A lot of rumor has been going around over the weekend about Talk Radio Network shutting down, but TRN CEO Mark Masters has been denying them, promising a statement to be released 9/9. The latest rumor comes from the Rich Lieberman 415 Media blog, which says TRN already shut down as of 9/6: “My sources have now told me that TRN has, in fact, already shut down operations as of last Friday…The Oregon-based syndicate has been battling a series of financial problems and in the process, has lost much of its air talent. It was also dealt a significant blow when its star host, Michael Savage left the network after a court battle in which Savage won. Laura Ingraham also recently left TRN. And locally, Bill Wattenburg, who did a Sunday night show from 8-11 PM, is running a “Best Of” show Sunday evening.”
Other rumors and reports mention that producers claim they did not receive their paychecks; numerous employees have received termination letters and that Masters said the network is suspending most of its business operations.
Masters issued a statement over the weekend: “Mark Twain said, ‘A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.’ That appears to be the case here. Please disregard all harmful rumors. I will make an official statement tomorrow [Monday] that will be truthful and accurate.”
RBR-TVBR observation: As it stands now, we can only assume a restructuring. Masters tells RBR-TVBR he is going to be at the NAB/RAB Radio show, so that certainly implies an ongoing entity, not a complete shut-down. Along with losing the revenue that Savage and Ingraham had brought to the company, TRN is spending a lot of money on legal fees with its suit against Dial Global, and already had with Savage. Both took their toll on TRN’s bottom line.