Wednesday, February 07, 2007

An inside look at the Air America Radio sale

The Smoking Gun has the details of the pending sale of Air America Radio to Stephen L. Green.

Documents obtained by the website, they show some of the specifics of the deal. According to the documents, Green's firm, SLG Radio LLC, which has no connection with his real estate company, will pay $4.25 million for the network, including repayment of up to $3.25 million in loans provided to Air America after the network filed for Chapter 11 protection last October (the company listed debts of $20.2 million). Green's company will also give Piquant LLC, Air America's current owner, $500,000 and pay off up to $500,000 in network debts (the bulk of which, $349,000, is owed to the network's Manhattan landlord). Green's company will assume no other liabilities connected to the current owners of Air America.

SLG Radio will have the option to offer employment to Air America's current employees at their own discretion. Piquant will assist them in doing so.

Green's bid was more than $1.25 million beyond the next largest offer received by Air America, according to a motion filed along with the purchase agreement. Court documents did not disclose the number of bids received by the network, but a different filing notes that "more than ten interested parties" signed nondisclosure agreements and were allowed to review confidential network financial and corporate records.

SLG radio controls the corporation purchasing Air America, though two firms that were pre-bankruptcy investors in the radio network will "collectively own a minority interest" in the Green company. One of them is known to be the Progressive Radio Group, led by former Air America chairman Terry Kelly. The Air America purchase is expected to be finalized at a court hearing in the next week, no later than February 15th.

For more, and copies of the documents, see The Smoking Gun.

See also: Sheldon Drobny gives his take at HuffPo on what this all means for creditors and employees, and puts in a plug for his Nova M Radio network.

4 comments:

Emacee said...

$4.25M is chump change in radio. Inner City Broadcasting sold AAR's former "affiliate" in Philadelphia (with zero audience and a POS signal) for $5M.
A 1kw Class C AM in Bradenton, FL just went for $4.52M.
A 1kw Class D AM in Wilmington, DE went for $4M a year and a half ago.
These are all low power, non-performing AM stations at the high end of the AM band - the kind AAR took as affiliates. And they were worth about as much on the open market as AAR itself.
Of course, as pointed out before, AAR really has no tangible assets.

gregrocker said...

Murdoch flushed $300 million before Fox News made money. Moon still spends an estimated $2 billion to date from murky sources (he is a convicted money launderer) to float the Washington Times so their pasty pundits can quote fantastical moonbattery from an authoritative-sounding source.

Yet tiny struggling Air America is credited by Howard Dean with mobilizing the Dem vote in a dozen districts which changed over in the November election!

Congress should waste no time holding hearings to pressure the media corps to be more balanced, since they apparently intend to keep the AM radio dial entirely slanted to the far right. Chief witness could be Kathleen Hall Jameson of the presitgious Annenberg School of Communication at Penn (Funded by the conservative TV Guide fortune) who has been studying for a dozen years the "false certainty" which AM talk radio has created in millions of misled, swinging 5 out of the 6 past elections.

Dem statesman George Mitchell should be forced to say under oath why as Chair of ABC he allowed his entire radio station network to be turned over to right wing extremists who were allowed to lie without challenge for 15 years, took over and wrecked the Federal government. He should pay for this with his reputation at a minimum, and if he tries to plead ignorance, then should be asked why his top execs bragged about this last year in negotiations with the Christian Right over their boycott of Disney, which apparently ended the boycott without meeting any demands.

If the Dems don't hit hard on this in high profile hearings soon, then the temporarily-demoralized rightist radio juggernaut will quickly reinflate against Dem initiatives and quash every one. They hold the balance of power in this country until the airwaves which are owned by the public are brought back into balance at a minimum.

Jill said...

With all due respect, gregrocker, I believe the correct term for what the Washington Times spews out is "wingnuttery." Other than that, your comment is spot on. :)

Emacee said...

Clearly the world has both right-handed and left-handed wing nuts.
The difference between right-wing and left-wing talk radio is the right hires radio people who know what they are doing; for the left, political connections and correctness are good enough (as the two prior posts clearly indicate).
Rupert Murdoch had money to invest in a start up operation and the resources to operate at a loss. AAR did not and were too stupid to realize what they were getting themselves into. Here again, "good intentions" were all that mattered to them.
A corporate board member is required by law to act in the interests of the stockholders. ABC Radio owned 27 stations of which seven were news talk (and six can be considered right wing news talk). To say the "entire radio station network" was "turned over to right wing extremists" is a lie. But apparently you believe whatever you say is THE TRUTH, and whatever anyone says in disagreement with you is a lie.


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