Thursday, February 13, 2014

A listener's comment on the severance outrage...

While my deleted post was highly critical, I hope I did not give the impression that I want the station to fail. I don't. There are a lot of voices and programs that I will miss terribly if the station is sold off and/or the slate is "wiped clean"... and even for those programs that don't particularly interest me, I believe it is an important part of the mission to give voice to the voiceless... celebrating fatness, empowering the disabled, telling the stories of First Nation people, the struggles of various ethnicities you otherwise never hear about... it's all good... that is what free speech is all about!

I love a lot of the music shows at night and on the weekends, Labbrish, Simon, Irsay, Bob Fass, David Rothenberg, Ifé and of course the highly underrated and ingenious Uncle Sidney, just off the top of my head... I would really miss hearing Max's voice and his show too. I would hope they would at least retain some of the more creative and interesting people for the programming schedule... there are a lot of very talented and hardworking people at WBAI who are not getting the credit or the respect they deserve mixed in with those who don't deserve what they get. But that's life, I guess.

My anger and frustration is really directed toward the Management and whoever else is responsible for screwing the workers out of their severance pay... even worse, behaving in such a cruel and heartless manner and putting them in a position to be thrown out in the street with no income... the management's wall of silence not addressing the issue and creating an unnecessary crisis in the lives of some of the most decent, loyal and hardworking people who have been with the station for 20+ and 30+ years. These are real people, human beings, friends, colleagues, comrades who have given WBAI the best years of their lives which have now been turned upside down, and adding insult to injury the immediate crisis they have been thrown into is being marginalized and ignored... that is an injustice of the highest order. If Summer Reese is indeed working hard to resolve the severance problem, she has my most sincere gratitude and respect for that.

I get the part that there is no money... really I do. But surely the management was fully aware of the length of time that the unemployment benefits would last and had plenty of time to act accordingly... to put SOMETHING towards funding that severance... to at least make sure the most vulnerable would be taken care of in some way... plus cutting off the medical insurance and medication of a former employee who had to be taken away in an ambulance as a result.. WHY??? The way this entire fiasco is being handled by a self serving and uncaring management is an outrage and no way or what you say can change the fact of that.

Severance issue and injustices aside, I have no dog in this race and would be perfectly happy if the station would have a successful fund drive and continue on just the way that it is. I love the kinder, gentler approach of fundraising.. and if only it had been tried a few years ago, when there was a higher listenership and less desperate situation, I believe it could have worked. I do believe Mr Hennelly, er, Bob, means well, has a lot of great ideas and is trying his best to do the impossible... I like the way he is encouraging more openness and dialog with the listeners but sadly the listeners are just not there in sufficient numbers to raise enough money for survival. Hopefully they will call out the cavalry soon... I mean they really do need to do that, like, yesterday... or is it gonna be "the big fool said to push on"? (Farewell, Pete)

I also wish Gary Null would come back on the air... I am sure he is aware how bad this thing is tanking and I bet he would not refuse if he were asked for help. I like him better when he is teaching and not pitching... it's not so much the health programming in general that is bad, but its constant association with pitching that is destroying the credibility of the subject. A reasonable amount of health programming is a very good thing... the constant dependency on it to raise money is a problem. The Gary Null show is excellent and really should be a part of the station and the network, however having his reruns take up 60+% of the airtime pitching premiums even grates on my nerves... and I like him.

As much as I wish the station could just continue the way it is, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time that it is simply unsustainable. I would consider Ken Freedman and WFMU partnership to be in the category of "best possible outcome" for sure. I do hope they would keep the best staff (like Max) and good producers... talk and politics in the daytime and all the cool music and madness at night.

I don't know why I even bothered to write all this stuff knowing it is only gonna be deleted... 

Chris, you are welcome to grab it for a comment in your blog if you want.

Sorry I can't comment there because of my Google issues... in order to post a comment I have to unblock a number of google domains in several routers, IP Tables, browser blockers, etc... and then reblock it all again when I'm done... all that work and it just ain't worth it.

PS I liked your Xmas video card, also I have an old 78 that looks like it was signed by Jack Teagarden I always wanted to ask you about buried somewhere around the house... oh well...

To all the people here [on the BlueBoard] who have been nice to me (Wendy, and others) I just want to thank you all for your kindness and taking the time to read and talk to me. I don't like to hang around places I know I'm not welcome, but I had fun here for a while and I only came back because for once I had something of actual importance to say. 

PLEASE help keep that severance issue alive until it is resolved.
 Best wishes to everyone... and to quote the words of a famous and legendary friend:
"Be nice to each other"


  1. I really wish BAI could survive. I would be happy to see it become a "labor station" if indeed it would represent labor as it truly is and offer a vision of how unions could be revitalized. But now any attempt BAI makes to present itself as "the worker's voice" or some such thing can only be seen as mendacious, given the situation with former employees' severance pay.

  2. Justine, thank you so much for your support of Andrea Sears, and your on target assessment.