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‘Ugliest Bride’ Sues Radio Station Over Contest

Wed., Aug. 14, 1996

A woman who was selected in WPYX’s “Ugliest Bride Contest” is suing the radio station for $300,000.

As part of the contest, two radio hosts look through the newspaper wedding announcements and select the bride they deem the ugliest. Callers win by guessing which photograph was chosen.

In a lawsuit filed last month, Annette Esposito-Hilder of Schenectady accused WPYX of intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

In Esposito-Hilder’s case, the hosts departed from their practice of using just first names and aired the woman’s full name and where she worked, said her lawyer, Norah M. Murphy. Esposito-Hilder works for a competing radio station but is not an on-air personality, Murphy said.

“This was not negligible,” Murphy said.

“In terms of damages, what’s it worth when somebody can’t look at their wedding pictures without crying? How can you measure that?”

Esposito-Hilder never contacted the station but later received a written apology saying that the contest had been canceled, Murphy said.

“What we do is all in good fun,” station manager Bob Ausfeld said. He said the decision to end the contest was simply a programming decision.


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