Why doesn’t this surprise me?
By Jay Posner, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Monday, March 15, 2010 at 11:35 a.m.
After missing their first show Monday due to a contract dispute with XX Sports Radio, Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith charged the station with “failing to pay us according to our contracts.”
In a statement posted on their Web site (thescottandbrshow.com), Kaplan and Smith said they “hate the idea of not being on the air with you. … But there’s a problem, and it never should have been a problem.
“In January, Mr. (John) Lynch, the CEO of XX, decided he wasn’t going to pay us according to our contracts,” the hosts said in their statement. “He asked us if that was going to be OK — we said no — and he shorted our checks anyway.
“Our feeling is this: You sign a contract, you work according to the contract, and you are paid what the contract says you should be paid.
“Without boring you with contract law, Mr. Lynch breached our agreement.
“John Lynch gave us clear choices, in writing! We were free to leave, or we could work for less than we are entitled to contractually. We chose the former.”
Asked for a response, Jack Evans, vice president of programming and operations for Local Media of America, said via e-mail: “Darren Smith, Marty Caswell and Ruth 66 will host mornings for the remainder of the week.” (Ruth 66 formerly worked on the “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” show on KGB-FM.)
Kaplan and Smith have been a morning sports-talk team in San Diego for nearly nine years, the last seven at XX Sports (XPRS-AM). On Friday night, Lynch posted a statement on the station’s Web site in which he said the hosts would not be on the air “until a dispute is resolved.”
Also that night, Evans said the dispute was “a result of Scott and BR’s attempts to terminate their agreements prior to its scheduled expiration in 2012.” Evans said the company had “commenced arbitration against Scott and BR in an effort to protect its legal rights and enforce its agreements with them.” He also said LMA had “serious concerns” that another company was trying to hire Kaplan and Smith.
Jay Posner: (619) 293-1834; firstname.lastname@example.org