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Friday, May 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Pub Owners Say Radio Jocks Killed Business

(CN) - A North Florida restaurant company is suing a radio station after on-air hosts made disparaging remarks about its clientele.

Suckin' Diesel Inc., which opened a restaurant called Punk 'N Drublic in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, sued Atlanta-based Cumulus Media Inc. over the hosts' comments, claiming breach of contract, negligence and defamation.

Punk 'N Drublic, an Irish-themed pub, paid 99 Rock WKSM for a series of 15-second spots advertising the grand opening of the restaurant.

According to the Sept. 27 complaint, the radio hosts, who are not identified by name, falsely called the restaurant's desired clientele "hillbillies" and falsely said patrons could not smoke cigarettes.

"The radio hosts' extemporaneous commentary resulted in many residents taking offense," the complaint states. "The radio commentary was so inflammatory as to motivate local residents to create a Facebook [page] entitled 'Hillbillies against being Punk in Drublic."

The pub claims the comments cost customers and damaged the restaurant's "good will" among local residents. Punk 'N Drublic closed two months after opening.

Cumulus Media could not be reached for comment.

The restaurant is represented by Robert Andrade of the Pensacola-based firm Moore, Hill & Westmoreland.

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