The owner of a syndicated morning news program have filed for bankruptcy less than one month after the show’s abrupt cancellation.
Mojo Brands Media, the producer and distributor of “The Daily Buzz” morning show, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a long-time investor in the show filed suit against the company alleging Mojo of falling behind on its debt obligations.
Documents show Mojo owed $5 million in debt and approximately $500,000 in assets, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported. The Sentinel said the company’s bankruptcy petition revealed Mojo had made over $5 million in gross income last year, up from $3 million the year before.
Earlier this year, investor Richard Botnick filed a lawsuit alleging the company had fallen behind on its bills and was in default on his $800,000 loan. In April, Mojo shut down production of “The Daily Buzz” and a companion program called “Emotional Mojo.”
At the time of its closure, “The Daily Buzz” had been syndicated to over 150 television stations across the country. Many of those stations were affiliates of the CW, MyNetwork and other small networks and relied on Mojo to provide a daily infotainment-style morning news program.
A station executive at an affiliate in Pennsylvania told the Sentinel he was upset to learn about the morning show’s sudden demise from the newspaper, saying the program “was on the decline and the business dealings (with Mojo) hadn’t been the same either.”
Mojo executive Troy McGuire told the Sentinel that the cancellation was “as unexpected for us as the affiliates” and that the company was contacting stations individually to let them know about the program’s end.
The show’s sudden cancellation meant the end of employment for everyone on staff. Some of those staff members are owed back pay for weeks of work, Mojo’s bankruptcy petition revealed. Among those owed for were were on-air personalities Jared Cotter and Jessica Reyes, with Reyes being owed over $7,000, the Sentinel said.
The abrupt demise of the show meant on-air staff were not given the opportunity to say goodbye to viewers, a customary practice in broadcasting when on-air talent leave to pursue other opportunities or a show ends.
Orlando Sentinel: “Daily Buzz” parent Mojo goes bust