Skip to comments.Legal battle on rise, Carr readies jump (Howie may start on WTKK Sept 20)
Posted on 09/14/2007 7:04:40 AM PDT by raccoonradio
With just days left on his WRKO radio talk show contract, Howie Carr is poised to get behind the morning-drive microphone on rival WTKK Thursday as his current station mounts a last-ditch legal effort to block the move.
WRKO has said they plan to file papers to enjoin Howie from moving to WTKK, said Carrs lawyer, Bret Cohen of Mintz Levin. Cohen said Carr will fight any injuction effort.
A WRKO/Entercom spokesman declined comment. WTKK officials did not return calls.
Carrs contract with WRKO (680 AM) expires Wednesday and hes scheduled to take over the morning-drive spot on WTKK (96.9 FM) the next day - during the same week the important fall ratings book begins, sources said.
The Greater Media-owned WTKK has built a new office for Carr, who has attended at least one station staff meeting.
The move to WTKK means a better signal and younger audience for Carr, who replaces Don Imus, as well as a five-year deal that could earn him about $7 million.
Meanwhile, WCRN (830 AM), a Worcester station owned by Carter Broadcasting, syndicates Carrs afternoon-drive program on WRKO but plans to replace him with local host Hank Stolz on Monday. Former Massport chief Peter Blutes morning show will expand an hour.
Howie Carr fit perfectly but theres been so much talk about his going over to WTKK, Stolz said. We had to make a decision. We wanted to make sure we kept that local flavor.
In July, Carr filed a lawsuit against WRKO, owned by Entercom Communications, saying his contract contained illegal provisions that prohibited him from working at competing stations.
WRKO filed a countersuit in an effort to stop him from jumping ship. The AM station claims it has a right to match a competitors offer, and has done just that.
No court date has been set.
Howie Carr list ping. Howie may be starting on WTKK as
early as next Thu but there are still legal questions.
He’ll “dope slap” Finneran in the ratings. :-)
WRKO made a major blunder.
Some of the most Liberal areas in the country have great conservative talk show hosts. This story is about Boston & Carr. I’m familiiar with Morgan/Rogers in the bay area of California & Lars Larson in Portland Oregon.
Again a reminder to everyone, incl. those on the Howie
ping list, that nothing is set in stone: he intends
to start Thu on WTKK but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen.
Not with lawyers in the way. It’s possible that Wed.
would be his last show on WRKO and there could be an
extended period (weeks or months?) with no Howie at all.
(Someone on radio-info.com’s Boston board predicted he
would be off till January or so as this legal stuff gets
Howie’s lawyers would intend to prove that the non-compete
clause in this state is illegal and that WRKO did not
match the competing offer. They could point out that even
if WRKO matches the salary WTKK is offering, a) can they
match the bonus incentives? and b) WRKO would not be able
to offer certain things WTKK can offer, including an
FM signal, a morning drive slot, a signal that doesn’t
fade in certain areas after sunset, a lineup where
he isn’t pre-empted by the Sox...
Could get interesting. I hope he can jump over there
(would not be surprised though if Entercom tried to
get a court to do an emergency injunction to stop
him from doing a show across town at the Morrissey
Blvd studios of WTKK)
Stay...tuned! (Winky the elephant may or may not be
moving to ‘TKK just yet.)
I wouldn’t be surprised if today was his last day. He’s getting bolder with his comments each show : “I’ve carried this station for better and for worse, but not for much longer!”
I can't blame him. It's true.
I hope WTKK will be able to syndicate the show quickly.
Us listeners from out West can’t get that station unless we are glued to the computer.
WTKK's signal, approximately (may be more or less depending on terrain, etc.):
yes it could well be his last show—and it will be the last one on WCRN, for sure. But who knows, maybe he’ll be on
Mon-Wed of next week though.
I would be extremely surprised if Howie is on after that.
Once the contract expires only a judge’s order mandating
he return to WRKO could keep him there. Stranger things have happened, but his last show on 680 (and the “network”)
could be today, or next Wed.
Non-compete clauses are very disfavored by courts, who accomplish this by typically ignore them or “reading” them so narrowly that they have no real effect.
So what happens to Michael Graham in the morning ?
Graham technically has the 10-noon (soon to be 9-noon) slot
on WTKK but has been doing mornings to hold the spot for
Howie. If the move happens:
Howie 5:30-9 am
12-3 Eagan and Braude
7-9 Bill O’Reilly
9-mid Laura Ingraham
mid-1 am Michael Graham rewind (may become a Howie
rewind; rebroadcast from earlier)
1-5 am approx Phil Hendrie
Afternoon drive time in Boston is going to be a wasteland after Howie switches. Jay Severin seems to have gotten as disinterested as he has been uninteresting after his failed syndication bid. My commute sometimes stretched beyond 7 pm, so (if Howie is pre-empted) I got Jay followed by the increasingly bloated ego formerly known as Bill O’Reilly. Thank God for satellite radio on those days!
Hannity is on WTTT 1150...
Thanks for the info. I usually catch the tail end of his show on SIRIUS