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Kurt the CyberGuy Brings Breach of Contract Action Against TV Stations

Posted on Jan 01, 2016

TV personality “Kurt the CyberGuy,” whose legal name is Kurt Knutsson, has filed a breach of contract action against Tribune TV station KTLA of Los Angeles. The suit also names eight other TV stations, including WPIX of New York. In addition to the breach of contract allegation, Knutsson also asserts claims for misappropriation of his name and likeness, unfair competition, and age discrimination.

In his filing, Knutsson alleges the following:

  • His relationship with KTLA began in 1995.
  • At the time, Knutsson already had established himself as an “expert reporter” on the subject of technology.
  • The arrangement between KTLA and Knutsson was that he would provide his expertise in exchange for public exposure and technical support.
  • Knutsson agreed to accept less than his typical fee as a result.
  • By the end of his second year with KTLA, Knutsson and his reports had already been syndicated to 24 other TV stations.
  • In 2008, KTLA and Knutsson signed a new 5-year deal.
  • In December 2010, KTLA terminated the contract.
  • KTLA executives informed him that the contract could be renegotiated; however, he would receive less compensation.
  • In February 2011, KTLA news director Jason Ball told Knutsson he would no longer appear on the station.
  • TV stations that syndicated his program would be informed of the termination of the relationship.

Following the end of the relationship between KTLA and Knutsson, Knutsson claims his name and image were continued to be used. He alleges that KTLA used the name and image on its websites. However, when viewers clicked on those links, they led to reports written by Rich DeMuro. The reports used the same format and style as Knutsson’s reports.

In addition, the station allegedly earned millions of dollars in revenue from new business earned as a result of Knutsson’s programs, despite refusing to pay Knutsson the 20% he was entitled to earn under the contract.

To learn more about bringing a breach of contract action or other business litigation matter, contact a New York breach of contract lawyer today at (888) 497-3410.

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