Conservative talk-radio host Michael Savage has won a major battle in court — a federal judge last week upheld an arbitration panel's decision to release him from a contract with his former syndicator, Talk Radio Network.
Savage filed suit in federal court against the syndicator in December 2010, claiming TRN was attempting to force him into "indentured servitude."
Savage's contract expired at the end of the year and TRN had the right to match an outside offer from another syndicator. But Savage asserted in his suit that TRN's proposal fell short of an offer from Courtside Radio.
The suit also claimed the TRN offer contained anticompetitive provisions that limited Savage's negotiation rights.
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In September 2012, Savage received a favorable ruling from an arbitration panel and left TRN, posting a message on his website proclaiming "Free at Last!" He returned to the air in October with Cumulus Media Networks.
The decision also called for Savage to be able to obtain all archived tapes of his show, and reportedly awarded Savage more than $860,000 in arbitration.
Now federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has upheld the panel's decision to release him from TRN.
The judge stated in the court order: "The motion to vacate is denied. Therefore the motion to confirm must be granted. The arbitration award is confirmed."
TRN CEO Mark Masters told Radio Ink that he will appeal the ruling.
Cumulus Media Networks airs "The Savage Nation" weekdays from 9 p.m. to midnight Eastern time. Cumulus has about 525 stations in 110 markets.
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