Not sure if it's Ask the Lawyer with Tom Corea or Ask a Lawyer with Tom Corea -- the lawsuit has it one way, virtual listings the other. But one thing's certain: The call-infomercial, featuring the downtown attorney and former local-TV-newser Brenda Teele-Jackson, is at the center of a suit filed last week in Dallas County District Court that appears on Courthouse News this morning.
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Corea's repping himself, of course, and says in the suit naming CBS Stations Group of Texas and KTVT Broadcasting Company as defendants that the local CBS affiliate and its KTXA-Channel 21 sister station asked him to host a call-in show during the noontime hour. The suit says Corea would pay for the airtime: $2,750 per show, with two shows scheduled each week. And in exchange, it says, KTXA's folks would forward all the calls received during the show to a call center, where Corea's people would get jot down all their vitals and follow up any, ya know, "potential business lead."
And, Corea insists, all was going so well too; he claims he even topped the midday news and The Young and the Restless in the ratings. But at some point, business went south, with calls dropping off by 44 percent. Corea alleges he know why: He claims he discovered the local CBS folks weren't forwarding close to half of the show's inbound calls the call center, which they'd later deny. And at the same time, Corea says, the local CBS affiliate was demanding he pay up, since the series -- or informercial -- was still airing. At which point he said no, because Corea now alleges those dropped calls cost him $1.4 million in potential business.
Which is just the beginning of how this landed in court, with Corea alleging everything from breach of contract to fraud to "civil conspiracy." See for yourself. I sent the suit to KTVT's spokespeoples for comment.
Update at 1:28 p.m.: KTVT declines to comment on the litigation.