Business & Real Estate

Entercom settles with media watchdog over license dispute

A jury awarded $16.6 million to the family of Jennifer Strange, including husband William Strange, left, after Jennifer Strange’s death in 2007 as a result of her participation in radio station 107.9 The End’s “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” competition. Jennifer Strange’s mother, Nina Hulst, is at right; Hulst’s husband, Mark Hulst, is at center.
A jury awarded $16.6 million to the family of Jennifer Strange, including husband William Strange, left, after Jennifer Strange’s death in 2007 as a result of her participation in radio station 107.9 The End’s “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” competition. Jennifer Strange’s mother, Nina Hulst, is at right; Hulst’s husband, Mark Hulst, is at center. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

Entercom, the Pennsylvania-based radio broadcasting company that owned KDND-FM (107.9 The End), will settle with a media watchdog group that had threatened to appeal the licenses of its other Sacramento stations.

107.9 The End was embroiled in controversy when the station sponsored a contest in 2007 called, “Hold Your Wee for a Wii,” resulting in the death of Jennifer Lea Strange, 28, from water intoxication. Her family eventually won a $16.6 million award during a jury trial, and media watchdogs petitioned the Federal Communications Commission seeking to deny the station’s license renewal.

Last month, Entercom announced it would voluntarily surrender the radio station’s license as part of a planned merger with CBS Corp.’s CBS Radio.

Sue Wilson of Media Action Center had sought to go after the license renewals for Entercom’s five other regional stations, on the basis of the 2007 incident.

“We have reached a settlement,” Wilson said Wednesday. “I will not be going after the CBS Radio merger or the other Entercom stations. That’s what (Entercom’s attorneys) asked for.”

Entercom will pay Media Action Center $35,000 for attorney fees related to the original petition to deny the license of 107.9 The End. The settlement still needs final approval from an administrative court judge at the FCC.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang

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