WGBH and former woodworking host end legal dispute

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Boston’s WGBH and Thomas MacDonald, the former host of a woodworking show produced by the station, have resolved a legal dispute that began last year.

MacDonald, who hosted Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac from 2010–16, sued WGBH in April after the station declined to renew his contract. The station hired a new host, Tom McLaughlin, for a similar show, Rough Cut with Fine Woodworking.

MacDonald claimed the new show used his name, image and trademark without permission. WGBH later filed a countersuit against him.

Both parties dropped their claims as part of the agreement, according to a court document filed Feb. 1. Each party will cover its own legal fees, the document said. Both WGBH and MacDonald declined to discuss specifics of the settlement.

In a statement, WGBH thanked MacDonald and said it was “proud of the work we have done together over the seven seasons of the series, continuing our tradition of bringing woodworking to our viewers. We wish Tommy all the best in his future endeavors.”

MacDonald told Current in an email that the lawsuit was “resolved amicably.” He said he is turning his attention to Murder Matters, a new show that celebrates the lives of victims of unsolved murders with DIY projects.

8 thoughts on “WGBH and former woodworking host end legal dispute

  1. We loved Rough Cut with Tommy MacDonald and are upset that his contract was not renewed. BIG MISTAKE WGBH. You don’t know talent when it bites you on your nose! You’ve lost us as viewers, but you probably don’t care. Thanks for nothing! Good luck Tommy!

  2. Tommy Mac is a gifted woodworker, but his show was too fast paced for my liking. Had high hopes when he filled the void left by Norm Abrams but I lost interest after season three of Rough Cuts.

  3. Loved the show and the new kind of angle that Tommy Mac brought to the world of woodworking. I also think those that he was too unconventional, I’ve been a woodworker for over 50 years and thought he approach was what the woodworking world needed. I guess he was just too differnent from the old liberal guard.

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