While Ed Stolz’ bankruptcy case continues, a previous lawsuit against the owner of Royce International Broadcasting and subsidiaries owning 92.7 KREV Alameda/San Francisco, 97.7 KRCK-FM Mecca/Palm Springs and two translators in the Palm Springs market, 790 KBET Winchester/103. K276GX Las Vegas, and 104.3 KFRH North Las Vegas has led to U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal to issue writs of execution authorizing The U.S. Marshals Service to enforce a judgement against Stolz ordering the immediate payment of $2.07 million plus $4,782 in interest to station broker and former court ordered receiver Larry Patrick.
The payment order comes from the case heard by Judge Bernal from ASCAP and sixteen copyrightholders’ 2018 suit against Stolz for failing to pay music royalties. That trial led to Judge Bernal placing the stations in receivership under Patrick to sell in order to pay the penalties as well as other debts owed leading to a $6 million sale of KFRH, KRCK-FM, and KREV to VCY America. In order to overturn the placement of the stations in receivership, Stolz would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and have the stations returned to him in February 2022.
Judge Bernal has now ordered the enforcement of the judgment against Stolz after first and second fee payment orders issued in in August 2021 and February 2023 were not paid. Stolz argued that the money was being held up in the bankruptcy proceeding. The previous judgments against Stolz by Bernal had led to him being declared a fugitive from justice.
Meanwhile in the bankruptcy proceeding, new trustee Michael Carmel has asked the court to approve a deal with Kurt Nilson’s AutopilotFM to program the stations. AutopilotFM would take over once approved by the court and FCC, paid by the revenue generated from the operations of the stations with the revenue also going towards paying monthly estate expenses and any rolled-forward expenses with any remaining revenue spilt 50/50 between AutoPilotFM and to the trustee on behalf of the estate. There is no obligation to make any payment to AutoPilotFM if no revenue is generated.
AutoPilotFM LLC was registered in the state of New Mexico in early April sharing an address with Don Davis’ Vanguard Media. Nilson states to be the operator of Vanguard’s Hip Hop “101.3 The Hustle” KYLZ and Smooth Jazz “103.7 The Oasis” 1510 KOAZ in the Albuquerque market but no LMA’s are in the station’s Public files to confirm that. Davis’ company has been programming Stolz’s 92.7 KREV as Dance “Pirate Radio 92.7” since November 2022.