BECKLEY – Broadcast Music Inc. sued Southern Communications Corporation for a judgment entered during arbitration amounting to nearly $200,000.


Southern Communications Corporation, is doing business as Radio Stations WAXS-FM, WCIR-FM, WBKW-AM, WMTD-FM, WTNJ-FM, WWNR-AM and WMTD-AM.


On Nov. 2, 2012, BMI and Southern entered into a radio station license agreement which, in part, provided that any dispute between the parties be subject to arbitration, according to a complaint filed Feb. 27 in Raleigh Circuit Court.


BMI claims it filed a demand for arbitration on Aug. 15, and an arbitration hearing was conducted on Nov. 19.


Following the hearing, on Dec. 2, an award of arbitration was entered in favor of BMI and against Southern in the amount of $192,818.77, plus administrative fees totaling $2,800 and compensation of the arbitrator, Peter Brown, totaling $1,300, according to the suit.


As part of the agreement signed in 2012, the parties agreed to the term of the 2010 BMI licenses would be Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2016; that the retroactive period would be Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2011; and that BMI may provide certain of licensees' proprietary information to the Radio Music License Committee at its request in connection with its representation of the local radio industry , which RMLC agreed to treat as confidential, among other things, according to court documents.


BMI's senior vice president of repertoire and licensing, Michael O'Neill; and Southern's president, R. Shane Southern, signed the agreement.


The breakdown of the arbitration settlement included a balance of $28,330.87 from WAXS-FM; $78,392.83 from WCIR-FM; $1,421.54 from WMTD-AM; $27,340.94 from WMTD-FM; $52,598.12 from WTNJ-FM; and $2,345.34 from WWNR-AM, according to court documents.


BMI is one of three American performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed.

BMI is seeking judgment in the total amount $196,918.77 with pre- and post-judgment interest. It is being represented by Steven R. Bratke of McNeer, Highland, McMunn & Varner LC.


Raleigh Circuit Court case number: 15-C-146

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