Founder charged with fraud
It looks like the axe is waiting to swing on Chicago Sports Webio.
The innovative Internet sports-talk radio station and website may be a casualty of one of the founder’s greed and insipidness. And that may be enough to land him in jail.
David Hernandez, who co-founded the station with former WSCR personality Mike North was charged with fraud today after the FBI excuted a search warrant on his offices on Friday. Hernandez also has sued by the Secruity and Exchange Commission and found evidence the convicted felon was running a Ponzi scheme. The SEC has frozen all of Hernandez’s assets, which will likely doom Webio.
Hernandez was CEO of Spectrum Entertainment, as well as NextStep Medical Staffing -a temp service to fill jobs in the medical industry. He also owned ChicagoSportsWebio.com, a webiste and an internet radio station.
North made the jump to Internet radio after he was fired from WSCR – and hooked up with Hernandez on the Webio effort.
But two months into the launch, Webio started bouncing checks and North (as well as two other employees – his wife and marketng president Jeff Schwartz) were fired after North asked Hernandez about the company’s finances.
Ever since then, the future of the Internet sports-radio station has been in question.
On Monday, Monsters in the Morning – the weekday morning strip hosted by North and Dan Jiggetts did air as scheduled on Comcast SportsNet – but not simulcast on Chicago Sports Webio. All refrences to NextStep were removed from the set.
All refrences to the show and the duo (sans a Sun-Times banner ad) has been scrubed from Webio’s website, which is now mostly cluttered with ads.
As for employees of the troubled outlet, the future for them is very murky. Many of them left WSCR and WMVP for a chance to work with Mike North and a man who many thought who was a reputable man.
Now they – and North – are only left holding the bag.
(Editor’s Note: An earlier draft of this story incorrectly stated Hernandez was arrested. The T Dog Media Blog apologizes for the error. Well, he SHOULD HAVE BEEN.- T.H.)