Monday, August 13, 2001

Former talk-show host sues station




By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Former WDBZ-AM (1230) radio talk show host Nate Livingston has sued the station and several of its executives seeking more $4 million in damages and reinstatement on the air.

        In the lawsuit filed Friday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Mr. Livingston accuses Blue Chip Broadcasting and several employees of violating the Whistleblower Protection Act, breach of contract, wrongful termination, unauthorized release of personnel information and defamation of character.

        Mr. Livingston, who announced last week that he's running for Cincinnati City Council, threatened to sue the year-old station, “The Buzz of Cincinnati,” nearly two months ago after he was fired.

        “I never intended to back off the lawsuit,” Mr. Livingston said Sunday, noting he'd been indisposed lately because he was serving 37 days of a 60-day jail sentence for trespassing and disrupting a speech by Mayor Charlie Luken on Fountain Square last fall.

        L. Ross Love, Blue Chip Broadcasting CEO and president, and station attorney Calvin D. Buford could not be reached for comment Sunday night.

        Mr. Livingston was fired in June a few days after he said he wrote a memo to Mr. Love threatening to publicize an alleged deal the station had made not to criticize Mayor Luken after the April riots.

        When Mr. Luken subsequently appointed Mr. Love to his blue-chip commission to help the city deal with the aftermath of the riots, it amounted to a bribe, Mr. Livingston claimed.

        Station officials have denied the allegation.

        Named as defendants in the lawsuit were Mr. Love; Cheryl Love, Blue Chip vice president of human resources; Steve Love, WDBZ-AM radio general manager, and Lincoln Ware, the station's programming director.

        Mr. Livingston, 32, of Avondale, said he does not think his lawsuit will distract him or be a negative factor in his council campaign.

        “I don't think it will hurt me at all,” he said. “It will send a message that Nate Livingston will fight for you.”

       



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