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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
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
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