Judge Issues Restraining Order Against Clark Smidt

WCAP's Sam Poulten and Clark Smidt in happier times
Lowell’s AM980 WCAP Radio owners Army Colonel Sam Poulten and Clark Smidt in happier times. 


A Middlesex County Superior Court Judge has issued a restraining order against Andover resident Clark Smidt the soon-to-be former majority shareholder of 980AM WCAP radio in Lowell.

Despite a court agreement between Smidt (and his former business partner) Colonel Sam Poulten, giving Poulten control of station operations in a buyout deal, Lowell police say they received a call from someone at WCAP stating that Smidt had showed up at the station last month demanding to take control of the station and issuing threats.

“He came in with two thugs,” one source at the station told The Valley Patriot, Apparently thinking he could intimidate people and demanding to take control of station operations claiming he was still the majority shareholder,”

“The threat was made when Smidt was told to leave and that the police would be called,”

Smidt then filed for a restraining order against Poulten seeking to bar him from WCAP property so that he could return and control station operations but, when the issue went before a Superior Court Judge it was Smidt who was barred from the Central Street radio station.

“WE COMAND YOU, Clark Smidt, individually and as a member of Merrimack Valley Radio, and your agents, attorneys and councelors, (SIC) and each and every one of them to remain away from the subject property located at 243 Central Street, Lowell Massachusetts until further order of this Court,” the restraining order states.

The restraining order also says Smidt is “restrained from altering, disseminating, destroying or transferring any of the subject radio stations financial records.”

The restraining order was renewed a few short days later and Smidt is still barred from the property or making decisions about the day to day operations of the station.

“All I want to do is run a radio station,” Colonel Sam Poulten told The Valley Patriot. I am not going to comment on these distractions. We have a great new lineup and we are now moving forward since the departure of Mr. Smidt. I am not going to comment on any legal matters other than to say my focus is on rebuilding this station and making sure that 980 WCAP is run as smoothly as possible.”

Smidt had filed a court action against Poulten last year to take full control of the operations of the station but Poulten filed his own action asking the court to order “injunctive relief.”

Court papers show the Smidt had been negligent in paying the station’s taxes and the two finally agreed to settle their dispute out of court with Poulten buying out Smidt over a period of unspecified months.

In 2007, Clark Smidt of Andover and Sam Poulten of Chelmsford bought 980AM WCAP radio in Lowell from longtime owner Maurice Cohen. At the time, the two pledged to expand the reach of the station and promised to keep the focus of the station “live and local.”

Since then the two partners had locked horns over the direction of the station and the use of local talent. At the time Smidt told The Valley Patriot that former owner Maurice Cohen had brought the two men together as they had both shared an interest in purchasing the station.

The two sparring partners eventually agreed in October of 2011 that the dispute over controlling the station would be settled in mediation, but in the meantime Smidt offered to leave and be bought out. On October 31st of 2011 the Federal Communications Commission approved the transfer of the WCAP broadcast license to Poulten. The license must be renewed every five years.

Clark Smidt was contacted by the Valley Patriot but refused to make a comment promising to call back with a comment. The Valley Patriot is still waiting for that call.