WBAI’s Fall Salsa Dance Party at S.O.B.’s – Fri. 11/11/16, 6pm:
204 Varick Street, NYC: Jimmy Delgado & his Orchestra, The NewSwing Sextet, Arturo Ortiz & 7 Con Calle, Eddie Martinez & Conjunto Sabor with Chico Alvarez, and Willie Torres. $25. Doors open 6pm; http://www.give2wbai.org/product_p/ot0721-f16.htm
Report to the Listener – Wed. 11/16/16, 4-6pm: Management will be on air explaining the vision behind their works and taking your calls at 347-335-0818. Ask about the process for program changes and evaluations and the plan to catch up on overdue premiums.
More complete results of the national elections have been published. The report prepared by the Local Election Supervisor of Pacifica’s Houston station has revealed irregularities and apparent violations of process and has resulted in challenges to the election results. The WBAI Local Election Supervisor’s report has not been released and the National Election Supervisor is working on hers.
More to come.
The new board will be seated at 7pm on December 14, 2016 at a wheelchair accessible location to be announced. (Happy Birthday, Bernard White!)
3. Support Other Community Media
Support CPRMetro.org (Community Progressive Radio – Online)
CPR Metro is an Internet station created and programmed by former Program Director Bernard White and Wednesday Morning Show news reporter Don DeBar. It puts community issues and voices in the forefront of the struggle for peace with justice. To help with streaming and storage services: http://www.gofundme.com/fdbkoc
Preliminary election results for the half of the board seats up for election show Justice & Unity listener candidates receiving 3 of 9 open listener seats and 1 of 3 open staff seats. As a result of personal term limits, which will lead to the seating of runners-up, we are anticipating that on the overall 24-member board, Justice & Unity will have 11 of the 24 seats, Indy Caucus/ACE will have 12, and there will be one staff member who’s not part of either slate. The new board will be seated in December.
The election will be discussed more fully in an upcoming release, but it must be said that the extent of the fight for the right to vote was striking.
First meeting of reconstituted WBAI Programming Committee (re-established by Local Station Board after 7-year lapse) – Wed., Oct. 19, 7 pm at WBAI, 388 Atlantic Ave. (bet. Hoyt & Bond Sts.), 3rd floor conference room. The public is invited. Directions: https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/cal_show1.php?eventdate=20161019
Next WBAI Local Station Board Meeting: 7pm, Wed., Nov. 2, 2016. Location TBA. The space will be fully wheelchair-accessible. Public Comment is essential. Please come out and share your ideas and views.
What’s at Stake?
The station generates far less money than is needed to operate, and with other Pacifica units in distress, there’s no money and little inclination to share. The Pacifica National Board recently held two meetings at which all WBAI local board members, except the 4 that had previously crashed a national board meeting, were invited to share their views on what was happening with WBAI.
WBAI currently owes $152K to the Pacifica National Office and Pacifica Radio Archives (at $17K/month and $4K/month, respectively), phone bills ($32K), $1 million-plus accrued Empire State Building rent (at $38K/month for over 2 years), and various other external bills exceeding $50K; in addition, the station owes members premiums valued at tens of thousands of dollars.
WBAI has been running deficits averaging about $500K/year for five years. Keeping current with the basics -- salaries, healthcare, modified transmitter rent, and studio-office rent -- has sometimes been a challenge. Intra-organizational borrowing to cover the first two has caused some resentment, which, coupled with a decade-long racially inflammatory campaign by a millionaire formerly on our local and national boards, has created an atmosphere of hostility toward WBAI.
The 2014 refusal of the then-majority Indy-ACE group to accept an opportunity to submit even a combination of sustainability plans to the National Board was both foolish and arrogant. That history and the year-long 2016 boycott have caused many to think not only that people at WBAI cannot get out of their own way, but also that without significant intervention, they will drag the rest of the network down.
As you know, there has been open discussion in some quarters of the possibility of swapping / exchanging our 99.5 frequency for a down-the-dial station with reduced reach or of selling the station -- both of which Justice & Unity have consistently opposed. (No sale is possible without a member vote; again, the atmosphere that has been created is not helpful, since such a vote would be network-wide.) We also reject converting WBAI to a remote broadcast outlet for the other Pacifica stations. Absent a significant influx of cash, the remaining cost-reduction option is what’s commonly (but totally inaccurately) referred to as “leasing” the station for a limited period of time to stop accumulating debt.
A Program Service Operating Agreement (PSOA), known commercially as a Local Management Agreement (LMA), would transfer liability for operating expenses and allow limited control of programming to another organization, subject to terms of a negotiated contract. Justice & Unity does not have a unanimous position on this, but we want you to know that the details of any such arrangement would include the right for WBAI to preempt programming by the other entity (the contractor) for the public good and the right to reserve programming hours, as well as the obligation to monitor programming.
In 2013, after pushback to consideration of only pre-determined participants,
Almost a decade of Indy/ACE control = membership cut in half, fundraising days up by 50%, and 75% of the paid staff including the News Dept. laid-off.
Those who engineered the crisis are so resistant to power-sharing that when the board tied after the last election they began a boycott, so all year we’ve had no meeting quorum to do binding business or elect representatives to the national board and are under-represented there.
Meanwhile, WBAI has missed payroll, borrowed to cover staff insurance, and lost its phone service, severely curtailing guest appearances and listener call-ins.
Justice & Unity has begun the off-air fundraising they blocked, and revived the Membership, Outreach and Fundraising Committee.
We remain opposed to any sale or signal swap, and, of course, WBAI can thrive!
WBAI needs board members who will show up, not just show off.
DISCLAIMER: This is not an official Pacifica Foundation website nor an official website of any of the five Pacifica Radio Stations (KPFA Radio, KPFK Radio, KPFT Radio, WBAI Radio, WPFW Radio). Opinions and facts alleged on this site belong to the author(s) of the website only and should NOT be assumed to be true or to reflect the editorial stance or policy of the Pacifica Foundation, or any of the five Pacifica Radio Stations (KPFA Radio, KPFK Radio, KPFT Radio, WBAI Radio, WPFW Radio), or the opinions of its management, Pacifica National Board, station staff.or other listener members.