Cornwall ON – So I spent a morning in court today instead of working. Instead of going to the city budget council and heckling Councilor Grant; instead of scribbling stories; instead of reading; or helping our clients and sponsors, or helping our viewers with issues you call in or email about.
For many of you that know we issued suit against Mix 96’s Parent company and Traci Trottier. Ms Trottier, after ending her long time employment with Cornwall Corus station 104.5 was giving music lessons with no local radio prospects.
We reached out and listened to Traci. She talked about not wanting to do remotes; how important it was to have time to spend with her children, and how important Cornwall and this community is to her and how important it is to be local.
After much discussion and meetings we moved forward. We had a signing ceremony at the Cornwall Farmer’s market on Saturday August 21, 2010.
It was exciting times for us as Seawayradio.com as we were new and struggling. Traci’s former Boss, Scott Armstrong, who also was let go nearly at the same time as Ms Trottier; while President of the Chamber of Commerce had suggested we were a non-legal station he’d do something about? (Mr. Armstrong is now working in radio in Winnipeg for a non-Corus station)
As a media outlet that cherishes the local and community focus even if it costs us money we were quite happy to have a long time local radio voice on board. On that Monday following, our first day making calls on sponsors, Cornwall showed it cared about Local as we signed up some right away and not a single “no” was given.
Well that Tuesday things got weird and by that Thursday we were informed that US station Mix 96 had asked her to work for them. The nightmare that followed ended today in court as Ms Trottier tendered us a cheque after we issued suit against Mix 96’s parent company and Ms Trottier for breach of contract.
The real villain in this case is Mike Guimond and his station as they knew of Traci’s contract with his and moved ahead anyway. (She revealed her contract to them even though she had a non-disclosure agreement and a no-compete clause) The station owners didn’t even respond to the lawsuit, nor did they show up to support Ms Trottier. They left her to swing in front of the judge on her own.
That doesn’t condone her accepting employment with a US company that sucks advertising dollars out of Canada; nor does it condone the gossip I’ve personally had to endure, or the financial hardship we’ve had to endure; something many of you who own small businesses can understand.
We acted in extreme good faith trying to resolve this issue and even acquiesced to Traci’s suggestion that she work for both stations. We took a meeting with Mr. Guimond, but Mike wouldn’t oblige us on the two basic conditions we had; for 90 days no going after our clients and for 90 days having price integrity on the shows for ad time.
I could go on, but frankly it’s a sad and twisted tale that we didn’t need to have to deal with. For my part I apologize to any of our sponsors that have had to endure some of the gossip and innuendo that seemed to flow from this nasty bit of business.
Seawayradio.com is still on the air. We have yet to find a local morning show host. As soon as we find that special local voice our morning show will begin. It’s not easy being small, but we try hard and appreciate all of the support we’ve had since this unfortunate incident happened.
2011 is going to be a very good year. We promise to work hard to earn your viewership. And kudos to Cornwall’s top Para-legal, Jim Moak for expertly handling this case for us.
Jamie Gilcig – Seaway Media