Wednesday, September 23, 2015
A game of discordant chairs
Yesterday, September 22, 2015, the PNB called a meeting of its Finance Committee for the purpose of discussing the very serious current financial crisis, particularly at KPFK. That station is in immediate danger of collapsing, but the gloomy outlook threatens the entire organization.
Because reliable figures for WBAI have not been forthcoming, and its debt is astronomical by Pacifica standards, a report from the elusive WBAI GM, Berthold Reimers, was to form an important part of this discussion. He gave them a time when he would be available, and the Committee went out of its way to accommodate him. Did he call in? Of course not.
This is a man who has spent the past five years juggling imaginary figures, misappropriating funds, lying to the PNB, station staff, debtors and listeners while cowardly all but staying out of sight. This is a man hired by board members who, themselves, were dabblers, a man whose Linkedin resumé reads like a poorly written fantasy. He and his cronies are arguable the very worst of a succession of inept, corrupt management teams that have infested WBAI and its sister station for at least the past two decades. Yet, this is also the man at whose touch pink slips turn to dust.
At this point, whatever remained of hope for Pacifica's restoration has vanished. There was an unexpected glimmer a few months ago when John Proffitt was hired as Pacifica's Executive Director. Here, at last, was someone who lived in the real world and had prior experience as a broadcasting manager; he also knew Pacifica from the inside. However not well enough, as it turned out—He may reasonably have assumed that those who appointed him also supported him, and thus not anticipated the amazing stupidity of a group that continued vandalizing that which it sought to "inherit."
The now unalterable bottom line is that it's GAME OVER. General ignorance and racist shortsightedness has stalled WBAI's development, stripped Lew Hill's remarkable foundation of its intellectual properties and pushes a once esteemed Pacifica and a NYC broadcasting landmark into oblivion.
Here, as if you needed further evidence of the decay, is yesterday's discussion of the KPFK status in its entirety. It begins with the recently resigned Mr. Proffitt's well-grounded analysis.
While the PNB Finance Committee discussion, as a whole is less than riveting, Mr. Proffitt's analysis deserves to be repeated, so here it is again, extracted and with an added coda (we couldn't help ourselves). How sad it is that John Proffitt was not invited aboard sooner and that his path was blocked by the ruling debris. His frustration is clear and understandable.