Friday, February 16, 2007

***News Bulletin***
It’s a Done Deal

Apparently, there were no bidders that were able to come up with more than $4.25 million so the Federal judge who has been officiating over the Air America bankruptcy gave approval to the investor group controlled by Stephen L. Green to take over the struggling liberal talk radio network.

According to the AP, the ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain essentially transfers all the assets of Piquant LLC, parent company of the New York-based Air America, to a group including new and current investors. The new investors are Green and his brother Mark Green, a frequent guest on AAR and a high profile New York City political figure. The "current investors" who will have a minority stake in the new venture include RealNetworks Inc. Chief Executive Robert Glaser and two former Air America board members.

In announcing his plans to buy the network in late January, Green said in a statement that he intended to make it "a successful business that returns a profit," stabilizing its finances, building up its programming lineup and forming partnerships with other distribution platforms beyond radio. Green doesn't own any other media outlets.

Stephen Green is the founder and chairman of SL Green Realty Corp., a publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns 34 Manhattan office buildings and has a total of 27 million square feet of space under its control. Mark Green, who is Stephen’s brother is a liberal Democrat, who once served as New York City public advocate and has unsuccessfully run for U.S. Senate, New York City mayor and most recently, state attorney general.

Lawyers for Green asserted that he offered "the only chance for the debtor to avoid liquidation." Air America Chief Executive Scott Elberg said Friday that if the sale was not approved, the network would soon be closed down.

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