Radio and television commentator Andrea Tantaros claims in a breach-of-contract suit that her weekday morning show on the Talk Radio Network was hurt by advertising-revenue losses that led to diminished production values.
Tantaros, who also appears on a Fox News political roundtable program called The Five, began hosting her nationally syndicated radio show last fall on TRN under a contract between the network and her production company, Astero LLC.
Tantaros alleges she signed the contract based on promises TRN would spend “millions” to market her show, had a “robust” advertising sales force and had a solid relationship with its advertising sales syndicator.
But TRN failed to disclose, at the time of the contract, that it was in litigation with an advertising syndication network, Dial Global, nor that the revenues generated by Tantaros’ show were largely dependent on revenue from Dial Global, she alleges in Astero v. Talk Radio Network Entertainment.
The suit is in federal court in Camden, on diversity jurisdiction. TRN is based in Grants Pass, Ore. Tantaros lives in Linwood.
Despite her show’s instant popularity — attaining a No. 7 nationwide ranking — the cash crunch from loss of Dial Global business caused TRN to lay off most of its staff in August or September, including the advertising sales force, affiliate relations department, executive producer, call screener, sound effects manager and her personal assistant, she alleges.
As a result, no guests or only “C-list” guests were booked, and she was left with no research for the show’s topics, she claims.
TRN allegedly breached its contract by failing to provide an advertising sales force, facilitate relationships with affiliates and provide a “national syndication quality” production.
The suit includes counts for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud in the inducement, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.
Tantaros says that TRN’s actions and omissions have hurt her image. She seeks compensatory and punitive damages, an accounting and costs.
She put the company on notice of its breaches on Sept. 13, and on Sept. 24 wrote the company to complain it was delinquent in paying her salary.
The contract paid her $200,000 a year plus a share of show revenues, starting with 22.5 percent for revenue in excess of $1 million a year and 50 percent for revenue above $5 million.
Tantaros terminated the contract and stopped doing the show as of Wednesday, says one of her attorneys, Christian Molnar of Los Angeles.
He says she “was put in a position where a marquee show turned into an amateur hour overnight.”
She also is represented by Hoboken solo Timothy McIlwain and Joseph Cane of Beverly Hills, Calif.
TRN also produces radio shows featuring Fox News commentator Monica Crowley and comedian Louie Anderson, among others.
Talk Radio Network president Mark Masters and general counsel Ronald Severaid did not return calls. •