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April 14, 2004

"Aren't you supposed to be monitoring Air America?"

Yes, that is our stated job. However, when I turned on 1580 AM in L.A. and I heard a religious show en Espanol, I thought it was part of Air America's attempt to reach out to those stifled Minority Voices.

Little did I know that, as Evan Cohen, Chairman of Air America Radio tells us:

Air America Radio is temporarily unable to be heard on WNTD in Chicago and KBLA in Los Angeles, but Chicago and Los Angeles listeners can still hear our broadcast on the web at airamericaradio.com and on XM Satellite Radio (channel 167).

"MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting's conduct in this matter has been disgraceful. To shut off a broadcast that listeners rely on without warning and in the middle of discussions is the height of irresponsibility and a slap in the face of the media industry. In addition, it is a clear violation of their contractual obligations, and we are seeking legal remedies against them in court.

Janeane has issued a renunciation of Multicultural's actions here.

However, per Drudge:

A Chicago source familiar with the situation said a Multicultural representative showed up at WNTD's offices Wednesday morning, kicked out Air America's lone staffer overseeing the network's feed to the station from New York, switched over to a Spanish-language feed, and changed the locks on the doors... Developing...

Meanwhile, remember that La Biblia Es La Verdad.

UPDATE: From the Chicago Tribune:

Arthur Liu, owner of Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, which owns Air America affiliates WNTD-950 AM in Chicago and KBLA-1580 AM in Los Angeles, said Air America bounced a check and owes him more than $1 million...

"They bounced a check today," Liu said. "It's a default. They have paid only a very small portion of what they owe us." Liu declined to say how much Multicultural is owed, but did say he is holding $1 million in checks that Air America has asked the company not to cash...

[use laexaminer2004/laexaminer]

UPDATE 2: AirAmerica's request for a TRO is here. They claim to have paid their bills and that Multicultural should have gone to arbitration in the case of a contract dispute. There is no mention of the VRWC in their request.

UPDATE 3: Robert the Llama Butcher comments here: "Under FCC rules dealing with Time Brokerage Agreements, the licensee [i.e., Multicultural --LW] MUST retain ultimate control of the broadcast facilities at all times, including control of content. I vaguely remember seeing a case a few years ago where a programming broker tried to get an injunction against a station in district court in order to keep the station from dropping the broker's programming... The programmer could still sue for damages from contract breach, but could not force the licensee to air its programming."

Posted in Meta at April 14, 2004 10:42 AM


Monitoring Air America Radio [TM] so you don't have to.


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