Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Smoke in WBAI's crystal ball...



Not exactly an open book, but here is the April, 2016 WBAI Treasurer's Report.

76 comments:

  1. (JustAlistener)

    "The CFO told the NFC that he had been in contact with the WBAI General
    Manager and that he had raised these concerns with him. The CFO told the
    NFC that he was surprised to find that the numbers are not being taken into
    account by WBAI Management and that no action or suggestions are coming
    forward. He said that this cannot continue. "

    But that's because you're using Great Plains. Why if you look at my Quick Books everything looks fine...

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    1. But it WILL continue, until Haiti becomes a superpower. :)

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  2. All this time and effort working on financial issues and yet no actions to change the programming which helped bring them to this point? Apparently, no one sees the need to actually talk about current events and try to reach beyond one small slice of one community in the largest media market in the nation. I'm starting to wonder about the CFO. He should be commended for making these folks face reality but I'm starting to think maybe he's leading them to a predetermined solution. RPM was asking him pretty basic questions and the responses were not very clear. BTW, there's a nice picture of RPM on his blog from a protest in Albany in 1971.

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  3. RPM should know everything. After all, he has been covering up for management for years. This is why he censors his blog. I cannot make a comment on his blog!

    PDR

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    1. I agree. I wonder how many of us have been banished from the blue crawl space? I know that one is herself a snake who practices censorship on her listserv... if it's still running, that is.

      Ain't free speech wonderful!

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    2. RPM is a fraud, long time fraud. His union was a management union. A serious crime was committed by a staff member on another union member and he ignored it as he has ignored many crimes. No surprise about the malfeasance of RPM

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  4. This reading is just more of the same old thing. I wasn't phased in any way.
    Anyway, the soon to be added five hours of Spanish programming should do the trick. No, not to save them but to lose them even more money. Five hours of added Spanish programming means five hours less of English programming. How much you want to bet none of the dropped English programming will be of the BLM ilk? Wouldn't it be funny if RPM gets dropped?

    SDL

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    1. I bet the new Spanish language air time will not replace any Ebonics programs.

      I am now listening to the unearthly wisdom of Madame Catherina Davis... she gives me such comfort. Earlier this evening, I listened to Rebel Diaz and, much to my surprise, found it to be a very satisfying experience... he and his studio guests were discussing the current Democrat political campaign and taking calls. Neither the studio talk nor the calls were of the Haskins-Davis nonsense variety. Even the few rap interludes were of the intelligent variety.

      I have been won over.

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    2. Right now I am feeling like Kevin McCarthy at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

      SDL

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    3. I know what you mean, but take comfort from the fact that he cameo'ed in a much later sequel.

      Wasn't he Biff in Death of a Salesman?

      We are the living soul of Gaia, says high priestess Davis as the howling wolf approaches. This woman is laden down with BS!

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    4. Never saw Death of a Salesman, actually. Yeah, I know I should.

      Davis has, essentially, succeeded in working her way into being the star pitch person for WBAI, replacing Null. I guess Null still spoke about some earthly matters, where Davis is just gone in the cosmic compost. I still think she's psychotic.

      SDL

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    5. Cunning and psychotic, I think. It was interesting to follow how she weaseled her way back and to higher ground soon after being fired. She had a hand in dumbing down the audience and now that is working to her personal advantage as she babbles her sheer nonsense in and out of infomercials. She is also, with increasing transparency, blatantly advertising her own business "projects", cosmic cons.

      Attempted makeover aside, Kathryn will remain Kathy and her outrageous scam duets with cohort Tony Bates will stay in memories for as long as you can say, "double helix water."

      Let's not forget that she would not have crept this far were it not for a nominal $110,000-a-year "manager" in hiding.

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    6. Reimer's certainly should get rid of her, since she is one of the major reasons for WBAI going downhill. However, it should be the job of a PD to get rid of her, since programming is a PD's responsibility. It seems, however, that at WBAI the delineation of GM and PD responsibilities are very vague.

      SDL

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    7. The current iPD is Jeannie Hopper. It's not a good idea to give that position to someone who has close friends or long-time co-workers as producers/hosts. The so-called GM has been but a shadow for a long time, now—according to RPM—he is unreachable. That said, even if he danced under the lights, he would be useless.

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  5. Where is Reimers? I have not heard anything from him. Even RPM has trouble reaching him and he is supposedly a management stooge. There is no ambiguity SDL. The GM appoints an 'interim' PD because the LSB won't do its job. The funny thing is the GM evaluation and PD selection committees still have meetings scheduled even though the LSB is not meeting. Chris, can you help me fill out the survey evaluating Reimers? I'm having trouble with the section on organizational effectiveness.

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    1. My late, departed dobermans, Mingus and Bessie could have handled Reimers' job better. They would at least have been visible and on the alert for vandals. Eleven thousand bucks gets you a rather large pile of Milkbones.

      The LSB has had countless GM evaluations on its agenda, but I have not seen any results, one way or the other. There is no organizational effectiveness... no organization, PERIOD! The whole thing is a wasteful masquerade.

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    2. Maybe I was misunderstood. What I meant is that a PD or iPD has the power over programming decisions, except in extreme cases. The GM runs the nuts and bolts of the station. At WBAI, there seems to be little separation of these two jobs.

      Hopper is a club girl, so I am guessing that from her we get The Blacks, Haitian No Stars and such junk. The timing is right.

      I know this is redundant, but as I have said before, Reimers gets away with this crap because he can. The Pacifica parent can't even control its own teleconferences. Do you think they can control the radio station children?

      Reimers has been a very fortunate man. If I were him, I would think seriously about taking my money and running, before I have some bad luck and lose it all.

      SDL

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    3. What does a gaggle of goons do when the opposiition's piece. d'resistance is Mozart?

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    4. No, opposition is the wrong word. Disenfranchise is more appropriate.

      "Disfranchisement (also called disenfranchisement) is the revocation of the right of suffrage (the right to vote) of a person or group of people, or through practices, prevention of a person exercising the right to vote."

      But remember, Chris. They shall lead the revolution!!!

      SDL

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    5. One could say that chasing one's own tail is a revolution.

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    6. Speaking of... I just called out RPM on his list.

      SDL

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    7. Had I access to post in the snake pit, I would have backed up your suggestion. RP Martin is such a coward... He obviously has a pathetic need to hold on to his nothing show and whatever feeling of importance he gets from being treasurer. These are petty little people, SDL.

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    8. Exactly why I called him out. Now it's "put up or shut up" time. He says he thinks the information should be made public? Then make it public and set a precedent for others at Pacifica to follow.

      He may lose his biweekly one hour of life? Well, he's always bitching about the travel to the station, so maybe it will save him some physical exertion and prolong his life.

      SDL

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    9. I can't agree with you about RPM leaking documents. He is obliged to support Pacifica as a LSB Treasurer. His faction's argument is based on abiding by the bylaws and being transparent. That would also kill their court case against all the BS committed by the Siegel/Brazon crowd. There is plenty to criticize him about but actually trying to perform the job isn't a valid criticism. BTW why did he ban you from the blue board/blue crawl?

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    10. The very nature of whistleblowing incorporate breaking rules.

      I really don't recall why I was banished by R. Paul, but it was something as stupid as his claiming that I broke one of his rules... don't know which rule—there was no warning, it was quite arbitrary. He's a little despot, an out of focus walking selfie. WBAI LSB members Carolyn Birden and Mitchel Cohen are among the ousted, and who knows who else is on that enemy's list. :) BTW, the way he has it set up, any post that contains the name of a banished person is intercepted by RPM. Some eventually get published, others don't.

      RPM would not have lasted long at the station in the old days... amazing as some people will find it, WBAI used to have and faithfully follow listener-friendly principles. We were honest!!!

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    11. Chris, I agree completely with what you said about whistleblowing. Can we say Ellsberg, Manning and Snowden? They were obliged to do jobs, but put morality forward and did what they had to. Whistleblowing normally consists of breaking your agreement to an institution for a moral purpose to inform the public about corruption.

      Didn't RPM ban you for mentioning a dead person and saying you were banned because that person couldn't defend himself, since he was dead?

      Also, I know for a fact that RPM intercepts postings with the names of banned people, as I was subject to that when I mentioned you. That's why his list has about six posters. If he were smart, he would lift the bans. Even many dictatorships have amnesties.

      SDL

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    12. I'm not sure that it was mention of a dead person... Abraham Lincoln? Lew Hill? Queen Anne of Romania? Bessie Smith? Robert Knight? I don't know if he had died yet, but his shill, Pamela Somers, made several appeals to RPM, urging my removal. She, herself made the enemies list... and so it goes.

      It's sort of an honor roll, actually. To reiterate... small, petty people.

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    13. I'm feeling so left out... :`(```

      SDL

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    14. This is not the only thing RPM has confusion about.

      KGT

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    15. There is a Presidential election that we are in the midst of and there is not ONE WBAI broadcaster who can open up phone lines and have an articulate discussion of the issues and candidates with guests and the public. There are no AM talk stations left in NYC (WABC is W Always Broadcasting Curtis). I cannot get 970AM in eastern Queens. And with that black hole, WBAI cannot become the only talk radio station in NYC? This is a SHONDA!! A Chilul HaShem!! And with Pesach coming!! Oy Vey!!

      KGT

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    16. Listen to the Rebel Diaz show that aired live yesterday.

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    17. You mean Rebu Diaz?

      KGT

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    18. No, I mean the rap duo called Rebel Diaz. I think their origin is Venezuela.

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  6. Sounds like RPM has some kind of filter with a bunch of keywords. So much for the WBAI Issues forum. Maybe he should call it R Paul Rants forum.

    Sorry SDL, I don't think a lease agreement ranks up there with the Pentagon Papers. The only ones it will hurt are the group standing up to the Siegel/Brazon/JUC idiots. I'm not sure how effective they are but after seeing that little scuffle back in January, I am convinced of their sincerity.

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    1. RPM's faction are scumbags pushing Kathy Davis and other such rot. They aren't standing up to anyone but are unhappy they can't have their way. Sincerity doesn't exist in their vocabulary.

      As for releasing the information on the ESB agreement, it is owed to the listener supporters. It has nothing to do with any factions or internal squabbles and wouldn't hurt them in any way.

      SDL

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    2. It is a big expense, but it could be less of a burden if the station had professional, caring management and producers/hosts whose ineptitude and lack of good judgement used the ESB facility to transmit quality intelligent radio.

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  7. Even Monroe would be an improvement.

    KGT

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    1. Monroe was a vindictive old fool. You should listen to Rebel Diaz's Wednesday program.

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  8. Reimers is probably with his daughter travelling because she is a competitive athelete. Everyone is connected down there. Hopper was a devotee of Marksman as was Murillo as was Davis. The place needs a fumigation. Knight used to threaten people who spoke ill of Marksman. Marksman was like Mao - he could do no wrong in their eyes. Best days that ever happened were the deaths of Marksman and Knight - two evil bastards. PDR

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    1. I did not know Marksman, but I can attest to the veracity of your assessment of Robert Knight.

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  9. Am I drawing the correct assumption here that you all want to see the Empire State lease? If that's what you're looking for, I'll provide it. I don't really see why it would be a secret. Or is there something else you are trying to see? Chris, can you clarify? If its the lease, I'll link to the document in the next email blast and Chris can post it here as he usually does.

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    1. Thanks, Tracy. I, for one, would like to see the lease, but I believe the secret lies (no pun intended) in the deal(s) made by Reimers. We are told that part payments are being made and arrears accruing at an alarming rate. Clearly, the ESB has a limit at which point they pull the plug. The amount owed is rumored to be nearing a million dollars and I would imagine that WBAI's demise is close at hand.

      Too much secrecy, too many lies, too much reliance on assumptions. The mere fact that management isn't coming clean means that there is dirt to be uncovered, so anything you can do, Tracy, will be greatly appreciated.

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    2. I, of course, would like to see the lease agreement. However, even more, I would would like to know what the never ending negotiations between Reimers and the ESB are about. I don't believe for a minute they are simply about lowering the rent, or they would be over already. I believe it's about the ESB wanting the accruing rent.

      SDL

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    3. Chris, this sounds like Occupy to me. One person says something is confidential and the other reveals it just to be contrarian. I don't know or care if the lease is confidential. All it will show is a really bad deal which should never have made. What we all really want to know is if BAI can keep the transmitter at the ESB. A competent manager would find a way to report on issues without revealing proprietary information.

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    4. As long as WBAI relies on the listeners for its income, how they spend that money is not proprietary information. There is no justification for all this secrecy. The ESB people may have asked that a special arrangement with WBAI is not made public, but—if that is the case—Reimers can at the very least give that as a reason and cite the pertinent clause.

      The fact is that important details regarding the station's financial state are known only to Reimers—that is sufficient grounds for high suspicion of wrongdoing on his part and, indeed, for firing. If the Pacifica National Board and WBAI's LSB were not operated by corrupt members, this game would have been over a long time ago and Lew Hill's concept might not be crumbling.

      I'm afraid that it's too late for rescue by competent management.

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    5. If you're a public corporation (i.e. traded on the stock market), you have to make quarterly earnings reports and talk about what's going on with the business. The shareholders have rights.

      As a publicly funded broadcaster, you should have to do the same for the listener supporters. However, it seems publicly funded broadcasters can get away with more secrecy than even "the shadow government." Isn't it ironic how Pacifica programming wails about "the shadow government" then acts in the same exact manner?

      How do I spell hypocrisy? P-A-C-F-I-C-A...

      SDL

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    6. Oops... P-A-C-I-F-I-C-A

      SDL

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    7. Spell that out in neon—and have it blink. Hypocrisy is indeed rampant at WBAI, but only a component of the lies, which are as commonplace as breathing.

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  10. Samori Marksman is responsible for the destruction of WBAI because he hired Utrice Leid to "do for WBAI what she did for the City Sun"; the rest is history.

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  11. I put the FY 2013 payments on the Blue Board, which you all seem to visit fairly frequently. It's in the thread with RPM's last treasurers report. To be fair, RPM will get in trouble and probably removed from the finance committee if he were to post these kinds of things, so requests should be directed to people who cannot be forcibly removed from governance. The tower payments were caught up in April of 2013 after the "Save the Transmitter campaign" that spring, but WBAI could not pay for the transmitter and the payroll at the same time, so after paying $300,000 to ESB in three weeks (between 3-5-13 and 3-26-13), funds more or less ran out and the layoffs went ahead in July of 2013 after a payroll was not covered by Pacifica. As of 9-30-2013, WBAI was 2 months behind and owed about $95K to ESB. After that, not much info was provided, but we know that in May of 2014, ESB returned payments with an eviction notice and instead of moving to 4 Times Square, the "negotiations" began with ESB and WBAI has been paying $12K a month and accruing the rest as a debt, an amount that adds up to about a million dollars for the past two years in addition to the remaining 4 years on the contract, which is at least another $2.5 million. WBAI does have a case, to some degree, that they are paying way above the market value and it is unlikely that anyone would pay $600K a year for the space under current market conditions, but signing stupid contracts does not indemnify against the results. I don't see any reason to assume the negotiations resulted in anything but preventing eviction to date.

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    1. Here's what Tracy posted on the Blueboard, followed by RPM's comment:

      "I have a spreadsheet with how much you paid Empire (in total) and when for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. After that the information ceases to be available.

      Here you go:
      10-2012 $50,406.80 Paid 1-11-2013 Certified Check #2129
      11-2012 $43,569.54 Paid 3-5-2013 Certified Check #9702314877
      12-2012 $47,570.80 Paid 3-12-2013 Certified Check #2196
      1-2013 $49, 452.68 Paid 3-12-2013 Certified Check # 2196
      2-2013 $51,916.90 Paid 3-22-2013 Certified Check # 2213
      3-2013 $51,118.18 Paid 3-26-2013 Certified Check #2216
      4-2013 $51,007.47 0nly $10,000 paid 3-26-2013 Check # 2216
      5-2013 $52,266.79 Paid $60,953.16 5-22-2013 Wire Transfer
      6-2013 $48,946.00 Paid $57,632.57 6-20-2013 Wire Transfer
      7-2013 $46,405.57 Paid 7-23-2013 Bank of NY Check #1001
      8-2013 $49,573.28 Paid $23,634.78 on 8-21-2013 Wire Transfer
      9-2013 $46,150.37 Not paid by 9-30-2013
      Balance owed at 9-30-2013 to ESB $95,724.60"

      R. Paul Martin's response:

      "Yes, also, looking at my records, we have had it from the General Manager that the rent is $55,000 a month. Since we're paying $12,000 a month, not always on time, that leaves the $43,000 a month difference that I've been talking about, and which should be getting accrued as a debt. That's why I said that the CFO's figure of $43,000 a month as the nominal rent figure is too low.

      I've also looked at the most recent WBAI draft FY16 budget, and it has $55,000 as the monthly rent in it.

      Maybe the WBAI General Manager is not much more in touch with the CFO than he is with me."

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    2. I very much doubt the ESB is going to forgive any debt owed to them. Can you imagine what the shareholders of the owning corporation would have to, rightly, say? Also, what about any other stations that may have transmitters at the ESB? If there are any, what do they pay in comparison.

      "Maybe the WBAI General Manager is not much more in touch with the CFO than he is with me." Yeah, that's how much respect you two have earned...

      SDL

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    3. Good point. I remember when even Pacifica radio people were in the communications field.

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  12. Just as a matter of information, the price ESB is charging WBAI is at least two times the current market value. At the time of the lease signing, the WTC had come down 4 years earlier and there was little to no tower rental space in Manhattan and ESB had market domination. They used it to lock in as many clients as they could to long-term leases at inflated prices. It is likely many if not most of their tenants didn't have their leases come up for renewal during that period and also likely that many if not most were not dumb enough to sign 15 year leases at artificially inflated prices. Pacifica did. The current going price cannot possibly be more than $25K a month and is probably considerably less. WBAI has a standing offer from the Conde Nast building retaining 85-90% of the signal area for $14K a month. I really doubt there are too many clients paying ESB $50K+ a month and that is probably why ESB does not evict them, but instead just piles up debt in the hope there will be an eventual payoff via asset sale. If they could re-rent the space to someone else for $50K a month, they would evict WBAI and replace them with a paying tenant.

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    1. Very helpful information and perspective on the Empire State questions, Tracy – thank you :)

      ~ 'indigopirate'

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    2. This is a pretty significant piece of information and not 'just a matter of information'. According to the Treasurer's Reports, WBAI is 'relatively' OK without the tower rental. What they're paying now is about what they would pay at Conde Naste. If they were at Time Square, it would also presumably be in the same ballpark. If this is true, then Pacifica would be paying off the accrued debt for years after the current contract ends. It just doesn't make sense to me from the ESB perspective. I would rather have tenants paying market rate than a debt from WBAI which I may only receive a fraction at some point in the future. I can't dispute what Tracy is saying but it just doesn't sound right. I'm sure there are many stations/networks willing to sign up at market rates and if I were the ESB, I might sweeten the deal a bit to get one.

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    3. WBAI is like King Kong hanging on the mast of the ESB waiting to be shot down.

      KGT

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    4. "According to the Treasurer's Reports, WBAI is 'relatively' OK without the tower rental."

      "Relatively" is a vague term, especially when we consider that the listeners who once kept WBAI on the air have, in highly significant numbers, abandoned the station. Those infomercials have become a steady diet and it's a Catch 22 situation. Even in the unlikely event of the ESB monthly rent coming down to $12,000, I don't think the exodus would stop, nor would such an adjustment bring back listener sponsors.

      If an intellectually radical change in programming were to take place and WBAI were to once again aim its broadcasts at an audience that represents the New York area's creative and ethnic diversity, such a restoration would take too long to realistically expect resuscitation.

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  13. OK Chris. I walked into that one. I was speaking only in terms of the budget. Obviously, the status quo is unsustainable. There are just too many questions about what Tracy is saying. Why don't they move to Conde Nast or Times Square even at the cost of a penalty? Is it really the case that ESB is lacking tenants at market rates? The other stations are making their own cuts and they have nothing to say about WBAI overpaying a transmitter lease deal (conspiracy theories aside)? I'm not in a position to dispute her account but you used to run the station. Can you tell me if her story sounds reasonable?

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    1. I ran the station so long ago that one cannot realistically compare the factors that applied then to today's situation. I don't recall how much we paid when we moved to the ESB and installed a new transmitter, but, all things considered, it was deemed to be an advantageous upgrade. Indeed, it turned out to be that. I suspect that the increase in rent may have been helped along by the attack on the WTC, which—I believe—had become the preferred antenna location.

      When we made the move to the ESB, it had just upgraded its facilities to handle multiple station—they were eager for clients, so they dangled a carrot: they would pay for the move.

      Not to downplay the importance of advancing technology and changing lifestyles, bad programming and a resulting audience downgrade/alienation has—as I figure it—played a huge role in the station's looming evisceration.

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    2. I can only speculate:

      There have been a number of points where people have said the physical condition of the transmitter was so terrible that it could not be moved, and would have to be replaced – a significant capital expense, monies not likely available.

      Also, from a business perspective, as a number of people have pointed out, I don’t see why Empire State would simply let WBAI out of its contract. I haven’t seen the contract, so I can’t be certain, but one would suspect Empire State is best off if it simply lets the amount owing continue to mount. It’s presumably a valid contract, and that means it’s enforceable at any point they choose. They’re not a charity.

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

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    3. I don't know anything about the physical condition of the transmitter, but I cannot think of any elements that might have brought about such deterioration. It is, of course, outdated, but so is much of what we rely on to function. I do, however, find it plausible that the unit was subject to neglect—just look at the station's studio equipment and the skewed priorities of a succession of "managers." Look at all the tools of the trade that have been thrown out or "acquired". One might say that a station of WBAI's nature needs to have at least one functioning reel-to-reel machine and a turntable.

      Bear in mind that these people cannot focus beyond the tips of their own noses and that they have no pride in their work, no self-esteem other than a very large and shallow ego.

      I think it is also quite telling that Berthold Reimers, claiming to have spent months negotiating with the ESB, continues to practice secrecy. What could be so secret that he cannot even share it with his superiors? This is a man who came to WBAI on a lie and hasn't eased up on that practice.

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    4. I simply don’t know enough about transmitters, but I recall a number of people, at various points, referring to physical fragility. That it wouldn’t likely survive any attempt to move it.

      ~ ‘indigo’

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    5. Sounds like an excuse to me. Equipment such as a transmitter is made up of many parts—tubes, wires etc.—that need to be maintained in good order or replaced. Our Chief Engineer, Tom Whitmore, was constantly checking our equipment, including he old transmitter, and reporting to me any needs for replacement. It was routine, the stuff was simply not allowed to deteriorate. If an expensive component needed replacement, I would have Tom explain it at our next Report to the Listeners and, if necessary, we raised the needed money, sometimes with the help of a Pacifica Board member, like Rudy Hurwich, who invented the Dymo Label and had great connections.

      Good, well-functioning technical equipment is of paramount importance to a broadcasting station, but the bozos who in recent years have held the reins are clueless.

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  14. When I was up at WBAI at 505, they did transmitter maintenance regularly. I know this because no one bothered to tell us one night, and we were knocked off the air all of a sudden at 4AM. Turns out there was a flyer taped on the studio wall, but someone had taped another flyer (for some demonstration) over it, so we didn't see it.

    Considering the numbers that get bandied around, WBAI can't afford even a penny for transmitter space rental. They are in debt even without the accrued ESB debt. Therefore, $12,000 is still $12,000 more than they can afford.

    I believe there are either no negotiations going on between WBAI and the ESB or, if there are, they are more about when the ESB is going to get its money. I don't believe the ESB is going to forgive any significant amount of the debt (once again, the shareholders would flip out over forgiving a large portion of it). I do believe WBAI could find itself in court over this.

    SDL

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    1. I agree with you regarding the $12,000 not being a solution. Bringing expenditure down is, at this point, not going to reverse WBAI's fortune—as it were—because revenue will continue diminishing.

      A mindless buffoon like Reimers is certainly not capable of swaying the ESB professionals to do anything that don't wish to do.

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  15. $55,000 a month is *not* the market price for ESB's radio transmitter rentals in 2016. It is at least twice the market price and possibly as much as 3 times the market place. There is no doubt that ESB would evict WBAI and replace them with a paying tenant if anyone else would rent the space at $55,00 a month for the next three and a half years. Nobody will. WBAI could have and probably should have just decamped to Conde Nast, but they believe that they would be liable for all the rent for the remainder of the lease i.e. at least $2.5 million to ESB through 2020, plus of course the $180K a year they would have to pay to Conde Nast. That is probably true as ESB has funds for lawyers and the legal costs would not come anywhere close to the $2.5 million they would stand to gain by pursuing it and forcing a building sale elsewhere in the network. While you can reliably assume that Pacifica is crazy, you shouldn't assume that about ESB. There's a reason they are not evicting. I think WBAI would probably be better off if they had already left tenacy, but its not a good situation to be in either way. The 15 year lease signed in 2006 was insanity. As for the transmitter, it should have been replaced years ago and yes it is fragile enough that it may not survive a move. That cost is small potatoes compared to the lease issue.

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    1. If it is the same transmitter I purchased fifty years ago, it would, in any case, make sense to spend money on moving and re-installing it. I don't know what the going price is these days, but—were WBAI a going concern—keeping a half century-old piece of such equipment would be asking for trouble, even if it still functioned well.

      I am surprised that Condé Nast would even consider renting to WBAI, given its financial history and current status. The big mistake was, of course, to have the amateurs at WBAI negotiate and strike a deal. When we moved to the ESB, I made the decision, but took full advantage of Lou Schweitzer offering to have his lawyer(s) look at it—and then, before finalizing, I got the Pacifica Board's approval. That would certainly be a joke today, but we had a board comprising successful business professionals.

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  16. Hey Chris. I can't say for sure, but I don't actually think its your transmitter. I think they all got replaced 14-15 years ago. Don Mussell did the purchasing and 4 of the stations got new tube transmitters, except KPFA where Michael Yoshida insisted on and got a solid state one. He looks like a genius now, because the tubes all ran into trouble, with Houston's biting the dust due to lightening and digital sidebands, DC's having some catastrophic failures and being rebuilt with parts by Jim Bennett and LA also having to replace all of theirs. WBAI's remains, but it is said to be in pretty bad shape. I don't know if the Conde Nast offer is still outstanding, but it certainly was in 2013-2014. IED Ambrose Lane signed the 2006 ESB contract. I have no idea if the board of directors was consulted or if they approved.

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    1. Thanks, Tracy. If WBAI's transmitter is only 15 years old, it should not be in such fragile shape that it can't be moved.

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    2. A 14-15 year old transmitter, regardless of tube or solid state, should be in good shape if taken care of, unless it was defective from the start. Many smaller stations around the country have transmitters many decades old.

      Anyway. Null went on a erratic anti-Pacifica rant at 12:10PM for several minutes. Laughable.

      SDL

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    3. The DC, LA and TX tube transmitters have all failed. Those are the facts. Texas's transmitter was helped along by running too hot due to digital sidebands it wasn't equipped to handle. DC's and LA's failed. DC's transmitter was rebuilt with old parts in 2011 and so far has more or less held up, although it has had stretches of running at low power. LA's pair atop Mount Wilson have already been replaced with solid state in 2012 and 2013.Texas's was replaced in 2015. BAI's is said to be in extremely poor shape.

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    4. I'm not doubting anything you say about the transmitters. I don't know how good Pacifica's engineers are. I can't imagine there is anyone there of Allan Weiner of WBCQ quality, though. He has kept multiple ancient transmitters going for decades now.

      What do you mean exactly by this? "Texas's transmitter was helped along by running too hot due to digital sidebands it wasn't equipped to handle." Do you mean using the sidebands to run SCA broadcasts or something else?

      Which leads me to... Does anyone know how much WBAI gets for renting their sidebands to the Catholic stations? Is there a contract, what does it stipulate, etc. I know, it's secret for executive session...

      SDL

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  17. KPFT runs HD stations on the sidebands. The transmitter couldn't take it. All the SCA fees put together are about $250K. The contracts have always been concealed from the boards and no one ever bothered to do a directors inspection to get them. I'd guess WBAI's are worth about $80-100K annually, but that's just a guess.

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