Air America Rescued? From "Search and Rescue" to "Search and Recover"

The exclusive today on Huffpo is something that I have known about for a while with the exception that the purchasers are the Green family and not the French family. When the so-called purchase is approved, you will be surprised at how little the price is compared to the over $45M invested in AAR. Rob Glaser and his "rubber stamp" board refused our offer to take over AAR before going Chapter 11. I wrote about this in my post of 10/14/06. At that time we made our offer, we could have kept many of the host and affiliates going in a seamless fashion to preserve the branding of the name.

Now, over 3 months later, we have started a new network called Nova M Radio. The first host that we have syndicated is Mike Malloy and we are now in 12 markets and growing including satellite radio. You can review our web site at novamradio.com and become a founding member. The almost 100 affiliates that AAR was able to establish have gone their separate ways and are getting their own content independent of AAR. The AAR affiliate agreements are 1 to 2 years and I suspect that most of the former AAR affiliates will not commit to AAR programming. AAR at best will be another content company with a name tarnished by bad management bankruptcy. And the prospective rescuers have no experience in radio. The Green group has expertise in real estate and are very "green" about the radio business.

I wish the Green group well since it is not their fault that the AAR board decided that AAR had to go through this trauma. But, it was clear to us that Glaser and his board were never going to allow the Drobnys to take back AAR even if that move would have given the board and the other investors a stake in the reorganized AAR that we proposed. We did in fact offer them and the other investors a 49% stake in the reorganized AAR if they would not go BK. The real question is what is there left to acquire besides the AAR studio and equipment? The value of a team is based primarily on the player contracts. This is not a sports franchise that has lots of intrinsic value. Without a good team of hosts, AAR has little if any value. And many of the AAR hosts and affiliates will have a difficult time trusting whoever runs AAR.

The metaphor I used, "from search and rescue to search and recover" is a term used in rescue initiatives of plane crash victims and missing people in other disaster situations. After too much time passes, search and rescue becomes search and recover since the presumption is over time that a rescue is unlikely. Too much time has passed for a real rescue of AAR.

Our new network, Nova M Radio, was named after my father's birthplace in Poland, Nova Miasto. It means "new town." It is a fitting memory to him and our commitment to bring sound business practices to progressive talk radio. And we hope to be funded by a grass roots membership campaign headed by Joe Trippe and his team. Relying on mega millionaire liberals to put ego aside for the common good is almost impossible.