Wednesday, April 27, 2005

KATV and KLRT After Graham's Tail

Source: Arkansas Democrat Gazette Lawyers, get in line... There are now two local TV stations threatening legal action against Dewayne Graham and his new weekdays call-in show on Equity Broadcasting’s WB42 TV station.

Regular Paper Trails readers will recall that Clear Channel’s KLRT-Fox16 and its lawyer recently took issue with Graham for returning to local airwaves at a rival station before the expiration of what they say was a 180-day non-compete clause. He resigned from Fox16 in January. Clear Channel ordered Graham off the air at WB42 (Paper Trails, 4/13) but he’s still there.

Now KATV, Channel 7 — where Graham once worked as their "Seven on Your Side" consumer advocate reporter — has joined the fray. A lawyer with Allbritton Communications, which owns KATV, this week sent a letter titled "Unauthorized use of ‘On Your Side’ trademark" to Graham’s boss, Neal Ardman. KATV says since it owns the Arkansas state trademark registration for "On Your Side," Graham can’t use the phrase.

WB42 ’s lawyer responded that KATV’s service mark is for "7 On Your Side," not "On Your Side," and that it was filed April 6, mere days after Graham’s new show began. WB42 contends "there is no likelihood of confusion or similarity to our use of ‘Graham on Your Side’ " and doesn’t plan to change the show’s title.

The battle went public Monday with Graham reading KATV’s letter on his show. He said yesterday afternoon he planned to read WB42 ’s response on air that night.

KATV News Director Randy Dixon didn’t return calls from Paper Trails.


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