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By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF | January 28, 1997
What will we do without her? What with the millennium approaching, the Clinton administration ever-perched on the edge of scandal, Michael Jackson expecting his first child, Bob Dole launching a new career as credit card pitchman, frosts in the South, floods in the West -- what will we do without Jeane Dixon?She's gone. Perhaps you heard. Or sensed. The famous astrologer, the woman who had the world at her feet after predicting the assassination of John F. Kennedy (I tried to warn him -- don't, don't go to Dallas ...)
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By Bill Atkinson and Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF | November 20, 2004
The bankruptcy trustee for the parent of the once fabulously lucrative but now defunct Psychic Friends Network has won a multimillion-dollar settlement from MCI WorldCom Network Services Inc., another company that recently emerged from bankruptcy. Paul Sweeney, the trustee, said MCI paid $4.1 million of the $7.5 million agreed to in the settlement of a federal lawsuit. The lesser amount was the most MCI was allowed to pay under its court-approved bankruptcy reorganization plan, Sweeney said.
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BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | February 5, 1998
Inphomation Communication Inc., owned by Baltimore businessman Michael W. Lasky -- and probably better-known as the operator of the Psychic Friends Network -- quietly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week, with liabilities of $26 million, and assets of about $1.2 million.At its peak, in the early 1990s, Baltimore-based Inphomation had estimated revenue of $100 million to $125 million. But spiraling competition -- which included price-cutting and free phone minutes offered by rivals -- some bad luck and management missteps combined to put the marketing company deep into the red.Steve M. Dworman, publisher of Infomercial Marketing Report in Los Angeles, and an expert on the TV "infomercial" business, estimated that the Lasky company's revenue has plunged to between $25 million and $30 million in the last two years.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock and Jay Hancock,SUN STAFF | April 27, 1999
Michael W. Lasky got a judge's approval yesterday to regain control of the Psychic Friends Network, a once fabulously lucrative telephone advice line that he lost last year after the company fell on hard times and landed in Bankruptcy Court owing millions.Under the deal approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul Mannes, Lasky will pay $1.85 million and get Psychic Friends' name, phone lines and a roster of soothsayers working long-distance at $3.99 a minute. Lasky said he has the cash in hand and could sew up the sale in four days.
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | March 10, 1998
NationsBank N.A. has alleged fraud in a lawsuit it has filed seeking millions from the now-bankrupt Inphomation Communications Inc. and its owner, Michael W. Lasky.The Pikesville-based Inphomation Communications, better known as operator of the Psychic Friends Network, filed for federal bankruptcy protection Feb. 2, claiming assets of $1.2 million and liabilities of $26 million. Last month, citing evidence of "concealment, dishonesty and less than full disclosure," a federal bankruptcy judge ordered that an outside trustee be installed to replace the company's present management.
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | June 1, 1998
As his company was slipping into bankruptcy and creditors were going unpaid, Psychic Friends Network operator Michael W. Lasky was funneling money out of his now-bankrupt Inphomation Communications Inc. and into such things as the Harbor Inn Pier 5, Regi's Bar & Restaurant, his Laurelford Court home in Hunt Valley, a stable of racehorses, a 55-foot yacht and $466,000 in cars and trucks, court-appointed trustees allege in documents filed in the bankruptcy case.In...
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,Sun Staff | March 8, 1998
ClarificationA story in Sunday's Today section on Baltimore entrepreneur Michael Lasky referred to back rent and unpaid loan payments owed the city of Baltimore by the owner of Harbor Inn Pier 5, a partnership including Lasky. The payments, totaling more than $158,000, were made the week the story went to press.Mike Lasky can see it. He gets these visions, you could say. Gifts from God, he calls them. He can see that this new thing, this radio talk-show, 900-number deal, this is going to be huge, much bigger than the Psychic Friends Network, the TV "infomercial" that made him King of Telephone Psychics.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock and Jay Hancock,SUN STAFF | April 27, 1999
Michael W. Lasky got a judge's approval yesterday to regain control of the Psychic Friends Network, a once fabulously lucrative telephone advice line that he lost last year after the company fell on hard times and landed in Bankruptcy Court owing millions.Under the deal approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul Mannes, Lasky will pay $1.85 million and get Psychic Friends' name, phone lines and a roster of soothsayers working long-distance at $3.99 a minute. Lasky said he has the cash in hand and could sew up the sale in four days.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock and Jay Hancock,SUN STAFF | April 24, 1999
A court-appointed trustee who accused Michael W. Lasky of siphoning money from the Psychic Friends Network before it sought bankruptcy protection now favors selling Psychic Friends back to Lasky for a small fraction of what the company owes creditors.Unless a better offer surfaces before a court hearing Monday on the sale, putting Lasky back in charge of the psychic-advice firm he founded is the best deal for creditors, said Paul-Michael Sweeney, the trustee appointed to run Psychic Friends after Lasky was removed last year.
BUSINESS
By Bill Atkinson and Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF | November 20, 2004
The bankruptcy trustee for the parent of the once fabulously lucrative but now defunct Psychic Friends Network has won a multimillion-dollar settlement from MCI WorldCom Network Services Inc., another company that recently emerged from bankruptcy. Paul Sweeney, the trustee, said MCI paid $4.1 million of the $7.5 million agreed to in the settlement of a federal lawsuit. The lesser amount was the most MCI was allowed to pay under its court-approved bankruptcy reorganization plan, Sweeney said.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock and Jay Hancock,SUN STAFF | April 24, 1999
A court-appointed trustee who accused Michael W. Lasky of siphoning money from the Psychic Friends Network before it sought bankruptcy protection now favors selling Psychic Friends back to Lasky for a small fraction of what the company owes creditors.Unless a better offer surfaces before a court hearing Monday on the sale, putting Lasky back in charge of the psychic-advice firm he founded is the best deal for creditors, said Paul-Michael Sweeney, the trustee appointed to run Psychic Friends after Lasky was removed last year.
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | June 1, 1998
As his company was slipping into bankruptcy and creditors were going unpaid, Psychic Friends Network operator Michael W. Lasky was funneling money out of his now-bankrupt Inphomation Communications Inc. and into such things as the Harbor Inn Pier 5, Regi's Bar & Restaurant, his Laurelford Court home in Hunt Valley, a stable of racehorses, a 55-foot yacht and $466,000 in cars and trucks, court-appointed trustees allege in documents filed in the bankruptcy case.In...
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | March 10, 1998
NationsBank N.A. has alleged fraud in a lawsuit it has filed seeking millions from the now-bankrupt Inphomation Communications Inc. and its owner, Michael W. Lasky.The Pikesville-based Inphomation Communications, better known as operator of the Psychic Friends Network, filed for federal bankruptcy protection Feb. 2, claiming assets of $1.2 million and liabilities of $26 million. Last month, citing evidence of "concealment, dishonesty and less than full disclosure," a federal bankruptcy judge ordered that an outside trustee be installed to replace the company's present management.
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,Sun Staff | March 8, 1998
ClarificationA story in Sunday's Today section on Baltimore entrepreneur Michael Lasky referred to back rent and unpaid loan payments owed the city of Baltimore by the owner of Harbor Inn Pier 5, a partnership including Lasky. The payments, totaling more than $158,000, were made the week the story went to press.Mike Lasky can see it. He gets these visions, you could say. Gifts from God, he calls them. He can see that this new thing, this radio talk-show, 900-number deal, this is going to be huge, much bigger than the Psychic Friends Network, the TV "infomercial" that made him King of Telephone Psychics.
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | March 4, 1998
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James F. Schneider yesterday rejected a request by Inphomation Communications Inc. to reconsider his decision to install an outsider as head of the bankrupt Pikesville firm.The judge's ruling was the latest development in the soap opera-like saga of Inphomation, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection Feb. 2, listing assets of $1.2 million and liabilities of $26 million. Just a few years ago, Inphomation Communications had annual sales approaching $140 million, company officials said.
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | February 22, 1998
No matter how you look at it, Inphomation Communications Inc. was a victim of its own success.Maybe that success drew in competitors like metal to a magnet.Perhaps that success prompted burly long-distance companies to flex their muscles and grab for bigger shares of the dialing dollars that Inphomation's Psychic Friends Network seemed to so easily conjure up.Possibly that success prompted Inphomation's flamboyant and controversial founder, Michael Warren Lasky, to grow complacent, prompting profligate spending and activities that a federal bankruptcy judge has said may have been dishonest or even illegal.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | February 8, 1998
Let's see if we have this straight: Inphomation Communication Inc., the Baltimore company that operates Psychic Friends Network, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. The company once employed about 2,000 psychics. And not one of them saw this coming?Quick, somebody call Dionne Warwick - or Groucho Marx, who understood the nature of these things.At its peak, when Warwick was singing the Psychic Friends commercial pitch, the company had estimated revenues of $100 million. When it filed for protection last week, it listed assets of about $1.2 million and liabilities of $26 million.
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | February 22, 1998
No matter how you look at it, Inphomation Communications Inc. was a victim of its own success.Maybe that success drew in competitors like metal to a magnet.Perhaps that success prompted burly long-distance companies to flex their muscles and grab for bigger shares of the dialing dollars that Inphomation's Psychic Friends Network seemed to so easily conjure up.Possibly that success prompted Inphomation's flamboyant and controversial founder, Michael Warren Lasky, to grow complacent, prompting profligate spending and activities that a federal bankruptcy judge has said may have been dishonest or even illegal.
NEWS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | February 19, 1998
Michael W. Lasky has been dethroned as head of Inphomation Communications Inc., the now-bankrupt operator of the Psychic Friends Network.In a decision that was remarkable in both its swiftness and its bite, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James F. Schneider decreed yesterday that Lasky could not be trusted to keep running the company he founded, and ordered that he and other top executives be replaced by an outside trustee."
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | February 18, 1998
Creditors of the company that owns the Psychic Friends Network, claiming that owner Michael W. Lasky and other executives of the insolvent firm have tried to siphon revenues and assets into a clandestine company, have asked a federal bankruptcy judge to appoint an emergency trustee."
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