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Geraldo Rivera Sues Cumulus Over WABC Exit

770 WABC New York Geraldo Rivera Fox News CumulusGeraldo Rivera has followed through on his threats and is suing Cumulus Media over not honoring a handshake agreement he made with former Chairman Lew Dickey to extend his contract for an additional year.

Bloomberg reports that Rivera was e-mailed by Executive Vice President John Dickey on September 30 stating, “Thanks Geraldo. I admire your work and your loyalty. Glad you will be covering the election on 77 WABC next year…”

Lew and John Dickey were fired the previous day with Mary Berner being named the new CEO.

Original Report 11/27: Geraldo Rivera states that his contract to continue hosting his 10am to 12pm show on Cumulus Conservative Talk 770 WABC New York is not being renewed.

In a Facebook posting, Rivera wrote that new Cumulus CEO Mary Berner and New York Market Manager Chad Lopez have reneged on a handshake agreement that he had with former CEO Lew Dickey to extend his contract for an additional year.

Rivera had joined Cumulus at the beginning of 2012 to host local 10am-12pm shows at WABC and sister 790 KABC Los Angeles. In August 2012 the show was placed in national syndication airing from 9am-12pm eastern. At the beginning of 2014 the show transitioned to being local only to New York.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

8 Comments

  1. Profile photo of limegrass69


    Huh? This makes no sense.

    Geraldo says he has a handshake deal, yet produced an email as evidence. Then, claims the interaction occurred after Dickey was ousted from Cumulus. How does a former employee manage to create a verbal contract between Geraldo and the company he’s no longer with?

    I also don’t believe that someone as “worldly” as Geraldo would rely on alleged handshake deals to carry on his business.

    • Profile photo of Bill Recto


      Yes I hate to agree it makes no sense here. I thought the PD, Contract agents, GM’s of WABC-770 decide if they support or reject the contract of Geraldo Rivera. This has more to do with Geraldo pandering to his other talk show on the TV side to get sympathy.

  2. Profile photo of Bruce


    I am not a lawyer, but any contract would have to be in writing. I think Geraldo should pursue other opportunities as he is very talented. I am sure he will land on his feet somewhere else and it will be for the better for him.

  3. Profile photo of Nathan Obral


    And I thought that his entry into Al Capone’s vault was extremely lame.

  4. Profile photo of Beachguy


    For what it’s worth, handshake agreements can indeed be enforced.

    • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


      Even if the “handshake agreement” was nothing more than part of an email sent by someone who no longer has any leadership role to speak of in the company… the day after he was relieved of said leadership role?

      Geraldo knows he can’t win this in any way. It’s all about getting him some easy publicity and making Cumulus look as bad as possible.

      • Profile photo of Bill Recto


        Theres gotta be some evidence in WABC-770’s that Geraldo is not attracting younger audiences and thats why the GM and or PD of WABC Cumulus got rid of him. What does Mary Berner have anything to do with the decision? Yes Berner has to please the investors and the Cumulus board that the stations are making money for the quarterly and the month. Also this is compiled with issues that the former ABC Radio affiliates are attracting mainly older audiences as past threads have shown. Chad Lopez the person in question is under pressure to attract younger audiences to WABC-AM and see if this move will work at other Cumulus O&O’s. This is another issue of anything Cumulus does with WABC-AM the station could end up as dead weight.

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