Magistrate Judge Recommends Talk Radio Network Suit Vs. Cumulus, Westwood One, Others Be Dismissed
September 15, 2016 at 5:41 AM (PT)
An OREGON magistrate judge has recommended that the antitrust suit filed by TALK RADIO NETWORK ENTERPRISES against CUMULUS MEDIA, WESTWOOD ONE, COMPASS MEDIA NETWORKS, WYD MEDIA MANAGEMENT/WYM MEDIA MANAGEMENT, LEW DICKEY, and CHARLES STEINHAUER in U.S. District Court for the MEDFORD Division of OREGON be dismissed. The recommendations have been submitted to the full court for consideration by the judge.
In a Report and Recommendation to the court by Magistrate Judge MARK D. CLARKE, the judge recommended that the court grant dismissal on seven antitrust claims and seven additional claims, the latter with leave to replead. The judge cited the settlement of an earlier case in NEW YORK federal court as being a final judgment on the merits precluding subsequent action, even with the addition of additional plaintiffs and defendants (who were directly related to the original parties), and noted that the antitrust claims in the present case are identical to the previous case while the plaintiff failed to show new antitrust conduct and damages.
Regarding breach of contract claims, the judge pointed out that the plaintiff attached no contract to the original complaint, and the Defendants submitted one that the plaintiffs said should not be considered in the summary judgment arguments; nevertheless, the judge ruled that the submitted contract can be considered, and zeroed in on the lack of specific facts in the complaint regarding missed payments, record inspection, or failure to "use commercially reasonable efforts" to sell ads on TRN programming.
TRN's suit claimed CUMULUS and WESTWOOD ONE are monopolizing or attempting to monopolize the independent national syndication advertising representation market, and that WYD and WYM are "operated in collusion" with CUMULUS and WESTWOOD ONE. TRN sought treble damages and permanent injunctive relief, plus exemplary and punitive damages and interest.