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August 8, 2005
Air America: Missing Payrolls?

Brian Maloney, who broke the Air America scandal in the blogosphere over a week ago while the Exempt Media still mostly ignores it, now hears whispers from inside the netlet that employees worry about the company missing its payroll obligations. A delay in posting direct-deposit pay for their final July paychecks apparently has Air America employees buzzing, although anonymously:

It's bad enough the company is generating fresh bad publicity almost daily, over the diverted $875,000 in taxpayer funds intended for a Bronx-based community service organization.

Now, to make matters worse, an internal memo obtained by the Radio Equalizer indicates Air America Radio employees faced late paychecks just over a week ago.

They were apparently stunned to receive a last-minute notice sent at 5:09pm Thursday, July 28th, indicating direct deposits would not be made Friday, as expected.

Written by company Vice President/Finance Sinohe Terrero (this article confims Terrero's corporate role), it inferred the payroll processing company was to blame:

We have been advised by ADP that Direct Deposit will probably not post until Monday. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cost (sic). If you have any questions please feel free to call me.

Sinohe Terrero

VP Finance

Brian expresses doubts about ADP having an issue in processing direct deposit for a smallish payroll like AAR. I'm not so sure that I share his skepticism; I've worked for big companies and smaller ones that had one or two bouts with this kind of hiccup with its payroll vendors. More key would be to see whether the non-direct-deposit paychecks actually cleared on time when employees went to cash them.

However, the episode clearly unnerved some of the AAR staff. Brian says he has heard from multiple sources within AAR that only a last-minute infusion of cash from an unknown source helped AAR clear their payroll, but it came a bit too late to float the direct deposit on time. As Brian notes, that would mean the $13 million it got from investors earlier this year has already dissipated. If that is the case, it would explain why Piquant Media had agreed "months ago" to repay Gloria Wise for the misappropriated funds it received, but failed to start payments until the scandal went public.

Don't be surprised if the liberal netlet collapses in the weeks ahead, unless it can find another set of white-knight investors willing to keep the enterprise afloat. Perhaps, as Brian suggests, its high-priced talent will start deferring their own salaries to rescue the company -- if they haven't already.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 8, 2005 6:03 AM

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» Dead Air America bounces.... from Conservative Musings
checks, that is. Well, maybe not bouncing, but it does look like they are missing payrolls. See what Captains Quarters and Radio Equalizer have to say. [Read More]

Tracked on August 8, 2005 3:34 PM

» The Corruption In Air America, Update VI from Flopping Aces
Hasn't the left said that Air America was a huge success? Then why not pay the whole bill free and clear? Show the right that your a success...come on. What a joke. [Read More]

Tracked on August 9, 2005 2:44 AM

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