SAN FRANCISCO -- A contract dispute between talk show host Michael Savage and his syndicator is going to federal court. Savage, who is heard locally on WSYR, is suing Talk Radio Network, accusing TRN of trying to "strong-arm" him into accepting a "sub-standard agreement" which he compared to "indentured servitude."
Word of the lawsuit, filed on Monday, was reported today by radio-info.com. The national radio industry news site says Savage's contract with TRN expires at the end of the month, and Savage wants to accept an offer from another syndicator. Radio-Info says TRN has the right to match Courtside Radio's offer, but Savage claims TRN has not matched Courtside.
Savage -- whose legal name is Dr. Michael A. Weiner -- says the Courtside is not only offering a better paycheck, but better terms when it comes to "non-competes and other limitations to his rights."
Radio-Info says it picked up the story from Courthouse News Service; their article goes into more detail about the legal background of the case, explaining how Savage believes some of TRN's terms are illegal and unenforceable. The Courthouse News article also has a PDF scan of the actual 13-page lawsuit document filed in U.S. District Court -- just click the "sheet of paper" icon at the end of their story.
Savage's show is carried locally by WSYR; the Clear Channel news/talker airs Savage weeknights from 10pm to 1am.
I think the only dissapointment for me if Savage goes to another syndicator is Dwight Schultz zeems to be a TRN universal fill-in guy (one night a couple weeks ago he covered for Savage on Tuesday and then for Rusty Humphries on Wednesday) and I'd miss hearing him the every so often he's on.
But if a new syndicator can do a better job getting the show run live and take it away from stations that continuously pre-empt it for other things, so much the better.