Saturday, July 23, 2016

You're hired!

There are still people who genuinely care about WBAI's disintegration (pun unintended) and have made efforts to put it back on track and turn it in the right direction. Such attempts are, as some of us have experienced, not only ignored by local management, but also mocked by those who feel threatened by it. It's a trite scenario lifted straight from the pages of a well-worn Hollywood script. A study in frustration that has us testing the edge of our seat even when the outcome is as obvious as the plot line. 

We have seen this played out on WBAI in recent years. A steady chipping away at the original principles (underlined or simply understood) has left the NYC area with  the shell of a radio station that once was a beacon of enlightenment, artistic vision and thought-provoking cultural and political insight. 

WBAI is no longer a station that reflects the likes and dislikes of its listener sponsors, a lone voice in former FCC Chairman Newt Minow's wasteland that engages in dialogue with an audience that keeps it on the air. It has long since lost the trust of that listenership and, indeed, the listenership itself. Today, it has been reduced to an outlet where inarticulateness and shallowness dominate a stagnant program schedule, a barely known speck on the FM scale that narrowly aims sales pitches and race-flavored propaganda at a small, gullible fraction of one ethnic community. It is a station that will sell us tap water as a "cure" for everything but the common cold, tell us that we have among us reptilians who are likely to steal our auras; that there was no moon landing in 1969, it was a studio fantasy with actors and a lunar hologram; that the trans-Atlantic slave trade never took place, because Africans migrated to North America on their own hundreds of years earlier and built amazing pyramids and cities. Of course, these cities are long gone and unrecorded, because it was against the law to publish books in the New World, or something like that. It's difficult to keep up with the lies they come up with—tell Haskins and others of his ilk that his obsession with slavery is being challenged by a newcomer's theory, another black man, and he is likely to have a nervous breakdown.

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.

Like Reimers himself, Ms. Katz is a Pacifica expense whose presence as a paid employee is inexplicable and almost—as 'indigopirate' so eloquently suggests—surreal:

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.

As somewhere in the night another voice whispers: Fear Rules. 

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.


  1. Andrea Katz teaches at LIM

    Andrea Katz at LIM, a college in NYC

    M.F.A., Vermont College. M.S., Long Island University. B.A., Queens College; Head Designer and Manager, AKO Store & Design Studio

    Berthold Reimers hired Andrea Katz as a favor to Stephen M Brown. Jim Dingemn stated this at a meeting of the WBAI Community Advisory Board. Before his departure from the ranks of Steve Brown's devotees, Mitchel Cohen told me that Andrea Cohen was hired because she was a friend of Steve Brown. No notice of the job opening was posted. Cohen boasted that WBAI could hire Katz without advertising the position because the position was listed as temporary. I am not joking. Cohen actually explained that Katz was given the title, interim Development Director, so that WBAI would not have to advertise the position.

    Thank you. Ed Manfredonia

  2. OK, so what we basically have in Katz is a woman who moonlights at WBAI to make extra money, since she has a day job at a fashion college and does nothing much at WBAI.

    Considering how the title "interim" is used without any set time limit before its dropped and the person becomes a permanent hire, I think there should be a rule of a 90 days limit on the use of the designation "interim" in a position title. After 90 days, the position becomes a permanent one if held by the same person.


    1. Why did we never use the ""interim" tag back in the day? Is it a union or Robert's rule?

      If someone is "interim" for an unreasonably long period, does he or she become "the legendary"?

    2. Doesn't "interim" have something to do with union mandated benefits or some such thing and trying to avoid them?


  3. Chris,

    According to Mitchel Cohen, "interim" meant that WBAI would not be required to advertise the position as mandated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.

    If I remember correctly, Andrea Katz was earning approximately $69,000 per annum and received benefits. (This should be in the Pacifica filings.)

    I have been told that Andrea Katz works primarily out of her design office and is employed as a part-time instructor at LIM.

    Mitchel Cohen had always defended Andrea Katz; but he has criticized her recently.

    Andrea Katz even arranged the hiring of her brother, Alan Arthur Katz, under the name of Alan Arthur because Andrea and berthold wanted to hire the nepotistic nature of Arthur's employment.

    It is Steve Brown, who mandated the hiring of Berthold Reimers, Andrea Katz, and Alan Arthur Katz (now deceased).

    Never forget that Brown lied and stated that Berthold Reimers was a CPA (Certified Professional Asshole- Yes; Certified Public Accountant- No!!!) and held two MBAs in Finance. Mitchel Cohen, WBAI's Master in Excel, always supported Andrea Katz and her brother, Alan Arthur Katz.

    Steve Brown has bought his followers with his money. Thank you. Ed Manfredonia

  4. It appears that the star-crossed lovers, Null and Reimers, have made up (again), and Null is pitching another one of his retreats as a premium in order to save the station (which he admits is on the brink of ruin). And so it goes . . . .

    1. Predictable. Haskins was embarrassing, as usual, and he further demonstrated his shortage of brain power when he re-ran the testimonials we had just heard. The station continues to be doomed with people like Haskins, Null, Reimers, Kathy and Bates still around.

      Only good thing—small, for sure—is that scam "professor" Daniels was pre-empted.

  5. Here i come to save the day !?!?!?!?!?

  6. This completely sucks , and they didn't even get to Joy Degrue yet!

  7. Prescod has been selling the Cuba: An African Odyssey film for, at least, two years now as only having limited numbers available. Yes, her ability to count is seriously impaired.

    As with most films hawked on WBAI, you can find it free on youtube, in two parts. I suspect this is where she got it, since she mentions it is in two parts. When I saw it on amazon, it was just one single film.

    Oh, and, for good measure, Dr Ben:


    1. Prescod has a very bad memory, which is what liars are not supposed to have.

      She calls this an "incredible suppressed" story. How does that jibe with its online availability? A good con artist is one who obscures the truth cleverly, but this woman and Pacifica's growing group of scammers take advantage of the one success they have had: the dumbing down and reduction of WBAI's listenership.

      Only exceedingly ignorant, intellectually-handicapped people would swallow the crap created by con-artists John Henrik Clarke and "Dr. Ben." I seriously doubt that Tony Bates believes their fantasies, but he has no problem trying to sell them, because he also has no moral fiber.

      The fact that the station encourages the sale of bogus products is something authorities should look into, not to mention the added rip-off of taking the money and not delivering the goods. Thee are crooks, people without shame who have no respect for their victims. Does it ever occur to them how unconscionable it is that they demand payment for their crimes from those upon whom they prey?

      Now Null and Reimers have kissed each other's asses and come up with a solution to their "thank you gifts"—scam. Null announced this in his typically self-congratulatory, lengthy message today. You won't be able to see Haskins on his dunce stool, nodding away, but I will be posting an audio of the solution Null carried as he descended with his tablets.

      Apropos Haskins the Hopeless, I'm sure that some of you have caught one of the reruns he has been foisting on the innocent listeners in the pat couple of days. It's a unintentionally tragi-comic 2013 "Cauldwell Journal" wherein they spew words at each other in an effort to sell a slavery book of highly questionable authenticity. You can see the cover of this book on Amazon, but it has no price, no reviews, no indication of actual existence. I doubt that it was ever printed, although Haskins claims that Reimers purchased a box or two back in '13, and now wants them sold. The frantic huckstering develops into a battle of two drama queens, and goes seriously overboard. As an added detraction, you will hear Haskins smitten by Cauldwell's hysteria, complete with an added sound effect to simulate listener response. In actual fact, it is a manual bicycle bell which they take turns ringing! As hilarious as it is embarrassing and pathetic.

  8. Personally, I think taking something available for free on youtube, and charging more than $100 for it, is simply ripping off your listeners. Sadly, many WBAI listeners are elderly and don't have computers, as I learned, so they can't check things out for themselves. WBAI is a parasite victimizing the people with the least. WBAI is everything it claims to stand against.

    Here's something to think about. People associated with WBAI are boasting about offering premiums which cost the station less, but there's no mention of charging less, of course. Basically, WBAI is looking to hawk other peoples' work (films, .pdf format books, etc.), which WBAI obtains for free, to its listeners, raking in 100% profit, except maybe the burning of a DVD, which costs, maybe, 50 cents. Talk about a scam!

    Anyway, the Null/Reimers smoochfest started last week, as I posted here in a previous thread. I think it's all nonsense, and only Null's wanting to sell slots to his prison sounding retreat. I guess Null is such a success that he doesn't have people knocking down the doors to get a slot. By the way, did anyone hear a price for this shindig? I didn't. I bet it is over $2,000. Hey, selling lemon water and watermelon is a profitable business, I suppose. Unlike selling freely downloaded materials, I guess selling lemon water and watermelon does mean a tiny financial investment, making it slightly more honest than other WBAI premiums.

    What it all comes down to is WBAI and its LSB being a pack of losers with a meal ticket provided by stupid listeners. As I keep saying, WBAI will be around as long as they can beg, borrow or steal just enough to keep the electric on or Pacifica sells it off. No, phones don't count in the equation.

    Now, what I want is a list of who gets a salary at WBAI and what those salaries are. So far I know Reimers gets $110,000, Katz, allegedly, $69,000. That leaves the interim PD, 3 - 5 engineers, a webmaster and who else? Maybe some salary cutting could save some serious money?