The Air America Radio scandal involving the alleged diversion of hundreds of thousands of dollars from a New York City charity has reportedly led to two more resignations.
The case involves the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club in Bronx, N.Y., where executive director Charles Rosen resigned suddenly last week.
Sources told the New York Post that acting executive director Lorraine Corva will be leaving her job Aug. 26, and that assistant executive director Jeff Aulenback also quit, effective immediately.
While a club spokesman refused to say why the two were leaving, sources told the paper the departures are "tied to the ongoing fallout from the highly unusual and possibly improper loan to Air America, as well as other dubious fiscal practices."
A member of the board at Gloria Wise said management had been "hoodwinked" by Rosen into making the "bizarre" loans of $875,000 to the liberal radio network.
"We're not commenting on anything right now because of the delicate nature of negotiations to get the money back" from Air America, said spokesman Jim Grossman.
The network, noted for its liberal voices including Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, reportedly made a $50,000 repayment on the loan to an escrow account controlled by the station's lawyer.
"The [city] Department of Investigation advised Air America to repay $875,000 into an escrow account from which no money can be disbursed without our approval," DOI spokeswoman Emily Gest told the Post. "Air America has not followed that recommendation."
In addition to the DOI, New York's Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has also opened a probe into the case.
WorldNetDaily columnist Michelle Malkin has been among those covering the issue, writing "If a conservative radio network had been entangled in a scam to steal from black children to line the pockets of wealthy white con artists, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would already be staging hunger strikes in protest. But both have hefty political and financial stakes in Air America's success – and the big mouths aren't about to badmouth their friends."
Meanwhile, online reports indicate the radio network is having problems meeting its payroll.
According to the Radio Equalizer, a blog published by broadcasting analyst Brian Maloney, an internal memo indicates Air America employees faced late paychecks in late July.
"They were apparently stunned to receive a last-minute notice sent at 5:09 p.m. Thursday, July 28th, indicating direct deposits would not be made Friday, as expected," Maloney states. "Written by company Vice President/Finance Sinohe Terrero, it implied 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.
"Was it really a foul-up at ADP, the nation's largest payroll processing company? Have you ever known ADP to delay direct deposits, due to its own negligence? I thought not."
Maloney says insiders believe the problem is more alarming than a technical glitch: a lack of ready cash to make payroll.
Sources said it was a race against the clock to pay staffers, one that failed.
"An expected cash infusion arrived late, causing the mad scramble," Maloney notes.
Dont let corporate America get away with this.
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i've been listening to air america lately, since the FCC has temporarily silenced the voices of the SD community, 106.9 and 96.9.
it's so awful. yesterday, Ed Schultz was recommending that we pull out of Iraq so that we have more resources for the war on Afghanistan. That's supposed to be liberal radio?
then, i was listening to radio about cindy sheehan, the brave mother of a fallen soldier who's confronting Bush at his ranch. i had a comment to make, so i foolishly called in.
while on hold, i heard an advertisement for donating to the USO to support our troops. then, a message informed me that i was calling the Minority Report. i noticed that the radio in the phone was different than what was on the radio.
then i remembered an ex-clearchannel employee who told me that nothing on clearchannel is ever live. she couldn't believe that pirate radio stations took live calls. she said that everything on clearchannel is recorded, "voicetracked" and played back some time in the future when it is convenient.
so i hung up.
i can't wait for the two pirate stations to come back on the air in san diego. it's so quiet on the air now!
I'm no fan of Ed Schultz, but he's with Jones Radio, syndicated to some of the same local stations who broadcast Air America, not with Air America proper. I'm a KPFK supporter (which might reach SD soon, since XLNC1 might just be convinced to move their frequency and KPFK might just get a translator down there). But I also enjoy AA's Randi Rhodes (who's organizing shuttles from Waco into the Crawford Peace Center) and esp. Mike Malloy (who's just a hair shy of calling for open revolution), along with Jones Radio's Stephanie Miller. Repetitive and superficial too often, but outraged, clear-focused and in your face most of the time.
Best of everything trying to recover your SD pirate radio. We could use a good pirate station up here in LA.
To make sure Air America's side gets heard, here's their response to the report above.
STATEMENT FROM AIR AMERICA RADIO
If the allegations of mismanagement and corruption at Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club are true, it is absolutely disgraceful.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal and the HBO Documentary, Left of the Dial‚ the company that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club officials gave money to, Progress Media, has been defunct since May 2004. That company was run at the time by Evan Cohen who has not had any involvement in Air America Radio since May 2004.
The current owners of Air America Radio have no obligation to Progress Media's business activities. We are very disturbed that Air America Radio's good name could be associated with a reduction in services for young people, which is why we agreed months ago to fully compensate the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club as a result of this transaction.
We at Air America Radio strongly believe in the mission of Boys and Girls Clubs to provide a safe and nurturing place for young people to learn and grow. As a result, we recently allowed the same club, Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, to use our name in a fundraising effort for a summer camp for children in their community.
The funding for Camp Air America was raised and collected entirely by the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, and Air America promoted the camp on air and urged support for it. A link on our web site sent those interested in contributing to the camp to the Gloria Wise web site. Regrettably, the camp did not survive the closure of the Gloria Wise organization. We have offered any individuals who contributed to the camp as a result of Air America's promotion the option of a refund paid for by Air America Radio and the Club offered the alternative option of having their donation redirected to Kip's Bay Boys and Girls Club.
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