Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Way to go, Uncle Happy!

There is a stationary direct link under the blog heading. Let's show the Reimers bozos that his decision to dumb down WBAI's programming is a death knell. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Pacifica/WBAI crisis then and now

Here is the entire program that Gary Null did live on his online network this evening. It is an hour in length and even deeper in content. The order of guests is: Summer Reese, Utrice Leid, Tracy Rosenberg, the three ladies paint an interesting picture of the station's and Pacifica's internal affairs. Gary Null's strokes are also bold and revealing. That Foundation and Station still exist is simply amazing.

When I hear Null speak of the vandalized morning program, I have to wonder how he can be so chummy with Haskins, but I guess it's all in the game.

That said, Mr. Null is owed our gratitude for bringing to the forefront details of this tale from the crypt.

Mr. Null's Progressive Radio Network can be streamed live from, which also has an archive.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Exile Report September 2015

Margy Wilkinson's Pacifica 
Skids Off The Rails

Berkeley- 22 months after scheming to depose her predecessor and replace her with herself and secretly setting up a nonprofit corporation to scoop up one or more Pacifica broadcasting licenses or other assets, Pacifica's lame duck board of directors is facing the consequences and moving to mortgage real estate. In a startling national board meeting last night, reality overcame fraudulent financial statements trumpeting a "profit" for the year and chirpy election propaganda from Wilkinson's faction sent out just a day prior.

In short: (with a shoutout to former WBAI GM Chris Albertson whose NYC-based Pacifica blog captured meeting audio and provided this thorough summary in real time): Italicized background info provided by this publication.
Auditor Armanino will not consider opening the FY2014 Audit until past due amounts of $14,000 are paid in full. (Pacifica incurred this bill for the filing of the 990 tax form with the IRS on August 15th. Pacifica's audited financial statement was required to be filed with the State's Registry of Charitable Trusts on June 30 2015).
At present, the $25,000 required as a down payment for long-overdue elections is not available. (After the board of directors postponed elections from 2013 to 2014 due to long-delayed staff layoffs at WBAI-FM in New York, whose insane tower rental costs at NY's Empire State Building in a contract signed by the Siegel/Brazon faction in 2006 caused the NY station to bleed $500,000 a year in red ink for a decade. Wilkinson's board omitted elections altogether in 2014 and Pacifica failed to send ballots in August of 2015). 
Armanino cannot begin the FY2014 Audit, already long overdue with respect to regulatory requirements until stations provide the necessary documents: This process is no more than 70% complete at best, and KPFK at present cannot project completion of its information for several weeks – quite possibly as much as six weeks. (The last temp imported from the Accountemps agency quit after a week).
Armanino has stated that it has no present interest in presenting a bid for conducting the FY2015 Audit
WPFW continues to be unable to meet its financial obligations or to present financial information necessary to begin the FY2014 Audit.
WBAI has no ability to present financial  information for the FY2014 Audit, and was nearly taken off the air by the Empire State Building a few days ago for its failure to make even a token partial monthly payment. 
The National Office has no means to pay for health insurance for  employees. Pacifica’s health insurance providers have formally stated that due to Pacifica’s past failures they will not be able to continue coverage if payment is not made in full, promptly and on time.

Pacifica in Exile will prepare manageable audio snippets from the meeting as soon as possible, but in the meantime the full audio recording (about 2 hours) can be heard here and the summary below will lay out the trajectory of the meeting from election shenanigans to mortgaging the foundation's real estate.

The meeting began and continues for over an hour with the board of director's obsession with their own election, without regard for the stated inability of the network to produce the budgeted resources to actually conduct it. Outgoing executive director John Proffitt, unwilling or unable to make an executive decision or to supervise the election supervisor as his job description indicates, punts a decision about whether or not to conduct elections in signal areas where there are not more candidates than available seats. This allows board members themselves, some of them candidates, and all of them preoccupied with advantaging or disadvantaging their own faction, to engage in a literal scrum. In Washington DC, where there are only 9 candidates for 12 seats, the board decides to skip the balloting and simply seat those who were nominated. In Berkeley, where there are 3 candidates for 3 seats in the staffer portion, the board makes the opposite decision, deciding the nominees cannot be seated and ballots have to be sent at the expense of the foundation. PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert, who should be trying to protect the increasingly shattered bottom line, instead drives the Berkeley decision in the opposite direction since  the hypothetical  fourth candidate who failed to get papers in on time belongs to his own faction. Edwards-Tiekert noticeably and persistently attempts to intimidate the national election supervisor on the call, insisting the late filer "still has an appeal under consideration" although the national election supervisor stated definitively over a week ago that appeals filed in September, more than a month after nominations were closed, were *not* being considered. The candidate, Lewis Sawyer, has not publicly stated the appeal was filed nor why it was not filed immediately after nominations were closed on July 26th, but six weeks later.

After an hour of that, the board of directors moved into the acquiring of more debt. Charter Siegel/Brazon faction member (and possibly incoming executive director) Lydia Brazon proposed the board accept a loan of an undetermined amount from embattled KPFK GM Leslie Radford to meet the station's month-end payroll. The proposal was strange in several ways: most noticeably the sudden possession by Radford, formerly a community college adjunct instructor, of large sums of money. Radford told KPFK staff during staff meetings in August that she could not afford to live on half-salary for three months and would be taking on part-time work to pay her bills under KPFK's work reductions.  Radford also told the staff at a later staff meeting on September 10th that she would be seeking loans from "board members" to make the payroll. The board accepted the loan, although it is not clear if Radford is providing her own funds or borrowing money from an undisclosed source and re-loaning it to Pacifica. The debt freezes the unpopular manager in place until it is repaid by Pacifica, despite the devout wishes of virtually all the KPFK staff for Radford's removal. Uprising host, Sonali Kolhatkar, who lost first her Indiegogo funds, then her Free Speech TV contract, and then 3 hours a week of airtime in LA, took to the pages of the UK Guardian, Truthdig, the Pasadena Weekly and the Los Angeles Times to excoriate Wilkinson's hiring of Radford.

KPFK's employees, who filed  enough union grievances "to make your head spin" per the station's shop stewards, found out union dues subtracted from employee paychecks have not been submitted to SAG-AFTRA for the past six months potentially endangering their union membership. SAG-AFTRA has so far declined to suspend them due to non-payment of dues. SAG-AFTRA is taking Pacifica to arbitration for numerous contract violations and union busting activities including work reductions not negotiated with the union, withholding seniority pay from paychecks for at least 18 months, withholding employer pension deposits and now the looming loss of health benefits.

Finally, after controller Efren Llarinas laid out the disastrous bullet points described above, Edwards-Tiekert and Wilkinson moved aggressively as the meeting was ending to pass a motion (board chair Lydia Brazon giggled as the motion was put forward by Edwards-Tiekert and seconded by Wilkinson) instructing Pacifica to attempt to secure collateralized loans against assets or in practical terms, to mortgage owned buildings in LA, Houston and Berkeley. Executive director John Proffitt advocated for mortgaging the national office, quibbling with PNB treasurer Edwards-Tiekert who advocated for mortgaging the LA property which houses KPFK and the Pacifica Archives. The national office building probably isn't worth much due to extensive structural damage from the deterioration of the attached restaurant property which is in a state of severe disrepair after 15 years of vacancy, water damage and rodent infestation. Defaulting on a mortgage payment would result in repossession of mortgaged properties by banks and the uncompensated loss of millions of dollars in property paid for by Pacifica's donors.

The Pacifica bylaws protect the broadcast licenses from sale or transfer without the approval of the network's members, but do not similiarly protect the network's real estate. A voluntary bankruptcy, if initiated by the lame duck board of directors in the next few months, could result in the voiding of bylaws protecting broadcast license ownership by Pacifica's members and allow the transfer of station licenses to Wilkinson's nonprofit set up for that purpose or other board member efforts to acquire the assets.

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at

Dark clouds growing darker...

It's a month before Xmas and the Pacifica unraveling continues. Can you hear the wolves? You should, a pack of them is gnawing at the door.

Here, in its entirety, is yesterday's PNB "Special Meeting". Click here and you will either laugh or cry, or both. Are you going to miss these meetings when reality reality scores a KO?

Worth repeating...


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pacifica discussed on PRN

If you listen to WBAI, even sporadically, you have heard The Gary Null Show,which airs weekdays at noon, and—more than likely some of the infomercials that offer his products and services.

Quite frankly, although he brings the station more money during the fund drives than most other hucksters, I see Mr. Null's association as a mixed blessing. His health products may well perform as advertised and I'm sure his DVDs and books are splendid, but he has been on the station for decades and his success there opened the door for a veritable parade of dubious "doctors" and quacks. The problem with that is to a large extent the mission drift it introduced. One of the salient features of Pacifica stations was the absence of commercial advertising and the free speech that it made possible. You will hear Michael Haskins and other stooges repeatedly use the "non commercial" tag as a major reason for donating money, but that in itself is a deception. When you hear hour upon hour, week upon week of pitching everything from cure-all drops of water to pirated pop recordings and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, you are not listening to the kind of enlightened, intelligent broadcasting that Pacifica's founders had in mind. You are, in fact, being fed commercials for over-priced merchandise that you may or may not ever receive.

You will hear mention of that on Mr. Null's show from time to time, even though he himself is a part of that problem. Which brings me to the reason for this post.

Besides the shows heard on WBAI, Mr. Null runs his own internet radio operation, PRN (Progressive Radio Network), which offers a wide-ranging schedule of shows devoted to progressive discussion, good music, and utter nonsense (Kathy Davis), etc. On Tuesday, September 22, 2015, Mr. Null devoted his Progressive Commentary Hour to a discussion of the crisis currently faced by Pacifica and WBAI. His guests were Janet Coleman, a long-time WBAI producer/host and Board member, and Steve Brown, a close friend of his who currently also serves on the WBAI Local Station Board.

I thought you might find this discussion interesting—it certainly is pertinent—so here it is in its entirety.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Little Leftists full of....


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 againextracted 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.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A sad tune-out

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I [Chris Albertson] have been both a praiser and a critic of Bob. The latter has mainly been directed toward his radio program, Radio Unnameable, which probably won WBAI more listeners than any other offering. That, however, was in another century, the extraordinary era of social upheaval that gave us the antithesis of an apron and apple pie culture as it opened the door to a multitude of dumped taboos. The so-called "Love Generation" faced an open door (and mic) at the three Pacifica stations but none as wide as WBAI's, where Bob Fass reigned over the early night hours.

Bob's freedom to speak a young generation's mind and share the air with amazing artists and trendsetters set Radio Unnameable apart from anything else NYC radio had to offer. The influence of that program lingers on today, decades later, but mostly in a rapidly depleting bank of time-worn. They sometimes embellish needlessly—as memories will do—but such refurbishments are a gold-leafed Spirit of Ecstacy on a Rolls Royce hood.

There was a dimmer side to Bob Fass that most people didn't see and some found outweighed by the clarity he and his extraordinary guests brought them through hot and cold moonlit nights. I used to say that he could strangle you with his love beads, and I meant it, because behind that gentle voice and smile was a man whose loyalty turned with the ease of a weather vane.

The Pacifica Maven is a gentleman who occasionally posts to this blog, a long-time WBAI listener-supporter and friend of Bob's, his concern for his welfare never wavers and often manifests itself in deeds that few are prepared to perform. It is, sad to say, a thankless concern. PM's criticism of Bob is heartfelt and misunderstood—several of us have felt that he ought to have given up the WBAI show a long time ago, when it had run way past its normal life. There have been so many opportunities for Bob to bow out gracefully and spin a fresh career move out of the wealth of experiences he enjoyed as host of Radio Unnameable. Had he listened to well-meant advice, he would not now find himself in his unenviable situation. The following comment from Pacifica Maven should not be misinterpreted as anything but a fond adieu to someone who made a lasting impression.

A Farewell to Radio Unnameable

The audio clip of Radio Unnameable from the show of Friday morning, August 21, offers an accurate picture of what the Radio Unnameable has become:  Three and a half hours of a deluded old man in the initial phase of dementia trying to recreate what was once the best radio program ever.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Radio Unnameable was on every night.  It would begin at 12 midnight and one never knew when it would end.  

At a time when the Internet wasn’t even a gleam in its father’s eye,  Radio Unnameable was undisputedly the center of the nervous system of an important counterculture.  It was a place where you hear the music, the poetry, and the thoughts of some of the greatest artists, poets, intellectuals, and activists of a very important era in American politics and in American culture.  And not only could you hear Paul Krassner, William Kunstler, Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Arlo Guthrie, Mark Rudd, The Yippies, The Diggers, and so many more protagonists of what was happening in those formative years of my life, you could actually talk to these people and to Bob himself.  Radio Unnameable was democratic and anyone could get on the air and have his or her five minutes of air time—even more if you were interesting.

It was on Radio Unnameable that I first heard of many of these people; it was on Radio Unnameable where I first heard the songs of Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, and Phil Ochs; and Tom Paxton and Joni Mitchell.  And The Pearl Before Swine. I first heard “Alice’s Restaurant on Bob’s show as well as “Mr Bo Jangles”, Lori Anderson’s amazing “O Superman”, and the Swines’ wonderful “Amber Lady”.  It was on Radio Unnameable that I first heard Monty Python.

But now, like so much else in my life, Radio Unnameable and its host have grown old and decrepit:  sad, even pathetic parodies of what they once were.

The music you here on the show is usually put together by Bob’s wife, Lynnie.  If you call Bob to ask about the title or artist, more often than not he has no clue.  This has been going on for years.

About four years ago, I heard a famous revolutionary song from Mexico called “El Barzón”.  Bob did not know the title, the artist—the famous Amparo Ochoa, nor what the song was about.  Neither did the vapid Lynnie, whose interests are primarily cats and astrology.  It was then I learned that it was Lynnie who arranged the music for Radio Unnameable.

Lynnie is a good reason for not visiting the Fass family at home.  She’s converted their small house on Staten Island into an animal shelter; when you walk in, you are almost aphyxiated by the stench of cat food, cat piss, and cat shit.  You can’t move through the house without tripping over a cat.  You can’t wash your hands after using the bathroom because the bathroom sink is kept filled with drinking water for the six or seven stray cats that live in the house.  Is it any wonder that Bob treasured Thursday nights and Friday mornings when he could escape from the place for a few hours?

Lynnie is subject to screaming fits.  She will have tantrums directed against Bob, his friends, people who work in restaurants, cops, or total strangers.  She is a serious “student” of the pseudo-science of astrology and often screams at people who challenge it as something to be taken seriously.  One day, Lynnie will start screaming and will not be able to stop until she is restrained and pumped full of Thorazine.

Bob has no house and no money of his own and thus is condemned to spend perpetuity with Lynnie.  He used to be able to get away for a few hours to do Radio Unnameable; now he broadcasts from an improvised studio in his house while trying to avoid tripping over one of Lynnie’s cats.

In WBAI’s last years on Wall Street, I occasionally went into NYC to answer phones for Bob and for Ibrahim Gonzales during marathons.  Both had become my friends and both generously invited me into the studio to participate in their programs.  It was quite a contrast to sit in the studio and watch these two producer/hosts perform their jobs.

Ibrahim was quick, agile, and in total control—like Bob about forty years ago:  Ibrahim was able to maintain a conversation with an in-studio guest or caller while managing the switchboard, changing a record, tape, or cd.  When there were several guests, as there were the night I was there, he would make sure everyone was acknowledged and got the opportunity to speak, perform, or recite.  Even I was invited to share some time with the artists, writers, poets, and intellectuals who surrounded me.  He would solicit our opinions, ask us about our current projects, and joke with us—everyone who showed up in the studio—in his "house", was made to feel welcome, honored, and appreciated.

Bob, in contrast, was slow, clumsy, and lethargic; distracted and soporific.  He had invited about a dozen people to participate in his show, but left most of them sitting around without  even acknowledging their existence.  He allowed the affable, sweet natured David Amram to prattle on for a good part of the show without shaping Mr. Amram’s thoughts and reminiscences into a coherent segment of the show.  He made no space for the other artists, writers, and intellectuals in the studio to speak or perform.  He fell asleep several times during the show—at least once during a phone call, and Bill Propp had to intervene to keep the show functioning.  When Bob spoke, it was difficult to understand him as he now mumbles and slurs his words; and he digresses from one topic to another without any evident thematic unity.

I’ve stopped recording the show on VHS tapes as I had done for more than thirty years.  There is no longer anything worth listening to.  Bob has become an unhappy old man with few other interests except trying to keep together the shreds of his once wonderful radio show.  

He will not acknowledge that he is no longer capable of producing and hosting a late night/early morning radio program because of his physical limitations.  He becomes very angry with friends who dare to suggest retirement.

It is sad to see a legacy soiled—especially if the one who soils it is the same person who created it.  Radio Unnameable has become Radio Unbearable.  

It’s sad:  the show deserves a better fate;  Bob deserves a better fate. 

The Pacifica Maven

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

But this time it's The Guardian...

It has been remiss of me not to post this earlier, but it is an important article, more for who published it than for what it contains. So, in case various postings somehow eluded you, here it is again.

Anyone who is familiar with the alternative approach to radio broadcasting that a California Quaker named Lewis Hill initiated in 1949 probably knows how radical a departure from the norm it represented. Mr. Hill's pacifism landed him in prison as a conscientious objector during WWII and sowed the seed for a very different kind of radio communication, one that addressed the listener on a higher, more useful level. An informed nation was far less likely to generate armed conflict, he reasoned. His would be a station built around an accessible microphone through which free dialogue would flow and inspire free thought. The arts would be served, as well, by giving creativity free rein, unencumbered by corporate interests, and it would all be funded by the listeners themselves—a commercial-free environment offered by a broadcasting outlet that took no sides and served as diverse a populace as America represented, never underestimating its desire for knowledge or its capacity to absorb it.

It was not always smooth sailing, but who could successfully argue against honest dissemination and discussion of the world around us? Who could deny the wisdom of telling it like it is and projecting how it well might be in the future?

Lew Hill was not against commercial broadcasting, per se, but much of what he heard over post-war airwaves was light entertainment and small talk with news that often followed government or Wall Street dictates. KPFA would not tell its audience which path to take, but it would offer all sides of an issue equipping listeners to make their own, informed decisions; programming decisions were not popularity-based in the Pacifica of Lew Hill's day—nor over a decade later, when I came to WBAI, and no listener was expected to like everything aired. In fact, the opposite was desired—preaching to the chorus promotes stagnation, which is what characterizes today's so-labeled "community" radio.  

I was going to comment on the linked article, point by point, but I think regular readers of this blog have a good idea of where I stand, so I urge, instead, you to read it and share your thoughts as to its content and significance.

The Guardian article by Rory Carroll.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The rumor mill has stopped...

September 14 2015

For Immediate Release

Coup Redux

Berkeley - Pacifica In Exile is still waiting on firm verification, but it has been reported from multiple sources that Pacifica executive director John Proffitt has resigned less than a week after returning from a three week vacation.

Proffitt held the position for four months.

It is quite possible that the Proffitt resignation didn't take place or was leaked prematurely. Here is tonight's meeting of the PNB's Audit Committee, with an interesting focus on Berthold Reimers whose veneer is stripped further. This clip indicates that Proffitt is still onboard and that Reimers is doing a voodoo number with WBAI's money. The end is, indeed near.

THIS JUST IN! Courtesy of Tracy Rosenberg

From: John Proffitt
Sent: Sep 14, 2015 1:09 PM
To: Pacifica National Board , Janet Kobren , Quincy McCoy , Berthold Reimers , Duane Bradley , Leslie Radford , Jerry Paris
Subject: My departure
To the Pacifica National Board
To the Pacifica General Managers
Today I have submitted my letter of resignation as Executive Director to the PNB Chair, Lydia Brazon. My last day will be on or before October 14th.
I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity — the privilege — I’ve had to work with you as your Executive Director. I’ve come to know and appreciate many for your professionalism and dedication to Pacifica, and I want to thank in particular my National Office colleagues Lydia Brazon, Margy Wilkinson, Jon Almeleh, Efren Llarinas and LaSchele Moseley.
I wish the very best for Pacifica, its staff, volunteers and supporters!
John Gladney Proffitt
Executive Director

Pacifica Foundation Radio

You can subscribe to Tracy Rosenberg's Pacifica in Exile newsletter by going to

Sunday, September 13, 2015

No moon at all, and other WBAI fables....

Suggesting that criticism of WBAI's on-air fare by West Coasters is based upon hearsay, a Reimers crony recommends streaming. The present, he maintains, offers an “excellent opportunity to experience first-hand the regular WBAI schedule.” Really? Have you tuned in to 99.5 lately? The suggestion, which I believe to come from Mitchel Cohen, is either a deliberate twist of truth, grossly uninformed or an assertion that Reimers will no longer distinguish between a fund-driving schedule and one he sees as “regular.”

The fact is that pre-emptions have made room for worn-out infomercials since the end of August. They barely dust off these frazzled fundies before once again turning them into “encore presentations," and they are all there: Null’s “survival kit”, magic toothpaste and rainbow of powdered life extensions; Blosdale's wicked pitch of the West, Mother Goosing 9-11; "Sojourner Truth" belying its program title via Maggie Prescod—yes, she continues to celebrate Black History Month; and Geoff Brady—he of the globe-trotting Reptilians—all but lands a big juicy one on the quivering lips of a guest who (as heard in the audio clip below) maintains that the moon is just a hologram and cannot fathom why the rest of us haven’t spotted everything NASA has done as “stagecraft”. That includes the moon landing, the fatal re-entry, etc. Those photos of Pluto? Well, you idiots, they are from pre-redesignation artists renderings!

Anything for a handful of money and yet there is not $160 in the piggy to fulfill WBAI’s part of the shady deals.

So, listen to Uncle Mitch (it rhymes with pitch) and join financial wizard Berthold Reimers’ association of gullible goners. 

REMEMBER: You are never the wrong color to send in money.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WBAI Treasurer's Report 9-9-2015

AN APOLOGY: Saturday, Time Warner Cable offered to update my equipment and, remarkably, charge me less than I was paying. Their technician spent 3 hours here and all worked as it should, but Sunday morning, my Internet (and with it, my phone connection) was gone. The problem was solved this afternoon and I mention this only in case anyone wondered why comments weren't getting through. Regrettably, the first post is best read to the slow, somber sounds of a dirge.

As New York City's stillborn black radio station stumbles beyond hearing range and memory, the dreaded truth leaks like a Snowden data treasure. Lies and deceits have fueled this respirator for time beyond reason, keeping it on the air while giving it the fatal thrust. Now, the mask has been lowered even further, the makeup cracked, the rouge dissolved to form unsightly clutters. 

That WBAI has been driven into a bog of ignorance, bigotry, and boomerang racism comes as no surprise, all things considered—even Pacifica has been rendered insignificant as its amateur actors stumble around with their sticky egos in a dim glaucoma scenario. 

If you have donated money, volunteered work, purchased an over-priced "thank you gift", or become a so-called "bai buddy" in recent years, the following report—published by the WBAI LSB Treasurer earlier today—may give you that sinking feeling that robbery victims experience, but you ought to read it before plucking another penny from your change purse.

WBAI Treasurer’s Report September 9, 2015

The National Finance Committee (NFC) met on August 25, 2015, and September 8, 2015. The local Finance Committee met on August 13, 2015, and September 3, 2015.

At the August 13, 2015, local Finance Committee meeting the General Manager said that he disagreed with the Income Statement from the National Office, he called it inaccurate.

The General Manager said that WBAI needed a backup plan regarding the Empire State Building (ESB) rent, he said that there is nothing in writing regarding the current deferred payments. He said that the Executive Director and the pro bono lawyer were consulting about the ESB issues. The General Manager said that WBAI needed to get politicians to side with us about the ESB and help us reach a final agreement.

The General Manager reported that WBAI was 100% caught up in Central Services payments to the Pacifica Radio Archives (PRA) but that the station is behind on Central Services payments overall by about $110,000. He also said that the $35,000 WBAI owes to WHCR will probably be written off by CUNY eventually.

The General Manager handed out a balance sheet at this meeting, but he said that he does not stand by it. In fact the balance sheet had duplicate figures for FY12 and FY15 YTD which is very unlikely to be right.

The General Manager said that he is still using QuickbooksTM, but that he is doing it on his own time. He said he would have good numbers for the committee at its September 3, 2015, meeting.

The General Manager said that Verizon still owes us $61,000 but that we’d have to sue them to get it. He said he’d send one of the local Finance Committee members the E-mails regarding the Verizon issue to see if he could help, however by the September 3, local Finance Committee meeting this had not been done.

The General Manager estimated that WBAI’s total indebtedness was $677,304 of which
$571,622 is the deferred ESB rent. This leaves all other outstanding bills totaling $105,682 as of August 13, 2015.

The YTD Profit & Loss Statement, on a cash basis, given to the committee by the General Manager on August 13, 2015, shows WBAI in the black by $9,832. This is interesting.

At the August 25, 2015, NFC meeting the National Office Income Statement for the ten months ending July 31, 2015, was reviewed and it was noted that it looks like the lumping of other revenue into WBAI’s Listener Support is still happening. Listener Support is what the Central Services fees are based on, so this could cost WBAI extra Central Services fees in the future. In addition, this mis-reporting of revenue clouds the real situation regarding Listener Support and the other revenue sources. The Major Donor line is only $1,520, this is at variance with what WBAI Management has reported. Personnel expenses are worse than budgeted by about $41,000 in the National Office Income Statement. The National Office income statement says that Total Operating Expenses are better than budget by about $107,000 which is good news if it’s true. Office Supplies are worse by budgeted by about $28,000 which needs an explanation.

Total Revenue is off by $634,918 according to the National Office Income Statement. This is one of the figures that the General Manager disagrees with.

The Tower Rental (ESB) numbers on the National Office Income Statement do not jibe with any other numbers that the I have seen on this issue. The National Office has been informed of this and I am hoping that this will be reconciled soon.

Another question about the National Office Income Statement regards the Community Events line which is $600; given the number of such events WBAI has been holding this seems very low.

There was a discussion at this NFC meeting about the WBAI General Manager using QuickBooks™ instead of the Great Plains™ software that the rest of Pacifica uses. The National Office Financial Planning and Analysis Manager offered to teach the WBAI General Manager to use the Great Plains software.

The NFC passed the following motion, “The NFC recommends to the PNB that it have the Executive Director direct Management at all units to use the same accounting platform.” (Passed 8 for, 0 against, 1 abstention)

It was reported at this meeting that the National Office on paper has an income of about $557,000 YTD but about $276,000 of Central Services payments have not been collected; the real income through July is about $281,000 of which about $142,000 was paid to the auditors leaving about $139,000 cash as of July 31. The National Office had negotiated with lawyers and other vendors that had previously sued Pacifica for monthly negotiated payments, these average about $30,000 per month leaving about $100,000 for salaries, etc. Stations are having difficulties paying Central Services payments. After one month of not being able to collect Central Services payments from the stations the National Office is afraid that they will have difficulties paying bills.

At the September 3, 2015, local Finance Committee meeting the General Manager told the committee that the Business manager, who is in Texas and serves a total of three stations, will be tasked with preparing the WBAI FY16 draft budget. He also told the committee that WBAI had made five months of Central Services payments. He said that health benefits, payroll and rent have all been paid. He said that WBAI may get a $6,000 discretionary grant from the City Council.

The General Manager handed out two Profit & Loss Statements, one based on cash and one based on accrual, and a Balance Sheet. He said that the cash based Profit & Loss Statement was the one that he had 100% confidence in.

The General Manager said that he refuses to learn the Great Plains software.

The General Manager told the committee that it's the National Office that's lumping revenue under Listener Support. The National Office has previously said that it’s just using the figures that local Management sends it.

The Profit & Loss Statement the General Manager gave out says that WBAI’s Net Operating Income was $14,472 as of the date of the meeting. But the overall debt wipes that out many times over.

The General Manager told the committee that WBAI had $2,000 cash in bank on that date. He also said that WBAI owed about $160,000 minus ESB and outstanding Central Services fees.

Regarding premiums, the General Manager said that the station doesn’t have the premiums to send to people who’ve paid for them. There were quite a number of premiums stacked up in the Conference Room where this local Finance Committee meeting was held, and one local Finance Committee member said that Management has been holding up the shipping of those premiums for more than a month in order to save $160 on the shipping costs. Meanwhile complaints from listeners who have paid for the premiums but not gotten them continue to come in.

The September 8, 2015, NFC meeting lasted only three minutes because the meeting was to have been centered around budget discussions but no Pacifica station, nor the National Office nor PRA had brought a FY16 draft budget for the NFC to look at.

At this meeting it was learned that KPFT has installed their new transmitter and is now transmitting at 100,000 Watts and by doing so is no longer in danger of losing its license or having its power permanently lowered by the FCC. We also learned that a reported $134,000 bequest to KPFK was really for about $21,000. We were told that the payments for the mailing out of the ballots for the current Pacifica elections, which was to be done on August 29, but which couldn’t be done because Pacifica couldn’t pay in advance for the mailing, will probably have to wait until the stations are about a week into their Fall on-air fund raisers in order to raise the money to pay for it.

We were also told that WBAI will need assistance is making its next payroll.

Between the National Office’s Income Statement to July 31, and the General Manager’s Income Statement to August 31, the Total Expenses are different by $231,408. This needs to be reconciled.

The next local Finance Committee meeting will be on August 24, 2015, and the NFC is set to meet on all of the remaining Tuesday nights of September.

The General Manager’s refusal to learn and use the Great Plains software create a potential collision with the Executive Director’s stated desire that all stations use it. I do not know if the PNB has passed the motion from the NFC regarding this.

WBAI Management and the National Office do not agree on the state of WBAI’s finances. We are getting conflicting financial statements from the National Office and WBAI Management. The financial statements must be reconciled or we can have no precise idea of just what’s happening with regard to WBAI’s finances, although obviously they are in bad shape. Clearly WBAI is doing better with expenses, but the revenue shortfalls are severe. Without help from elsewhere in Pacifica WBAI would not be making payroll. And that help would not be possible had not KPFA gotten about $950,000 in bequests earlier this year from listeners who had passed away. The only reason WBAI and the rest of Pacifica are not in even more serious financial trouble is because of the luck of those bequests. How much longer can our luck last?

R. Paul Martin WBAI LSB Treasurer 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Too many cooks and no real recipe....

The following podcast by Radio Survivor features an interview with Matthew Lasar, who has been writing about Pacifica for many years, although not always with sufficient attention to factual details. He is in good form here as Paul Riismandel—with whom he co-founded Radio Survivor—has him explaining how Pacifica's system of governance works, or doesn't. Lasar blames much of the network's current—and possibly fatal—crisis on the the Foundation's unwieldy attempt to "democratize," pointing out that it is expensive, over populated, and poorly run.

Lend Lasar an ear and see if you agree with him—as I do.

You can subscribe to the Radio Survivor podcast through iTunes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Does Reimers finally hear the corpulent coloratura?

Yesterday on his show, Gary Null looked into his crystal ball and predicted the demise of WBAI and, probably, Pacifica.

That's not an original conclusion to draw, present situation considered, but it comes, significantly, from a merchant upon whose sales pitches WBAI has become reliant. If you don't think do-nothing WBAI GM, Berthold Reimers lives in a sub-world of his own, you should read this letter to the WBAI "Family," which was dumped into circulation today. Reimers is not very bright, but he is devious, without conscience, and morally bankrupt. I don't know who he is trying to appease with this letter, but I doubt if anyone is fooled by it.

Dear WBAI Family, 

It's September and our thoughts turn to those of you preparing to send children off to schools, colleges, or heading there yourself.

WBAI has from its inception, the mission to "establish and operate for educational purposes...In radio broadcasting operations to encourage and provide outlets for the creative skills and energies of the employ such varied sources in the public presentation of accurate, objective, comprehensive news on all matters vitally affecting the community."

With this in mind WBAI will bring you many informative and creative programs and activities this fall. Take a look at some of them listed below. We will once again be hosting an extensive internship program for students from universities across the metropolitan area, offering them on-air opportunities few radio stations make available.

Listening to WBAI programming is often assigned to students in local colleges. We will be partnering with some new ones, bringing you their informative podcasts and live streamed lectures by well known progressive personalities.

We wish you all a successful school experience this fall and hope that those of you who are lifelong listeners and learners will pass on the call numbers 99.5fm or our stream at to those close to you.

Berthold Reimers

General Manager