John David Hayworth
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Radio personality John David Hayworth, former cohost of The Morning Show with Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton on Mighty 1090, has filed a lawsuit against the station's parent company, Broadcast Company of the Americas, for breach of contract and wrongful termination.

Hayworth, a onetime U.S. congressional representative from Arizona, says the Padres' flagship station hired him on March 7 of this year, luring him to San Diego with a "guaranteed compensation package for a minimum term of two years," according to Hayworth's complaint filed in federal court last Friday, November 1.

Included in the compensation package were promises that Hayworth "could only be terminated 'for Cause'" and would first be required to issue "a written statement to [Hayworth] detailing the alleged breach or violation, and [Hayworth] would thereafter have a reasonable opportunity within which to cure the alleged breach or violation."

Hayworth's time on air was spotty at best. He received some harsh criticism from local sports pundits. In July 2013, U-T sports writer John Maffei blasted Hayworth for not having the sports IQ needed to sit in on the Morning Show.

"Hayworth represented Arizona in the House of Representatives for a dozen years," wrote Maffei. "Obviously, he knows something about politics. But his sports knowledge, as one 1090 insider said, is zero."

Due to alleged poor reviews and sub-par ratings, executives at the company gave Hayworth his pink slip on August 30.

"At no time did [Broadcast Company of the Americas] notify [Hayworth], in writing or otherwise, of any alleged violation or breach prior to terminating the agreement," reads the lawsuit. "Nor did [the company] provide [him] a reasonable opportunity 'to cure such breach or violation' as is expressly required in the agreement."

Hayworth says the radio company has a history of making hollow promises.

"As [Hayworth] later came to understand, [Broadcast Company of the Americas] had already developed a pattern of ignoring similar promises in at least one other similar written employment contract with another radio show host. Further, [the company] terminated other radio host contracts without following the contractually required procedures."

Hayworth is asking the company to reimburse him for lost wages and other compensation.

For now, Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton is the sole host of The Morning Show.

side note: Broadcast Company of the Americas was founded by U-T honcho John Lynch in 2003. He was reportedly forced out in 2010. Lynch later filed a lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination.

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Comments

Visduh Nov. 4, 2013 @ 8:23 p.m.

Radio lives and dies by the "book", meaning the ratings books that come out quarterly (or at least when I last looked.) In the biz, most of the overpriced talent knows that if the ratings, meaning listener-ship, isn't there, you die. That contract comes across as something no broadcaster would ever abide by, because it just takes too long to react. Some years back the then "all news" local station KSDO was using the redoubtable Ernie Myers as a morning news personality. A couple weak quarters and he was gone. He didn't sue, didn't complain, and slipped away into the sunset because he knew how the game was played.

I'd say the guy has a case, in that when a book or two didn't look strong, they just let him go, forger the contract. That was usual radio operations, but then why did the station make such a commitment? We may never know.

If you want undiluted Hacksaw Hamilton, listen to the station, and he'll erase your mind. Can't say where I would go that would actually allow conversation.

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