March 31, 2005
Tribune TV Ordered to Sell Station
United States District Court Judge Christopher F. Droney has ordered Tribune Television Company to sell WTXX-TV of Waterbury, Connecticut, in compliance with a 2001 FCC order under 47 C. F. R. [section] 73.555(d)(3). The action was brought by Neil Ellis, a local real estate developer. Read Judge Droney's ruling here. Read the original grant of waiver to allow Tribune Television time to comply here.
Cleveland Browns Player Loses Defamation Claim Against Cleveland Radio Station
Cleveland Browns player David Wohlabaugh has lost his appeal against Salem Communications Corporation and local station WKNR for erroneously reporting in 2001 that he was arrested by the police. In 2003 the trial court granted WKNR's motion for summary judgment, finding "that Wohlabaugh was a public figure by virtue of his status as a professional athlete, and the appellees did not display actual malice in airing the false broadcasts." Wohlabaugh appealed six days after the time limit for the filing of the appeal and the appellate court dismissed. He then "filed a motion for reconsideration...arguing that co-counsel Peter Ginsberg, who appeared pro hoc vice, had not received notice of the trial court's judgment." The appellate court denied this motion as well. Ever persistent, Wolhabaugh "filed a motion for relief from judgment in the trial court...argu[ing] that summary judgment was improperly granted because evidence of actual malice was presented. Wohlabaugh contended that pro hoc vice co-counsel Peter Ginsberg was not served with the trial court's November 3, 2003 summary judgment entry. He had made this same argument to this court, as well. " After considering all motions, arguments and appeals, the 8th circuit upheld the trial court's original determination. It awarded costs to the appellees. Read the court's opinion here.
March 30, 2005
Prisoner Fails in Attempt to Sue Cleveland Television Station for Fraud
Donald Richard has failed in his attempt to sue Cleveland television station WJW-TV (channel 8) and two of its reporters for failure to "adequately investigate Richard's claims of wrongdoing, and WJW-TV8's failure to air a broadcast that would help exonerate him." The Eighth District Court of Appeals of Ohio has upheld the lower court's dismissal of Richard's complaint, holding that the plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Taking all of Richard's allegations as true, the lower court still found that reporter Jeff Harwood did not "falsely represent that he would investigate the allegations of judicial and law enforcement corruption, because the complaint alleged...that Harwood conducted a six month investigation. Therefore, from the face of Richard's complaint it is clear that Harwood fulfilled any representation he may have made to investigate the allegations that Richard was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated. The trial court properly dismissed the complaint." The appellate court continued through Richard's brief, dismissing all his objections to the trial court's ruling and affirmed the judgment. Read the court's ruling here.