Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tallies from the 2018 Winter Fund Drive

The following PDF file comprises scans of WBAI tallies as posted elsewhere by Jim Dingeman this evening.

They reflect the stuck-in-a-groove approach that never fails to fail and I think you will find them interesting, telling, and depressing. They also serve as an indicator of what may be coming in during the current Spring drive. 

WBAI 2018 Winter Drive pledges

Now what? Jara Handala looks closer...

When it comes to the current crisis, we have been given a breather, but not a solution. The debt is no longer an axe ready to fall, nor is it but a memory—nor is it all that needs to be fixed.

At WBAI, unqualified token management, hosts and producers are still in place, still vandalizing, still scamming and feeding a fast disappearing intellectually downgraded listenership the same old pap. 

Here, Jara Handala continues his detailed commentary on Pacifica's current financial state and what it bodes for the future. It can be read or downloaded as a PDF file:  

Jara's ongoing thoughts and insight.

Monday, May 21, 2018

WBAI Sun Worship

It was sunny day in 1964. Bob Potts, our News Director, and I hosted the morning program. I took a cab to work—the driver had WMCA on (NYC cabbies were rarely WBAI fans) and they were running a somewhat unusual summer contest for a snazzy sports car. 

To enter, one had to submit a photo of oneself showing the station's call letters on any part of one's body. The clearest call letters got the wheels.

During our show, I talked about the contest, pointing out how unfair it was to dark-complected people. It didn't take long for the phone to light up. One early caller identified herself as an Afro-American and, with a measure of indignation, accused me of being unfair to people of color. When she informed me that black people also get suntans, I asked her if she would consider competing against me, a white man of Viking ancestry. She thought about that for a moment before admitting that the odds would be in my favor.

Bob and I then improvised a little scene in which we where on WBAI's crowded townhouse roof, checking out a group of stencil-ready sunbathers while pointing out the decidedly discriminatory nature of this contest. We gave out WMCA's number and urged our listeners to register a protest with that station's management.

I had just returned to my desk after the show when my secretary, Joan Henry, said there was a very upset lady on the phone wishing to speak to me. It was a PR lady from WMCA and she came right to the point. "What are you doing to us?", she wanted to know. "What are you doing to yourselves?", I asked, explaining how unfair their contest was to black people. "We never thought of that", she said, as if making a valid excuse. "Please stop having all these people call our station."

Later that day, a call came from WMCA President R. Peter Strauss who admitted the mistake, complemented WBAI and said that he would get back to me.

Not only did he give WBAI $1,000, he also ran three coupon ads in the NY Times, urging people to support WBAI. I don't recall receiving direct response from the ads, but—as you can see—our piggybank was fed.

Admittedly an unorthodox way to raise funds, but nobody lied or promised a cure.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A backward glimpse

The fund-raising marathon Hallock refers to was our first. It was born out of desperation and it offered only a healthy WBAI, which is what our listenership wanted and found well worth contributing to.

Clear-sighted observations

Due to Blogger's limited space allowance, the following account was submitted by Jara Handala as a five-part commentary, but here it is in a single, more manageable PDF, download file.

Jara Handala's description and observations on the PNB's May 10, 2018 meeting.