AP's Ron Fournier may command speaking fees of up to $10,000
The Washington Bureau Chief of the Associated Press, Ron Fournier, may command speaker's fees of up to $10,000 per appearance.
As of this writing, Fournier appears to be available for booking through the All American Talent & Celebrity Network's website. I called to confirm that he was still listed with the agency, but I haven't heard back yet.
According to his speaker bio, Fournier co-wrote a book called Applebee's America with Bush's former chief strategist Matthew Dowd and former high-level Clinton adviser, Doug Sosnik. Appropriately enough, the 2006 book is a treatise on political marketing for politicians, captains of industry, and mega-church pastors.
Applebee's contains such pearls of wisdom as: "The most important Gut Values today are community and authenticity. People are desperate to connect with one another and be part of a cause greater than themselves. They're tired of spin and sloganeering from political, business, and religious institutions that constantly fail them."
Before Fournier returned to the AP in March of 2007, he was in negotiations with the McCain campaign about a job.
Fournier drew fire when his over-friendly email to Karl Rove came to light in the course of a Congressional investigation into the death of Pat Tillman
In April, Fournier told the Alaska Press Club that "developing new sources to going out on a date." No word on whether he charged for that advice.
Here's AP's ethics policy on outside appearances:
Employees frequently appear on radio and TV news programs as panelists asking questions of newsmakers; such appearances are encouraged.
However, there is potential for conflict if staffers are asked to give their opinions on issues or personalities of the day. Advance discussion and clearance from a staffer's supervisor are required.
Employees must inform a news manager before accepting honoraria and/or reimbursement of expenses for giving speeches or participating in seminars at colleges and universities or at other educational events if such appearance makes use of AP's name or the employee represents himself or herself as an AP employee. No fees should be accepted from governmental bodies; trade, lobbying or special interest groups; businesses, or labor groups; or any group that would pose a conflict of interest. All appearances must receive prior approval from a staffer's supervisor.
It would be difficult to have a career as a highly-paid motivational speaker if you couldn't take money from business, labor, government, lobby, or special interest groups.
Update: When Fournier spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the country's most powerful lobby groups, he was billed as AP's top political writer. The event was held in September of 2006, when Fournier was supposed to have quit the AP to do promotional work for his book.