Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Louisiana Radio: Walton and Johnson Sued Over Move To iHM

John Walton and Steve Johnson have moved their “Walton and Johnson” morning radio show to new stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and now Guaranty Broadcasting is suing the duo over their actions for allegedly violating the terms of a long-running contract, report the Baton Rouge Business Report.

Formerly heard on WDGL 98.1 FM The Eagle in Baton Rouge and WKBU Bayou 95.7 FM in New Orleans, the show on Monday began being broadcast from 5:30 to 9 a.m. on iHeartMedia radio stations in both cities. In Baton Rouge, Walton and Johnson can now be heard on N/T WJBO 1150 AM / 97.7 FM. In New Orleans, the show will broadcast on New Talk WRNO 95.5 FM.

Eagle 98.1 owner Guaranty filed suit against Walton and Johnson back on Dec. 13. Guaranty’s attorney, Dale Barringer, declines to comment, citing pending litigation. According to the suit, however, Walton and Johnson allegedly violated the terms of their agreement with Guaranty, which stated that the contract, initially signed in 2006, automatically renews for two years unless either party gives written notice.

According to the suit, “neither party ever gave to the other any written notice of intent to terminate or not renew the W&J Affiliation Agreement … as required in order to avoid the automatic renewal of the contract.”

The suit also suggests the two sides spent much of October and November butting heads over new terms for the contract. Guaranty was trying to reduce Walton and Johnson’s base fee amount in exchange for a longer contract term. The duo was unwilling to agree to such changes, the lawsuit says.

The suit is seeking unspecified damages to be determined at a trial. Michael Eckstein, a New Orleans-based attorney for Walton and Johnson, says his clients deny the allegations in the suit.

In a Facebook message, Guaranty says a new live local morning show will be introduced on Monday, Jan. 9.

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