Carr files suit against WRKO for trying to stop new deal with rival
By Jessica Heslam/ Breaking News
Boston Herald Media Reporter
Tuesday, July 10, 2007 - Updated: 11:44 AM EST
A day after shaking up Bostons talk radio scene with a bombshell announcement, WRKO talk meister Howie Carr has slapped the AM station with a lawsuit, accusing them of illegally trying to block his new deal with rival WTKK-FM.
The lawsuit, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, accuses the Entercom-owned WRKO (680) of including illegal restrictions in Carrs contract designed to prevent the witty Herald columnist from jumping ship.
WTKK has offered Carr a five-year contract for his own morning-drive show. His contract with WRKO ends in September.
Without relief from this court, Mr. Carr will be unlawfully precluded from pursuing this opportunity, and will be forced to continue working for an employer whom he no longer wants to work, said the lawsuit, filed by Carrs attorney, Bret Cohen of Mintz Levin.
Mr. Carr seeks a declaration from this court that these provisions are illegal under Massachusetts law and unenforceable as applied to him, and an award of his attorneys fees and costs incurred in bringing this present action, the lawsuit says.
Carrs contract with WRKO contained a renewal option, which would have allowed Entercom to extend his contract by one year had the company sent a written letter to Carr by March 19 of this year.
According to the complaint, WRKO Program Director Jason Wolfe asked Carr to sign a one-week extension two days before the March deadline, which Carr signed. Over the next month, Carr gave Entercom two more extension deadlines for the renewal option, but the company failed to extend Carrs contract.
About a month ago, Wolfe contacted Carr to discuss his contract, and Carr told him he had reservations about staying at WRKO, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says WTKK would give Carr a bigger audience, asubstantially higher profile and morebonus potential than WRKO.
"Brian, it looks like the house of cards is falling down! Julie Kahn, Jim Rushton and Jason Wolfe found out about the 96.9 deal on the Herald website, they had no clue until it was mentioned to them. Julie was heard telling Jason in a closed door meeting that his neck is on the line if Howie walks...."