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Investor to buy Air America

January 30, 2007|From Reuters

Liberal talk-radio network Air America Radio has reached a tentative deal to be sold to a New York real estate investor, and Al Franken, its best-known host, will leave next month, the company said Monday.

The agreement, outlined in a letter of intent by Air America to sell its business to SL Green Realty Corp. founder and Chairman Stephen Green, comes three months after the radio network filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

"Because I'm a businessman who enjoys creating and growing companies, I'm purchasing a majority ownership in Air America with the intention of making it a successful business that returns a profit," Green said in a statement.

No financial terms were disclosed. Green and Air America Chief Executive Scott Elberg said they planned to keep the network's "progressive policy voice" intact.

New York-based Air America was launched in March 2004 as a liberal answer to nationally syndicated conservative talk radio shows with hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

The network also announced that it would carry its last broadcast of "The Al Franken Show," which airs weekdays, on Feb. 14.

"I'll miss coming in and working with the best staff in radio, talking with my amazing coterie of guests and, of course, my national audience," Franken said in a statement.

No reason was given for Franken's planned departure. But at the time of the bankruptcy filing in October, court papers showed that Franken was owed $360,750 in wages and other benefits.

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