Who will they blame for the failure? Liberal discrimination? Homophobia? Urbanphobia? March 7, 2006 -- AIR America is close to losing its New York flagship station - knocking Al Franken and his liberal colleagues off the air on their second anniversary. The network has a two-year lease with WLIB (AM 1190) that is reportedly set to expire April 1 - and at least one reliable report says it is "extremely likely" the deal will not be renewed. Losing its New York outlet would be a serious blow to the fledgling liberal radio network. "Radio Equalizer" blogger Brian Maloney - who blew the whistle on questionable loans to the lefty network last year - published the first report that WLIB was on the verge of evicting Air America some time soon. Air America's options for a new home are not promising. All of the city's other strong-signal stations are spoken for, leaving only weak-signal "fringe" stations that do not cover the entire city and suburbs. Air America parent Piquant LLC has reportedly been paying Inner City Broadcasting - controlled by former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton and his son, Pierre - $2.5 million a year to air Franken and others. An Air America spokeswoman told The Post, "It's business as usual," and declined further comment. Air America got unwanted headlines last year when it was learned that previous management had received what investigators called an "inappropriate" $875,000 loan - since repaid - from a Bronx charity. Calls to Inner City execs were not returned. The leading contenders to take over the WLIB lease are former Clear Channel exec Randy Michaels, who syndicates competing lefty talker Ed Schultz, and the new Radio One black-focused talk network that includes Rev. Al Sharpton.