The dots still don’t completely connect. And what seems painfully missing is any transparency related to BizRadio and it’s CEO Daniel Frishberg. If there is nothing to be concerned with, then it stands to reason that an ethical business person would take the high road and openly dispell any creditor or investor concerns. Yet, that doesn’t seem to be happening. So, let me start by asking this…if it were your business and you were capturing (relatively) negative media coverage from the Houston Chronicle, etc. and you had investors who were expressing concerns – what would you do?
LET LOOK AT THE PROGRESSION OF ACTIVITY:
Back in December a screen shot of the BizRadio website reflected that Ron Crider and Rehan Siddiqi were both connected with the station. See screenshot below:
Rehan Siddiqi was listed as Vice President of Marketing
And, old news, by this point, Albert Kaleta had entered into his agreement with the SEC (without admitting guilt) that he was to have no contact with any investment advisor. See SEC news release here and especially here.
WHAT NOW? THAT THE INVESTOR FINDER (Kaleta – at least that’s what he’s been referred to) IS OUT OF THE PICTURE?
Ron Crider – ostensibly with the approval of Daniel Frishberg, maneuvers to sell 1110 AM to Rehan Siddiqi and move BizRadio to 1180 AM. So far still not new NEWS.
The announcement is made January 2nd, 2010 by Ron Crider…see email announcement below:
But in a court proceeding just weeks ago Frishberg is reported to have made the claim that Crider was nothing more than a salesperson. Hum???
Now, if Frishberg did not recognize Ron Crider as CEO then why would he allow an announcement to be sent via email indicating Ron in that position? Am I missing something? I can assure you, if I had a “salesperson” sending an email and copying me on it – and that person was claiming to be CEO…first I’d fire them and then make it clear who was in charge and what was to happen. That, however, didn’t seem to take place till financing fell through and BizRadio and Frishberg were forced back to 1110 AM.
According to Ron Crider’s blog – see here.
I am not the one who lost over 3 Million dollars a year for the past two years at Biz Radio, since I didn’t get here until October 2009.
I am not the one who authorized the purchase of KTEK 1110 AM Alvin/Houston for 7.7 Million dollars. There is no one in the industry that would have paid that much for a critical hours, daytimer at 2,500 watts with no cash flow whatsoever. Now, let’s see who is trying to protect the investors?
In last week’s station licensing dispute, Kaleta was identified as president of at least some of the BizRadio-affiliated companies. Asia Vision’s Rehan Siddiqi produced a receipt signed by Kaleta as BizRadio’s president, though BizRadio CEO Daniel Frishberg said Kaleta never signed such a document. Now let’s see, who could have signed that document? It couldn’t have been me since I was in Dallas at that time. Could it be Dan is not telling the truth?
Until February 2, 2010 I was firmly in Dan Frishberg’s corner. Tuesday February 2 Dan Frishberg perjured himself blatantly in so many ways. The operative word here is “Perjury”. He told the Harris County Court I was just a salesperson, working at no salary for Biz Radio. Dan said I was not the co-CEO after he introduced me to 3 Investors meetings to over 200 people as the co-CEO, and further saying I had no authority to do the deals I did here in Houston for Biz Radio. How is it possible to believe that I, at almost 69 years of age old would move to Houston to work for nothing with no authority and be a salesman. I put my own business on hold to work with Dan and build something together. Just how stupid does Dan think his investors are?
Wow…Crider seems a bit testy. I have heard from investors who are confused about this whole issue. At first they felt that Crider was the “white knight” – a person who could salvage their investment in BizRadio and return it to a profitable operation. Then, with Crider’s public comments on his website (blog), there is a feeling that he is insuring the destruction of the station. As a disinterested third party…I don’t truly know Crider’s motives, but I have to admit, that if I were listed as President of Broadcast Operations in December, signed an email as CEO in January and then became the scourge (just a salesman) in February, I would likely be a bit ticked.
SO WHAT PROMPTED THE IMMEDIATE SWITCH?
It seems that short term financing was being arranged in order to effect the lease/purchase of 1110 AM to Siddiqi. As best I can tell there were a lot of moving targets. Kinda reminds me of the old Ed Sullivan shows where they had folks whose talent it was to keep plates spinning on poles… A lot of spinning plates were twirling.
As reported on in an earlier blog…David Wallace (acting on behalf of creditors) was involved in helping with the $1.5 million financing package. That, however, seemed to fall through on or around the 1st of February (don’t hold me to a specific date as I have not been able to verify a date). The subordination agreement however is provided below in PDF format. As you can see…at this time all parties were involved – Frishberg, Wallace and Crider.
MEANWHILE BACK IN HOUSTON…
Siddiqi seems to be the one who has been dealt with unfairly. Agreeing to lease with an option to purchase 1110 AM – Siddiqi began broadcasting in January with a number of listeners sending him joyful well wishes. Then…as soon as it began – Frishberg (finding himself off of 1180 AM due to failure to pay or provide a $150,00 letter of credit) kicks Siddiqi off the air and accuses Crider and Siddiqi of manipulating him into selling the station for (approximately) 50% of what he paid for it just two years earlier.
Now as Forest Gump said, “I’m not a smart man,” but someone who reportedly is a brilliant investment advisor (Bernie Madoff was called that as well keep in mind), should know that many investments have taken quite a dive considering we are in a severe economic recession. But, I don’t value radio stations so I am certainly not an expert. I do know that stations across the US are almost begging for advertisers or those with shows who are willing to PAY to PLAY. So my guess is (and I’ve talked with hosts of Nationally Syndicated shows) that values for stations have dropped…and dramatically.
WHERE FROM HERE?
Well, that’s a dandy question. Frishberg, instead of being transparent, is being invisible. It would appear that he’s hoping this hailstorm will pass…perhaps it will all blow over. Crider seems to be a bit caustic in his website (blog) comments accusing Frishberg of Perjury. The investors seemed to have hope that Crider could salvage the station, but that seems to be in question (at least by some)…and probably to Frishberg’s delight. And last…SIDDIQI is out $180,000 and a station. His business is likely in ruin, reputation tarnished, and the best he could hope for today is to get his investment back and hope that his audience will support him when he returns to the air (sometime).
Lastly, the question has been raised as to why I’ve written these blogs? As a business ethics speaker and author, I know first hand that EVERY CHOICE HAS A CONSEQUENCE. I have made terrible choices and experienced the consequences…and they weren’t pleasant. Likewise, I’ve made better choices and the outcome was outstanding. So today, I write this blog to help connect the dots.. Choices and Consequences.
I would love to see a bright outcome for all…but at this moment, it seems that so many of the players are positioned for wins or losses. Unfortunate! And, I’m still left wondering if there isn’t more to this than meets the eye. Stay tuned…