Skip to comments.Carr Wars: Legal fight brews as Carr leaves WRKO in radio daze
Posted on 07/10/2007 12:05:07 AM PDT by raccoonradio
WRKO appears set to launch an all-out legal battle to stop Howie Carrs defection to its FM rival, but lawyers for the star talk show host say station executives bungled a key chance to keep him.
Carrs contract, which is up in September, had a renewal option that gave Entercom the right to renew his contract for one more year by March 19, according to Carrs attorney, Bret Cohen of Mintz Levin.
Cohen said Carr agreed to extend the deadline three times but Entercom failed to exercise its option to renew his contract.
Carr, a Herald columnist who has hosted a highly rated WRKO afternoon-drive show since 1994, stunned station executives yesterday when it was revealed he is jumping to WTKK 96.9 FM Talk.
All they would have had to do was send us a letter saying we agree to extend his personal agreement for another year, Cohen said. And theres likely not much we could have done about that. They frankly dragged their feet on that issue.
Carr struck a five-year deal with WTKK to host the stations 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. show. He is slated to debut Oct. 1.
But WRKO AM 680 spokesman George Regan insisted in a statement, Howie Carr is under contract to Entercom.
He is a tremendous asset to WRKO and Entercom has every intention of retaining his services for many years to come. Any report suggesting a change is incredibly premature, Regan said.
Reached last night in Florida, where he is vacationing, Carr declined comment.
A two-decade veteran of WRKO, the local host known for his attacks on politicians and public-sector hacks, and his own run-ins with James Whitey Bulgers mob henchmen will move from aftertoon-drive to the morning-drive slot, where he will replace disgraced syndicated host Don Imus.
Sources said WRKO program director Jason Wolfe was so angered by the news of Carrs exit yesterday that he smashed a glass award sitting on his office desk.
Carrs contract with Entercom contained both a non-compete and right of first refusal or right to match provision. The non-compete clause prevents Carr from going to work at any other radio or TV station within WRKOs city-grade coverage area for 90 days, according to Carrs lawyers.
The right to match provision purports to give WRKO the right to meet a competing salary offer within 180 days from any radio or TV station within WRKOs coverage area. If Entercom matched an offer, Carr would have to stay at WRKO with the same undisclosed compensation as offered by WTKK.
But Cohen said both provisions are illegal and unenforceable under Massachusetts law. Cohen said theres a state statute that prohibits the enforceability of non-compete agreements and other post-employment restriction against individuals in the broadcast industry.
If it comes to it, we are prepared to litigate this issue, Cohen said.
Kirk T. Schroder, an entertainment lawyer based in Virginia, said the deck appears stacked against WRKO. As a general proposition, courts are loathe to prevent a person from pursing their livelihood and these types of provisions are given careful scrutiny, Schroder said.
The move puts Carr head-to-head with his nemesis, former House Speaker Tom Finneran, whose morning show on WRKO has had dismal ratings.
I cant speak for everybody at WRKO, but I think there were some people who were kind of caught maybe a little bit by surprise by this, said Finneran. I dont see it as a feud. I dont see it as a battle. I am going to do my show, and I think the results will speak for themselves.
That's the Chump Line...
>>>>I particularly miss the Howie Carr Hotline<<<<
That would be the “Chump Line” you fat bastid.
Taking Imus’ old station and slot and contributing to the destruction of Tommy Finnerian. Sweet.
One wonders about his loyality, though. WRKO/WHDH made him what he is. They must really be difficult to work with (and stoopid, hiring Finnerian and losing Carr is the daily double) if it got this far.
Howie spends about an hour a day on the treadmill, but isn’t very careful about his diet. He’s like 6’2”, 200#, so I wouldn’t say he’s particularly fat for a 55 year old guy.
He’s certainly no FATBOY (aka Edward M. Kennedy, D-Chivas Regal.) http://fatboy.cc/
Maybe ten years ago, he began to get paunchy and took some ribbing from his on air side kick, VB (”Virgin Boy”, now a morning personality on FOX25.), who is in absolutely no position to talk.
I think that confirmed to Carr that there wasn't much to Tommy Finneran.
Howie doesn’t owe any loyalty to the likes of Julie and Jason.
"The move puts Carr head-to-head with his current co-worker and nemesis, Tom Finneran the former House speaker who hosts WRKOs morning drive-time show."
Tom Finneran is a convicted FELON, a SLUG tried and found guilty of lying under oath so what does WRKO do to this reprobate who deserves to be in JAIL (If it had been uoy or me they would have nailed us to the wall for this)? They have the unmitigated gall to HIRE HIM and to give him the plum morning commute slot! When this happened, multitudes of WRKO listeners contacted the station and flat out told them that they, along with me would drop our support for WRKO AND ITS SPONSORS and would no longer listen to them in the morning and that is just what we have done. I wrote numerous scathing letters to the management of WRKO pleading with them not to hire the liberal sleaze bag, hack "FELLON" Finnerean, Howie also voiced his objections but the management staunchly refused to listen to their audience and went ahead and did it anyway. The ratings for Finnerans show bore out the fact that the audience made good on our threats because they are in the toilet where they belong.
Along with the disgrace of hiring a convicted felon to comment on the political and MORAL issues of the day, WRKO has been eating into Howies airtime for months now by broadcasting Red Sox games and pre-game hype in his time slot... BOREING. So all I can say is WRKO has gotten what it so richly deserves; lay down with "dogs" and you get fleas. I hope Howie cleans Finneran's and WRKO's clock.
If anyone from WRKO is reading this: I hope you ENJOY your time with Tommy Taxes, AFTER Howie leaves, I am permanently switching stations for good. I, along with countless other FORMER WRKO listeners will listen to Howie Carr on his new station and will NO LONGER listen to Rush (the ONLY other conservative host you have left because you FIRED everyone else) on WRKO... You lost the bulk of your listening audience when you "jumped the shark" by hiring the convicted sleaze bag "Felon Finneran.
All I can say is:" See ya, wouldn't want to be ya.
He's joining a good crew...
” I dont see it as a feud. I dont see it as a battle. I am going to do my show, and I think the results will speak for themselves. “
Right you are, Tom Finneran. It isn’t going to be a contest of any kind whatsoever. And the results WILL speak for themselves. You and RKO are toast. I can pick up Rush by podcast, with the added bennie of being able to fast forward through the drivel to get to the meat.
” They must really be difficult to work with (and stoopid, hiring Finnerian and losing Carr is the daily double) if it got this far. “
Howie really , realy hates Finneran, and you can tell he wass po’d the station hired him.
Howie belongs in the afternoon, not the morning. Not 5:30. They should just flip him right into the exact same time slot and guarantee they take all his current listeners. Why risk anything by messing with a winning formula? It makes no sense to me. They should go out an get D&C for the morning and complete the destruction of Entecom-Boston.
All of those people are nationally syndicated. Howie is local/regional. That’s why he owns the region.
I hope they don’t keep McPhee. Her voice is unbearable. John and Jeff....oh, please dump that show. Get rid of Howie’s sidekick Sandy too. I miss VB.
You can listen to Howie streamed now at WRKO starting at 3 PM eastern on weekdays
Click the animated 'Listen Live' icon at the top left.
First timers need to create an account.
Howie is not exactly national but does well in New England
Howie belongs in the afternoon, not the morning.
My thoughts exactly, if they can syndicate to other channels in the region - as WRKO is doing now- how many will give up their morning drive personalities?
Although, maybe I’m thinking like and AM person and not FM.
As long as I can continue to listen to Howie online, I don’t care from where he does his show. < |:)~
I still feel bad. I like Bill Bennet’s “Morning in America” just fine, just wish it was on a station with more than 250 Watts. < /sarcasm> Maybe ‘RKO will pick it up now.
Afternoon drive time will be a Black Hole without Howie. Hannity is a snooze, Severin not really my piece of Cake, ‘BZ is, well, ‘BZ. WCRB? How many times a day can you listen to Un Bel di?