US Supreme Court declines to hear Talk Radio Network’s appeal of Michael Savage suit
Jan 14, 2016 06:42 PM EST
The U.S. Supreme Court denied on Monday a petition to hear appeal by the Talk Radio Network (TRN) in a lawsuit brought by radio host Michael Savage. The high court decision leaves in place the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in July that upheld Savage's release from his contract with his former syndicator TRN.
Michael Savage, was born Michael Alan Weiner, filed a lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in December 2010 to free himself from his TRN contract and void TRN's right to match competing offers, All Access reported.
TRN syndicated Savage's talk-radio show for more than a decade before their business relationship soured in 2010. When the Savage's contract with TRN near to its expiration, Cumulus Media Networks made a competing offer for Savage. TRN attempted to exercise a "right to match" provision in an independent contractor agreement with Savage.
Savage refused to recognize TRN's offer, arguing that TRN had failed to properly exercise its right to match. He alleged the network used illegal and unenforceable contract provisions and other strong-armed tactics to intimidate him and force him into accepting a sub-standards agreement.
In September 2012, the arbitration panel terminated Savage's contract with TRN and awarded Savage over $800,000 from withheld compensation and permanent ownership of all his archived radio shows. The decision enabled him to sign with Cumulus Media Networks in October 2012, which now airs his radio show "The Savage Nation".
In July 2015, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers' decision to release Savage from a contract with TRN. According to the appeals court decision, TRN argued that the arbitration award should be vacated as the arbitration panel acted beyond of its authority. TRN also argued that the district court erred in failing authorize post-arbitration discovery.
Michael Savage prevails at the U.S. Supreme Court with its denial on Monday. "After many, many years and over a million dollars of legal fees, justice has prevailed," Savage told WND News.
Savage's lawyer, Daniel Horowitz, said that Savage's victory establishes the ability of radio talent to break away from an employer like any other employee. He explained that radio hosts have been bound by restrictive clauses in their contracts that treat them like businesses instead of regular employees.
Horowitz said that the law has allowed the networks to enforce non-compete agreements with radio hosts that would be illegal if applied to individual employees.
Michael Savage is a radio host, activist, political commentator, and nutritionist. He holds Ph.D. in nutritional ethnomedicine from the University of California, Berkeley. Savage is also an author of 31 books, including seven New York Times bestsellers.