Friday, May 07, 2004

REAL TROUBLE AT AIR AMERICA. Turmoil is one thing, not meeting payroll is quite another. The Chicago Tribune reports that two more top-level executives are leaving Air America Radio, adding, "The company also failed to make its scheduled payroll Wednesday, leaving its staff of roughly 100 radio personalities, writers, and producers unpaid until Thursday."

Question: how could the Air America people be in this much trouble after only five weeks? This was always a long shot, but they did seem to have money and brains. Well, it sounds like the money's hard to find, and the brains are leaving. The story concludes:

Last week, according to two sources familiar with the matter, paychecks to some of the network's talent - a group that includes Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, and Randi Rhodes - bounced, and Rhodes joked on the air about not being paid.

A scheduled payday for the staff on Wednesday came and went without checks, though the staff was paid on Thursday. [President-of-the-week Jon] Sinton chalked up both cases to "technical issues."

Technical issues? It's possible. I suppose.

CHANDLER TO CARR: SHUT UP. Boston Globe Steve Bailey weighs in on the battle between Boston Herald columnists Howie Carr and Mike Barnicle, which I wrote about yesterday. Herald editorial director Ken Chandler tells Bailey: "I am not going to tolerate people on the Herald payroll sniping at each other in print."

Chandler says nothing about Barnicle's writing a valentine to House Speaker Tom Finneran without disclosing that his wife, FleetBoston executive vice-president Anne Finucane, had made a $500 campaign contribution to Mister Speaker (Carr's allegation, unverified by Media Log).

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