The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

16 February 2007

Air America Bankruptcy, Billy Kimball, Al Franken


Did Franken Producer Nearly Shut Down Air America?

From Air America insiders, we're hearing a lot of grumbling about Billy Kimball, Al Franken's notoriously- overpaid producer. To serve his own purposes, did Kimball nearly cause the network to be shut down today?

We've reported on Kimball's lavish lifestyle a great deal in the past. Start here if you're new to the story.

After all, it was Kimball, the former Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn writer, who volunteered to serve on a committee of creditors overseeing the liberal talk radio network's bankruptcy proceedings. Is he behind the objection that nearly thwarted the network's sale to Stephen L Green and Rob Glaser?

This report, published yesterday, provides a key clue:

Report: Sale of Bankrupt Air America Radio Hits Potential Roadblock

Submitted by Mark Hefflinger on February 15, 2007 - 1:09pm.

New York - Air America Radio, the New York-based liberal talk radio network that in October filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has seen its proposed $4.25 million sale to SLG Radio hit a roadblock, according to

The website reported that the Air America's unsecured creditors committee is objecting to the deal, claiming that the sale process is being conducted exclusively for the benefit of the company's debtor-in-possession lender, Democracy Allies.

The committee claims that Democracy Allies has backed out of a deal to use $500,000 from the sale's proceeds to pay unsecured creditors, while at the same time it would be paid back in full, with several of its insiders receiving minority stakes in the acquiring company.

Here at the Radio Equalizer, we've had a big- city bankruptcy attorney examining every iota of the proceedings for the past two weeks, who has been unable to find anything in writing that backed the committee's claim. That's probably why Kimball's group didn't prevail in court today.

Interestingly, some of the people who object to Kimball's antics are fellow creditors who now have no hope of recovering monies owed to them, as this ongoing shell game continues to burn "progressive" investors.

But the concern is that Kimball may have been willing to shut down the entire network in order to possibly secure some of what he is owed, while most of the others would get nothing.

Given Kimball's outrageous past salary and perks, hasn't he made enough money, they wonder?

It is clear, however, that Billy has an addiction to the high life: he married into a wealthy family and his wife is the great- granddaughter of former Brazilian dictator Getulio Vargas (who flirted with the Nazi regime before later joining the Allies).

Kimball has long been one of the leaders of Stuart's Team Franken, which is made up of fellow Harvard grads.

While we're not yet 100% sure of Kimball's role in the near- shutdown of Air America (more like 90%), we can report with confidence that he is the one being blamed for it. And given his outrageous past antics, it's difficult to cut him any slack.

ELSEWHERE: fresh updates at SaveWRKO.

Classic Franken, AAR images: David A Lunde, Pete at IHillary, Kimball image: HuffPo

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  • Brian, in the interest of (for once) accuracy, please correct "network's sale to Stephen L. Green and Rob Glaser..."

    You really do make a simple fool of yourself when you attempt to portray the above as one transaction, and yoke the names of Green and Glaser to one another.

    I'm sure you'd actually have a veritable crop of intelligent, uh, "insiders" who'd be willing to assert themselves in performance on this topic...however, that little faux-pas of yours really blows your whole post out of the water. You should know better to try and misrepresent so poorly.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 16 February, 2007 21:27  

  • As anyone who is following the AAR bankruptcy closely, it is Founder Sheldon Drobny who is leading the creditors committee revolt, trying to get the bankruptcy judge to reconsider (failed) and threatening a lawsuit. This is due to his allegation that the new owners dealt in the largest creditor Rob Glaser of Real Networks, who had threatened to scuttle the deal. Drobny is furious because he and other investors lost their money, even though they never had enough capitalization to float such an ambitious project to begin with. The Greens do.

    A clue as to why the little yappy Shitsu is sniffing and nipping at Billy Kimball's ankles here is found with the infrequent ridicule Kimball and Al heaped upon the waddling dirty trickster Baloney for his transparent disinformation blog here which tried to collapse Air America using phony ratings and rumours.

    And to the porker who wondered aloud why I ridicule fat, as I travel the world I am reminded by people everywhere who once admired America that the world has never heard of morbid obesity before yet its 30% occurence in the US seems to be a metaphor for what we have become. And, sure enough, the Surgeon General's recent report on Morbid Obesity when sorted by zip code proves that people in the US are fattest in exact proportion to how much they voted for George Bush. Morbid obesity barely registers in Blue States.

    Simiilarly, the Tickle entrepreneurs who bought the Stanford IQ test and offer it free on the web, now have millions of test samples. When crunched against zip codes, again you find that the dumber an area is, the more likely they voted for Bush. In exact proportion!

    Since not even a pig will eat itself to death, this means that Bushits are dumber and fatter than pigs according to science.

    By Blogger gregrocker, at 16 February, 2007 21:32  

  • First comment: There's nothing to correct. This is indicated in the news coverage. Green and Glaser purchased the company.

    Second: I'm not aware that Sheldon Drobny was even on that committee. He now runs a competing network.

    He merely wrote about a suit by creditors (of which he is one) over at the Huffington Post. In addition, he made a previous bid for the company, which was rejected.

    Billy Kimball was on the committee of creditors.

    Sorry guys, but no dice. Just more misinformation from the peanut gallery.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 16 February, 2007 22:37  

  • Dude, what's this Al Franken obsession of yours? If you really want to sleep with him, why not just ask really nice and sweetly? Apparently he's a really good lover. Arianna Huffington once shared a bed with him and she's never been the same since.

    Have you gone on any USO tours to entertain the troops lately? Oh wait, I forget you're neither funny nor famous.

    By Blogger The Multitaskenator, at 16 February, 2007 23:53  

  • Drobny - a professional accountant - says that the loans Glaser/DemAllies made were "debtor in possession", and apparently they have first crack at the sale proceeds. Which appears to be stiffing everyone else, forcing them to take literally pennies on the dollar. In that scenario, whoever tried to block the sale doesn't look so bad. OTOH, the $4.25 million was the top bid.

    Also, for those who haven't been following the comment here closely. IIRC 'gregrocker' "travel[s] the world" as part of his job as an air steward. I might be wrong about that, but I think he might have mentioned it in an earlier comment. I think.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 17 February, 2007 00:09  

  • Brian, Rob Glaser is unaffiliated with Steve Green.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 17 February, 2007 01:16  

  • I'm sorry, that's simply not true. Green and Glaser are now the primary owners of Air America's parent company. It's indicated in the news coverage, this is not a secret.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 17 February, 2007 09:16  

  • Unfortunately, this is not possible, since Glaser presided over the bankrupt entity, and Green is going forward.

    Such a relationship would preclude regulatory approval of any transaction.

    In addition, Rob Glaser and Steve Green are ideologically opposed to one another, and do not move in the same circles. I sincerely doubt that, unless there were others in the room, you would ever see the two even making polite conversation with one another.

    Sorry, but just because you say it is true does not make it so.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 17 February, 2007 12:15  

  • Hash, you're posting gibberish. Check the news stories. Green will own 48% of the network, while Glaser and other parties will take the remainder.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 17 February, 2007 12:27  

  • Hash not knowing a thing about what he posts, a shocker to be sure.

    In case anyone wonders, an entity that continues to operate in Chap 11 must have working capital to pay its bills. While Chap 11 holds the old creditors at bay, it also provides a way ( DIP financing ) for an entity with little or no positive cash flow to get the needed financing to continue operating. This financing is super priority, meaning it gets paid back first out of any sale. That seems to be consistent with what happened here and why the unsecureds are getting next to nothing. It does not bode well for the reorganized entity going forward however. If another filing is required, the Court will look askance at another reorganization. It will be converted to Chap 7 liquidation. So the best you progs can hope for is that Glaser and Green dont tire of the project and the losses, and tank this thing again. Long term might see added affiliates and a break even scenario, but how in the short run?

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 17 February, 2007 13:01  

  • Nope, Green alone has the majority stake, and the moneychangers are farked. Full stop.

    That's your free market! Watch for exciting programming changes....

    Need tissues?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 17 February, 2007 13:24  

  • Hash,

    From the Associated Press from yesterday, with the relevant paragraph below. If you look at the link, it will be the 5th paragraph down.

    "The deal gives a majority stake to Green Family Media LLC, an entity controlled by Green, and a minority stake to Democracy Allies LLC. That group includes RealNetworks Inc. Chief Executive Robert Glaser and two former Air America board members."

    By Blogger Stacy, at 17 February, 2007 14:05  

  • Reading comprehension, tracey.

    What did I clearly state in the VERY last post I made?

    What do you think that it means?

    (Open to all wingnut submissions!)

    For extra credit points, please describe the related parties, and their newfound relationships to one another.

    Outer-borough fascists and flyover yokels, watch your tongues!

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 17 February, 2007 15:23  

  • Will hash have a Britteny Spears moment? That is if hash has nay hair to shave off.

    By Blogger PCD, at 17 February, 2007 18:14  

  • Keep on squealing, boy.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 17 February, 2007 18:30  

  • Oooooooooohhhhhhhhhh, the lonewacko [sic] has called me as "air steward." Actually, whacked one, I travel the world as retired founder of one of the largest alternative weekly papers in the USA, and 30 year activist with 100% success rate at kickin right wing nutjob butt back into the hole you slithered out of.

    By Blogger gregrocker, at 17 February, 2007 20:23  

  • Greg, most of these mooks consider "The New York Times" a subversive, alternative paper...


    They can't get over on that whole "fold the first page over, then turn" thing on a crowded subway....

    Knowledge, to them, is more easily garnered, when easily foldable, and found on the rack next to the porcelain throne during "study time"...

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 17 February, 2007 23:21  

  • Hash 2/17/07 1:16

    "Brian, Rob Glaser is unaffiliated with Steve Green"

    Hash 2/17/07 12:15

    "Rob Glaser and Steve Green are ideologically opposed to one another, and do not move in the same circles."

    Brian 2/17/07 12:27

    "Green will own 48% of the network, while Glaser and other parties will take the remainder."

    Hash 2/17/07 13:24

    "Green alone has the majority stake"
    which is EXACTLY what Brian was saying all along.

    And calling me tracey? Please, I've been called worse. At least I go by my real name.

    And you got it right in your last post? The question is, what took you so long? I was supplying further evidence to support Brian's point.

    You were wrong on every other post you made, never admitted you were wrong, and didn't give Brian his props for being right (again)? Shocking, absolutely shocking.

    By Blogger Stacy, at 17 February, 2007 23:29  


    Stacy, there is no comparison to the statement that Brian made, at the beginning of this post, which was untrue, and my "Green alone has a majority stake" rebuttal...good shot, though!

    Do you SERIOUSLY expect anyone reading the first sentence to form the same mental picture of the nature of the transaction and the relationship between Green and Glaser to the picture in the SECOND sentence?

    And you disgusting, manipulating, theiving frauds seriously denounce Clinton, and Obama, and Pelosi for GRAMMATICAL errors??

    Do you animals have to be up on the stand before you even CONSIDER to be honest and upfront about anything you say?

    Stacy, you (and I mean you, and your ilk) CONSISTENTLY misrepresent and distort even the simplest, basic facts of any matter. You've got a million lies for everything true...WHO needs some snotnose from Minnesota's book to explain that when EVERY CHILD at this point sees it?

    Don't EVEN go there, you transparent, overstuffed weevil of burning, bilious hate.

    It won't take planes doing U-turns in the sky and slamming into the puny foundation of the weakassed house of cards you feel so safe in.

    This country is about to explode from within. You'd better work out some better system of survival of your own, and find better ways of lying....

    Franken may well have been a putz, but at least he produced SOMETHING besides mucus....

    Ah, what's the point? Why do I cast my pearls in front of swine?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 17 February, 2007 23:56  

  • Hash, you are the board's liberal master of spewing hate.

    By Blogger PCD, at 19 February, 2007 09:10  

  • Fudgie, get it straight.

    I am a LEFTIST, not a liberal.

    Do I SEEM particularly interested in love and peace to you?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 19 February, 2007 09:19  

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