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 Black Stats          
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Black Buying Power:
  $744 Billion (2006)

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Reach Media sues Clear Channel over V103's cancellation of Tom Joyner  show

By Phil Rosenthal
Chicago Tribune
(September 22, 2009) The company that produces "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" on Monday filed suit in Dallas against Clear Channel Broadcasting over the nationally syndicated radio program's cancellation by Chicago's WVAZ-FM 102.7 this spring.

The suit, filed  by Reach Media in Texas' Dallas County District Court, alleges breach of contract by Clear Channel and claims Reach is out more than $800,000 in affiliation fees and net advertising revenue lost from May until the end of this year.

"We do not comment on pending legal matters, however, related to this filing we will only state that we were given no notice to 'Tom Joyner Morning Show's' termination from WVAZ," Reach said in a statement. "We do expect Clear Channel to compensate 'The Tom Joyner Morning Show' as specified in our contract."

Clear Channel Radio Chicago, in its own statement, said it is "company policy not to comment on legal matters.

Joyner's show was dropped by Clear Channel's V103 after 13 years on March 23. The move to replace it with Steve Harvey's syndicated program, which had been airing on sister station WGCI-FM 107.5, came without warning.

A letter from Clear Channel Radio Chicago President and Market Manager Earl Jones to Reach Media's David Kantor, included as an exhibit in Reach's suit, indicated it would "continue our fiduciary responsibility and our barter commitment through" the end of this year.

Reach Media Joyner reached an agreement later to acquire broadcast time on Crawford Broadcasting's Soul 106.3 -- Lansing's WSRB-FM and Genoa's WYRB-FM -- beginning April 22.

Reach's suit says it should receive $116,644 in affiliation fees for May through the end of this year and $694,416 in lost net advertising revenue for the same period, with $426,144 for the morning show and another $268,272 for Joyner's weekend highlights program.

Joyner told the Chicago Tribune after his show was pulled from V103 in March that, if he were in Clear Channel's position, he would "probably do exactly the same thing because strategically, it's what they should have done."

A month later, Joyner told the Tribune that the deal to air his show on Crawford's Soul 106.3 wasn't ideal, but he was counting on the fans who protested his cancellation to continue to support him and his program.

"Not only isn't the signal as strong as we'd like, but the deal we cut with the affiliate is a brokerage deal," Joyner said. "We bought the time, and that's something we're not used to doing. ... But if all this outcry and support is with us when we turn this thing on, we should do all right."

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