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Archive for "Apr 21 2004"

Air America Idiot Update

They got a judge to put them back on the air in Chicago, but that ends next week. They’re still off the air in Los Angeles. Al Franken & Co., broadcasting for roughly three weeks, find themselves looking for new homes in the second and third largest media markets after a disastrous run-in with reality: you gotta pay to play.

In today’s Chicago Tribune (reg. req.), a settlement between Air Idiot and Multicultural Radio, owner of the two stations, was announced that keeps the nascent network on the air in Chicago until April 30th. So ends their first foray into the business side of radio. Air Idiot put out a brief press release saying they were happy to have reached a settlement, then crawled under a rock to lick their wounds. Their opponent was a bit more forthcoming:

“We’ve been vindicated,” said Gene Heinemeyer, general manager of Multicultural’s New York stations, on Monday before the settlement was finalized. “It was a dark day in radio for what they did.”

The storm started last week when Air Idiot handed Multicultural a rubber check and owed the company something in the vicinity (probably over) of a million bucks. Multicultural owner Arthur Liu immediately kicked their asses off his airwaves. Air Idiot stamped their feet and headed to court. While it earned them a temporary return to WNTD-950AM in Chicago, the settlement (Smoking Gun?) puts a stop to that at the end of the month and blocked any return to KBLA-1580AM in LA.

Some radio insiders say their likely new Second City home will be WONX-1590AM. Station owner Frank Kovas said he’s talked to Air Idiot, but nothing has been decided at this point:

“If their money is green and there’s enough of it, OK,” said Kovas, who described himself as a political conservative.

Translation: “Cash up front, losers.” It still leaves them looking for a new LA outlet, who will also likely be demanding a guaranteed dough deal. What I’m wondering is how all this will play to the smaller market stations Air Idiot has cut deals with, and how soon their NYC station–already getting heat for yanking WLIB for these clowns–decides to pull the plug in the face of lousy reviews, miniscule ad revenues, and now this kind of shit making Air Idiot look like total tools.
The Air America Idiot Archive

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