A day after his attorney announced that Howie Carr was leaving Entercom's WRKO-AM Boston, where he has a long-running afternoon talk show, to take mornings at Greater Media's WTKK-FM (7/10/07 RBR #133), the attorney filed suit on Carr's behalf claiming that Entercom is trying to block him from taking the new gig.
The suit charges that Entercom failed to exercise its renewal option, although Carr twice extended the deadline, and it seeks a court declaration that provisions of Carr's contract giving Entercom first refusal rights to match any other offer and restricting his rights to seek another radio or TV job in the same market within 90 days of leaving Entercom violate the Massachusetts ban on non-compete agreements. The lawsuit, posted online by the Boston Herald (where Carr is also a columnist), indicates that Carr has not yet accepted the offer from Greater Media because of the restrictions in his Entercom contract.
Late yesterday an attorney for Entercom sent RBR this statement: "Howie Carr expressly agreed in his Employment Contract with Entercom that Entercom could have up to 72 hours to match any offer of employment made to him by a competing broadcasting entity, and Entercom exercised its right in this regard in less than 24 hours because it genuinely wanted to retain Mr. Carr's services. We are confident that the Superior Court will agree with us that Entercom's right to match is valid and enforceable under Massachusetts law and expect Mr. Carr to continue to broadcast his daily program on WRKO as soon as he returns from vacation."