Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Berthold tells producers to prepare the merchandise....:

Having suggested that things are swell after they nearly spent two months of begging and BS'ing, Berthold Reimers has a new message for producers: get ready for another month of it. Still poking around in the dark, he has a slightly different approach. Will they keep a tally of listeners lost? Here's his April 7 note to the producers:

A click on the note will enlarge it.


  1. This culture of premium pitching is just chickens coming home to roost. Steve Brown is likely richer than most people, and he got there by direct marketing. Big open question, is what is the likes of him doing in a progressive radio station?

    I was not able to find any direct link between Brown and Null. What I did find out, was that he was likely a pioneer in direct marketing by mail order, in the days before the internet and before the Amazon. He would successfully operate under a variety of dummy company names, and would get in trouble for selling a product that was of worse quality or not, what the advertisement would claim. In 1988 a New York prosecutor claimed that Steve Brown is "incapable of making an honest sale or of making a consistently timely delivery". His company paid damages but did not have to admit any wring doing. That's sort of understandable, but there is more: New York Times claims that in 1986, Steve Brown made 13 Million. He probably made a lot more: at some point, Steve Brown BOUGHT an 18 century mansion in France called Chateau des Thons, TOOK IT APART, and SHIPPED it to Upper Brookville, Long Island, where he PUT IT TOGETHER again, and now the house is listed for sale at mere 3.2 Million, at HALF the original listed price!

    Anybody can tell me how much it cost to move that mansion from France to Long Island?
    Couldn't a few players like that solve all of the BAI and Pacifica's problems by setting up a SMALL ENDOWMENT and a PROFESSIONAL Board of Trustees to administer the finances, and LET the station fulfill its original mission or at least give voice to the voiceless?
    I wouldn't care anything about what Steve Brown was doing or not doing, only that somehow the organizational culture of his business became the marketing culture at BAI.

    1. That is very interesting, BB. I have heard stories about Brown along these lines, but just stories. You have obviously done some digging, but did you dig deep enough? I merely scraped the surface with a Google and came up with a somewhat different story on Chateau des Thons. According to the NYT, it was purchased in 1927 by New York robber baron Ashbel H. Barney, who had it dismantled and shipped to the U.S. The story is apparently basically true, but some variations seem to have crept into it with the years. Stephen Brown? Yes, he bought it, but your story gives me pause when it comes to your research. Are you perchance doing all this tonhue-in-vheek?.

      BTW, I suppose you know that at Pacifica/BAI his votes support the anti-Reese faction.

  2. The complaint with the NY State Attorney General is well documented. There is an article, affiliated with the JUC, that claimed Brown moved the Chateau to Long Island, and owned it as of 2010. The half-price listing is accurate, but I may have grabbed the incorrect info on who brought the Chateau to the US.

    That Brown is anti-Reese, is interesting news, I didn't know that. By extrapolation, it seems that at BAI it was JUC vs ACE, and Null and Brown were ACE. I was under the impression that ACE is Brown's Astro-turf. It had its store front location in Huntington, LI, just a short drive from the afore mentioned Chateau.

    Noteworthy is that Carolyne Birden is an ACE delegate and she appears to be the active member of the pro-Reese faction.
    Am I wrong about ACE being Brown's faction, and also, is there any connection between Brown and Null? Incidentally, the factionalism at Pacifica is more tangled and less defined than the factionalism in the insurgency in Iraq during the second Gulf War, and I mapped out all seven of those!

    1. I don't know if Brown is anti-Reese, but he does vote with the Siegel group. Of course, there is so much flip-flopping these days, as everyone tries to grab the right coattails—it can be quite confusing.

      Brown and Null are very close personal friends, which seems logical when one considers how much they have in common. As for Null and Reese, you may have noticed how readily his attitude towards Reimers vacillates—I think it is obviously opportunism at work and I suspect the same goes for his chameleonic relationship with Reese. When it comes to loyalty or friendship, isn't opportunism an oxymoron?

    2. Wow, so much confusion here. Steve Brown does NOT vote with the pro-Siegel faction here. But this is a good example of where the factionalization breaks down and is not helpful in understanding. Steve has contributed a great deal of money to many progressive causes, including medical aid to Nicaragua in the 1980s, and to progressive women's groups in Africa and Western Asia. He has also offered for a decade brilliant ways to promote WBAI that do NOT involve offering premiums, but the management at WBAI -- from all factions -- remains stuck in their ways of doing things and have not implemented those ideas. We're about to implement one of his great ideas in the coming months at WBAI -- more on that when we actually have it underway.

      By the way, Gary Null and Steve Brown (according to informed sources) had not had anything to do with each other for ten years, until recently.


    3. Mitchel, I base my impression of Steve Brown's voting habit upon what I have heard lately on streamed meetings, but I'm sure he goes both ways, as it were.

      I have seen some of Brown's fundraising suggestions and I tend to agree with them. I also know that he, like most people who offer advice, is ignored by Reimers. I can't tell whether that indicates an unwillingness on Reimers' part to deal with Brown or is attributable to his' general attitude of indifference.

      That said, I have to wonder what it is that keeps people like Null and Brown so interested in Pacifica/WBAI. Yes, Null gets free advertising, so he has a business motive, even now that the station is an empty, rudderless shell. Brown's association, on the other hand, is not a business involvement, so—Pacifica no longer having any real direction—his interest raises questions, at least in my mind.

  3. Mitchel, thanks for the update on Steve Brown, if that is his track record in the past, then I can respect him. Can you fill me in on what the pro-Siegel faction wants, and who supports it at BAI? From what I saw, there is the former Pacifica Council Dan Siegel on one side and former Pacifica Treasurer Tracy Rosenberg on the other. Based on my experience, I am pretty sure that Reese has her own agenda, that she is likely an ambitious power player in Pacifica, and voices, who have a stake in Pacifica are hesitant to voice their criticism of her. If you dare, would you hazard a guess, as to what is on her personal agenda and who is backing her?