April 14, 2004

AIR AMERICA ISN’T EXACTLY BURNING UP THE AIRWAVES:

After just two weeks of broadcasting, Air America Radio, the fledgling liberal talk-radio network featuring Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, was pulled off the air this morning in Chicago and Los Angeles, the network’s second- and third-largest markets, in a dispute over payments for airtime.

Arthur Liu, owner of Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, which owns Air America affiliates WNTD-950 AM in Chicago and KBLA-1580 AM in Los Angeles, said Air America bounced a check and owes him more than $1 million.

But it’s a victory for broadcasting diversity!

A Chicago source familiar with the situation said a Multicultural representative showed up at WNTD’s offices this morning, kicked out Air America’s lone staffer overseeing the network’s feed to the station from New York, switched over to a Spanish-language feed, and changed the locks on the doors.

Liu said the same thing happened at KBLA in Los Angeles.

Here’s Air America’s statement. Adios, muchachos! Viva Multiculturalism!

UPDATE: Ryan Boots has thoughts.

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