Legal Principles of a Contract
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A contract is basically a written agreement between two or more parties that is enforced by law. Contracts can be in form of business, social agreement or political agreement. Contracts are of diverse nature depending on the parties involved and the time line of the contract. However the most popular types of contracts are business contracts and can range from one month to as many years as agreed. Business contracts can nonetheless be renewed by the parties involved after the original contract expires and the parties still want a relationship. It is for this reason that most businesses work together under certain principles after signing a contract. Once the contract expires it is the decision of the parties to choose if they would continue working together or not (Anson 35). Despite the legal nature of contracts, some parties can choose to terminate contracts after a significant happening but legal procedures have to be followed effectively for a termination of a contract.
In a recent article published in the popular New York Times on January 26th this year 2013, Brian Stelter writes about the end of contract between Sarah Palin and Fox News. Sarah Palin is a former governor for Alaska and a former Fox News anchor who represented political social and economic issues in her program. Sarah is currently out of business with Fox News following recent declaration by Fox News that their relationship or rather their contract expired in December 2012. The news is quite a shock to many after her huge role in Fox News for three years since the year 2010. Sarah has not been spotted on Fox News in her usual program since mid December last year. The contract between the two has raised many questions for her followers as well as her loyal haters who as well watched her on Fox News. Any business set up in contracts must come to an end or be renewed however for Sarah, Fox News do not wish to continue working with her in the future.
The principles of business especially in cases where there is a contract are clear on both the roles of the principle and the agent. In this situation, Fox News was the agent while Sarah Palin acted as their principle to deliver news and a popular program. Sarah received a huge amount of salary from her program definitely in accordance to their contract. There are only two players in such a business who are the agent and the principle. The agent represents the principle by giving them a platform to work from and perform their roles according to the contract. Sarah Palin was working for Fox News for a period of three years until the expiry. It is a principle of a contract through agencies; one party has to give something to get something in return, in this case Sarah got her salary after delivering news services to Fox News.
In a contract there are any factors to consider when working together especially in an employment case such as this (Burnett 45).The tools of work are an important factor as ownership must be recognized. Fox News provided a platform for Sarah Palin to air her program. Though it is said that Sarah had her own studio in her house for follow ups, the main show was held in Fox News buildings while using their resources. In any contract, the employee does not necessarily have to come with their own tools as it is the role of the agent to provide. Sarah Palin’s work was to collect data and deliver during her program and ensure she delivers the best for the viewers while Fox News ensures that Sarah’s work was delivered and viewed with their team of technicians. In televisions programs the tools are mostly known to belong to the broadcasting station.
In addition, another factor considere before a contract between an agency and a principle is that if skills and the knowledge suitable for the job. The employment sector is very cautious and must adhere to the principles of hiring or signing contracts whereby they always hire professionals suitable for the job and who will deliver to their expectations. Sarah Palin is an influential member of the society following her quest as a nominee for vice president in the previous election. She is as well a former governor for Alaska among many other influential roles known by the public. A part of America contain the fans of Sarah Palin thus it is with theses reasons that Palin was fit to host a program on Fox News one of the largest broadcasting stations in America. There has to be a sense of professionalism in any contract so that the objectives of both parties are met effectively.
Another factor considered during a contract between an agency and a principle is on control of work and the authority of both parties. This is a factor that must be documented together with the contract so as to avoid any form of disagreements on authority. The agency being the overall employer to the principle might not necessarily have authority over the principle however in most cases the agency has more power. In this event, Palin is the principle and it is rather clear that Fox News had more power following their announcement on the end of their relationship. In any case Sarah despite her popularity and the huge positions in America she holds was the employee. The issues facing Fox News and Sarah Palin during their contract were not well known to the public but it seemed clear that they both had almost equal powers.
The business of two parties through a contract is determined by the benefit each party will bring on the table for the business. Sarah Palin is a popular person actively involved in politics, social and economic issues of the American Society. As a large broadcasting station, Fox News had to look for someone who would not only fill up a section of their weekly shows and programs but someone who will hugely influence more viewers to watch the station. Fox News is huge and must go for a large audience hence the contract with Sarah Palin who developed more fans and consequent added more viewers to Fox News. On the other hand, Sarah Plain being a public figure needed to start her show in a well established huge platform hence Fox News was a good option for her. Public figures always target the well established business platform before agreeing to a contract. This gave her more fans and listeners mostly those who could relate to the issues she aired. Therefore, the agency and the principle ought to equally benefit from each other.
The control of the agency on the principle must nonetheless be professional in the sense that each party must look out for the effective running of the business in order to achieve the set goals of the contract. Sarah Palin did meet the expectations of Fox News over the three years despite the fact that Fox News no longer wants any form of relationship with Palin. The Palin show where she voiced the issues of the citizens as well as the issues facing children with disabilities was popular among Americans. Following the reactions of people from websites, blogs, social media of face book and twitter it is evident that Fox News may have lost an asset after the end of that contract. Sarah had and still has many followers who watched her show for the past three years hence viewers may be angry with the news from Fox News.
In any form of business which is conducted under legal means, it is important to note the importance of that specific type of business as opposed to the disadvantages that coome with it (Schlesinger 78). A form of business with an agency and a principle is rather important as in the case of Sarah Palin and Fox News in that the two parties do not have to share any profits or losses accrued during the contract period. It is the responsibility of both parties to adhere to the terms of the contract despite any happenings during the contract. In the case where Sarah Palin made several comments that were out of line about President Obama sometime back, she had an advantage to continue serving under Fox News as per the contract though sources say that Fox News and the entire management were against her comments on the show. In a contract both parties might not agree and through the terms and conditions pertained in the contract one party gains advantage over the other.
A contract saves the parties unnecessary trouble and this is one of the most important advantages of a business through a contract. In cases where Sarah Palin was a mere anchor with no contract she could have been fired by the management of Fox News who had different perspectives of her comments. The relationship of parties governed by a contract does not have to be smooth running as they both have control and authority in the roles they play in the business. A contract is therefore important particularly for the employees as one cannot be fired randomly when conflict emerges.
However it is important to note that a contract is not an entity to ultimate time line of a contract. Through legal procedures a contract can go through an untimely termination if the parties are in total disagreements or when one party tries to go past their position as stated in the contract. There are laws that govern business contracts that in some serious situations a contract can be terminated. The role of the two parties is to ensure termination does not occur as they both or all loose a huge amount of resources invested in the contract. However, the resources employed in carrying out business through a contract can be overlooked when serious matters are involved. Conflict of interest is one factor that can lead to the termination of a contract as this is when most parties tend to disagree.
Though the contract between Fox News and Sarah Plain ended in December after three years, it is not clear as to why the contract wasn’t renewed. The spokesperson to Fox News came out and clearly elaborated that their relationship with Sarah Palin was over though the contract has not officially ended through signing and other documentations. The two parties are said to part ways for good after the Fox News stated that they wish Palin a bright future. Following this, the contract will not be renewed though Sarah Palin has not made an official statement after Fox News announcement. However the two are speculated to have ended their business as Sarah has not been on her show since December last year.
In conclusion, it is clear that businesses are governed by legal principles thus regardless of the issues that may arise; business ought to be handled legally and professionally. Contract businesses are common and for parties to renew the contract after expiry, a good relationship must be established as well as large benefits. In this case however, it is not clear why the contract between Sarah Palin and Fox News was not renewed though sources tell that their relationship was not smooth during the three year contract. Despite the fact that viewers who were Palin’s followers might stop watching Fox News both parties, Palin and Fox News have become more popular and seems the objectives of the business contract have been met. Contracts most importantly must meet the set goals and yield the expected results.