Garth Brooks’ Legal Team Serve Ceast and Desist to GARTH-FM
While WKRA in Louisville, Ky. might have meant to flatter Garth Brooks by renaming the radio station GARTH-FM, and playing solely music by the country music superstar, apparently Brooks' legal team didn't take very kindly to their new format.
The station, which previously played traditional country music, changed its format to “Garth, the Whole Garth, and Nothing But the Garth” on Memorial Day weekend, according to Saving Country Music. But Brooks' legal team served the station cease-and-desist orders to stop using his name and likeness, as well as to stop using his face as its logo. The station has since changed its call letters to XXXXX FM, while management sort through the latest legal implications.
“First….the response to XXXXX FM has been overwhelming,” Program Director Todd Schumacher explains. “Thanks to those of you who have reached out to us via phone, email, and social media. Unfortunately a certain artist’s legal team has contacted us and told us in no uncertain terms that we can no longer use the name XXXXX FM. So from this point forward, we will no longer use the name XXXXX FM.”'
While the station continues to play solely music by the 'Friends in Low Places' singer, they have not yet determined what music the station will play in the future.
“Our programming team is currently behind closed doors determining the evolution of our radio station,” Schumacher continues. “We don’t have a solution now, but we will soon." He adds that the station will have a "new 103.9" Monday (June 2).
The Kentucky station certainly didn't expect any trouble in honoring one of country music's biggest stars.
“There has been attention both inside and outside the industry recently regarding the absence of Garth on country radio these days,” Summit Media Louisville Operations Manager Shane Collins says of their reason to dedicate an entire station to Brooks. “We really feel like there is a gap here that needs to be filled.”
While short-lived, the station marked the first time a radio station focused solely on one artist.
Brooks has faced plenty of legal battles so far this year. He won a lawsuit against a former employee, Lisa Sanderson, over a $226,000 loan, while a group of residents in Dublin, Ireland, where he is slated to perform five sold-out shows as part of his upcoming comeback world tour, have threatened legal action to stop licenses from being granted for the series of shows.
The country music hitmaker's latest album, 'Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences,' was released last year and debuted at the top of the charts. Purchase the boxed set here.