Where's Howie Carr headed?
A Suffolk Superior Court judge issued a memo today on several motions in the increasingly-convoluted legal case between Howie Carr and his employer WRKO, which could mean that Carr can't jump to rival station WTKK as planned.
The afternoon talk radio host on WRKO-AM announced in July that he would jump to the morning drive-time slot on rival radio station WTKK, and promptly sued WRKO alleging that the provisions in his contract that bound him to stay at WRKO were unenforceable.
The judge wrote today that in the final judgment, which is yet to come, the part of the contract which included a non-compete clause is not enforceable under state law, but another clause that gave WRKO the right to match any new offer was enforceable.
Carr's contract would have expired today, but Entercom Communications Corp. of Pennsylvania, which owns WRKO, alleges that it matched the offer from a rival station and therefore Carr is bound to his contract until Sept. 30, 2012.
"The court is aware that Carr claims that he cannot be forced to work for WRKO," Superior Court Judge Allan van Gestel wrote in his decision. "While Carr's position may have merit, it is not presently before this Court on the three motions in play. In short, it remains for another day, on another record."
Carr's spokeswoman and attorney did not immediately comment. George Regan, a spokesman for Entercom and WRKO, said today, "We hope Howie comes back to work soon."
WTKK is owned by Braintree-based Greater Media Inc.I
In a statement, Greater Media said: "At this point, Howie Carr has failed to obtain the ruling from the court that was a condition of him coming to work for us. The court's decision left many questions unanswered. We are disappointed that Howie will not be on WTKK tomorrow, but we are hopeful that he will be a part of the Greater Media family in the very near future."
(By Carolyn Y. Johnson and Chris Reidy, Globe staff)