a splash on the Internet.
"Hahaha, Zhang Ye's new show is coming!"
"80 million RMB? That's quite considerable!"
"Quite considerable? That amount is more than enough to shoot a movie, a blockbuster movie in fact. If we're talking about a normal movie production, then it's enough to make three or four of them! They're actually going to spend that much money just on a TV show? If we're talking about our domestic market, I suppose Zhang Ye alone can command such a price. Besides, haven't you all noticed something yet? Previously, The Voice did not broadcast in a primetime slot, but Zhang Ye's new show has already been announced for Friday's primetime. I'm so looking forward to seeing this new show get even better viewership ratings this time. I wonder if Teacher Zhang can continue writing his legend!"
"Right, The Voice was just a variety show that broadcasted on a normal Thursday night slot and its ratings still managed to get the number 1 spot in the nation. If it was given a primetime slot, it would surely have done much better. I believe that Central TV Department 1 was too conservative in the handling of Zhang Ye back then, so they only gave him the Thursday slot. Otherwise, if he had been given the Friday or Saturday primetime slots, the viewership ratings would surely have been much higher than they were!"
"I'm so looking forward to it!"
"Let's see what kinds of tricks Zhang Ye can pull off this time!"
"This has got to be the most exciting news that I've heard all day. Teacher Zhang, I've always liked you a lot, so I'm cheering for you!"
"Is there any more definitive information?"
"What type of show would the new program be? Why didn't they disclose it yet?"
"I can't wait!"
"Looking forward to 'The Tongue of China' displaying his prowess again!"
"After the recent car smashing incident and with his relative solving a crime case, I think it's time for Teacher Zhang to get back to proper business again!"
The topic was hotly discussed online. Central TV Department 1's new program had entered the early stages of promotion!
At Central TV.
At the cafeteria in the television tower.
While Zhang Ye was eating lunch, some people came up to chat with him.
A TV producer said, "Director Zhang, I heard that your new program will have 80 million yuan set aside for it?"
"It's not in the account yet." Zhang Ye laughed it off.
A program team's female director standing beside him said, "You're already the darling of Central TV Department 1. Thinking of how my program used to apply for a production funding of 20 million, we had to wait for over a month just to find out that it couldn't be approved. In the end, they slashed it to 15 million. Hai, comparison always ends up torturing people, that's totally true."
Zhang Ye happily said, "Director Chu, don't joke about me like that. I've heard that the different types of copyrights that your program sold fetched tens of millions of yuan. If we base it proportionately to the production costs, your program did much better than The Voice."
"Come on." That female director said, "The copyright of The Voice would definitely sell for much more."
Behind them, a middle-aged man laughed. "I heard that someone from America has already come to discuss The Voice's overseas copyright. I believe they may have already touched base with Central TV about it."
"Is that so?" Zhang Ye asked, not knowing anything about this.
The middle-aged man answered, "I've only heard so, but I don't know specifically."
The female director said, "Director Zhang's contract is a little different from the other hosts. I believe he came as part of the package with the program? So the copyright should still be with him."
"I only hold the overseas copyright, nothing more," Zhang Ye explained.
The female director said, "That's more than enough. If the discussions go well, at least 10 million will go directly into your pocket, and that's just lowballing. Don't forget to treat us to a meal when the time comes."
Zhang Ye smiled. "There's not even a shadow of that happening yet."
He had been working at Central TV for 3 months now. During this time, Zhang Ye had gotten to know quite a lot of people, but mainly just as acquaintances. He could speak to them or carry a conversation in their daily interactions, but none of them really had a close relationship with him. Since the time they spent together wasn't that long, Zhang Ye also did not talk in-depth with them. They would just make small talk, and often kept the conversations short since they weren't that close.
After the meal.
He took the elevator upstairs. Zhang Ye did not return to his office but went directly to Jiang Yuan's office instead. Jiang Yuan had earlier asked Zhang Ye to see him in the afternoon as there was something he wanted to discuss with him.
He knocked on the door.
"Come in." Jiang Yuan's voice came from inside.
Zhang Ye went inside. "Director Jiang."
Jiang Yuan said pleasantly, "You're here? Take a seat."
Zhang Ye did not stand on ceremony and just took a seat. "Is it regarding the program?"
"More or less." Jiang Yuan went over to the water cooler to get a cup of water for Zhang Ye. "I asked you here today because I wanted to discuss something in your contract with you."
"Contract?" Zhang Ye perked up, but played dumb. "What contract?"
Jiang Yuan continued, "I will be honest with you. For the contract that we have previously discussed, there have been many meetings at the management level regarding it. They feel that the contract does not abide by the rules."
Zhang Ye's eyebrows twitched. "Director Jiang, regarding the contract, we have already-"
"Listen to me first," Jiang Yuan interrupted. "I understand as well. Previously, the contract we discussed was done after negotiations from both sides. But because there are many clauses within it that cannot hold up to scrutiny and is not perfect. For example, the overseas copyright that you wanted to keep, that has never been something like that in Central TV before, nor have there been any similar cases in any other TV stations."
Zhang Ye's contract was indeed different from other people's contracts. Whether it was other hosts or program planners, as long as they had signed an employee contractual agreement, they did not own the copyrights of the works they created during their tenure for the purpose of work. It belonged under the category of obligatory creations in their professional positions, so at most, it would be subjected to year-end bonuses or cash awards based on work performance. There would be no sharing of the copyright fees should it be sold. However, it was different for Zhang Ye as he had earlier discussed the contract with Central TV Department 1 based on his terms. In that contract, he would not be entitled to year-end bonuses or a joining bonus, but in return, he would get to retain his copyright in the event that television stations from overseas wanted to buy it. That was the one and only clause he requested, so you could say that he had brought the program along with him to Central TV Department 1.
So what was the meaning of this now?
Are they intending to break the contract? Did I hear it wrong?
Zhang Ye asked in an unpleasant tone, "What do you mean by that?"
Jiang Yuan looked at him. "The management's decision is that we ought to renegotiate your contract terms. Don't be too hasty now. We aren't targeting you. The main issue here is to standardize the contract to Central TV's contractual rules. Moreover, you don't have to worry since this is just modifying the copyright clause that is in the contract now. What you have produced and created within your professional role will become Central TV Department 1's copyright, so it's simply just that one clause. As for the others, the contract will seek to increase your performance bonuses accordingly. Your bonuses and viewership rating performance pay are directly linked, and with your standards, the monthly payout for you won't be low at all. In summary, we are just asking for you to give up the overseas copyright. In exchange, we will increase your salary to compensate you. It's the same thing in the end."
Zhang Ye laughed. "Then may I first ask; how much will the monthly payouts amount to?"
"Since we did not discuss your bonuses in the previous contract, you were at a disadvantage. As you know, overseas copyrights are actually not easy to sell. How many of such cases have you ever seen happening in our country's variety show industry? There's basically none. But what we are going to do for you is renegotiate the contract in your favor, so even if the overseas copyright is not sold, you will still stand to gain monetarily in the form of bonuses. With your show's performance, I am estimating that you will receive at least 200,000 RMB a month, maybe even more," Jiang Yuan explained.
Zhang Ye laughed in spite of all this. "What I understand by this is that you are telling me that the contract will be renegotiated not from the next show, but starting with The Voice, right?"
Jiang Yuan acknowledged, "You can give it some consideration first."
Zhang Ye candidly replied, "I don't need to consider. It's a no."
Earlier at the cafeteria, when someone mentioned that an American had come to discuss the overseas copyright for The Voice, Zhang Ye was still doubtful of it. But at this moment, he no longer doubted the veracity of that. Someone from Central TV Department 1 had definitely met up with the American already, and it was likely that they'd also discussed a preliminary figure for the copyright. However, because of the issue with Zhang Ye's contract, Central TV Department 1 could not sell the copyright of The Voice to an overseas party. Therefore, the only choice left was to talk it through with Zhang Ye.
Change the copyright clause in favor of bonuses?
200,000 RMB a month?
Are you trying to deceive an idiot!? If the overseas copyright were to be sold, it would fetch at least tens of millions of yuan! The monthly payout of 200,000 RMB still had to be tied to the viewership ratings? If the viewership ratings drop, so will the pay? Do you think I was born yesterday??
Jiang Yuan frowned. "Little Zhang, the reason a program like The Voice has done so well was not down to only your concept and hosting. You have to know that Central TV Department 1's large platform contributed heavily to the rise of the show's popularity as well. In fact, it's even the decisive factor, since without the platform, The Voice would never have become so popular. This is not your credit alone to claim. If you insist on biting onto a throwaway issue like the copyright, don't you think you're being too unreasonable?"
Zhang Ye's eyes narrowed. "Director Jiang, first of all, the issue with the contract was brought up by me at the very beginning. When you invited me to join Central TV Department 1 after our discussions, I did not request any conditions except the matter of the copyright. There was no joining pay, no bonuses. Just a basic salary of 8,000 RMB as the host. I worked incredibly hard on the show, came up with the idea, used my personal connections to pull in a title sponsor to fund the production, and finally, also gave up my share of the online exclusive broadcast fees that went directly to Central TV Department 1. So how am I being unreasonable??"
'"You have to think from a different perspective-" Jiang Yuan tried to advise.
Zhang Ye refuted. "The one who should think from a different perspective is not me. I dare put it this way: if you had rejected my request to retain my ownership of the show's copyright back when you approached me to join the station, we would've just parted ways on good terms and I would not have joined the station. But now that the contract has already been agreed on and signed, and I have also joined the station and created the show too, then with the overseas copyright nearly sold, you're telling me that the contract agreements that we had don't stand up to scrutiny? You guys even want the overseas copyright for yourselves now? All the money will go to you all? Going back on your word? Burning bridges? Is this the way to do things, if I may ask? It's not like I'm particular about things. Neither do I feel that I have asked for too much. You even mentioned earlier about how many of our variety shows have had their copyrights sold overseas, right? Basically none? But when I want to retain this 'throwaway' copyright for myself, I am being called unreasonable? What else would you like me to do? I need to ensure that I create a good show, ensure its viewership ratings, and now I even have to control myself from getting too much money? Is this what you mean by being reasonable? That is not called being reasonable, that is what you'd call idiotic!"
Hearing Zhang Ye's tone, Jiang Yuan also didn't bother to hold back anymore. He spoke harshly, "Little Zhang, I suggest that you better consider this carefully."
"I should not be the one considering this matter, nor am I obligated to do so!" Zhang Ye laid down the law, "A contract is a contract, we will continue according to the contractual terms. After the year ends, if you still want to renegotiate the contract, we can talk about it again. But for now, I have no reason to renegotiate the contract!"
Jiang Yuan said, "Go back and think about it again."
"The ones thinking should be you all." This was just what Zhang Ye's temper was like. If people were good to him, they could talk about anything. But if people tried to find fault with him, he would say anything he wanted. "I don't need to speak of how much The Voice has earned for Central TV Department 1 or how much fame and glory it has brought to the station. You guys should know all about that. Besides, you can check around with anyone, but ever since i joined Central TV Department 1, have I not been giving my best to the station? In turn, what you all are trying to do chills me. I can clearly tell you this: the contract has been written in black and white already and I won't be renegotiating it. If the American wants to discuss the overseas copyright to The Voice, I will discuss it with him or her face-to-face. There's no need for you all to bother yourselves with it!"
Zhang Ye stood up to walk out.
Jiang Yuan was so angry his face paled. He told Zhang Ye, "Don't forget that you still have to fulfill the contract duration with Central TV Department 1. Whatever our station might lack, it definitely won't be a host!"
"What a coincidence." Zhang Ye stopped in his tracks and turned around. "I can teach, crosstalk, produce music, act in movies, and write novels, so it's not like I have to be a host either!"
At the door.
Two staff members were just walking past Jiang Yuan's office at this moment. When they saw the door open and heard Zhang Ye arguing with Jiang Yuan inside the office, the two of them looked at each other, stunned and rooted to the spot!
What was happening?
Why was Zhang Ye arguing with people again??