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November 18, 2005
Air America Settles Lawsuit

Air America has managed to get one scandal behind it even as it continues battling through other legal problems. The liberal radio netlet has settled its $1.5 million lawsuit with Multicultural Radio, who sued AAR for unpaid leased air time in two of the largest markets in the US in its initial launch period:

Air America Radio has reached agreement on terms that would settle a lawsuit brought by Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, according to representatives from both companies. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed, and a formal agreement had yet to be signed.

The settlement would terminate a lawsuit filed with the New York Supreme Court in May, in which Multicultural was seeking more than $1.5 million in damages from the liberal radio network. The complaint said that Multicultural aimed to recover debts that were amassed by Air America soon after its launch in April 2004, and the cost of attempting to recover those debts in a 19-month legal battle.

An attorney representing Multicultural, Randy Mastro of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, said yesterday, "The client is very satisfied with the terms."

This may almost literally come a day late and a dollar short for the struggling left-wing enterprise. The lawsuit exposed several strange transactions in ownership of AAR which now have the belated attention of authorities in New York. The series of scandals, which have received excellent coverage by the New York Sun's David Lombino and an unprecedented, bulldog effort by bloggers Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney, show that the operation not only has almost no operating income but has changed hands in name only to avoid paying its debts, primarily but not exclusively to Multicultural Radio.

Somehow, AAR came up with the money for its payoff to Multicultural. After months of selling itself like a non-profit (which it isn't) to its listeners with "memberships" that promise bumper stickers for $50 donations and canvas bookbags for $150 donations, perhaps they found enough suckers to scratch up the cash. It will be interesting to find out if that sourced the cash or AAR found another sugar daddy to get it out of the hot water into which they had stumbled. I wouldn't be surprised to see that coming next from Michelle and Brian.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 18, 2005 7:59 AM

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