Wednesday, September 25, 2013
When no news is bad news...
Yes, Berthold Reimers, the whimpering, rarely seen GM arrived 15 minutes into the broadcast, as is his wont, and contributed absolutely nothing as he mumbled on about his "BAI Buddy" system and mentioned hurricane Sandy countless times. He still won't take responsibility for his own mismanagement, so Sandy did it.
The rumors that preceded this broadcast turned out to be empty, but those of us who predicted that nothing new would be discussed hit the nail on the head. There was no news regarding the programming, except by inference. A couple of callers pointed out how stale WBAI sounds—one noted the cavalier attitude hosts have when it comes to the listeners, another suggested that host/producers who abuse the station's air by plugging their own commercial ventures ought to pay the station a percentage of that money. Yet another caller felt that out-and-out commercials should be sold, and there was a call for Reimers' dismissal.
None of this was well received by Reimers and Phillips, the former just mumbling some more and Phillips skirting the issue, but admitting that the station's handling of premiums is far from acceptable.
What struck me was the absence of any real program assessment. We all know that WBAI has dumped such Pacifica inappropriate host/producers as Esther Armah, Robert Knight and Kathy Davis, as well as Hugh Hamilton, who was fast becoming a liability, but that was done under the purse-string tightening umbrella. The fact that the absence and/or near-absence of these hosts has helped restore the station'a image is not acknowledged by Phillips, although he surely knows that to be the case.
As Andrew Phillips connotes his dissatisfaction with much of the moldy program inventory he inherited, and replaces some of it with better shows from sister stations, he continues
to leave untouched such earsores as "In Other News," Geoff Brady's outrageously irresponsible fear-mongering weekly, and that numerology scam conducted by Z. Starman. I won't even go into the quack chorus led by Gary Null or the Ifé-Hooper-Ryan hours of Muzak-cum-hiphop BLS blandness.
I also found it disturbing that there was no discussion of the tremendous resource of talent New York City is, and how WBAI has left it untapped for several decades. In the early years, WBAI took full advantage of what great minds (in virtually every field) were out there and eager to approach our microphones. They were not out to make money on WBAI, they just wanted to avail themselves of a valuable platform for their thoughts and expressions. WBAI was a welcomed steppingstone to the successful future many of them would subsequently enjoy, so the truth is that lack of money is not standing in the way of the station's intellectual progress, egos, greed and complacency are the roadblocks.
If you hear this morning's report, please use the comment option (below) to share your opinion.