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Carr files suit against WRKO for trying to stop new deal with rival
Boston Herald ^ | 7/10/07 | Jessica Heslam

Posted on 07/10/2007 9:14:03 AM PDT by raccoonradio

(under Breaking News/Herald site) A day after shaking up Boston’s 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 Carr’s 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 Carr’s 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.

Carr’s 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 Carr’s 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, a“substantially higher profile” and more“bonus potential” than WRKO.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: howie; howiecarr; lawsuit; talkradio; wtkk
I get the feeling Howie may never be on WRKO again, not unless this gets settled (and even then it'll be in farewell mode)
1 posted on 07/10/2007 9:14:04 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: Andonius_99; Andy'smom; Big Guy and Rusty 99; bitt; Barset; Carolinamom; Cheapskate; danno3150; ...

Howie Carr list ping!


2 posted on 07/10/2007 9:14:38 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

‘RKO really did lose their collective minds some time ago! Nothing like a good lawsuit to smooth things over, though! ;-)


3 posted on 07/10/2007 9:19:48 AM PDT by maryz
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To: raccoonradio
I get the feeling Howie may never be on WRKO again...

Of course he won't.I hope the Colonel isn't his replacement for many reasons...not least of which is I can only understand about 10% of what he says.

4 posted on 07/10/2007 9:19:51 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
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To: Gay State Conservative

maybe they’ll pick up Jerry Doyle live in the meantime (or
swipe Hannity from WTTT); both shows air at 3 pm EDT


5 posted on 07/10/2007 9:23:00 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio
In March all it would have cost WRKO to tie up Howie for a full year was a registered letter.

Jason Wolfe will be out before Howie's contract is up.

6 posted on 07/10/2007 9:31:31 AM PDT by AU72
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To: AU72
Yes. Also this from Brian Maloney of RadioEqualizer blog and SaveWRKO.com. Brian got an email from a WRKO insider:
"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...."
7 posted on 07/10/2007 9:32:48 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio
The lawsuit, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, accuses the Entercom-owned WRKO (680) of including illegal restrictions in Carr’s contract designed to prevent the witty Herald columnist from jumping ship.

Well Howie, did ya' read what you signed?

If so, why did you sign an 'illegal contract'?

8 posted on 07/10/2007 9:35:29 AM PDT by Inquisitive1 (I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance - Socrates)
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To: raccoonradio

I had 96.9 on my presets but deleted it a few weeks ago. Between Michelle McPhee’s grating voice and the midday show...yikes!


9 posted on 07/10/2007 9:36:28 AM PDT by ConservativeStatement
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To: raccoonradio

Who cares who Howie’s replacement is? Rush, then Howie is my daily routine and I will not change. I’m getting a recorder to tape Howie while I’m still sleeping. Then I’ll play it at 3PM every day. This is the natural order of things and will continue to be. Not only that, if I’m driving and listening I won’t continue to lose Howie every other mile. C’mon Howie, you can tell us....where is Whitey??


10 posted on 07/10/2007 9:36:57 AM PDT by CaptainAmiigaf (NY Times: We print the news as it fits our views)
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To: CaptainAmiigaf

hook up a stereo/radio to your comp.

get a program like AudioRecordWizard3 ($25) or Audacity (free).
Set the timer and make sure you leave your comp on.
Later on you can hear it via mp3 player etc


11 posted on 07/10/2007 9:39:55 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

...also you could tap into the stream of WTKK and set the
“recorder” up to tape the “wave out mix”...


12 posted on 07/10/2007 9:40:49 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio
I can hear Ted laffing at Jason Wolf!

WRKO has a history of firing right leaning talk hosts for a minor faux pas. They hired a convicted felon ex-House Speaker who believes in raising taxes and who ever disagrees with him is a "Nit Wit" or a "Moron". Good for Howie, Boo to you WRKO!
13 posted on 07/10/2007 9:42:02 AM PDT by jackieaxe (This one hour pre-flight security screening is brought to you by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
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To: raccoonradio
LOL, this is great! Howie at his best!

Revenge is a dish best eaten cold. Howie's chowin' down on this feast.

Howie hits a home run with this one:

1. He gets the old Imus slot, "In your FACE Imus!"
2. He goes head-to-head against that BLEEPIN' Felon.
3. He doesn't have to put up with any more friggin' Red Sox preemptions.
4. He probably gets more money.

I expect to hear him say "My Heart Feels Like An Alligator!" today.

14 posted on 07/10/2007 9:47:22 AM PDT by suffering_fools
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To: raccoonradio
Another thought occurred to me:

Maybe this move will finally rid us of that fat liberal BLEEP Sandy and her warped, toe-licking fans.

15 posted on 07/10/2007 9:53:04 AM PDT by suffering_fools
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To: raccoonradio

Get the popcorn ready.....

We won’t be hearing Howie anytime soon on WRKO,IMO.The most frustrating thing is that no one on the radio will talk,or be allowed to talk about any of this.’RKO certainly won’t let this on their airwaves.


16 posted on 07/10/2007 10:04:23 AM PDT by GQuagmire (Giggety,Giggety,Giggety)
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To: GQuagmire

As of this morning their message boards were still up.

http://wrko.com/pages/364716.php


17 posted on 07/10/2007 10:14:12 AM PDT by Andy'smom
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To: suffering_fools

I like Sandy...she keeps Howie honest!


18 posted on 07/10/2007 10:18:48 AM PDT by WesternMA
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To: suffering_fools

>>I expect to hear him say “My Heart Feels Like An Alligator!” today.

Not on the air, we won’t. Avi Nelson is filling in and
HC may not be back on 680 anytime soon, perhaps never
again...as long as this isn’t settled. And as has been
pointed out in various places, once WRKO realized they
could lose Howie they suddenly are making every effort
to keep him—all they had to do was sign a letter last
March or a couple times since then saying they’d
extend his current contract...

...and now that he’s going, you have a station which:

a) now has their star player off the air, while this
is being settled

b) is seriously thinking of keeping someone who is
clearly not happy with where he’s working and
whom he’s working with

Expect Entercom to not have a prayer in keeping him
away from WTKK, and expect Jason Wolfe to be asking
people “paper or plastic?” as part of his employment
in the near future.


19 posted on 07/10/2007 10:51:46 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: GQuagmire

yes and I’d suspect ‘TKK won’t discuss it either...though
I’ll be Finnebomb talked about it today


20 posted on 07/10/2007 10:52:30 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

Why in the world didn’t they pull the trigger on the extension? It makes no sense at all... I’d be firing some people this afternoon for blatant incompetence.


21 posted on 07/10/2007 11:08:20 AM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

Once it’s decided that Howie can jump to ‘TKK, expect to hear Wolfie’s been fired...at least one rumor said that Julie Kahn
would give Wolfe the heave-ho if Howie did leave. They
are frantically trying to keep him, or at least delay
him moving to WTKK (or demand he stay off air for awhile,
“non-compete” etc.

This is the genius that radio sites and the Globe raved about.
Hey Entercom, where’s your messiah (Wolfie) now?

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2006/03/15/talk_of_the_town/?page=full

“’My initial goal is to make the station more exciting,” says Wolfe, 38. ‘’When you listen to WEEI, you feel that you have to sit up a little bit in your chair. It’s not background music. I’m not suggesting that ‘RKO is background music, but if we can somehow adopt that same philosophy in a way that benefits ‘RKO, I believe we will enhance the product.”

Radio Ink named Wolfe top programmer of 2005, and Talkers magazine publisher Michael Harrison says, ‘’Jason Wolfe is to talk radio what Theo Epstein is to baseball.”


22 posted on 07/10/2007 11:12:23 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

He took one of the premier talk stations in the country and in no time at all destroyed it.

Now, if D&C jump to WTKK as was rumored, or the Big O decides to take a walk, say goodbye to the whole empire. All they’ll be left with are Sox games.


23 posted on 07/10/2007 11:20:38 AM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

“Why in the world didn’t they pull the trigger on the extension? It makes no sense at all... “

Because I don’t think they really LIKE Howie Carr. He’s not really Jason Wolfe’s cup of tea. But since he has strong ratings, they can’t let a rival station have him.
Julie and Jason were probably hoping he would move to Florida.


24 posted on 07/10/2007 12:27:14 PM PDT by Andy'smom
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To: suffering_fools
5. He takes the slot that Barnicle desperately wanted!
25 posted on 07/10/2007 5:40:20 PM PDT by Lexi3130
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To: Lexi3130; All
Here's an entry from the Scotto Bloggo. Scott Allen Miller used to do mornings at WRKO till he was pushed aside for The Felon.

BY SCOTT ALLEN MILLER:

...Lots of people want me to sound off on the whole Entercom/Howie/WRKO thing. I have kept my mouth shut about WRKO for a long time. Anything gracious I said would have been viewed as phony and I would have been accused of being vindictive if I said anything critical. There was a clause in my contract that allowed Entercom to match the salary of any radio station, just to keep me off the air. That clause expired yesterday. However, I am still bound by a non-disparagement clause that limits how much I can criticize Entercom and its management. I have to be careful what I say about WRKO and Entercom for fear of being sued. Please bear that in mind.

So allow me to put it this way: WRKO is done. As Bones used to say on Star Trek, "He's dead, Jim." Say good night, Gracie. Within a year, WRKO will no longer be a news/talk station, and that's sad. Boston deserves more quality talk radio, not less.

For many years, Howie Carr has been the tent pole that held up WRKO. Howie's show brought in most of the station's revenue. We're talking about millions of dollars. Those millions of dollars just packed up and drove to Morrissey Boulevard. No one -- not me nor anyone else -- can fill that void and immediately recoup those losses. It would take years and a long-term marketing investment to build a show as successful as Howie's. Entercom's shareholders don't have that much time to wait or that much money to invest.

And it's precisely this lack of a long-term commitment to building other successful programs that has left WRKO so vulnerable with the loss of just one show. Losing a successful drive time program like Howie's would be devastating to any station. But losing Howie especially hurts WRKO because Entercom has not invested in building up the station's ratings around him.

I should make it clear that this history of neglecting WRKO is not the sole fault of any one person and in fact it predates the launch of WTKK. When this new, strong competitor on the FM band backed by clever TV and outdoor advertising campaigns emerged in 1999, Entercom was content to let Howie carry the station without investing in talent, promotion, or marketing to new listeners. As a result, most of WRKO's existing audience began aging out of the 25-54 year-old target demographic while WTKK aggressively increased its share of "in demo" listeners. WRKO burned, Entercom fiddled, and now Howie is getting out while he can.

Good for him.

26 posted on 07/11/2007 12:16:53 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: Lexi3130

5. He takes the slot that Barnicle desperately wanted!

The fiction columnist didn’t want that slot.He’s too lazy to work every day.Plus his wife is the breadwinner.She’s a big wig for a bank in Boston(I forget which one)


27 posted on 07/11/2007 6:04:51 AM PDT by GQuagmire (Giggety,Giggety,Giggety)
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