The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with Centennial Media, the owner of Lynchburg-based talk radio station WLNI, in its effort to block another talk station from broadcasting from Bedford. Centennial paid about $4.4 million when it bought WLNI-FM from Gary Burns in 2005, according to court filings. Then in 2006, citing a five-year non-compete agreement that was part of the sale, Centennial took Burns to federal court to stop him from operating WBLT-AM as a talk station.

In September 2006, after hearing conflicting testimony about how many categories of talk radio there might be, U.S. District Judge Norman Moon ruled that Burns and 3 Daughters could not operate a station with a talk format until the five-year non-compete agreement ended. Burns appealed to the 4th Circuit, saying the language of the non-compete agreement was ambiguous and unenforceable.

The 4th Circuit judges said the agreement’s ban on Burns’ overseeing a “significantly similar” format at another station was clear enough and upheld Moon’s ruling.

This is a terribly unfair decision!

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at