An unvarnished blog that dips into the past and comments
on the present of WBAI-FM, a once significant, intelligent New York
radio station that has chronically suffered abuse from within and now
nears extinction. Your comments are welcomed and will not be censored.
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THIS JUST IN:
A note from Berthold Reimers that conflicts with figures given earlier by R. Paul Martin. I think this typically optimistic message should be taken with a rather large grain of salt. That has generally proven to be good advice. Reimers is gilding his lily, as it were. Watch out for the "uniformer" fire officers! It looks like WBAI is the subject of a fire sale.
We just wanted to take a minute to share with you the results of the Holiday Pledge Drive. Thanks to all of our collective efforts we were able to register more than $204,000 in pledges, well above the $132,000 budgeted goal. We would like to recognize staff members Andrea Katz, Tony Ryan, Michael Haskins, Reggie Johnson, Shawn Rhodes, Max Schmid and Danny Williams for their efforts. Critical to the success of drive were the volunteers, coordinated by Mitch Cohen and Jim Dingman, who mailed out thousands of premiums. While WBAI still faces significant fiscal challenges, there are reasons to be hopeful. We were able to make these numbers without having to extend into the weekend and beyond.
In addition, sizeable gifts from the City's Uniformer Fire Officers, CWA Local 1180, DC 37's Local 768 indicate we are making significant in roads with the City's labor unions.After the holidays we will have more details about our one day Martin Luther King Day drive on Monday January 20, 2014 and ourwinter pledge cycle that starts on Monday February 3, 2014 and ends on Sunday March 2, 2014.
Thanks again for all of your hard work.
Berthold Reimers General Manager Robert Hennelly Interim Program Director
Here's R. Paul Martin's table and assessment. Not quite as optimistic...
The 'thon ended short of goal, but by $17,238, which is less than one day's projected tally.
Nothing's easy with this stuff. On the one hand we didn't make goal, on the other hand we only missed it by less than 8%. But we have past expenses. And Pacifica is looking to see how self sustaining we can be. And then there's the nature of the big premiums that made up the bulk of this 'thon's tally. And what's going to happen with programming? Clearly the regular programming is not able to support the station.
A graphic of the final result is below. To me it is not clear at this point that WBAI can be self sustaining for the rest of FY14. The condition of the rest of Pacifica is crucial for figuring out how much time WBAI has to get into a condition where it can be self sustaining. If the rest of Pacifica is in bad shape there will not be any time and a desperation PSOA becomes a more likely possibility. The prospect of Pacifica taking out a loan to meet WBAI's short term expenses, which would probably require some real estate as collateral, and which would also require interest payments, is not what one could call an easy sell.
I do not know how the other stations are doing with their December mini-thons. I do not know what the PNB is discussing in its executive sessions on the PSOA topic.