Court Rules Against WLNI Flip To Talk
November 19, 2007 at 2:14 PM (PT)
The U.S. 4TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS has ruled that GARY BURNS' 3 DAUGHTERS MEDIA may not flip WBLT to the Talk format, due to a five-year non-compete it agreed to when it sold Talk WLNI to CENTENNIAL MEDIA.
According to THE ROANOKE TIMES, Centennial paid about $4.4 million for WLNI-FM in 2005. One year later, Centennial took Burns to federal court to stop him from flipping WBLT-A to Talk. After U.S. District Judge NORMAN MOON ruled that BURNS and 3 DAUGHTERS could not operate a station with a Talk format until the five-year non-compete ends, BURNS appealed to the 4th Circuit, saying the language of the non-compete agreement was ambiguous and unenforceable.
Last FRIDAY (11/16), a 4th Circuit panel ruled that the pact's ban on airing a "significantly similar" format at another station was legitimate and upheld the previous ruling.