An unvarnished blog that dips into the past and comments
on the present of WBAI-FM, a once significant, intelligent New York
radio station that for years has suffered chronic abuse from within and now
nears extinction. Your comments are welcomed and will not be censored.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Has Bates checked in?
This morning, the staff e-mail contained the following notice of the "ewport" canceling and reschedule. Of course, we already heard that, but the significance of this announcement is that it came from Tony Bates. You remember Bates, don't you? His incompetence and behavior inspired some 100 staff/volunteers to sign a petition demanding his firing. Reimers had no option but to comply, so Bates was barred from WBAI.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Reimers—too widely disrespected to have anything to lose—brought him back for one of his marketing sprees and as if by magic, the salaried lemmings made a turn-around and all but fell to their knees. Bates was brought back again for the recent five-week scam-a-thon, and he was oilier than ever as he plowed new paths of deceit.
Now Bates appears to have been granted tenure by Reimers, a move that—if true—raises a tin cup-full of questions.
Here's what staffers and volunteers found in their communal inbox:
Greetings All, We've had to cancel the report to the listener today. It is rescheduled for Wednesday, November 30th, from 4 - 6 PM. Thank you,
WBAI 99.5 FM
388 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
One insider, R. Paul Martin, posted the following reaction on his restricted blueboard—the one with the tumbling tumbleweed:
"...I have to wonder if Bates has actually been hired for something. The General Manager had told the local Finance Committee, when he was coming to it, that Bates was hired only as a consultant to run the 'thons. "Programming Manager" is not a Staff position. It isn't Management, either. There has also been a hiring freeze in Pacifica for a long time. Maybe someone can get the General Manager to clarify just what's going on with this."
ADDENDA: SDL asked R. Paul:
So another question, which is probably layered in mystery. If Reimers can't really unilaterally hire Bates, who's paying his salary?
R. Paul posted his response this morning (Friday Nov 18):
A good question"I can't say for certain because I have been given no information. The General Manager hasn't told the local Finance Committee anything about having Bates do anything beyond the 'thons. I suspect that the salary must be coming from the general operational budget, probably a line for "Consultants."
The proposed "draft of a draft" WBAI FY17 budget contains a line called "Consultant Related Exp." which shows a grand total of $0. But then we have the line "Consultants" which shows $2,500 for each month from November 2016, through September 2017, which adds up to $27,500. But we have someone who's serving as Web master now, and the previous Web master, who passed away a couple of months ago, was being paid $3,500 a month. I also see a line "Fund Drive Expenses" that shows $6,000 a month for a total of $72,000 for FY17.
The draft of a draft FY17 budget is advertised as incomplete. So it's hard to draw a lot of reliable information from it. FWIW, looking at the latest P&L I see that the line "Consultant/Temps/Contractuals" shows $213,813 for FY15 and $240,864 for FY16.
If we can get the General Manager to communicate with us, this "Programming Manager" compensation issue will be one of the questions we'll ask.