Air America bidder offers $4.25 mi


NEW YORK -- Lawyers for Air America, the liberal talk-radio network launched by comedian Al Franken in 2004, have asked a U.S. bankruptcy court to approve a sale of the company to a real estate mogul for up to $4.25 million.

 Details of the proposed sale were revealed in court documents filed by Air America on Tuesday, a week after Franken announced on his talk show the offer by SL Green Realty Corp. founder and chairman Stephen Green to purchase the network.

 Green's brother, Mark Green, a former New York City mayoral candidate, also would play an unspecified role in running the network, Franken said.

 As outlined in this week's filing, Stephen Green would repay as much as $3.25 million borrowed by Air America since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2006, plus $500,000 in cash and up to $500,00O owed on the network's lease of its corporate headquarters in New York.

 Under the tentative deal, Green would assume no other debts, according to the documents. At the time of its bankruptcy filing, Air America listed $20.3 million in liabilities and $4.3 million in assets.

 The court filing said "more than 10 interested parties" were allowed to review the network's confidential records after signing nondisclosure agreements. But it states that Green's offer was about $1.25 million more than the next highest offer.

 Tuesday's filing also revealed that Green already has advanced $250,000 to Air America's current lender, Democracy Allies LLC, established by the network's shareholders to keep it afloat during Chapter 11.

 The papers state that Air America will run out of cash and further borrowing authority by Feb. 15, "and consequently will have insufficient monies to continue to operate thereafter absent a sale of the business."

 "The immediate sale of the assets is therefore critical," the documents said

 Franken, who helped launch Air America Radio as a voice for the political left, said he will leave the network on Feb. 14.

 While giving no specific reason for his departure, the comedian and best-selling author is considering a run for the U.S. Senate from his home state of Minnesota next year.

 Air America, which has lost money since its inception, currently produces 19 hours of original programming a day and is heard on 81 radio affiliates representing 54% of the United States, reaching 1.9 million listeners a week.