Inquiries about how the Arkansas Development Finance Authority and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission came to invest more than $1.7 million in Soul of the South's short-lived financial fiasco are being made.
The wife of Mike Preston, the new director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, has landed a new job. The television news personality was hired on at SSN Media Gateway at the end of June, according to Managing Partner Jeff Lyle.
The fledgling television network is the subject of at least two lawsuits in federal court and has been notified it owes $250,000 on a loan from the state. But at least one board member says he is hopeful that good things are in the works.
AEDC says Soul of the South owes payment on a $250,000 loan from the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund that came due June 5. The AEDC granted the loan in December, bringing the total state investment in the company to $1.75 million.
Mac Hogan, who invested $375,000 in the fledgling television network, submitted a brief letter to Secretary Bill Campbell and board Chairman Ladly Abraham on Tuesday. The letter stated that Hogan was resigning from the board and all related entities.
John Rogers has been working closely with a would-be buyer of his former sports memorabilia and photo archive, according to a sworn deposition given by one of his many creditors. The proposal, $28 million in cash plus stock, is awaiting court review. It isn’t the first problematic business deal visited on Arkansas by Tim Holly and his Red Alert Media Matrix Inc.
The board of directors for Soul of the South — the 2-year-old television network backed by nearly $2 million in state money — considered winding down operations at a board meeting last week, CEO Doug McHenry said.
Less than two years after the launch of Soul of the South — backed by nearly $2 million awarded by the state — the television network is struggling to pay its bills, laying off employees and fighting at least one lawsuit.
SSN Funding Ltd., n affiliate of Soul of the South Media Holdings Inc. of Little Rock, alleges that TVi Media LLC of New York didn’t make good on an agreement to invest in the national network dedicated to news and entertainment as told from the perspective of black Americans living in the South.