Thursday, April 17, 2014
A good Report to the Listeners
The video image of Tony Ryan walking back and forth at an LSB meeting with a sledgehammer on his shoulder is difficult to forget. However, that was in 2009 and we don't know what provoked it. Watching that meeting is painful, not so much because Mr. Ryan came overly prepared, but because the shouting by attendees, finger-pointing by a self-righteous board member, and general disorder in the room is one of the red flags that tell us why WBAI is on a downward trajectory.
Mr. Ryan conducted the studio meeting, because he was holding down Haskins' shift today—that made a very big, positive difference. Also at the meeting is Jim Dingeman, who has worked very hard to straighten out the premiums mess and, I believe, had a hand in setting up this report to inform listeners of the work WBAI's CAB is doing. He brings up the absolute necessity to change the station's programming, but this is a subject Reimers still seems to be avoiding. A call-in listener, however thinks that at least 50% of the current on-air offerings must be replaced.
Tony Ryan deserves praise for wanting to throw out a bunch of computers that were recently donated to WBAI. They are, he says, outdated and, thus, more likely to create headaches than to ease the work. This does not sit well with Jim Dingeman, who was instrumental in acquiring these machines, but Ryan is absolutely correct. Here's a good use for his sledgehammer! Reimers, who does not contribute to this disagreement, should go out in the world and get someone to donate new computers.
The unexpected death of Robert Knight last night was announced at the beginning of the report, but very casually, almost matter-of-factly. As you may know, I considered Knight a contributor to WBAI's demise rather than an asset, and found his programs to be utterly unsuitable for a Pacifica station, but he was associated with the station for decades and, just for that, should have been recalled with more dignity. I guess that will come, but here was an opportunity shamefully wasted.
Here is the actual report. Let us know what you think. I see Tony Ryan in a much different light now, but I still find his weekend music program wrong for the station, and—alas—I also continue to be skeptical when it comes to the station's future. Ryan and Reimers paint the rosiest picture yet, but we've heard that song before.