Air America Set for Chicago Return

NEW YORK Air America Radio, the two-week-old left-leaning radio network, is expected to be back on the air by the end of today on WNTD-AM in Chicago.

The New York Supreme Court Thursday granted the start-up network’s request for a restraining order against Multicultural Broadcasting, which pulled the plug on the network’s programming Wednesday morning on WNTD and KBLA-AM in Los Angeles.

“Arthur Liu [the owner of Multicultural Broadcasting] received a clear message today: temper tantrums are not the way to conduct business,” said Evan Cohen, chairman of AAR in a statement. “Instead of continuing to discuss the business dispute he had with Air America Radio, he took his rage out on Air America’s listeners in Chicago and Los Angeles.” Multicultural claimed AAR, which is leasing time on the stations, had failed to pay its bills. Cohen called the accusation a lie.

Air America said it will work on getting its programming back up on the air in Los Angeles. “We’ll seek legal remedies and explore other broadcast options with a partner who is more responsible and mature,” Cohen said.

Meanwhile, AAR continues to add affiliates. On Thursday, AAR announced two of its shows—The O’Franken Factor, hosted by comedian Al Franken (noon to 3 p.m.) and The Majority Report, hosted by Janeane Garofalo (9 to 11 p.m.)—will clear WCHL-AM in Chapel Hill, N.C., beginning Monday, April 19.

Including New York and Los Angeles, AAR airs on six stations and satellite radio services Sirius and XM. It has deals to clear additional stations in seven additional markets such as Sacramento, San Francisco and Colorado Springs, for a total of 13 station affiliates.

This story updates an item posted yesterday with Air America’s return to Chicago.