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KTHO off air

Your ears weren’t deceiving you Monday.

KTHO AM 590 went off the air at about noon over a payment dispute, licensee and operator Chris Kidd confirmed that afternoon.

The tower signal was turned off by the station’s noteholder Tom Gillinwater, who Kidd claims is trying to wage a “hostile takeover.”



Gillinwater was unavailable for comment.

When Kidd took over operations in December 1995, the station manager said he negotiated a $450,000 deal with Gillinwater’s Huntington Beach-based Paradise Broadcasting, which called for a third down and $300,000 on a 5-1/2-year financial note.




Kidd said he’s paid $275,000 on the balance, which is where the challenge on the note lies.

Kidd claims Gillinwater is overextending the balance agreed upon by $68,000 because of a dispute over what constitutes principal versus interest.

In the meantime, Kidd is working on getting a transmitter site and temporary antenna of his own. He expects to get back on the air “in days.”

The handful of employees left the station by 3:30 p.m. Monday.


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