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Bronfman is guaranteed an annual base salary of $1 million a year plus a bonus of up to $3 million, but with a minimum of $2 million in the first two years of the agreement.

BRONFMAN GETS JOB SECURITY;
SEAGRAM STAYS HOT IN 1Q FY01

Four-Year Deal Includes Termination Protection, No-Trade Clause, No Brown M&Ms Backstage
While many assumed a departure would shortly follow the conclusion of the merger of his company with Vivendi, Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr.'s contract with his new bosses includes a "termination protection" clause that will cost the French conglom a near fortune if the executive is forced out.

Daily Variety reports that Bronfman's employment agreement with Vivendi will run for four years, to be automatically extended each year after that unless he notifies Vivendi otherwise 120 days before the contract expires. He's guaranteed an annual base salary of $1 million a year plus a bonus of up to $3 million, but with a minimum of $2 million in the first two years of the agreement.

According to a filing with the SEC, the contract "provides that Bronfman will be the sole Vice Chairman of Vivendi Universal and will report to Vivendi Universal's Chairman, who will be the only executive senior to him."

The contract denotes Bronfman's primary responsibilities as the music division and spirits and wine, which is about to be sold, and says the operating heads of portal Vizzavi, Vivendi Net and other online units will report directly to Bronfman, Variety said.

A termination protection clause entitles Bronfman and other Seagram execs to two or three times the sum of their annual base salary and target bonus and a host of other payments and benefits, like all of their unvested stock options becoming fully exercisable.

When reached for comment, HITS' reigning Rabbi Roy Trakin wanted to know who Bronfman's lawyers were so he could get them to renegotiate his current deal.

In related news, Seagram today (11/1) reported first quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates by 2 cents.

Aided by double-digit growth in its music operations, the company, which owns Universal Studios and Universal Music Group, earned $21 million (or 5 cents a share), up from a loss of $95 million (or 22 cents a share) for the same period last year. Wall Street smart guys estimated the company's earnings to be around 3 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter, however, fell 3%, from $3.6 billion to $3.5 billion.

The company declared a regular quarterly dividend of about 17 cents a share, payable Dec. 15.

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