On Thursday, February 15, 2018, Wigdor LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of legendary television and radio sportscaster Warner Wolf alleging age discrimination and breach of contract against Don Imus, the controversial radio broadcaster and host of the radio show Imus in the Morning. Also named as Defendants in the lawsuit were WABC General Manager Chad Lopez, Cumulus Senior VP Mike McVay and WABC Program Director Craig Schwalb.
Widely known for his catchphrase, “Let’s go to the videotape,” Mr. Wolf was a loyal and highly respected voice on Imus in the Morning from December 1996 until November 4, 2016, when he announced to WABC listeners that his last broadcast would be that day, according to the lawsuit. Defendants replaced Mr. Wolf with Sid Rosenberg, a sportscaster decades his junior, the lawsuit states.
As alleged, Mr. Imus routinely made inappropriate comments about Mr. Wolf’s age, including stating that it was “time to put [Mr. Wolf] out to pasture” and “shoot him with an elephant dart gun.” Mr. Wolf was 78 years old at the time of his termination, according to the Complaint.
The lawsuit further alleges that after terminating Mr. Wolf’s employment, Defendants and Cumulus refused to honor a severance clause in Mr. Wolf’s employment agreement that provided for 26 weeks of severance pay – amounting to $97,500 – in the event of his termination.
Statement from Douglas H. Wigdor, Founding Partner at Wigdor LLP:
“It is hard to imagine a more iconic sportscaster than Warner Wolf, and it is shameful that despite his continuing abilities at providing insight into the world of sports, he was terminated because of his age and not even provided the severance for which he was contractually entitled.”