Thursday, April 15, 2004

LESS AIR FOR AIR AMERICA. I caught about 40 minutes of Air America Radio's Morning Sedition today, and no mention of the financial wrangling that has knocked the liberal network off the air in Chicago and Los Angeles. The Chicago Tribune reports on the battle, which Drudge broke yesterday.

Drudge also links to Air America's statement, which, as a lawyer might put it, is just loaded with actionable phrases (highly entertaining!), and a copy of Air America's lawsuit, which is available on the Smoking Gun.

The dispute is between Air America and Arthur Liu, who is the head of a small radio chain called Multicultural Broadcasting. Curiously, when I wrote about Air America's pre-broadcast plans in December (it was then known as Central Air), Internet radio guru Scott Fybush identified Liu's stations in Watertown and Lynn as possible Boston-area outlets.

Liu, though, told me that it wasn't going to happen, because Air America wanted to buy his stations outright and he didn't want to sell, although he would be willing to lease airtime. "We're not in that game," Liu said with regard to a sale.

Even more curiously, it appears that Air America did finally decide to lease time on Liu's stations in Chicago and Los Angeles - and is now paying a high price for that.

NEW IN THIS WEEK'S PHOENIX. A spate of recent books and articles shows that the debacle in Iraq didn't have to happen.

Also, a new study on the economic impact of the Democratic National Convention has provoked a dispute between Boston Herald columnist Cosmo Macero Jr. and the Beacon Hill Institute.

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