Michael Baisden Sues Cumulus, Alleging Contract Breach
February 25, 2015 at 4:44 PM (PT)
Former syndicated host MICHAEL BAISDEN and CUMULUS appear to be headed towards more litigation, as BAISDEN and his BAISDEN ENTERPRISES INC. have filed suit against RADIO NETWORKS LLC, and CUMULUS MEDIA, INC. in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of TEXAS asserting breach of contract claims against the radio company.
The suit alleges that RADIO NETWORKS and successor/parent CUMULUS breached a 2008 contract by not providing accounting of revenues and expenses, failing to match a third-party four-year offer of $4 million per year, and imposing an unreasonably restrictive non-compete. BAISDEN says in the suit that a CUMULUS EVP/COO agreed to waive negotiating exclusivity and allow third parties to make offers.
After an offer was received, BAISDEN says CUMULUS would not match it, would not release financial information as required under the original and amended contracts, and instead, as stated by CUMULUS' VP/General Counsel, treated BAISDEN's consideration of the offer as an anticipatory breach and made a "veiled threat" of legal action against the third party, and then informed BAISDEN's council that the host would be barred from working on-air locally for six months and on a multi-station basis (including satellite) for 12 months, despite the waiver of the exclusive negotiations clause.
In a separate action, CUMULUS sued BAISDEN in MAY 2014 for restitution of $1 million it says it accidentally paid the host due to an accounting error after he left the company in 2013. The parties appeared to be close to a settlement of that case last FALL, which would avoid a trial set for AUGUST 3rd.