Looking at CBS Radio's case against Howard Stern, UCLA corporate law professor Stephen Bainbridge writes that the now-celestial shock jocker may have talked himself into some serious legal trouble.
The network is suing Stern for breach of contract and misappropriation, contending that during the months he was waiting to start his show on Sirius Satellite Radio, he essentially used CBS's airtime for his own financial benefit, by boosting the value of his Sirius stock. The suit also contends Stern broke the law by getting his sidekicks to make the jump from terrestrial radio with him.
The Doylestown-born Bainbridge writes in TCD Daily:
To the extent Stern induces the sidekicks to break their own employment contracts, there clearly would be a problem. In addition, courts are much less forgiving of employee solicitation when the solicitor has a supervisory role vis-Ã -vis those who are solicited. On the whole, however, this strikes me as a much less clear cut case than the problem of soliciting customers of terrestrial radio to shift to satellite.
On that latter issue, however, the question may be: why did CBS wait so long? My guess is that they didn't want to offend Stern's fans, but once so many of those fans followed Stern to Sirius and Stern's terrestrial radio replacements bombed, CBS no longer had anything to lose.