Citing a "vicious and concerted campaign of coercion, public vilification and harassment," SFX’s parent corporation, Clear Channel Communications filed a civil suit in the United States District Court against Inside Radio publisher Jerry Del Colliano.
Clear Channel accused the publisher of “printing damaging stories to force [a] buyout,” according to a company statement.
Described as a “frequent target of Inside Radio over the years,” Clear Channel Radio CEO, Randy Michaels, stated that, “It's become obvious to me that Jerry Del Colliano has no regard for the truth. He has printed stories about Clear Channel cutting sales commissions, planning layoffs, replacing commissioned sales people with salaried sales reps and limiting bonuses. I believe he has been using the pages of his newsletter to disrupt our business and cause our employees to question the integrity of their company. Competitors can use the stories as fodder to attract our people and challenge our business. It is time to put an end to this harassment."
In an eight count federal suit, Clear Channel seeks “damages for tortious interference with economic relations, tortious interference with contractual relations, business disparagement, publication of injurious falsehoods, unfair competition, prima facia tort, unfair trade practices and violations under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.”
SFX was acquired by Clear Channel on Aug. 1. Clear Channel has also purchased radio broadcaster AMFM. The company now operates 1,096 radio and 19 television stations in the United States and has equity interests in over 240 radio stations internationally. Clear Channel also operates more than 750,000 outdoor advertising displays, including billboards, street furniture and transit panels across the world. After an aggressive acquisitions campaign in sports and entertainment, SFX Entertainment established an early lead in marketing “live experiential” events. SFX develops and manages touring Broadway shows, and sells Broadway subscription series and individual productions in 55 markets. An integrated franchise that promotes and produces a broad variety of live entertainment events locally, regionally and nationally, SFX has 122 venues overall, and owns or operates venues in 31 of the top 50 domestic markets.
— By Murdoch McBride