Kevin Adell, owner of Adell Broadcasting and WADL Detroit, served WMYD Detroit a cease and desist letter after WMYD agreed to succeed WADL as the market’s The CW affiliate. The letter was hand-delivered to WMYD, sister station of WXYZ and part of E.W. Scripps, on November 7.
WADL stopped airing The CW on October 29 and WMYD, currently an independent known as TV20, is scheduled to launch The CW on November 13. WADL and WXYZ-WMYD are neighbors, on West 10 Mile Road north of Detroit.
Adell Broadcasting agreed to sell WADL to Mission Broadcasting for $75 million in May. The FCC has not yet signed off on the acquisition.
Nexstar owns the majority of The CW and manages the Mission stations.
The letter, from Adell Broadcasting’s law firm, Bodman Attorneys & Counselors, states: “By agreeing to carry The CW not on market terms, you are interfering with and impacting WADL’s business relationships and expectancy with Mission. Agreeing to carry The CW implies an improper purpose and constitutes tortious interference under well-established Michigan law.”
Adell told B+C he did not have an affiliation agreement with The CW, but agreed to air the network as an “accommodation” as he awaited the FCC’s signoff on the sale.
On November 8, Bodman served up another letter to WMYD, reminding the station, and Scripps, to “preserve all documents (paper and electronically stored information) and other evidence that are, or may be, relevant to the dispute between you and WADL regarding The CW Network.”
WXYZ-WMYD management did not comment.
Adell told B+C he plans to go beyond letters from lawyers in his battle with WMYD.