Sam Stein at Huffington Post is reporting a major changing of the guard at Air America Radio this morning, as Charlie Kireker, a former political official and creator of Pendulum Media, takes over from Stephen L. Green, the New York real estate CEO who helped lift the company out of bankruptcy, as chair of the board.
The move will be finalized in mid March.
Stephen Green will remain as a minority investor. Mark Green, Stephen's brother and Democrat activist, will remain as Air America's president.
"We look at what Steve and Mark Green have done as the transition role of saving and stabilizing the business and now we think it is a good opportunity to expand upon that," Kireker told the Huffington Post. "The company has made a lot of progress, we have consolidated operations, and streamlined things to be more efficient. We are yet to profitability but we are heading there."
Kireker is no stranger to the network. He was a minor investor in one of the companies that rescued Air America's ownership from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last March. That year, the network -- which was purchased by Green Family Media for $4.25 million -- posted more than $13 million in losses. Sometime in 2009, Green said, he envisions that the network will be in the black.
Currently Air America has 65 affiliates, an estimated audience of nearly 2 million weekly, and is set to release a new web-based format for radio listeners.
"It took Fox News five years and a half billion dollar loss to get its feet, find its audience and become profitable," said Mark Green. "We don't have a 'what's his name?" [referring to Rupert Murdoch]. But, we now have secure funding and expanded management team, on-air talent and a business strategy that will get us where we need to be... Reports of our death were greatly exaggerated by the right wing zeitgeist that wanted us to go away."
As for why the current team would leave the network on the brink of profitability, Green noted that his brother's true passion was not in media but in real estate. "The Kireker group is new money, energy and new confidence in the growing of Air America. Steve was happy to be a bridge from phase one when we had financial difficulties to phase three when it is poised for takeoff..."No programming changes will take place at the present time. The front office stays the same, but Phillipe Collin joins the company as SVP/GM of Interactive Media.
Read more at HuffPo.