Court Bounces Entercom Suit To Block Rob, Arnie And Dawn Move To Clear Channel (For Now)
June 30, 2014 at 4:14 AM (PT)
ENTERCOM's lawsuit against Active Rock KRXQ (98 ROCK)/SACRAMENTO-based morning show ROB, ARNIE AND DAWN seeking to prevent the trio from defecting to CLEAR CHANNEL has been dismissed without prejudice and a temporary restraining order denied by a judge in the Eastern District of CALIFORNIA. U.S. District Court Judge GARLAND E. BURRELL, JR. denied ENTERCOM's motion and dismissed the case based on lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, and gave ENTERCOM 10 days from FRIDAY (6/27) to file an amended complaint to address the jurisdictional issues.
ENTERCOM sued WILLIAMS BROADCASTING INC., ROB WILLIAMS' company owning the show, alleging that it has the right, being denied by WILLIAMS, to match "any offer received by WILLIAMS to take its show to a competitive radio station" and asking for a TRO "preventing and enjoining Defendant from licensing, offering, selling, performing, broadcasting, or otherwise providing the right to broadcast the 'ROB, ARNIE & DAWN SHOW' or any other radio program involving its personalities in the terrestrial SACRAMENTO area to any party other than Plaintiff" based on a 2005 contract. The denial tells ENTERCOM that it "has not shown there is federal subject-matter jurisdiction over this action."
In the complaint, ENTERCOM alleges that it was advised of an offer by CLEAR CHANNEL in an e-mail from WILLIAMS' attorney KEVIN HUGHEY on JUNE 18th, and that in a discussion with ENTERCOM VP/Deputy General Counsel MICHAEL DASH, DASH said that ENTERCOM would likely match the offer and HUGHEY said that CLEAR CHANNEL had not included everything WILLIAMS wanted, to which DASH suggested a meeting with WILLIAMS to negotiate a better deal but HUGHEY said WILLIAMS "would likely not agree to a meeting or call."
ENTERCOM informed WILLIAMS that it would match the CLEAR CHANNEL offer on JUNE 21st, offering further to modify terms if WILLIAMS preferred, but HUGHEY, the complaint alleged, responded by rejecting ENTERCOM's match on JUNE 25th, claiming that the original contract had expired and that ENTERCOM had not matched the CLEAR CHANNEL offer in 10 areas, a contention ENTERCOM said was contrary to its letter and draft long-form agreement.
The deal involves a $775,000 base fee for the show, and ENTERCOM, in its offer, added willingness to cover satellite fees up to $45,840 per year. CLEAR CHANNEL's offer included a custom iHEARTRADIO channel, while ENTERCOM suggested a meeting to arrange a custom channel via TUNEIN.
Among the items WILLIAMS said ENTERCOM had failed to match were failure to meet sponsorship sales goals, ENTERCOM's insistence that it have the right to terminate the show if ARNIE or DAWN left while CLEAR CHANNEL would only have that right if WILLIAMS himself left, CLEAR CHANNEL's willingness to reduce the live show to 6-10a (PT) with the 5a hour being a "best-of," and CLEAR CHANNEL's agreement to immediately clear the show in SEATTLE and RIVERSIDE-SAN BERNARDINO. ENTERCOM contends that it matched every provision cited by WILLIAMS.