Monday, March 17, 2014

The sound of silence...


Yesterday's news of a swift, somewhat radical, and likely underhanded change of command at Pacifica is still sinking in. Forums are abuzz with speculations, staff—whether ass or asset—wonders what happened and what the future will bring. The schemers and boot lickers (I am being kind here) don't yet know whom to placate, and the good guys faithfully plow on under steadily worsening conditions. One thing most of them probably agree on is that the end is near. Michael Haskins says otherwise each morning, as he tries to convince himself that everything will come up roses.

This morning at five, eleven minutes of dead air preceded Haskin's arrival at the microphone. He came on, stated his name and the titles he has given himself, but made no mention nor an apology for the dead air. This is in keeping with the lack of professionalism one has come to expect from this crony. Then he introduced "a truncated version" of Richard Wolf's show. Bear in mind that this is not a real radio network (as Robert Knight used to pretend it was), but rather a single station that allows flexibility and does not require strict compliance with pre-set program and commercial schedules.

Haskins also read a letter from Kathy Davis. It contained no mention of the fact that she has joined Gary Null's online stream as a producer/host, but it, typically, accused WBAI's detractors of capitalizing on the lateness of recent severance payments. Of course, the mass exodus of listeners that preceded the six-months of shameful arrears must have been a case of premonition.  

Getting back to the aforementioned dead air, the way Pacifica stations used to operate, programs ran their natural course—there was no . If there was nothing more to add to an hour program at, say, 00:48, listeners heard a 12-minutes "miscellany" for which the announcer/engineer on duty had sole responsibility. I was one of those guys when I first joined the staff of WBAI—it was great to be able to play favorite records, recite poetry, relate an experience, etc. The listeners loved it, too, because they knew the next program would start at the time listed in the Folio, and the miscellany had in it an element of surprise. If a program's natural conclusion was reached at 1:07:00, the following offering would be scheduled for 15 minutes after the hour. Very simple, very unlike standard radio procedure. We would never have "truncated" anybody's show. There is a big difference between being unconventional and unprofessional. After decades at WBAI, Haskins remains the latter.

In contrast, we have people like Max Schmid, who has the personality and knowledge to produce good radio. Max also sees through the crap that fills WBAI's air these years. He still supports the station, but does so with interesting programs and other appropriate contribution incentives. He feels no need to resort to hypocrisy. Here's what I mean—it's part of a pitch he made last night on his Golden Age of Radio program. You might find it refreshing.

9 comments:

  1. Wow! Max Scmid is great to listen to, and he is not afraid either.
    Berthold Reimers knows how to pitch premiums, which is why he still has his job, but if he had raised the 1/4 million to pay the severance money, why did Summer Reese have to dip 50K into KPFA till to make that severance payment?

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    1. Max is, indeed, good on the air. As for Reimers, I think we can attribute his pitching "knowledge" to an inherent combination of organic deception and moral bankruptcy. Just look at his resumé/job description in Linkedin.

      It was not too long ago that Reimers said the severance money would come from the CPB grant.

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  2. Max Schmid sounds more and more like the parent or guardian who knows his kid will come to no good, but loves that kid anyway.

    He is a lighthouse in a sea of sludge.

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  3. Chris--Thanks. Did you hear Gary Null today?

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    1. No, but I'll dip into the archive. What time? He pops up all over the place.

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    2. Thanks for pointing me to the Null show. I have posted an audio clip from it. I have never seen him in person...is there a halo? Are there wings?

      BTW, a WBAI host today announced that Kathy Davis will be speaking at some upcoming event. Her topic: "Vibrational Intelligence." It gets ever better, doesn't it?

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  4. "Vibrational intelligence", eh? Does that mean that if I use my sex toys often enough, I'll pick up where Einstein--no, wait a minute, Tesla (after all, this is Kathy Davis we're talking about) left off?

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    1. I don't know, never having attended any of her Vibathon™ rallies, but I understand that the vibes have to be organic, Approved by the NTL (Null Test Labs), and not emanating from China (the lead problem). She is very demanding—I am told that three attendees were bounced from he last rally for having about them an stolen aura.

      Batteries? Well, that's a topic for another time...

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