Billy Kimball, Al Franken, Air America Bankruptcy
Franken's Producer Takes Key Bankruptcy Role
Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse, this one takes the cake!
Greedy Billy Kimball, Al Franken's beloved executive producer, has been appointed as a committee member overseeing Air America Radio's bankruptcy by the US Trustee's Office, according to the AP. Along with two others, Kimball will represent the interests of creditors as the case proceeds.
Wait a second, guys, don't you realize that Kimball was a big part of the problem in the first place?
With his buddy Franken, Billy Boy racked up huge expenses, in addition to his mammoth $600,000- plus annual salary, about ten times what such a position might normally pay to oversee a comparable program.
How about all of those lunch tabs, Mr Kimball? Don't think your lavish tastes contributed to Air America Radio's downfall? For that matter, what about Stuart Smalley's huge salary?
The truth (without jokes) is that Franken and Kimball helped to spend Air America into a deep, deep hole from which it may never emerge. Now the goal is to squeeze even more dough out of the place on the way out of there.
From the AP:
NEW YORK - The executive producer of Al Franken's Air America Radio show and two others were named on Tuesday to represent unsecured creditors in the liberal talk network's bankruptcy case.
The U.S. Trustee's office, a Department of Justice division that monitors bankruptcies, appointed three committee members: William Kimball, the Minneapolis-based executive producer of "The Al Franken Show;" Sacramento, Calif.-based Diamond Broadcasting; and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, a union that represents 70,000 journalists and entertainers in broadcast, radio and online.
Kimball is owed $84,893 in back pay, according to court documents. Diamond Broadcasting is owed $500,000, but its claim is listed as "disputed."
The company will continue to operate with funding from a group of investors led by RealNetworks Inc. CEO Robert Glaser. Glaser owns 36.7 percent of the company.
Air America has struggled financially since it was started two years ago, losing $9.1 million in 2004, $19.6 million in 2005 and $13.1 million so far this year.
William Kimball? We're willing to bet that beyond his mother, few have ever called him by that name. By the way, even though the AP missed it, Kimball is actually named twice in the bankruptcy filing: his Kimball Industries is also listed as being owed an undetermined amount of money.
Speaking of Billy, he sure knows how to tick off people in Hollywood. His previous antics (especially during his stint as writer for Craig Kilborn's Late Late Show on CBS) have certainly made enemies.
Meanwhile, Paula Nelson of Diamond Broadcasting, another one of the new committee members, was herself the subject of coverage in today's Sacramento Bee:
Local broadcasting owner Paula Nelson just wants her money, close to $1 million by her estimate.
How much she'll get -- or whether she'll be paid at all -- in the Air America Radio bankruptcy reorganization case remains to be seen.
Nelson is chief executive officer and president of Sacramento-based Diamond Broadcasting, which owns radio station Talk City KSAC, 1240 AM. She was named Tuesday as part of a trio representing unsecured creditors in bankruptcy proceedings involving the liberal-leaning radio network.
Air America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 13 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
"I hope we can get what's owed to us, so we can move forward," Nelson said.
The next court date in Air America's case is scheduled for Oct. 31, according to Tracy Klestadt,the attorney representing the radio network. Klestadt declined to comment further on the case Tuesday.
Joining Nelson on the bankruptcy committee are William Kimball, executive producer of Air America's flagship "The Al Franken Show," and a representative from the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The Los Angeles-based union represents 70,000 journalists and entertainers.
Air America was broadcast on KSAC until last November, when it switched to KCTC, 1320 AM. Air America officials at the time cited KCTC's stronger signal and ability to reach outlying cities, such as Stockton and Yuba City.
But the split seemed to become personal. In a Bee story in October 2005, Nelson said the relationship between Talk City and Air America had eroded and that the network had turned its back on the Sacramento station, even though KSAC built a following for Air America's progressive programming.
"I put a tremendous amount of resources building up their profile in Sacramento," Nelson said then. "I convinced them they could get a following. Now, they snub their noses at us and go to another station."
Good luck to any of these people trying to get their money back, where it will come from is anybody's guess. George Soros, where are you when we need you?
Brilliant graphics: Pete at IHillary, David A Lunde
FOR THE LATEST on key Massachusetts races, visit Bay State Showdown, our other site.
Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately purchase, greatly help to support this site's efforts. Thanks again!
Technorati tags: al franken billy kimball william kimball kimball industries air america radio air america bankruptcy sacramento bee california
Tiny Kimball image: HuffPo