Numerous such programs have festered in valuable time slots for decades, chasing off the listenership and stifling the media interest WBAI once enjoyed. Were it not for a few aware radio people, who combine their talent with an abiding devotion to and grasp of the original Pacifica concept, WBAI would not just be facing extinction, it would have experienced it.
So, with programming being all-important, it ought to have had priority and undergone a major revision from the day Murillo came aboard. Obviously, the schedule cannot be changed overnight or in a week, not even in a month, but significant improvement can be made by eliminating the dross, and that can be done in a day. It takes time to find or develop worthy replacements, but even rebroadcasts of good programs will serve well in the interim. In the early years, many programs were routinely given two time slots, scheduled to maximize access. Even the current online archive system does not make such a feature obsolete.
|Original or rebroadcast dates underlined in red. (From a 1964 Folio).|
Keeping the demented paranoia of Geoff Brady and his nutcase scam artists on week after week, or Kathy Davis's blathering advertisements for her off-air "classes,", or all that simplistic pop music, which takes up most of the week end, is precisely the kind of pap to which Pacifica was designed to offer an intelligent alternative.
Murillo did not cleanse WBAI of Haskins, but he limited his input in the 6 to 8AM slot by bringing in other voices, including the incessant babble of Mimi Rosenberg and, as expected, himself. That took the show in a better direction, off the dilettante approach.
As I said, Murillo's failure to act quickly is worrisome, and so is the continued meddling by Berthold Reimers, the $100,000.00-a-year misfit who seems to be as untouchable as he is unreachable. This is the bozo who introduced christianity into the schedule in the form of Daulton Anderson's "High Praize" Sunday hodgepodge of mostly crappy music and humorless "comedy." It does not take much perception to deduce that this was Reimers' reach for church money, but it didn't work too well, so he has now instructed the loudmouthed host to introduce a "Pastor's Corner" If two weekly hours of thinly-veiled record promotion doesn't siphon money from those collection basked, perhaps giving free advertising to the reverends will work.
The fact that Reimers is still trying to come up with program-related fundraising schemes is not making it any easier for Murillo. What Reimers touches usually turns to dust and debits.
There has been some shifting in the schedule this week, but it is all done impromptu and without formal announcements. Were the station's online schedule kept up to date, there would at least be a way to find out what is what, but the web site is hopelessly neglected unless a fundraising is involved. They urge you to subscribe to a monthly newsletter that hasn't had a comma moved or a tee crossed since August; programs whose host has either died or--as in the case of Sidney Smith—been arbitrarily banned for life, are still listed, and information about the station, its purpose, etc. is either outdated or untruthful.
In short, WBAI is still in the hands of morally bankrupt incompetents, still operated in an atmosphere of petty jealousies, racism and other forms of hatred. In general, it is a heap of failure upon failure from which restoration is not likely to occur.
Please use the comment option to express your views, tell us of any program changes you might accidentally have caught. Perhaps we can embarrass them into acting professionally--on second thought, I think not. Apropos that amateur aspect, do you remember when Murillo hired an expert to conduct a workshop on the proper way to pitch on the air? Did you hear any difference during the last drive? I didn't, and another one is scheduled to begin in about three weeks.
Murillo's crapshoot is not going to bring about effective, lasting change. It takes a pile of pink slips to open that door.
FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH...Murillo has written a report that appears on the WBAI web site. Here is a direct link.
UPDATE Tuesday, Jan 6, 2015
Apropos pink slip, the following soundbites from this (Tuesday, Jan 6) morning's "Thump and Growl" give us a glimpse of how Murillo is doing things. I also included Haskins' dead air and station break--a reminder of his unprofessional ways.