Heated contract negotiations over the continuation of The Michael Savage Show, one of the most-listened-to talk radio programs in the nation, have spilled over into the public arena with Savage’s filing of a lawsuit against his syndicator.
With his Talk Radio Network contract expiring this month, Savage says he wants to accept an offer from Courtside Radio and Westwood One. Although his current contract stipulates that TRN be allowed to match the terms of any other contract offers, Savage’s complaint alleges that when he got a better proposal, TRN’s exercise of the “matching offer” option produced an inferior package.
“Not only does the TRN proposal not match [a competing] proposal in terms of financial upside, but it includes anti-competitive provisions that are illegal, limits Dr. Savage’s valuable negotiating rights, and imposes additional terms that are not contained in the [competing] proposal,” the claim charges.
The complaint also alleges the process of “matching” any competing contract offers opens the door to improper actions.
“Through the use of illegal and unenforceable contract provisions, threats of false claims alleging several million dollars, and other strong arm tactics designed to intimidate Dr. Savage, TRN is attempting to force Dr. Savage into accepting a substandard agreement containing what can only be described as an indentured servitude provision,” charges the complaint.
However, Talk Radio Network, which has stood by the controversial host for the last decade, fending off various protests and advertiser boycotts, says it expects to continue working with Savage.
In a statement from the company’s Central Point, Ore., offices, CEO Mark Masters called the court challenge “unjustified and frivolous,” adding, “Michael’s contract is crystal clear, and we are 100 percent confident that the courts will justify our position. The Michael Savage Show will remain on the air with TRN.”
Savage contends in his complaint that TRN encouraged him to seek out proposals from other syndicators for his show, which has an audience of about 8 million per week.
“The most favorable proposal was not from TRN, but from Courtside, LLC (which is headed by Norman Pattiz, the founder of radio industry giant Westwood One). Courtside has offered to syndicate the show through Westwood One by offering a deal containing terms and resulting benefits which have no equivalent through the TRN syndication system,” the complaint explains.
“TRN purports to have exercised its right to match, pursuant to the parties’ agreement, but the agreement it proposed to Dr. Savage does not match the terms of the Courtside proposal.
“Plaintiffs require prompt declaratory relief or face the significant risk of losing the Courtside opportunity, which is valued at several million dollars, and being forced to submit to an illegal arbitration,” the case states.
The lawsuit claims the TRN offer was not equal in terms of publicity, compensation, equity stake and “right to match” provisions.
Filed this week, the suit seeks a judgment that TRN has not matched the Courtside offer.
WND reported just days ago that Savage had agreed to write two thrillers for St. Martin’s Press. The first is due for publication in August and will be based in part on one of his more controversial disputes.
“My fictionalized account of being banned from Britain and hunted by overbearing governments is set in the San Francisco only I know,” said Savage. “This will be my most exciting book yet.”
“Michael Savage is one of the most influential voices in American politics,” said Matthew Shear, SMP executive vice president and publisher. In discussing public events, Savage emphasizes three issues: borders, language and culture.
Last year, the British government banned him from visiting the United Kingdom, claiming his criticism of Islamic terrorist made him a security risk.
Savage was “considered to be engaging in unacceptable behavior by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence,” said the UK’s Home Secretary at the time, Jacqui Smith.
Savage denied he has ever advocated violence and dismissed Smith as a “lunatic.”
In his most recent book, the nonfiction “Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama’s Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security,” Savage compares the information disseminated by the White House to the disinformation produced by totalitarian regimes.
According to Savage, the current administration will exploit or even fabricate an “incident of violence, or even political incorrectness, against your own allies and fram[e] the political enemy for the deed, accurately described as perpetuating a mini-Kristallnacht.”
Savage also reveals such alarming facts as that illegal aliens comprise nearly a third of America’s prison population, and that the nation’s housing stock has declined nearly $5 trillion since the housing crisis began.
Savage elicited howls of protest with his 2006 book, “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder.” His conclusions were soon confirmed, however, by clinical psychiatrist Lyle Rossiter, who published his own book on the same topic that year: “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.”
“The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind,” wrote Rossiter. “When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”
Savage earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology and nutrition sciences from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978.
The Savage Show runs Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.