Andrew Z To Fight Cumulus Cease & Desist For Launching App Morning Show
February 28, 2013 at 4:23 PM (PT)
Days after former CUMULUS MEDIA Top 40/Mainstream WWWM (STAR 105)/TOLEDO morning man ANDREW ZEPEDA relaunched his show via a smartphone app (NET NEWS, 2/19), CUMULUS MEDIA served him with a "cease and desist" demand, asserting that his app-only morning radio show is still a violation of his noncompete agreement with the station that fired him in DECEMBER (NET NEWS, 12/31).
THE TOLDEO FREE PRESS reports that ZEPEDA and his attorney, BEAU HARVEY, will fight the C&D and have no intention of stopping the show. "We don’t believe that the noncompete applies to Web radio and we’re pretty adamant about that," HARVEY said, citing a precedent set in STARK COUNTY, OH, where the judge differentiated between the Web and an FCC-licensed radio station. "Specifically with ANDREW, they’ve limited his scope to the local business area -- in other words, TOLEDO -- whereas the Web reaches the world. We don’t believe there’s any competition whatsoever. They are different entities. That’s really where we are. We’re kind of at a standoff."
Although he wouldn't go into the specifics of the suit, CUMULUS TOLEDO GM MATT SPAULDING noted, "Typically an on-air personality like Mr. ZEPEDA or anyone that would be on this station or any station would typically have a noncompete, nonsolicitation and nondisclosure agreement within their contract that would last for a period of time after their separation. Typically its engaging in any type of competitive business whether on-air, online or any of the like within a certain radius of where he or she was previously employed."
ZEPEDA was fired six days after he was sentenced to 30 days at the WOOD COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER, with permission to apply for work release, and five years’ community control, including no bars or alcohol, for breaking conditions for his parole. He participated in a SEPT. 13th celebrity charity boxing match at which alcohol was served. ZEPEDA was given parole after being convicted of three felony charges related to a 2010 break-in at his former pizza business. An appeal is pending.