Skip to comments.WRKO Legal Moves Silence Carr (Not Howie Carr live thread week of Sep. 24, 2007)
Posted on 09/24/2007 5:42:37 AM PDT by raccoonradio
(Scott Fybush): *A MASSACHUSETTS judge barred WRKO (680 Boston) Howie Carr from jumping ship to rival talker WTKK (96.9 Boston) last week, but the decision didn't make the host's future much clearer.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Allan van Gessel ruled Wednesday, just hours before Carr was to have started his WTKK morning shift, that while WRKO owner Entercom couldn't enforce the non-compete clause in Carr's contract, it could enforce a clause that allowed WRKO to match any competing offer for Carr's services.
What does "match" mean? There's the seven-million-dollar question as the legal battle keeps plodding along: would merely matching WTKK's paycheck be enough to force Carr to stay with WRKO, or are there other factors at play, too, such as the Red Sox preemptions that have annoyed Carr all summer, not to mention WTKK's FM signal and the conspicuous absence of Carr's nemesis Tom Finneran over at the Greater Media talker.
In any case, WRKO succeeded in barring Carr from his scheduled Thursday morning debut on WTKK, but for now that's the extent of the victory. Carr was already off the air at WRKO last week while the lawsuit was being heard, and he's not rushing back to the WRKO studios now, either, which leaves substitute hosts filling the afternoon slot both there and on the remaining affiliates of Carr's syndicated show.
Over at WTKK, the picture's only marginally brighter. While the station issued a statement saying "we are disappointed that Howie will not be on WTKK tomorrow, but we are hopeful that he will be a part of the Greater Media family in the very near future," there's every reason to expect Entercom to drag the legal wrangling out as long as possible, which leaves WTKK filling its morning drive slot with substitute hosts as well. That's Michael Graham, for the moment, with weekender Michelle McPhee handling Graham's usual 10-noon slot.
WTKK is moving forward in other ways - it has a new website in development, and it's started to use a new logo proclaiming the station as "Boston's Talk Evolution." (Given the political bent of most of the station's hosts, we'd think "Boston's Talk Creation" might be more in order, but we digress.)
By teh way, how is Jay Severin doing these days, and is there any new regarding he and Howie. I know Jay mostly works out of NY, and I recall they’d snipe at one another.
Welcome to the first Monday of life after Howie. Who knows how long this will last? We can use this thread to talk about Howie’s substitute hosts (if Howie makes a sudden re-emergence this week you’ll know about it here), maybe what’s being
talked about, or whatever...
Are you still bothering to listen or is it a case of if Howie’s not there, I’m not there? Do you hit the button for
WRKO or your Howie affiliate and once there’s no Howie to
be heard, you then switch to Jay Severin, Hannity, The Big Show, or whatever?
It really stinks not having Howie on! I will post some of Howie’s columns here, possibly. By the way we know that WCRN in Worcester dropped him and we had thought WGAN in
Portland would do the same but apparently the “announcement” was that one of the morning guys on WGAN was running for Senate or something, not that Howie would be dropped.
If Howie stays away from Entercom and/or the legal mess
drags on, and on, and on, I would not be surprised if
Howie’s other 6 or 7 stations were to drop him. They can’t
Column above is by Scott Fybush of NorthEastRadioWatch
I don’t know how he’s doing but actually I think Jay allegedly works out of the WTKK studios at 55 Morrissey Blvd
in Dorchester. You know, the ones Howie would have been at right now had it not been for a judge’s decision. Jay found a mini-mansion one town away from me in Manchester-by-the-Sea
(for all I know he could broadcast from a home studio there
but I doubt it).
Jay had broadcast from Sag Harbor Long Island before. Who knows he could be there still but as part of his return to
WTKK, he said he’d be locally based.
raccoonradio despises Jay Severin. Don’t take any assessments from him.
As for sniping at each other (Jay: “fart radio”; while on Howie’s show it was said, “broadcasting from his basement
in Long Island—no wait that’s the OTHER guy”), Howie said
in his Ch 4 interview (taped last Monday, 2 days BEFORE
the judge’s decision), “What will I listen to in the
afternoon? Probably Jay Severin on WTKK.”
Well I’m not fond of his voice and the whole fake Pulitzer
thing was something I could make fun of (and the dropping of the o from the end of his name, and the “WHAT wife” thing).
I can’t say I despise him but I thought he was dishonest
(he’s not exactly a swinging single either like what he
tried to sound like) and the voice kinda turns me off.
THIS guy is not fond of him:
When Jay started his brief syndicated show (9 months;
was it a matter of him wanting to leave, or the show
bombing? prob the latter) someone asked how his lovely
wife Renee was doing. With a touch of arrogance in his
voice, Jay denied on air that he was married to the
former Renee Klock. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
There’s the difference between Jay and Howie right there.
Howie isn’t a put-on guy.
Jay and Renee (just walk away, Renee) Severin in the Ultimate Taxi. That was no lady, that IS his wife.
Renee Klock, James Severin 3d
Published: May 18, 1997
Renee Melanie Klock, a writer and editor in Sag Harbor, N.Y., was married there yesterday to James Thompson Severin 3d, a political consultant in New York. The Rev. Christine Rannie Grimbol performed the ceremony at the Old Whalers First Presbyterian Church.
Mrs. Severin, 33, graduated cum laude from Barnard College. She is the daughter of Jeanne and Felix S. Klock of Glastonbury, Conn. Her father founded the Klock Company in Manchester, Conn., a holding company for metallurgical engineering companies. The bride’s mother is a substitute teacher at Glastonbury High School.
Mr. Severin, 45, is the chairman of Severin Media in New York. He graduated from Vassar College and received a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University. The bridegroom, who dropped the last letter of his surname, is the son of Iris Severino of Sag Harbor, and the late Mr. Severino 2d. They were the founders of the Letter Shop, a direct-mail advertising agency in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Severin: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
(Because he wanted his callers to think he’s a swinging
single guy in his 20s or 30s or something.)
I have a one+ hour commute and listened to Howie every day. Now my CD player is getting a workout. (AMs I listen to Bill Bennett for the time being.)
Jay lost me when he went moonbat over the war. He started doing all the things he accused Democrats of doing: shouting people down, twisting what was said, engaging in intellectual dishonesty and heavily demagoguing the issue. I also grew very tired of Jay’s adolescent flirting and his promotion of some predatory professor who went after his female students. It was boring!
The last couple of days I haven’t heard any promos or commercials done by Howie, however, yesterday, I did hear a promo for his show done in his own voice...wonder what that means........
I haven’t really been listening to WRKO since he left other than the Red Sox (at work, the other Sox station, WBOQ
in Gloucester, doesn’t really come in too well). The Felon,
Feinburg or some fill in, Rush (maybe for a minute or two
but lately not really), Whomever is filling in for Howie...
nothing really for me.
Howie was doing a promo in his own voice? Hmm. Entercom
does claim he’s theirs for the next 5 years...they may have to be frozen out and, after a few months, just give up. He ain’t
coming back, not unless WTKK gets so tired, tired of
waiting, tired of waiting for him...
Hannity for me I guess, maybe the Big Show for awhile. I did
tape part of what was Howie’s last show (the 18th, feat.
the taser guy IIRC) and I have cassettes of:
—VB’s last show with Howie before he left for Fox 25)
—Howie’s show the day after the election in ‘04
—Howie’s show paying tribute to Jerry Williams the day
after he died
I’m not sure of the legality of me posting it but I could
convert these to digital and post for those lonely for
Howie’s show :)
Try some audio books. Those long commutes are great for catching up with "reading". On the other hand, I sure miss the "Chump Line". :-)
the guy on jayseverin.org is a Libertarian who agrees with a couple things Jay says but disagrees with a lot, etc.
The whole thing about Jay’s syndicated show was interesting.
After a big fanfare, he jumped to a nationally syndicated
7 pm show on Westwood One, with WTKK carrying it. But in many cities he got pre-empted by sports (like WPHT in Philly)
and the ratings weren’t really there so he was gone by
the following Sept.
And soon back on WTKK with Extreme Games or Has Issues
or whatever he’s calling his show now.
I guess Feinburg is still doing the chump line but someone else doing the Chump Line is like getting a 10 year old
kid to pitch for the Sox in place of Josh Beckett. Just
not the same, folks.
No, it's not. Todd Feinberg's (do I have the name right?) not that bad (mostly), but Howie makes me laugh, and that counts for a lot with me!
Can’t stand Severin. Howie isn’t perfect, but he’s far more entertaining.
I noticed Jay Severin returned to the lucrative afternoon commute. Didn’t they boot Michael Graham out of that slot. Does Jay really do better than Michael? I find that hard to believe.
“Honest Jay” Severin keeps his Pulitzer Prize proudly on display in his Manchester-by-the-Money mansion.
I guess Jay beat Howie in a couple ratings books but more recently it was said that Howie’s ratings beat Jay’s. (Both stations, though, were beaten regularly by WRKO’s
sister station WEEI and The Big Show.)
Graham picked up the slot when Jay moved to syndication
and then Jay returned to afternoons, with Graham moving first
to 7 pm and then to late mornings...WTKK figuring they’d
rather have local hosts on 6 am to 7 pm and then syndicated
I should have to remember, as far as we’re concerned it
is The Not Howie Carr Show. I like Howie’s sense of
humor, too, and his voice is a bit more pleasing. Feinburg
might be OK on occasion but it sounds a little too laid
Someone on a radio messageboard noted that Feinburg does a nationally syndicated show on weekends (1-4 pm, I think)
and they found they liked it better—he was dealing with
hard issues like the war, not “pop culture”. They were
in N. Conway NH and picking it up on a station from Maine.
I, too, noticed a Maine station running the weekend
Todd show while up in N. Conway a while back.
“Welcome! You’ve found your way to the website of
The Todd Feinburg Show. 1-4 pm Saturday/Sunday ET”
This past week, while I was in the Boston area cleaning out my parents’ house, I’d generally flip over to WEEI or ESPN radio if I was in the car, or just leave on the TV if I was home.
When I get back to California in the next couple days, I’ll probably just fire up iTunes and listen to music.
Is there something so utterly different about employment law in the radio world that prohibits a no-longer-contracted person from working for whomever he wants? I am not an attorney (although I did go to law school many years ago), and perhaps someone will shed some light on this subject. If an employment contract contains a contingent clause allowing the employer a right of first refusal and/or the right to match an external offer, why isn't the employee free to accept or reject such an offer at will?
This makes utterly no sense to me. I can understand why WKRO wanted a right to match another company's future offer to Carr, but why would he be bound to accept it? If he explicitly agreed to do so at the time the original employment contract was negotiated, then perhaps he ought to get a new attorney.
but that's about the size of it for me.
“If an employment contract contains a contingent clause allowing the employer a right of first refusal and/or the right to match an external offer, why isn’t the employee free to accept or reject such an offer at will?
This makes utterly no sense to me.”
I think Fybush’s question about what it means to match the offer should be considered more. While WRKO could surely match the financial part of the offer if they so desired, WOULD they match the working conditions? The preferred shift, the removal of the threat of pre-emptions for sports, and other concerns that made for all-around unpleasant working conditions for Howie. So even if they offered him the same MONEY, they’re still not matching the OFFER.
I think Entercom is saying that Howie IS contracted, to
them...because they matched WTKK’s offer, and there’s the rub.
Does the offer include: morning show? on an FM station?
no Red Sox pre-emptions? etc. or is it just a case of salary.
Howie’s WRKO salary was better than WTKK’s actual BASE offer.
WRKO paid him $790k and the orig. offer was for $50k less
per year; WTKK offered him maybe $500k but with a lot
of incentives that would be paid if he hit certain goals.
Entercom can say, “Well, we don’t know yet if he’d hit those goals because he hasn’t started working there, but there you go: we give him $740k, they’re offering $500k. Case closed.”
Or actually maybe WTKK’s offer was closer to WRKO’s
than that, but WRKO argues they MET his offer.
But...what about the incentives...?
>>If an employment contract contains a contingent clause allowing the employer a right of first refusal and/or the right to match an external offer, why isn’t the employee free to accept or reject such an offer at will?
Don’t know but the right of first refusal is why Howie isn’t on WTKK yet.
>>why would he be bound to accept it? If he explicitly agreed to do so at the time the original employment contract was negotiated, then perhaps he ought to get a new attorney.
>>The preferred shift, the removal of the threat of pre-emptions for sports, and other concerns that made for all-around unpleasant working conditions for Howie. So even if they offered him the same MONEY, theyre still not matching the OFFER.
That’s what I think, too; WRKO couldn’t match THOSE conditions.
As far as Howie being out of his contract, while Howie’s
lawyers are saying his contract ended last Wed., WRKO is
saying that since they met the offer (again: salary-wise,
not incentive-wise, and not “working conditions”) that he
is now under contract to them until 9/30/12.
And Howie is not showing up for work, and not getting a paycheck. The Herald columns and the book receipts
are probably pretty good but eventually I’m sure he’d
love to return to radio...and collect a big fat paycheck
from greater media.
I think you make a good point, in that WTKK has offered Howie Carr something very different from what RKO has in mind. WTKK is offering a morning drive-time slot without the threat of sports preemption that
benefited ONLY Entercom by enhancing its advertising revenue while diminishing Carr’s audience. But what I’m questioning is the right of one party to a terminated contract to prevent the other party from contracting freely with a third party.
We can’t understand it, because we don’t know the actual language in the contract with Entercom. It sounds like it’s an automatic extension for 5 years if WRKO matches the contract within 6 months of the expiration date. If they are only required to match his salary, Howie may indeed be screwed.
I agree: it is difficult to make a proper assessment without being able to see the terms of the contract (which, of course, we never will).
>>a morning drive-time slot
WRKO could tell Howie he can have morning drive and put
the Felon on in afternoons
>>without the threat of sports preemption
No sports pre-emption with a morning show; and if he
wanted to keep doing 3-7 (for salary they’re offering)
they can say, “no baseball pre-emption this yr after Sox
are doing with playoffs...spring training next year,
we’ll put those games on WEEI...regular season? Most games
start no earlier than 7 pm—afternoon games are on WEEI—
and we could have WEEI carry that pre-game show at 6:30
and WRKO picks up game at 7. No pre-emptions (again, IF
they tried to get him to “honor the contract” but kept
him in afternoons)
there were other advantages to WTKK though like FM
signal that doesn’t fade after sunset; supposed
younger audience; etc
I doubt that Entercom would agree to that - Carr would be in direct competition with D&C on WEEI.
Howie is in danger of jumping the shark.
yes now that you mention it; though Howie at 3 pm was in direct competition with WEEI’s the Big Show which has
been #1 in that slot for certain ratings periods. Though
we’re talking sports vs. current events talk in the PM,
while in the AM D&C do some current events talk and not just sports, and there would be a bit of “competition” there.
Actually, I’m catching up on all of the opera recordings that Mrs NHD can’t stand on the home system.
If only I could put a car on auto-pilot, I could catch up on some sleep. :-)
yeah Avi was just on for Todd 10-noon; caught a bit of it.
He is well known in Boston talk radio. Back in the 80s
there was a book called Talk Radio And the American
Dream and it focused on Avi, and on Howie’s mentor Jerry
Sandy may still be working for ‘RKO in afternoons—she
was the past couple days. She may just keep that job but
if word comes that WTKK _can_ get Howie, she may quit to
take a job offer from them, working with Howie. I think
Howie alleged Sandy would come along for the ride.
It’s 75 degrees in the area right now, as we turn the
page into autumn. How much longer will Howie be off?
“...The forecast calls for 2 to 4 inches in the Boston
area, lesser amounts to the South. Now here’s Todd
Feinburg in for Howie...”
“...You can hear the spring training action from
Fort Myers on our sister station, AM 850. Now here’s
Todd Feinburg in for Howie...”
“...Temperatures could hit 90 as we head into the
July 4th weekend. Todd Feinburg is next, in for Howie,
Feinburg again. Will Max be on?
For you timeshifters, I just got a press release from Rogue Amoeba about an app of theirs called Radioshift:
Haven’t looked at it yet, though I probably will.
BTW, I still prefer Howie Held Hostage, day xxx. It’s more alliteratively alluring, and all that. :-)
Mac OS X ....
For Windows, I use Total Recorder from http://www.highcriteria.com
RR uses something else.
Can we start a fund to buy-out JS’s contract?
Yes, Michael Graham was in that spot before Jay Severino came back with his tail between his legs. I’d much rather Michael Graham. Totally turned off by JS’s playboy act and his e-nun-ci-ation!
I completely lost it with Jay when he said that he made a huge mistake in 2004. He said that if he had to do it all over again he would vote for John Kerry. Ahmmmm....Jay? It’s called the Supreme Court, look into it. It’s kind of important.
I thought I remember reading that there were several deadlines that were ignored by WRKO to renew Howie’s contract. So if this is true, why are we even at this point if management at WRKO ignored the deadlines?
They claim they managed to match the offer—that they had a certain period of time with which to meet the offer. Yes
Howie had agreed a couple times to extensions (maybe
to extensions in the offer window?) but they did nothing.
As soon as the WTKK offer became public, they then
made their own offer.
Here’s the latest, from today’s Herald:
While another court date has been set, Boston radio host Howie Carr remains a man without a station, for at least this week.
If this were a country song, this would be about an attempted breakup where the heartache keeps going. Entercom does not want to let Howie go, said Tom Taylor of radio-info.com.
Last week, Carrs debut on WTKK (96.9 FM) was thwarted after a Suffolk Superior Court judge said WRKO (680 AM) had the right to match WTKKs offer, which was struck before his WRKO contract ended.
Legal experts say the situation may have been different had WTKK waited to offer Carr its morning-drive show until after his WRKO contract expired last week.
WRKO wants him back on its airwaves. The station continues to advertise Carrs show in the newspaper and still touts him on the air and on its Web site. Todd Feinburg has taken over Carrs old afternoon-drive show for this week.
Howie will not be on WRKO. We do expect him to be on WTKK in the near future, Carr spokeswoman Nancy Sterling said yesterday.
On WTKKs Web site, the station posted a statement- its first public comment on Carr - that said it hoped hed be part of the stations team in the near future.
Now, legal experts say Carrs options include appealing the judges order, sitting it out, going back to WRKO or having all three parties sit down and talk. The court has set a status review of the case for Oct. 15.