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Airwaves: January 26, 2007

French Connection

Struggling liberal radio network Air America, which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since October, may have found a new owner.

According to rumors and reports, the family of former New York State Democratic party official Richard French is in talks to buy the network, the sale of which must be approved by the bankruptcy court.

If the deal goes through, it is expected that Richard French himself will have a nightly program; French currently hosts a program that airs nightly on a WRNN-DT (digital TV) Channel 48 in Rye Brook, New York ... also owned by French.

Air America has been on the air since 2004, but has had difficulty attracting an audience or making money. According to published reports, the network has about $4 million in assets and about $20 million in liabilities. The company lost just over $9 million in 2004, $19 million in 2005, and $13 million for 2006 at the time it declared bankruptcy.


1998 was the year that Jamie White first came to Los Angeles to work mornings on Star 98.7 FM. First she was teamed up with her partners Frosty and Frank from a station in Colorado, then with Danny Bonaduce, and finally with Jack and Stench before being let go to make way for a show that is actually entertaining.

In all that time, I have indeed received letters and emails wondering the same thing as I, namely why someone with little talent and a voice for newspapers is on a major market radio morning show. What I never received was a letter or email from someone who liked her, or at least disagreed with my opinion. That is, until now. And I have to admit, this is an exciting milestone for me.

In order to make sure my opinion does not tarnish this email, I am printing it exactly as received, minus one bad word:

"your comment on jamie jack and stench show on 98.7 utterly stupid you probably don't even listen to the morning show. jamie is real as you can get. she says it like it is and thats that. that radio station was only heard because of jamie white's show. i hope she comes back big and drives everyone elses ratings down. your a (expletive removed) moron and need to quit criticsizing real people. your an idiota!"

Well, I'm convinced. About what, I'm not sure.

The Sale Begins

Clear Channel is beginning the process of streamlining itself by selling off some radio stations in smaller markets as it prepares to go private.

Santa Barbara is the first semi-close market in which Clear Channel will exit completely, selling off seven stations. What makes this an interesting story with a local connection has to do with the buyer, Point Broadcasting, which just happens to be owned in part by none other than former Clear Channel executive Roy Laughlin. Laughlin was once general manager of KIIS-FM before moving way up the CC ladder of success. Laughlin's partner and Point Broadcasting's principal owner is John Hearne.


Copyright © 2007 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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