Monday, January 22, 2007

Air America close to sealing the deal

UPDATED 1/23/07

Air America Radio’s parent company may have found a new owner, and will likely make an announcement soon, according to Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.

The consortium of investors will be led by the Richard French family of Westchester County, NY, which owns New York City-area television concern WRNN. The group is close to signing a deal to purchase the assets of Piquant LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York in October, according to people familiar with the situation. Though the sides are in negotiations, there is no guarantee those talks will result in a deal, a source close to the talks said. Any agreement would need to be approved by the bankruptcy court. If the deal doesn’t go through, it increases the likelihood that Piquant could face imminent liquidation.

If the acquisition does go through, it could lead to several programming changes at the liberal talk-radio network. Richard French III, son of WRNN's owner, will likely get his own show in prime time on Air America. Richard French, formerly a New York State Democratic Party official, already has a nightly show on WRNN, “Richard French Live,” where he has hosted guests including Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Another on-air addition could include the return of former Air America morning host Marc Maron, who has been in talks with the French family.

More updates will follow. Keep checking back.


Anonymous said...

From bad to worse.
Another rich guy with a huge ego wants his own radio toy to play with.
Prime time? This shows how ignorant they are. Radio's prime time is morning drive and this guy plans to do a show in the evening (probably simulcast his cable access show).
And they want to bring back Maron? He's already had two strikes, this will be number three. Is French Maron's boyfriend or something?
By the time the Frenchies take over, Air America won't even have the turn-keys left.

barooosk said...

We have to give credit to Baloney on this one. He blogged this on December 18, 2006:

And here at the Radio Equalizer, we believe that a purchase deal has already been reached, contrary to what the NYT is reporting. Including participation by Kreeger and the Showtime executives named in our previous report, we've learned that the network's primary "media partner" is the French family, which owns the New York- based Regional News Network.

Proves if you through enough spaghetti against the wall some of it is going to stick.

Jill said...

With all due respect, "Anonymous", you are a moron.

Marc Maron hasn't failed twice. Morning Sedition was cancelled because Danny Goldberg didn't like the concept, and since the suits at AAR in their infinite "wisdom" had given free rein, they let him go ahead and do it EVEN THOUGH THEY THEMSELVES WOULD HAVE KEPT THE PROGRAM. As "compensation", Maron was given his own show in LA, which AAR then cancelled because he didn't want to have to relocate YET AGAIN to New York on the word of the same execs who had screwed him over already.

Morning Sedition built the kind of ferociously loyal listener base that is unheard of in a show that existed for less than two years. This listener base is still out there, congregating on a site still dedicated to the program. A 24-hour feed of comedy bits from the show is also out there on the web. These things don't happen because a show is a failure. If the reports of discussion with Maron are true, the new owners are obviously savvy enough to notice when a potential new show has a sizable built-in audience.

Emacee said...

Jill, you have taken ferocious loyalty to a whole new level, apparently blinding to you the fact that AAR has real problems, has screwed up repeatedly and - the fatal error - but on a lot of bad radio.

Most other fans of liberal talk radio have come to realize that AAR is not the progressive talk format and the format is what matters. They have also come to see AAR as more a liability than asset to the format.

IMHO, as a guy who has spent some time in radio, I say Morning Sedation was terrible radio. No chemistry between the hosts. They couldn't make up their mind whether they were doing a New York show or a national show. A stand-up comedian who never learned to be funny as a morning radio host. And a whole catalog rookie mistakes. The show sounded like market 200.

Liberals may like the idea of liberal talk radio and they may be vocal in supporting the concept. But if you want liberals to keep listening every day you have to put on a good radio show. You have to be interesting and entertaining - not just liberal. Stephanie Miller knows that. So does Ed Schultz. Sometimes Randi remembers. Otherwise, this is a lesson AAR never learned and refuses to learn.

And this is why progressive talk stations increasingly are dumping AAR product and clearing shows from other syndicators.

mac (mwebster on radioinsight)

Cat Chew said...

"We have to give credit to Baloney on this one."

Yep. Credit where it's due. He's usually the first to get things wrong.

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