Pacifica update: Bill Crosier, the network’s interim executive director (they’ve all been interim for years, since they can’t formally choose a permanent one) has decided to call for a bankruptcy filing, reminding directors who try to obstruct the move they could be personally liable for a breach of fiduciary duty. It wouldn’t surprise me if half the board members don’t know what that means. [Weirdly, Facebook won’t let me post the resolution itself, just Crosier’s email.] Subject: Bankruptcy motion – It’s time Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2017 21:45:43 -0600 From: Pacifica… Read More
Because WBAI is broke, almost listenerless, and run by idiots, the station didn’t pay its transmitter bill to the Empire State Building for a long time, and is now $3 million in arrears. The ESB has sued and wants to seize Pacifica’s assets, which would include KPFA and KPFK’s bank accounts and buildings. Because the Pacifica board is staffed by idiots, the network is not filing for bankruptcy or taking any other meaningful measures to protect itself. The rational thing to do would be to sell WBAI’s frequency (at 99.5, it’s on… Read More
So the person who “confirmed” to me that WBAI was paying Chuck D $2,000 a week mistyped: he said “Chuck D is getting $2,000 a week” when he meant to say “Chuck D is not getting $2,000 a week.” What a difference four keystrokes make. He was getting $2,000 a month until October 2010; now he’s getting nothing. He’s still not fundraising, though. Sorry.
WBAI’s program director Tony Bates has ousted another critic of his fondness for quackery and conspiracy theories: Bill Weinberg’s Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade has been “terminated.” Read about it here. It’s highly likely that these purges—coming along with those at KPFA (recap here)—are being directed by Pacifica management. It all makes me wonder how much longer I’ll be on at KPFA. So a radio network with strong signals in five major metropolitan areas, with the capacity to reach about 20% of the U.S. population on terrestrial radio, is being turned over to advocates of… Read More
Two updates on the KPFA situation (and apologies to those of you who find Pacifica news sleep-inducing): • A few weeks ago, I reposted the news, which I originally got from KPFA Worker, that “Amit Pendyal resigned because Pacifica executive director Arlene Engelhardt wouldn’t let him do his job.” Official circles denied this. An example of such: WBAI board chair Mitch Cohen commented, “[H]ere’s what a member of the KPFA Board just wrote to me when I inquired: ‘It’s not true. He is still on the job, despite efforts by Doug’s allies to… Read More
Pacifica laid off the Morning Show staff at KPFA allegedly because of a budget crisis—and they hire an expensive corporate law firm to deal with the consequences. How community broadcasting of them! Read all about it here.
Why care? Perhaps the wider world does not share my interest in the internal goings-on at Pacifica. I do have a personal interest. I grew up listening to WBAI and it helped make me who I am, for what that’s worth. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, it was an exciting and lively thing that showed a kid growing up in the intellectual wasteland of suburban New Jersey that there was a fascinating world out there. It not only featured radical politics (of all kinds—the coverage of the early gay movement was… Read More
Pacifica • deficit commission • QE2 • education “reform” Before that, and before some comments on the news, a few words on the Pacifica situation. I did this show on WBAI in New York for 15 years. I was given the show by our late program director, Samori Marksman, who was a very intelligent and charismatic man with contacts all over the world. After his early death at the age of 52 in 1999—a death I’m certain was hastened by the pressures of Pacifica infighting—he was succeeded by an endless procession of… Read More
I read this intro to today’s show on WBAI: Hello, and welcome to Behind the News. My name is Doug Henwood. This is my last show in this timeslot, and perhaps my last show on WBAI. Back on Monday, November 1, as I was walking to pick my kid up at school, I got a call from the station’s interim program director, Tony Bates, informing me that he and his colleague on the interim management team, interim general manager Berthold Riemers, had decided to move this show to Saturday mornings and to… Read More
More KPFA news. If you’re in the Bay Area and free on Thursday afternoon, please hit the picket line! Pacifica to Cut More than a Quarter of KPFA Staff – Picket Called for Thursday, November 4th | KPFA Worker
No doubt many of you are sick of the whole Pacifica mess, but this is really important: if these layoffs go down, it’s gonna be 9/11 and chemtrails. From the excellent historian of Pacifica, Matthew Lasar: How the KPFA Morning Show almost killed me (and why I want it to live) | Radio Survivor.
My old friend Marc Cooper has a long post on Pacifica that concludes with some comments on my own recent rant on The state of WBAI (dire). Since it’s always nice to be noticed, I’ll overlook the rather patronizing tone of his “means well” and just respond to his conclusion that it’s all too late—the game’s over. If the game is really over, Marc, why did you devote 1,247 words to the topic before you get to that point? Me, I think the situation is, as I said, dire, but not necessarily terminal…. Read More
Dear friends, We are writing to enlist your support for some important changes that are in the works at WBAI, where Beyond the Pale, Asia Pacific Forum, and Behind the News have been broadcasting for many years. If you are a dues-paying WBAI member, you should have likely just received a ballot in elections for the Local Station Board (LSB). We are asking for your help in electing some strong, independent candidates. The LSB plays an important role at WBAI, by making recommendations to Pacifica’s director for the hiring of the station’s… Read More