BART (Blacks in Advertising Radio and Television) announced a pending lawsuit against Blair Petry Media and WADL-TV Detroit, which markets itself as an "Urban TV Station".
“For years, radio and television stations which target African Americans and minorities have endured unspoken discrimination as it relates to national media buys. In the 90’s media sales associates were made aware of the NUD (Non Urban Dictate) policy. This policy was implemented by many companies placing large media buys throughout the year that did not want to spend money in urban focused broadcasting. Blair Petry Media and its former CEO Earl Jones, have placed a different spin on servicing minority broadcasters by requesting that WADL TV38 provide them with 1.5 million dollars upfront to ensure the station get a fair share of national dollars placed,” said BART in a statement.
The two signed the rep deal 10/17/07. The station is owned by Adell Broadcasting.
"It is incredible that we have a topflight staff, beautiful state-of-the- art facility, top-shelf management, African American President, African American Marketing Director, cutting-edge branding and we have been duped out of 1.5 million dollars," states Denise Dody Johnson, Marketing Director of WADL TV38.
"Blair Petry should settle this with an expeditious refund," states Jo Ann Thompson, Media Director for BART. "The suggestion from the broadcast community, and several grass roots organizations, is to monitor this situation closely. The station is entitled to be reimbursed for non performance in an expeditious manner. It is suggested that other broadcasters take an in-depth look at not only how they are serviced by the agency, but their return on investment."
RBR/TVBR observation: Unfortunately, WADL, in the Detroit market, is likely suffering right now with the hard economic times there. The Detroit News and Free Press just cut down the days they deliver papers. You are likely to see more and more of these types of practices with many broadcasters—especially if the station might be in trouble. This could be an issue with NUD, but not likely. It’s probably more of a matter of economics.