Friday, September 2, 2016

Reimers' live report: can you believe?


Here is my edited version of this morning's Report to the Listeners. I have left Berthold Reimers' input intact, but edited out Michael Haskins' interruptions (fluff and ill-chosen music) and, at one point, near-takeover (as I predicted). The phone lines are still down for non-payment, so listeners had to e-mail their number to Haskins, who then called them back.

This is the closest Reimers has come to conducting a real Report to the Listeners, but he avoided several key issues, such as WBAI's rapid morph into a 3rd-rate black station; the outrageous distortions of history, some of which is hawked by "premium" sellers; etc.

He is revamping the program schedule, mainly by shuffling, it seems, and he claims to listen to the station all the time. When asked why listeners are asked to donate money, but never told how it is used, Reimers would like us to think that he is doing us a favor by keeping that kind of information secret—he says that it is "boring."

Reimers' Report, aired live Sep. 2, 2016 - 6 - 7 AM.

45 comments:

  1. I don't believe it at all.

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  2. The only illuminating thing was the moron callers. They may be even dumber than Reimers.

    SDL

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    1. What did you expect? This was Haskins' time slot!

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    2. I tuned in live (dead) at 6 a.m. I fell asleep 4 separate times in the 2 hours. What did I miss?

      KGT

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    3. Listen and you will hear, click on Reimers' Report.... above

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    4. I gave you a great line. That's the best you can do?

      KGT

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    5. Haskins' unsuitable music mishmash, of course.

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  3. We're averaging about $8,000 a day during fundraisers. He projects $12,000 a day and says he wants to raise it to $15-18,000 a day. That's not going to happen with this program grid. On top of that, he wants the LSB to be raising $5,000 a month. That just makes no sense. Even if the LSB could do that, it would become nothing more than a marketing committee with no time for actual governance. As long as there is no fair way to evaluate programming, his changes will appear to be arbitrary. He's already backtracked his decision on at least two shows.

    I like his focus on the BAI Buddy program. He says it brings in $10-15,000 a month. If he wants it to be the primary source of revenue which is a good idea, he has a long way to go. He said the stations would get about $300,000 a year in CPB funding. That's interesting because it roughly matches the deficit.

    This report is the first I heard about the station implementing the Spanish-language mandate by doing shows Monday-Thursday from 10-12. It could work but they will have to do what he is asking all programmers to do which is to raise money within their programs and create premiums. He says too few have responded which is not surprising if as a programmer, you have no real fear of losing your spot.

    I hope we can do podcasts. Its an easy way to expand the programming and try out new shows before putting them on the air.

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    1. There are dozens of Spanish language stations on AM and FM broadcasting 24/7. Why would a Spanish-speaking person select WBAI, especially if he only spoke Spanish and had no way of knowing that WBAI had a couple of hours of Spanish programming. Also, I refuse to fund Spanish language broadcasts which I cannot get the benefit of. This is another example of anti-white Anglo bashing affirmative action anti-white racism that WBAI thrives on.

      KGT

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    2. I believe this is an idea that originated in California, where it might make sense. In NY it doesn't.

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    3. Reimers has a great imagination. He should write children's stories.

      It is not the LSB's job to raise money for WBAI. This shows how far people have come from understanding the purpose of the LSB was to represent the listeners and their interests by giving them a more direct connection to the station than just writing letters as individuals. Personally, I think it is nothing more than a playground for a micropolitical two party system for children. LSBs should be eliminated. We have had nine months without an LSB and it has made no difference, showing just how useless it really is.

      The Spanish language mandate from Pacifica is absolutely mindless. Just say "Bye bye" to more of your listeners. No one is going to come from the other twenty or more Spanish stations available in the NY market. It's grasping at imaginary straws.

      There will be no podcasts and, even if there were, it would be a disaster. Most WBAI listeners are elderly and poor without computers, smart phones, etc. Also, are these alleged podcasts pre-recorded or live streaming. Pre-recorded ones can't take phone calls and- Oh, wait, mute point.

      These LSB and LSB wannabe people are just too much. When is one going to just come out and say they need to fire Reimers?

      SDL

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    4. Its good to see SDL still stuck firmly in curmudgeon mode. You're still thinking about the current audience. I want to grow the audience. They listen to podcasts. Many speak in Spanish and are getting the same commercial crap in English and Spanish. We're supposed to be alternative radio. Are you saying we can't do interesting programming in Spanish? Its just an idea. I said on the air that the current programming grid doesn't work. Let's try something different. Even Reimers gets that although I think he is focused solely on fundraising and not other factors to evaluate programming. You can't have it both ways. If you think the LSB is useless then you must like the one man show in charge. If you don't like the one man show, then you must like the idea of the LSB representing the listeners.

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    5. @Michael Ochoa: No need for personal epithets, as it does nothing to help your credibility.

      First, you're not going to grow the audience. When are you people going to learn that? You have what you have, and that's it. If - IF - you were able to increase the audience, it would take a long time, lots of programming changes and lots of advertising. WBAI has neither resources nor time for that. Learn to live within your means pf 6,600 people who give you money.

      There are no podcasts, nor will there be any. Are you familiar with the excessive copyright and royalties rules for podcasting? It literally caused Live365 and thousands of podcasters and internet stations out of business earlier this year. These rules are far worse and more expensive than the same for a radio station.

      OK, so you want to throw away the English speaking audience for Spanish. That is totally disrespectful to the listeners and amazingly stupid. Also, if you want Spanish broadcasting, go do a band scan for 10 minutes on the FM dial and you'll find a load of Spanish pirate radio stations, some doing better political programming than WBAI ever could. Just slowly tune the dial from one end to the other any evening and you'll be amazed.

      "Let's try something different." Yes, get rid of all the Black nationalist crap save for an hour or two a week, the New Age shits like Kathy Davis, the meaningless Hip Hop shit, the corporate soul and R&B music, single minded bigots (Howard Johnson, Katie Halper, Gary Byrd, etc.) and people who won't even pitch for WBAI and have no listeners, like Bob Fass. Now you eliminated, at least, 70% of the programming and have a nearly clean slate.

      As for the LSB, maybe you haven't listened long enough, but WBAI didn't have an LSB until recently. All the better financial times with many more listeners were pre-LSB, when a GM and PD ran the station and you wrote letters to the GM and PD to make your voice heard!

      Now, I dare you - I DARE YOU - to say "FIRE REIMERS!" Come on...

      And, just for the record, I'm half Spanish and Castilian is my first language, so don't dare try to accuse me of having anything against "Spanish."

      SDL

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  4. It came out of KPFK. Still a stupid idea

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  5. Yes, Chris, the Spanish language programming has been a pet project of Lydia Brazon's for at least a decade (and probably more). It makes no more sense in LA than anywhere else, for the same reasons, and the 10+ year "experiment" at KPFK has produced few listeners outside of friends and relatives of the programmers and virtually zero listener support.

    "On top of that, he wants the LSB to be raising $5,000 a month." This has become a popular talking point for managers and certain boardmembers. Spending time guilting hapless LSB members to raise money sucks a lot of air out of the rooms so managers never have to answer for their incompetence (or worse) and PNB members never have to answer for the three late audits (and worse), costing the network almost $3 million in lost revenue.

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    1. Thank you for those details, Kim. Always a pleasure to see you here.

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  6. I'm not so sure about that. The audience is different. LA's community is mostly Mexican and Central American. NY is more Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, etc. If the programming had a mix of local/national/intl/cultural affairs, it could work. What little I heard on KPFK in Spanish seems to have a very narrow focus.

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    1. The bottom line is, "Why should I pay for programming that I, an English speaker, cannot get the benefit of"?-(assuming there is some benefit to Pacifica programming these days).
      answer: I won't and neither should you.

      KGT

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    2. Personal Computer Show got a reprieve. As did one other show .... I think Out FM. Good! A lot of us talked with management about that ...

      Michael Ochoa is right, but WBAI already has Spanish language shows, largely music, and also one important weekly political-oriented Spanish-language show. We're way beyond the PNB's stipulations without the added language shows, which make no sense, seems to me, unless they can be marketed properly, ads in Spanish language papers and on other radio stations, college stations, etc. -- which WBAI just does not do. WBAI used to have a Spanish-language news show which was pretty good if one spoke Spanish but which had next to zero listeners and killed the programs that followed it as so many people tuned out. If there are other-language shows (how about the large Russian community in Brooklyn, for one?), they should be mixed with summaries in English, which would make things interesting and keep the audience ....

      Mitchel Cohen

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    3. Wrong answer. You're supporting the station and alternative radio. All those Spanish language stations are spouting the same crap in another language. Why not offer something different? Why not try to grow the audience? You can still listen to your shows. I'll listen to Letters and Politics. Chris can listen to Randy Credico and SDL can listen to Bob Fass.

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    4. I can't believe it, but I am in basic agreement with Mitchel Cohen here. I have also previously said here that if you're going to put on other languages to have ones less represented in the local media. At least you'll lose money being different.

      @Michael Ochoa: Seriously? If you want to insult me, at least say Daulton Anderson. I'll stick with Off The Hook, the PC Show and Letters & Politics.

      SDL

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    5. John McDonagh should do Radio Free √Čireann in Gaelic.

      KGT

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    6. McDonagh should do a live report from a Protestant area in Northern Ireland. I know some people there who would just love to meet him...

      SDL

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    7. In my mind, Martin Galvin is a terrorist. It is a shame on WBAI to allow him as an MC of a show, even as a substitute host.

      KGT

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    8. Who is Martin Galvin and why do you see him as a "terrorist"?

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    9. Martin Galvin was the publicity director for the New York-based NORAID, an Irish American group fund-raising organization which raised money for the families of Irish republican prisoners, but was also accused by the American, British, and Irish governments to be a front for the supply of weapons to the Provisional IRA.

      KGT

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  7. Just saw this on the joe King/TPCS twitter page. Very interesting, as I bet Null is just doing it to spite Reimers.

    "Internet radio PRN.FM has added the Personal Computer Show to their LIVE schedule Wednesday night at 6pm."

    I guess they are doing two separate episodes on Wednesdays, one at 6:00 PM for PRN and one at 8{00 PM for WBAI?

    Anyway, look at the page.

    https://twitter.com/pcradio212

    SDL

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    1. Well, this snatch and grab makes more sense than the Kathy one ever did.

      It's all in the game, isn't it?

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    2. Null likes collecting unhappy WBAItes.

      Correction: 6PM/PRN & 9PM/WBAI.

      SDL

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  8. (JustAListener)

    Listening to Reimers now.
    Sounds like Twit Wit radio has some competition!
    He actually had the nerve to mention his use of QuickBooks after bemoaning the loss of CPB funding.
    He blamed everyone and everything - even Ronald Reagan!
    Some other nuggets (and I'm only half way through):
    "I cannot connect with the need for all that information"
    "Transparency begins and ends with me".
    I wish someone (Chris, Indigo?) had the time to cut and splice the best gems.

    At least he didn't say "the dog ate my homework" though that's a good summation.

    Other than the entertainment, the only thing of interest is that Reimers felt enough pressure that he decided he needed to show up for an hour and a half.

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  9. When you think about it, WBAI broadcasting in any language besides English doesn't make sense. In the NYC area, there are not only Spanish-language stations, but also outlets in other languages spoken in the area, including Creole (Radio Soleil). Such stations are far more in touch with the concerns, needs and tastes of their communities than WBAI could ever be, even if it had competent people running it.

    (Fun Fact: There is a weekly newscast in classical Latin. No, it doesn't come from the Vatican. Rather, it emenates from--of all places--Finland, which was never part of the Roman Empire.)

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    1. Wonderful information and observation, Justine.

      Love the Classical Latin coming from Finland, but I shouldn't be surprised, because that country has always been somewhat unpredictable. Situated between Sweden and Russia, it's language is more related to Hungarian!

      Also, although Finns are not known for their passion, they love their tango dance halls, doing their Argentinian numbers with all the emotion of wind-up couples. :)

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    2. I want to know where I can hear the Latin broadcast.

      SDL

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  10. just heard that gerald horne's great, great, great, great , grandparents who were slaves themselves , were regularly beaten by other slaves for being so annoying . true story! haha

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    1. I cannot speak to the validity of that, but it is a historical fact that in the antebellum South, free blacks owned black slaves. Also, Native Americans owned black slaves.

      KGT

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    2. Hush your mouth, KGT! The WBAI history hackers don't want to hear that kind of talk. :)

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    3. And for a time, free black people could even “own” the services of white indentured servants in Virginia as well. That usually meant “Irish”.
      No wonder John McDonagh and Sally O'Brien are stuck at WBAI.

      KGT

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    4. Also, I just read that Native Americans owned Native American slaves whom they conquered in inter-tribal warfare.

      KGT

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  11. Interestingly enough the Spanish Language mandate was the shows had to be on between 6 AM and 8 PM, if I recall.

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  12. I'm halfway through. Everything he does at WBAI is great. The problems are caused by:
    - the PNB
    - producers who didn't come up with a premium for their shows
    - the listeners who won't pony up $15K/day during marathons
    - Hurricane Sandy
    - Ronald Reagan's budget cuts in the 1980s
    - the Christmas coup of 2000

    Other than the blame-shifting, the best thing about him is how he tries to sell failure as success. So his failure to pay the phone bill becomes "I saw that the phone expenses were too high and decided to make a change." His avoidance of interaction with the listeners becomes "I prefer not to come on the air and interfere with your enjoyment of the programming." This, btw, is precisely what Trump does. ("Look at how much press I get when I say dumb things! Look at how much money I am saving by not having a voter ID system!") It's a standard con artist tactic.

    Last observation: He puts the number of unfulfilled premiums at an incredible 2800. Two thousand eight hundred screwed over listeners! And Reimers says that the 2800 figure is counting from February 2016 backward. So it doesn't include any unfulfilled premiums from the May or the August drives. Failure to ship isn't even counted as a problem until 7 months have passed. How can anyone be dumb enough to send money to these people based on a premium offer?

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    1. Also, he spares us from accounting transparency, because it would bee "boring"!

      How considerate of him!

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    2. So much for Gary Null's claim to have made so much money that all owed premiums were sent out. See how full of shit Null really is?

      By the way, Volkswagen was the last car company to install power steering in their cars. Just before they did, they made a famous TV advertisement with Dustin Hoffman telling you how Volkswagen leaves control of steering in the drivers' hands.

      SDL

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    3. No offense, but are you sure about that? I can find Hoffman pitching the Type 3 ‘Fastback’, but I didn’t see any reference to ‘leaving the steering in the driver’s hands’.

      In any case, there was no reason to put power steering on these cars – no engine weight over the front wheels, fairly light overall, and without power steering weight and complexity were kept minimal, and road feel was superior.

      Same of course for Porsche’s of that time period.

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

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    4. Yeah, I saw the TV add many years ago somewhere.

      SDL

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