Shock jock Erich “Mancow” Muller is so upset about his current employer hiring his former boss, longtime Chicago radio executive Marv Nyren, that he’s suing Nyren for emotional distress.
Muller, who presides over the “Mancow Morning Show” on WLUP-FM 97.9, filed a lawsuit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court alleging Nyren diminished his reputation after firing him more than a decade ago at a previous station, WKQX-FM 101.1, to discourage competitors from hiring him.
The lawsuit says Muller has “suffered both physically and emotionally” since Nyren was named market manager of Cumulus Media Chicago earlier this month, putting him in charge of four stations, including rockers WLUP and WKQX.
“It’s literally making him physically ill,” said Michael Young, a Westchester attorney representing Muller in the lawsuit. “He saw a medical professional last Thursday because of this. It’s absolutely very traumatizing to him to be in this position after everything he went through.”
Efforts to reach Muller were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Nyren, 58, whose first day at his new job with Cumulus was Monday, declined to comment on the lawsuit but expressed enthusiasm at being reunited with Muller.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Cumulus and Mancow,” Nyren said Tuesday. “He’s seeing some really great ratings, and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Muller joined WLUP, known as “The Loop,” in March 2015 after several years on the fringes of — and at times entirely off — Chicago radio.
The lawsuit alleges Nyren fired Muller, then host of “Mancow’s Morning Madhouse,” from WKQX in July 2006 in retaliation for Muller having put an end to after-hours meetings with Nyren at locations outside the radio station.
Muller “was uncomfortable with the suggestive settings” and with Nyren’s “actions and mannerisms” during these meetings, the lawsuit says.
When Nyren fired Muller in a WKQX conference room, his “gestures, language, tone of voice and outright laughter” made it clear that it went beyond business to “personal retribution,” the lawsuit says.
Upon his termination, Muller was the subject of a profane on-air skit and a WKQX staff party celebrating his departure, while sales staff sent advertisers packages of “raw, spoiled rotten and bloody meat,” depicting him as a “dead cow” in an effort to sully his reputation, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit also alleges Nyren “failed to disclose relevant information” regarding his relationship with Muller when seeking the Cumulus job to “gain control” over him. It is seeking compensatory and exemplary damages and other “just and equitable” relief.
“He is sincere about this, and he stands by the allegations,” Young said.
Muller is also looking to keep his job at WLUP, his attorney said.
“Mr. Muller is extremely happy at his Chicago radio home and he wants to continue,” Young said. “He has a couple years remaining on his contract, he has every intention of fulfilling that contract.”
Nyren previously headed up WLUP and WKQX as market manager for former owner Emmis Communications. Most recently, he was vice president of corporate sponsorship at Chicago Public Media, parent company of WBEZ-FM 91.5.
Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, one of the nation’s largest radio groups, has been operating WLUP and WKQX since 2014 and last month filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to buy them.
In addition to WLUP and WKQX, Cumulus Media Chicago owns WLS-AM 890 and WLS-FM 94.7.
Muller has filed several radio-related lawsuits during his controversial career, including a 2007 libel lawsuit against Nyren and Emmis that was dismissed with stipulations in 2011, according to court records.
Before you buy bitcoin, read this
Portillo's rolls out delivery in most markets with DoorDash partnership
New York judge denies investors' request to freeze $225M for Outcome Health founders