Tom Martino

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Tom Martino is a consumer advocate and American talk radio host. His nationally syndicated show "The Troubleshooter Show" airs from KHOW, based in Denver, Colorado. His show format focuses on callers who give him specific complaints about businesses, however he also provides business advice to listeners. Martino investigates the complaints by contacting the other party in disputes when possible; he then gives advice and solicits comments from callers. The show began over 30 years ago and was syndicated nationally around 2001. Martino claims that over the years, he has recovered millions of dollars in cash, merchandise, and services for consumers who contact him.[1]

Martino operates the "Troubleshooter Referral List," a list of businesses endorsed by him. In order to be a member of the Referral List, a business must pay a fee ($3,000 per listing) and agree to a code of ethics, including an agreement to abide by Martino’s decision in the case of a dispute with a consumer. A business can pay to have Martino personally endorse their product or service on air for $200 per 30 second spot during prime time radio listening, though critics point out that Tom Martino's status as a consumer advocate is directly compromised by the large amounts of money he receives for his endorsement.[2] Martino's website has a lengthy disclaimer stating that he is not liable for the quality of service received from the companies he endorses. [3]

Martino is known for his bold style. If he believes a businessperson is acting unethically, he does not hesitate to call that person a liar or a cheat on air. If he believes a business is failing to respond to his investigation, he sometimes broadcasts the business’s phone number and encourages listeners to contact the business.

Martino also reports for Fox Broadcasting Company affiliate KDVR in Denver. Before KDVR, he spent 18 years at CBS station KCNC, also in Denver. He started his television career at several stations in the Eastern United States.[4]

Martino's career began at the Catskill Daily Mail, a newspaper in his native New York, where he wrote a consumer-oriented column. In 1976, he began working in radio and television.[4] He continued to write columns for the Rocky Mountain News, but now writes columns only for his own website.

Martino operates Liberty Bell Telecom, a telecommunications company, casting suspicion on recommendations and referrals he may make within the telecommunications industry. He is also a real estate developer and a private pilot.

Martino has announced he will be hosting a new television show on KDVR later this year[when?].

On April 24, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion affirming the dismissal of a libel suit brought against Martino by an Oregon watercraft dealer. A customer of the dealer had called Martino's show to describe the problems she had with a personal watercraft that she bought from the dealer, and in the course of the on-the-air conversation, Martino said "they're just lying to you." The dealer sued Martino for libel and interference with business relations. The federal district court in Portland granted Martino's anti-SLAPP motion, dismissed the dealer's case, and awarded attorney fees to Martino against the dealer. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, saying that Martino's statement was a statement of opinion protected by the First Amendment. Gardner v. Martino, Ninth Circuit No. 06-35437 (April 24, 2009).

On September 2, 2011, Tom Martino filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. [5]

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