Monday, July 4, 2011

WBAI Folio forApril 11 - May 8, 1966

When this Folio was issued, I was both Acting Program Director and Manager. I had made up my mind to leave about two months earlier, but I deliberately waited until we were up and running with our new, more powerful transmitter installed in the Empire State Building. Once that was in place, I told Hallock Hoffman and the Pacifica Board of my decision, letting them know that I was willing to stay on with a new manager long enough to acquaint him with the job. Hallock asked me to announce my decision on the air, look for replacement candidates, and conduct preliminary interviews. The idea was that, once I had found a few promising applicants, he would come to New York and make the final selection.

I made announcements in my weekly Thursday evening Report to the Listener, a live program that was rebroadcast on Sunday mornings (unlike today, WBAI's management was highly accessible, as it should be).  As you can imagine, there were quite a few applicants and I selected three who, in my view, were eminently well suited for the job. One especially: I don't recall his name, but he was an assistant to Norman Cousins, then the highly respected Editor of The Saturday Review.

Letter from Hallock Hoffman re the position he offered me.
I called Hallock, who expressed excitement when I ran down capsule resumes on the candidates (no faxing back then). He said he'd fly to New York the following week, and asked me to schedule interviews—which I did. Imagine my surprise when Hallock walked into my office on the morning of the first interview and told me to cancel all three, because "we have found our manager." I still don't know what that was all about, but it turned out to be a disastrous decision on Hallock's part, for the man he hired so hastily was Frank Millspaugh. More on that at a later date.

That is the reason why Millspaugh is listed as "Assistant Station Manager" on the first page of this Folio, Hallock wanted it that way. I know that this contradicts the story written by a so-called Pacifica "historian" and picked up by a lovesick WBAI groupie who tried her damnedest to sully my past association with WBAI, but this is the truth.  Anyway, at this point Hallock had offered to create for me a new job with Pacifica in California, and I came close to accepting it. Hallock kind of jumped the gun, assuming that I would accept this offer (see letter above), but I wondered if they could pay this new salary, and the Millspaugh hiring episode gave me serious second thoughts—an offer to go to the BBC solved that dilemma for me.

This edition of the Folio covers four weeks, so it is over 30 pages long. On page 5, you will find an interesting article by Lorenzo Milam, whose own station, KRAB in Seattle, was modeled after Pacifica. You will also see many noteworthy offerings in this issue's listings, including jazz programs hosted by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, who had just formed their big band, Dave Lambert of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Toshiko Akiyoshi, who was married to Charlie Mariano at that time, and the wonderful Marian McPartland, who got her start in radio at WBAI, but was cancelled by Millspaugh (she, of course, moved on to wider audiences). This is also the Folio that marks Larry Josephson's debut on the air (the morning show), which turned out to be another regrettable mistake (mine, this time), and you will find a healthy sprinkling of programs from KPFA and KPFK. The three stations that made up the Pacifica network all had excellent producers among their staff and volunteers, and the exchange benefitted us all. 

So, here is another WBAI Folio. Don't forget to click on the images to make them more readable. If your browser will not allow you to zoom in further, please send me a note at and tell me where to send a pdf file.


  1. Do YOU Have a Full Set of All WBAI FOLIOS Ever Issued ? Finally to Make
    a Large 11x 17 or a Bit Larger the Folio became Newspaper Like The Brecht Forum Program Newspaper = They Were Sent together at One Time - I Think Bob Lederer was Put in Charge !!! At the Time It was Better Than Nothing !!!! There were about 4 Issues ?!!!!

    Haven't Heard a "Report to (& From) the LIsteners" in the Longest Time !!!
    Used to Be On Once a week & Repeated with Calls & Then with Rose
    Marie Reed ? it went to 2 Times A MONTH & Then Some 9 years Ago It went to ONCE a Month !!!!
    I Don't THINK I Need to Say That As WBAI went to Be a "Democratic" LSB VOTEING MemberShip after the Utrice Leid Christmas Coup !!!! that as I urged " The REPORT to The WBAI MEMBERS" Shoul Be ON for 15 Minutes
    a DAY as NEEDED: Certainly My ISSUE with Al Lewis When He SAID: -
    " Monroe - There is NO FREE SPEECH on My SHOW !!!!!! But When I Called
    in to The Report, Engineer Conveniently Dropped My Call -a Couple of
    Times !!!!!!
    s to How Things are Now The WBAI LSB Phone HOTLINE (212 209 2919 )
    STILL Lists the NEXT Meeting is May 11 !!!!! (Check if YOU Don;t Believe
    me !!!!!) & on the Board as HYou Go to Ghe At Home Category ]
    You will See At the Bottom of The Page the Cab is Still Listed as Having its Next Meeting on May 31 when We Just Had a Meeting on June 28 th !!
    & The List of All The Names are Totally No Longer Present Active Players
    in this Group except for Jim Dingeman !!!! The Numerous Playing of His Promos Only brought 5 or 6 People to Last Few Meetings !!!!! It's a Disgrace-I haven't Seen Chair Lavarn McDonald for a Year with Not Even
    a Message as to Why We Don't See Her Any More !!!! Narturakky I Wish her WELL !!! BUT You'd THINK the 6th Street Settlement House would
    Attract Numerous People from the AREA which is INVOLVED with a Farm
    COOPERATIVE Group & Those People WOULD care To Keep WBAI GOING
    as Well as Haveing Their Kids Attending for Their INPUT as well as
    Character Development !!!! What's GOING on ???????????
    & When are YOU Going to CLUE us about Frank Millspaugh ??????? !!!!

    - Monroe

  2. No, Monroe, I'm afraid that I don't come close to having all the Folios, but I will continue posting what I have, until I run out.

    Yes, the Report to the Listener is an essential part of keeping in touch with the people who pay the bills. Reimers is making a big mistake by hiding. That says much about current management's attitude.

    Be patient, I will get to Millspaugh soon. Right now I am working on a new book, keeping my blogs alive, and spending several hours a day translating and interpreting 2-300 year old slave documents from St. Croix. Did someone suggest that I was a grumpy old man with too much time on my hands? I thought that was a funny one. :)

    Thanks for visiting this blog, Monroe.