Three former disc jockeys of the erstwhile FM rock station KMET went public at a press conference Friday with their multimillion-dollar lawsuits against former KMET management. They deplored what they called their "betrayal" and "wrongful hiring" by former KMET (and present KTWV-FM, 94.7) general manager Howard Bloom.
According to disc jockey Jack Snyder, Bloom said there would be no format change at KMET when he was hired. Snyder, Jim Ladd and David Perry are suing their former bosses for "fraudulent inducement to contract."
Ladd's suit seeks a total of $2.45 million in actual and punitive damages from Bloom, Cody and Metropolitan Broadcasting, while Snyder's and Perry's suits each seek $1 million. The suits were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 13.
The three radio personalities allege in their suits that Bloom and other KMET managers--including program director Frank Cody, who is also named in the lawsuits--"lured" the jocks into signing contracts to work at KMET with promises of creative control, money and job security when, they allege, management at Metropolitan Broadcasting Corp., which owns and operates the station, was planning a radical format change that involved no on-air personnel.
Ladd asserted the firings were "a complete betrayal and an indication of the lack of respect management showed toward us. They loved us when we were making millions for them in KMET's glory days (the mid to late '70s), but they treated us like garbage when they got us back."
"The real blow to me was the cold calculation involved," Perry added. "To us, KMET wasn't just any job--it was a mission from God, something we really believed in. That's what made all the stuff later so depressing."
Calls Friday to Bloom were referred to his attorney, Martha Hammer, who said she spoke to the trio's attorney, Jeffrey Feld, before the suits were filed. She said that attempts to resolve the matter without resorting to litigation were "unsuccessful." She added that Bloom's position was that "the (lawsuits') accusations were without merit."
The trio and Feld said repeatedly at Friday's press conference that they attempted to reconcile their grievance with Bloom and officials at Metropolitan Broadcasting but claimed they received no replies to those attempts.
"(Management) has consistently refused to talk to us, to address what we felt were wrongs," Ladd said. "I haven't heard from them since we were fired (on Feb. 6). That's what's so weird. I mean, I've never sued anyone or been sued--there's too much of that as there is. But they wouldn't answer our questions."
KTWV, known as "The Wave," is an automated "new age"-style format--it utilizes no disc jockeys--that was launched with much fanfare and controversy in February. All former KMET on-air personalities, including Perry, Ladd and Snyder, were fired several days before the new format went on the air. Perry, Ladd and Snyder had been hired less than three weeks before the format change, they said, and claim they had no idea when they were hired that a change was in the works.