The $25 million two-year deal that Chelsea Handler just chalked with the E! network says something about the enterprising queen of late-night TV talk. She sure knows how to negotiate.
Last month, when I interviewed Handler on stage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, she was in the middle of negotiating with NBC Universal's (CMCSA) E!--playing hardball, dropping hints that she might leave for a rival network.
When I asked her for her best negotiating tips, here's what she said:
"I don't listen to anyone or any advice because I know exactly what I want and how I want it."
And when an agent or a manager says, 'You can't ask for that...that's not done," what does Handler say? "Well, why don't you go ask?!"
"And then you get it," she said, instructing the MPW audience: "You have to ask for what you want. Just because there are parameters that have been set doesn't mean they can't be blown open."
For what it's worth (that is, $25 million), Handler's new contract with E! calls for her to continue to be host and executive producer of Chelsea Lately through 2014 and develop other projects through her company, Borderline Amazing Productions. Handler's company produces her After Lately, a spinoff show, as well as Chelsea Lately, which is the most-watched late-night talk show among female viewers, 18 to 34.
An increasingly valuable franchise at NBC Universal, Handler is, in addition to her E! deal, executive producing and appearing in Are You There, Chelsea?, a sitcom based on one of her best sellers, Are you There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. The show will premiere on January 11.
Of course, a stand-up comic does not turn herself into a multi-media brand without rewarding the folks who helped her along the way. To celebrate her E! deal, Handler decided to give $1,000 cash to each of 138 staffers.
Yes, she is generous--and cunning too. "I probably shouldn't say this," Handler told me at the MPW Summit, going on to explain how she sometimes uses her staffers as negotiating bait to get sweet deals for herself. Here's Handler on her ultimate negotiating tip...
I knew Lise Buyer when she was a hotshot technology analyst at Credit Suisse (CS) in the late 1990s, during the first Internet bubble. Since quitting Wall Street in 2000 to become a venture capitalist, Buyer has been low-profile--but she's active in the world of startups. She now runs Class V Group, guiding IPO-bound companies. I asked Buyer if she'd share her advice on Postcards. Today, the eve of Groupon's MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 3, 2011 12:43 PM ET
Wendy Kopp, the founder and CEO of Teach for America, is one of the most impressive social entrepreneurs I've ever met. Anyone who writes her college thesis about recruiting America's top young people to education—and then spends the next 22 years building an organization that now hires more college seniors than most any Fortune 500 company—gets my vote.
But I'm not here to tell you about Kopp. (She's had many profiles MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 1, 2011 1:25 PM ET
I met Steve Jobs only once--back in 2007 when he came to Fortune to demo the iPhone. What a thrill when he walked into the conference room and took the empty chair next to mine. Over the next 90 minutes, the Apple (AAPL) founder and chief mesmerized Fortune's editors by previewing his game-changing product and his insanely creative mind at work.
That day, I saw proof, up close and personal, that MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 12, 2011 12:57 PM ET
The Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit kicks off in two weeks with a twist on mentoring: 35 high school seniors will interview certain inspiring women leaders—including fashion entrepreneur Tory Burch, Lululemon (LULU) CEO Christine Day, Gilt Group Chairman Susan Lyne, singer Rosanne Cash—about success and how to get there.
Also in this mix of MPW mentors: Tyra Banks. The supermodel-cum-media entrepreneur created the TV hit, America's Next Top Model, has released MOREPatricia Sellers - Sep 21, 2011 9:00 AM ET
Fortune's editors have chosen the 2011 Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. From a pool of 131 applicants, we've selected (not easily) 10 extraordinary innovators, game-changers and groundbreakers whose startups generated $1 million to $25 million in annual revenue last year--but appear poised to become large and global businesses.
That is, these women could be on the Fortune Most Powerful Women in Business list someday. (This year's U.S. and international rankings will MOREPatricia Sellers - Sep 13, 2011 1:28 PM ET
Besides her 1,071 wins, 18 Final Fours, and eight national championships--the stuff that makes Pat Summitt the winningest coach, male or female, in NCAA basketball history--there is the stuff of her leadership. Measured against anyone else in sports or anywhere, Summitt stands as one of the most formidable and focused leaders you will ever meet.
Last night, after the University of Tennessee Lady Vols coach made the stunning announcement that she MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 24, 2011 3:03 PM ET
Most women don't go for it, career-wise, like the guys do. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy breaks that mold. A onetime star at Google (GOOG), where was president of Asia-Pacific and Latin American operations, she has restlessly rotated through the startup world--from Amazon.com (AMZN) to OpenTV to News Corp.'s (NWS) BSkyB to Yodlee, a financial-services company that she co-founded, to Polyvore, a fashion site where she was CEO last year until quitting MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 1, 2011 1:17 PM ET
FORTUNE-- We're extending the deadline to apply to be one of Fortune's 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. The new deadline is August 1. We're reaching out worldwide to find the most innovative, game-changing female entrepreneurs whose companies brought in $1 million to $25 million in the last fiscal year. We'll invite the 10 winners to the 2011 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, October 3-5 in Laguna Niguel, California.
We started MPW MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 20, 2011 11:40 AM ET
The Fortune Most Powerful Women search for extraordinary entrepreneurs is on.
We're looking for 10 female founders of innovative and thriving U.S. or international companies with revenue between $1 million and $25 million. To request an application form or to nominate someone you know, please email Elizabeth Busch at Elizabeth_Busch@fortuneconf.com by Monday, July 25. For more information about the application process, visit our Facebook page here.
In this video, our winning entrepreneurs MOREColleen Leahey, Reporter - Jul 6, 2011 9:27 AM ET
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