Wednesday, February 1, 2017
An anonymous suggestion...
It is no secret that Pacifica has been driven to the periphery of ruin, where it is precariously balanced, ready to plunge into oblivion at the mere gust of further mismanagement.
This is not a result of bad economic times, a New York storm, or shifting public taste—it is more accurately due to years of ineptitude and greed, spurred on by a corrupt, scheming faction of the PNB and LSB cohorts. It is a take-over game led by California manipulators and sanctioned by pseudo armchair activists. It is clear that this unlikely cabal is willing to sacrifice WBAI and other Pacifica-owned stations in order to achieve their goal.
As the game became clearer and the programming shifted into low gear, some alarmed Pacifica supporters remained faithful while the majority simply tuned out. This has resulted in the lowest listenership ever measured.
Many suggestions have been sent to the manager, Berthold Reimers, but he does not even acknowledge receipt of them. Calls are neither answered nor returned, and fundraising stale fundraising infomercials (most are deceptive, some even criminal) have become a steady diet.
The following was received as a comment, but it occurred to me the writer and Pacifica would be better served if it were posted on the main body of this blog. On-air callers with criticism (constructive or otherwise) are likely to get abused and disconnected, but your observations and suggestions might reach them if published here, a spot that many WBAI people—including "management"—read. —Chris Albertson
Since Pacifica has been a horror show now far longer than its period of true greatness [and on behalf of the dwindling number of those who remember that period, let me assure the doubters that it was truly great], the solution to this has been obvious, though evaporating, for some time. Sell WBAI [though it will garner maybe 20% of what it would have even ten years ago] and yes, even KPFA, which sit on commercial frequencies and would get a nice pile of cash, and turn Pacifica's sights on a website that would gather progressive broadcasts and writings worldwide and be a source of podcasts, also available worldwide. Such a site would have an enormous audience and influence and unite progressives not just in the United States, but around the world, at a time when they are under attack everywhere whether by Trump or LePen. To waste this money on a dwindling audience in areas circumscribed by an FM signal is ridiculous, especially when at least two of those signals would create a debt free Pacifica with the power to be a worldwide influence, and bring people from countries worldwide together and not just Brooklyn & Crown Heights. It would also mean freeing Pacifica from the sad connections to the Gary Null and Voids of this world. The technology is available for video as well and at costs that make the pouring of dollars into the antiquated technology of radio a tragic waste spent merely for the sake of nostalgia for the year by year smaller number of us who awaited the Folio each month and the joy of the most intellectually consequential radio stations of their day. It is time to move on, but I doubt you can reach agreement at Pacifica on anything, much less a radical reworking in technologies as new as FM was when Lewis Hill [Louis Schweitzer?]* gave a gift so recently and horribly abused as WBAI.
* I added Lou Schweitzer's name, thinking that the writer may have made a common mistake.