Apropos breakdowns, I think you might find interesting the incident that led up to Andrea Katz becoming the eternal Interim whose job as Director of Development shows neither direction nor development after several years. Word has it that she has become Reimers' unofficial gofer, but there was a time when she actually tried to introduce some sense into his compulsive dysfunction. She is now all but forgotten, yet—we are told—still on the payroll and, essentially, a victim of incompetent management.
It’s a little like the worst nonexistent episode of The Twilight Zone ever. No, worse than that… like watching the slow, lingering disintegration of something once living, once whole, once alive, once capable of growth, of… of… consequence…. No, worse than that, like an incarnation of the pathetic fallacy… an incarnation of self-loathing projected in impotent hushed fury against a wall of indifference, a wall of absence… the raving meandering madness of would-be performers as a simmering, stammering, guttural fear gnaws within them… that they are in fact absent an audience, they themselves inconsequent, they themselves absent… yet compelled to tell themselves in whispered voices that they aren’t alone, that they matter… as cardboard molders about them and the lights flicker ever dimmer, their voices fading, even in their desperation, their stridency, their despondency, their despair.
The video centered on the rash departure of Ms. Katz was posted by the producers of the reality show and brought to our attention by "Just a Listener," a concerned former devotee of WBAI whose past attempts to help the station were ignored. Friday, when the hiring of Ms. Katz was brought up and questioned in a comment by Ed Manfredonia, it occurred to me that it is a good, if regrettable example of the irrational hiring practices that form the basis for so many of Pacifica's problems. I decided to devote a blog entry to it, because it offers an important detail to anyone who might still be wondering what is wrong with WBAI's mismanagement. In the end, the slow trip that had brought WBAI to the edge can be traced to unprofessional, ill-conceived hiring practices. Berthold Reimers himself is living proof of that.
Andrea Katz clearly has personal problems for which she should be given help, but hiring her to handle the station's public relations was not her mistake as much as it was Reimers'. It points to a systemic Pacifica problem that is as fatal to the organization tangibly as it is to the spirit that gave it birth over sixty years ago.