Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

CONfused "professor"

Ron Daniels is never at a loss for self-puffery, but even today's WBAI has callers who don't drink the Kool-Aid. 

No real reason for posting the following audio clip from today's Advantage Point show, but  while we wait for the important news...

Not so professorial moment.

Anger redux

Someone apparently intercepted Randy’s descending towel!

Randy Credico at 1:02 am:
I will be on inside City Hall [NY 1]with errol Louis calling for the ny attorney general and  state controller to do a thorough audit of the books at WBAI it's time to bring this corruption to an end...i am not going away... the national board must get rid of these two vile and uneanted grifters..dont make the state have to act on behalf of the burned listeners and donors.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Credico anger update

The following quotes were posted by Randy Credico Today, Friday,  November 22, 2017. They speak for themselves, so I will not elaborate, but I wonder if the predictions are of the puffed Null variety.

I didn't have to wonder long. The Saturday sun rose this morning and lit up a Null-like U-turn. 

After a good night's sleep and much rumination I've decided to walk away from the whole thing.. time to put my energy somewhere else... it's not worth it so j wish the best of luck for all involved... there are bigger battles out there..i will not be discussing WBAI on NY1.. I had a great 18 months run at the station and 34 yr connection. —Randy Credico

It was only yesterday that we heard from Mr. Credico the following:

Reimers and Bates will probably be indicted before they are replaced

Berthold is under investigation by nycha for using his state and city subsidized home for Airbnb... he is a con man and we all know it and so is the con man that he hired Tony Bates to circumvent the LSB... I will not be quiet I will continue on a daily basis because I have a lot more on these two clowns

I have a dozen people who have complained that after 6 months they have yet to receive their premiums... we're told salary is more important and sending out premiums that's all he cares about

The opposition to Berthold and Tony Bates is burgeoning I have yet to meet one person that works there that likes either one of them... I will be discussing this on Monday or Tuesday on inside City Hall about the endemic Corruption of the these two clowns who think that they own the station and when they're out of there they won't be able to get a job managing a hot dog stand ...I mean would you hire them?   —Randy Credico

WBAI's uncivil civil war

You probably recall the honeymoon, that trip Randy Credico and Berthold Reimers made to Albany a few months ago. It culminated in a so-called "press conference" on the steps of New York's City Hall. The media was conspicuously absent from this press event, as were the station's listeners, but some WBAI producer/hosts and one or two minor politicians showed up. In short, it was another flop in this endless farce. A letter solicited from one politician was sent to the ESB legal people, but it failed to dissuade the judge, who ruled in King Kong's favor. It seems that nobody was buying the phonies up pleas of innocence. 

However, Reimers did give Credico a weekly time slot and there was a brief, ineffective story on the NY 1 channel, but WBAI and its "management" were, if anything, further ridiculed and subsequent fund raising efforts have yielded the most miserable results ever.

It is said that Tony Bates—who cajoled his way into a snug position at Reimers' bosom and is as widely despised in and around WBAI—deeply resented the effectiveness of Credico's elbows, so a seething internal battle surfaced and ended in Credico abruptly storming out.

Ended? Well, I guess not. We don't know the details yet, but Credico appears to be seething and bent on some form of revenge. This related but frivolous side act comes when the station and Pacifica are facing possible extinction, so be prepared.

A chronic protester, Credico obviously enjoys attention—Bates, not so much. So we know who fires the first shot. Apropos that, Credico posted the following publicly, yesterday. I have no hope left for a satisfactory solution to the Pacifica problem, but I think it is fair to surmise that Reimers is too cowardly to take either side. This is all so infantile—Bill Crosier should finally step in and dismiss them all. What do you think?

I will continue to fight I've got so much publicity coming to New Yorkers doing a profile on me this week I have New York one Newsweek to name a few I will not stop until this dictatorship by two dicks comes to an end thank you for your support let me add anyone that supports them should write me off of their list because I have no respect for anyone that has respect for Berthold and Tony Bates. —Randy Credico

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mystery meeting acknowledged

Many are wondering if there was a PNB meeting yesterday and, if so, what happened. Pacifica iED Bill Crosier just posted the following response:

Yes, there was a PNB meeting last night, all in executive session.

No significant motions were approved - just minor ones like amending the agenda, approving minutes, and one other minor motion.

Sorry I can't give details - all exec. session.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

To be or not to be

Word has it that Pacifica's National Board will hold another emergency session tonight (Tuesday, November 21) and that this one will get down to the nitty gritty of reality. We'll see.

Heated discussions and warmed over opinions are taking place at and between all stations as everybody wait for the "big one", as Red Foxx used to say. If it doesn't come this week, it will pop out of the Pacifica cake very seen. Regardless of the Board's decision, it will heat up the babble and make a severely fractioned community even more so.

WBAI usually bears the brunt of accusations in this blame game, but mismanagement and incompetence is Foundation-wide.  In a letter posted today by a KPFA producer, Donald Goldmacher, he extols the virtues of his station—declaring it in perfect health—while more or less describing WBAI as a burden. Well, the truth they all so assiduously try to avoid belies Goldmacher's Reimeresque assertions—for example, KPFA's studio has a $250,000 lien on it.  The entire network of five stations is a model of nonfulfillment. A frivolous KPFA "report" recently regurgitated details of the neglect and abuse that has led to a network-wide mass exodus of listeners and general disrespect. 

Pacifica's national office is in as great a disarray as are the stations and I am sure WBAI is not the only station whose membership records and pledge commitments are outdated and incomplete.

As most of us know by now, WBAI has two factions, the Indy group and the JUCs. The latter is led by Cerene Roberts, a schemer whose second nature appears to be obstruction. A member of the station's LSB she also serves as a WBAI rep at PNB meetings and clearly gets her jollies from disrupting them to such an extent that nothing positive is accomplished. No, she is not the Patty McCormack variety of a bad seed, there is method in her abysmal behavior: a Machiavellian takeover of WBAI. 

This is so ludicrous that one almost blushes at the thought of it, but the JUCs—now in cahoots with a not so stellar West Coast Pacifica mob—are loosely aligned with a former WBAI person who runs a solidly financed Manhattan-based streaming organization and would love to add a powerful radio frequency to its channels. So, when Ms. Cerene feigns a love for WBAI and a desire to keep it with Pacifica, she is actually being her devious self. A West Coast group of Pacifica associates have long been working on a takeover of the Foundation, but that didn't pan out. It did, however, spark ideas in Cerene's circles—a group of self-serving street corner activists who had managed to gain sufficient control of WBAI to change its direction. Community radio was far too broad a tag, they thought, so they redefined the term to comprise only a small segment of the New York area community: themselves.

And who were they? The very same people one used to find preaching pap on the street corners of 125th Street and in the Village. Weak, racially motivated management had opened WBAI's microphones to intelligence defying individuals of actual and imagined black ancestry. When Pacifica's founding principles got in the way—as they increasingly did—they were simply disregarded. 

The quality and substance of WBAI's programs had already undergone severe dilution, but now—more and more—the focus was placed on "people of color", specifically the less enlightened. One of Pacifica's goals had been to offer listeners of all stripes an intelligent alternative to pedestrian commercial broadcast fare, but now its stations came close to counteracting rationality and knowledge. The lowered standard, lack of substance and general stagnation eventually took its toll and listenership began to decline.

Bills piled up, but none as high as the antenna hookup at the Empire State Building. That one had accumulated to a couple of million dollars when WBAI/Pacifica was sued for the arrears plus legal fees. It all seemed to play into the hands of the JUCs, who had worked diligently to bring the station down and make it ripe for acquisition. 

The LMA (Local Marketing Agreement) option is a deal where ownership is retained but the station is leased to another broadcaster. It was welcomed by many until word got around that LMAs have a history of ending as outright sales. Probably with that in mind, the JUCs have escalated and made more transparent their wish to have WBAI offered as a LMA. However, all their scheming is not likely to get them any closer to seeing a friendly takeover or the continuance of a New York station for passé race-based propaganda.

Here, in a letter posted yesterday, is Interim Executive Director Bill Crosier's explanation clarification:

From Bill Crosier

I am completely opposed to a PSOA (like an LMA except for nonprofits).
For nonprofit stations, the FCC does not allow a PSOA to provide any more money to the owner of the license (Pacifica, in this case) than is necessary to pay current operating expenses of the station (WBAI). A PSOA cannot legally be used to pay debt, and in fact the station would not be able to do additional fund raising while a PSOA is in place to pay off debt. The FCC has levied large fines on stations that have done that. Talk that I've heard from some in NY about "creative ways" of using a PSOA to pay future tower lease obligations to Pacifica in order to pay off debt makes no sense at all. The future tower lease obligation is owed to ESRT, not to Pacifica, so how would a PSOA help with that? It cannot help.
What we need more than anything else is money to pay off debt, including the ESRT judgment, additional legal expenses for the ESRT case, and additional unpaid tower lease payments that have not been made since May. We also have several millions of dollars of other debt, independent of the tower lease. A PSOA would make it impossible to (legally) use WBAI to help pay off any of that.
A PSOA would also be, in effect, like giving the station away at a bargain basement price - not a good move for either WBAI nor for the rest of Pacifica.
So, yes, you all are right to ask who would benefit from a PSOA. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Unvarnished Nov 15, 2017 drive pledge list...

Somewhat short of expectations, but every cent counts at this point. Here, in PDF format, is a breakdown of the pledges, as our fly registered it. The names of donors have been removed, to preserve a modicum of privacy, but the zip codes paint an interesting picture—not many responses from the East Coast.

What the fly saw at day's end.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

That fly on the wall...

November 13, the day of reckoning set by the court in the case of King Kong versus Pinocchio, has come and gone without any decisive action by either party.

In the wee hours of this morning, rumors mixed with dilettante radio to pollute the air from coast to coast with a network-wide fund raiser. Some of us wondered why this drive was aimed at supporting the Pacifica Audio Archive; not because that isn't a worthy cause, but the timing seemed odd since Pacifica itself is in a hopeless situation, facing the biggest financial crisis in its close to 70-year history.

The schedule became less perplexing as the Wednesday sun came up on the East Coast and Pacifica finally focused on the more immediate problem. There was little mention of the actual problem, and barely a hint of it being self-afflicted, but one again had to question the wisdom of Pacifica's National Board. How much money did the Foundation expect to raise by repeating the previous day's pitches and offering the same flash stick sampler? Remember, the listenership had already been reduced to its all-time low—did they expect to reach a different remnant of shoppers?

It is this sort of naïve, inexperienced dabbling that has Pacifica's demise tagged as a suicide mission.

The second day of imploring is still going on as I write this—same slightly skewed pitches, same games of tag with reality, same emphasis on black-oriented material. That little stick is a remarkable collection of sounds that reflect Pacifica's past, but it obviously has not occurred to the drive's dimwitted architects that nearly all the little stick's enduring, precious content stems from the earlier years, a time when honesty, integrity and intellect mattered to Pacifica's producers as well as its audience. 

They are attempting to sell exquisite vintage wine to Koolaid connoisseurs. They are not recognizing the fact that Pacifica abandoned loyal, appreciative listeners by lowering its standards beyond recognition and gnawing at credit cards instead of nourishing absorbent intellect.

So, how are they doing? Are the fish biting?

The PNB doors are still closed to the paying/listening public, so we don't know exactly what is going on. Last heard, bankruptcy and signal swaps were neck-to-neck options, but who know what else they might come up with? 

As for the current drive, there are flies on the wall and one of them gave us a little tally buzz.

From the looks of it—and here I have to be deliberately vague—the total pledged by 10 PM EST is close to $70,000. A small sum when one considers the 2 million owed the Empire State Building so far—Although this figure does not include KPFA, which probably uses volunteers instead of a phone service, this is not very encouraging.

The WBAI area calls have so far amounted to about a dozen out of 250 and the number of pledges reported by WPFW, Washington DC, can be counted on the fingers of one hand!

None of this is surprising.

Bear in mind that these are not net income figures: the memory sticks cost money, as does packaging and shipping.

There was not a lot of urgency in the few mentions I heard regarding the drive's raison d'etre, but here's how Brian Edwards-Tiekert put it as the second day began:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

"Family" feud?

Wannabe radio pro Michael Haskins keeps trying to convince us and himself that WBAI is one happy "family". Sure, and bacon is a dietary food endorsed by Null and Void. 

Apropos living the lie, I thought you might find the following brief exchange illuminating. We know that Credico went poof and Bates has the credibility of Goebbels, but the following gives us a closer look. Mind you, there are a book-full of such stories at WBAI—this is but one. And that clock keeps ticking...


On Nov 8, 2017 7:38 PM, "Tony Bates" <> wrote:

Dear Mr. Credico,

I am writing to inform you that WBAI management has made the decision end our relationship with you and the program "Live On The Fly" with Randy Credico.  This decision has been made due to your internet bullying and harassment of WBAI management.

Further, it appears from social media sources that you may have attempted to damage WBAI financially, by initiating a boycott of the station via Julian Assange and or John Pilger, as demonstrated by the link below.

The actions mentioned above are unacceptable at WBAI. 

Thank you for the time you've donated to WBAI.

Gook luck with your future endeavors. 

Tony Bates
Programming Manager

... and A RESPONSE 

On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 12:57 PM,Randy Credico <> wrote:

So says the veteran sexual harasser ..and objectifier of all things breathing...your sordid sick verbal lust for Naomi Wolf as an example...all know about it Bates... I will deal with your libelous false charges with are not nor ever will be program director so please do not send me any more of your twisted vindictive missives.

...sorry about your 5th consecutive abysmal fund drive are responsible nobody stop the harassment ..

Randy Credico
Host and producer
Live on the Fly Tuesdays on WBAI

PS  how you, who have no visible record of achievement in any field of endeavor, could insult a living legend who does have one with 100s of awards, John Pilger, not once but twice, is blasphemous and an insult to the spirit of WBAI and Pacifica... you should step down immediately so the station can recover from your short reign of error and terror 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Outside looking in...

As November 13, 2017 looms large, we have heard a variety of proposed solutions, mostly from people who don't know what they are talking about.

The people at Spark News know the world of community radio better than most, so let's take a good look at the options they published today, November 7, 2017.

Tracy Rosenberg asked:
Did  the PNB authorize this fundraising for bankruptcy? (Kind've a dumb idea. All the people who donated to pay for the audits should ask for their money back. I'm going to. I didn't give you money for this garbage). 

If not, you need to have better control over what information your employees distribute to their coworkers. 

Below you will find a little more why-bankruptcy-is-the-worlds-worst-idea material. As if you haven't seen enough by now.

KPFA's Program Director, Laura Prives, wrote:

Pacifica Needs Our Help

Everybody knows the financial pressure the foundation is under and we’re all hopeful that together we can find a way to turn around the Pacifica foundation's financial situation.

On November 14th the Pacifica Radio Archive will air their yearly pledge drive and KPFA will host a second day billed as building a bigger and stronger network on Wednesday, November 15th. KPFA has been asked by the National office to host this extra day of fundraising for the upcoming struggle to stay on the air.

Additional fundraising is not exactly what any us want to do, but under the dire circumstances, I hope you’ll join in and do your best to raise a $150 thousand dollars all five stations will be working towards. Bill Crosier and Sam Agarwal have informed us the funds raised will be used as a down payment for our bankruptcy lawyers.

I apologize for the late notice. Please email me directly at if you have any questions.

I'll be contacting folks to host and pitch today.

Thanks for your patience and please hope for a better future for Pacifica,
Bill Crosier reacted:
About the extra fundraising we need (and plan to do on Nov. 15 in a national fund drive, immediately after the Nov. 14 PRA annual fund drive):

I was not there, but apparently things were not reported quite correctly at KPFA's LSB meeting on Saturday.

It's true that a few weeks ago, after the judge issued his decision in the ESRT case about the unpaid WBAI tower rental, chapter 11 bankruptcy was looking more likely. We knew that if we had to file ch. 11 in order to prevent ESRT from seizing assets, we would need at least $150K for just paying a retainer to get a bankruptcy filing started.

Since then, Sam Himmelstein has urged us not to panic, and we are hoping to avoid having to file for bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy does have certain advantages (including stopping collection activities by ESRT and any other creditors, and giving us more time), but it also brings additional significant costs and difficulties.

We have started the process for applying for a loan, using a building as collateral. It may take a couple of weeks to get the loan approved, and after that the PNB will still have to approve the actual loan. A loan cannot be the whole solution to the ESRT tower lease problem, though, because a loan will have high interest payments because of our bad credit and because it just refinances part of the debt. We need more than just the minimum needed to pay the judgment. The loan will NOT provide enough funds for all this:
  • the judgment plus additional unpaid lease amounts that have accrued since May, plus interest and legal fees, and the rest of the tower lease, and unfunded pension liabilities and penalties that we need to pay in the next few months for all stations, to cover the last several years.
Plus we have several million more of other debt, but just let me address the above for now.

We are looking for frequency swaps, for WBAI or WPFW (not both) to provide funds that won't have to be paid back. A few Directors have suggested selling buildings to do that, although I don't think that will provide enough usable net cash unless all buildings are sold, which I don't see as feasible. But either a frequency swap or selling buildings may take time to finalize, and it became clear that if we don't have to file for bankruptcy, we are likely to need the loan more for some of the other obligations noted above, so we don't end up back in court in a few months.

So I think we may need $150K or more soon, whether we use it for a retainer for bankruptcy (again, which I hope we can avoid), or for paying interest on a loan that we may need very soon.

But both Sam Agarwal and I want everyone to know that perhaps the worst thing to do would be to get a loan using a building as collateral without a decision by the PNB on exactly how we're going to pay back the loan. It would be dangerous to risk losing one of our buildings to foreclosure in a few months when we can't make the interest payments, or at the end of the loan if we can't pay back the principal.  If that happens, we'll probably be in bankruptcy anyway, but with an additional problem that we don't have now (loan in default).

We're still waiting on some offers that I think will come soon for frequency swaps, but we don't have them yet so we can't decide which one to take until we actually have at least one offer that's acceptable.

But stay tuned over the next couple of weeks, as we get more information.

In the meantime, today the transcript and judge's order was posted (and signed by the correct judge this time) on the NY courts web site for the ESRT case.  It will still be at least two weeks before anything else can happen, but we need to remain vigilant about that.

Monday, November 6, 2017

A tale of steal, beg, borrow?

Ford Greene Q&A PNB 20171102
an 'Indigopirate' summary

Sam Agarwal, CFO, asks as to individual board members’ fiduciary responsibility. Greene replies: You must be open, honest, must do your best, and must do what’s best for the organization as a whole while respecting the rights of persons in the minority point of view.

The long range issue, as Greene sees it, is to come up with a long term financial plan and debt repayment plan, and not to panic and lose sight of what’s best for Pacifica in the long haul, the immediate concern being the $8m in debt which comes due in the next six months.

If the finances are not addressed adequately, Pacifica will not be around.

More questions follow as to board member personal fiduciary responsibility, in part asking if the standards aren’t lower and more flexible for nonprofit boards.

Greene replies the standards are essentially the same.

Greene is asked under whose authority he filed notice of appeal with respect to board membership questions as to Sharon Brown and Mansoor Sabbagh. His reply is that he did so under the instruction of iED Bill Crosier.

Question is posed as to repercussions of a director failing to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility. Greene replies that in most cases  it would be civil, and in some cases criminal with a maximum sentence of six months and fine of $1,000.

A further question is posed as to Greene’s authority to file appeal re Sharon Brown. Greene replies that ethically he is required to take his ‘marching orders’ from the iED, as he is required to represent the organization as directed by the organization highest officer.

A questioner states that they have been advised to evaluate Pacifica’s financial situation and assets as a whole in order to devise a plan to move forward. She complains that her perception is that Greene has favored one particular path forward rather than everyone engaging in a discussion, and that she considers this threatening. Greene says that that was not his intent.

Greene emphasizes the vital importance of assessing the status of all five stations as a whole, as well as debt obligations, and that there ought be a clear, explicit, long range plan.

Question is then posed challenging Greene’s advisory role, arguing that Greene is stepping out of his role as counselor. Greene’s reply is that it isn’t his place to say a particular path might be a violation of fiduciary responsibility and that he’s tried to stay short of advising any particular course of action. 

At this point the open session is concluded, and proceedings move to Closed Session.

~ ‘indigopirate’
An October 26 PNB meeting excerpt.

We are gathered here...

Those hare-brained dabblers whose incompetence and nano-vision continued the misguided work of people like Samori Marksman and Bernard White have now all but succeeded in their efforts to metaphorically turn WBAI dark. No, they didn't flip the light switch, but they filled the air with one-sided racist rhetoric, bland chatter, pedestrian pseudo spirituality and more infomercials than Ron Pompeil created in a lifetime. As its program content grew worse, more dishonest and distant from Pacifica's principles, the likes of Tony Bates, Kathy Davis and Geoff Brady led the way to where WBAI now stands—teetering precariously on the precipice of oblivion.

Though cowardly out of sight and reach, Berthold Reimers underscored how unfit he is for the $110,000.00 job by sanctioning the staff's huge strides towards the obtainment of personal goals.

This "family", as the hopelessly insincere Michael Haskins calls them, entered deeper into the realm of scam holding hands but they pursue different ends. The more narcissistic ones seek to keep what they regard as their proprietary air time, others have business interests to maintain, and a few more hype self-serving, passé political agendas.

It all adds up to a WBAI that is narrow in scope and intellectually handicapped to a point where the overwhelming percentage of its loyal supporters have tuned out and reduced the listenership to the lowest in its 57-year history as a Pacifica station.

A pronounced atmosphere of mistrust exists on both sides of the microphone, nourished by Reimers who rarely is seen outside of his small inner circle of favorites du jour. Only he knows the actual figures that make up the station's income and how that money is disbursed. 

Despite repeated claims of WBAI being the voice of truth, a courageous Government target and "victim" of the Empire State Building, which is owed about 3 million dollars in rent arrears, there is little or no sympathy for the station. It has neither credibility nor a discernible moral stand. Until recently, the feuding factions were clearly defined, but as the end draws near and not so well-hatched plots to take command fall by the wayside, it is beginning to look like a backstabbing fest.

They have aired a couple of live discussions for the stated purpose of giving listeners an inside look and an opportunity to voice their opinion, make suggestions, etc. We used to have a two-way Report to the Listener every week—it was in keeping with the station being in a partnership with its listening sponsors and it proved to be very helpful to us, as well. Many excellent ideas came to our producers from hearing criticism as well as praise. Callers were not screened and, unlike today, neither were they cut off for expressing negative feelings. It's all about communicating and that can only be accomplished if everybody listens as well as speaks.

As we so sadly see when viewing WBAI's present situation, lies only breed more lies and lead to secrecy. There is an abundance of all that at the present WBAI and it is a sure sign of mismanagement and underhanded behavior.

We may never get to the bottom of it, but the expiry date is probably on the current calendar.

Most of what I state here is redundant and for that I apologize. It was my hope that this blog would help inspire a desire for recovery, but that was obviously naïve thinking on my part. It is true that WBAI does not carry commercials or receive financial corporate support, but individual producers have their own hustles going on the air and one could say that the many months of thinly disguised fundraising is equivalent to running infomercials—in fact, arguably worse, for the products ("premiums") are usually junk, always overpriced, and many times downright fraudulent.

At this stage, WBAI will be missed by remarkably few; we are talking about a radio station that for the past few years has not been allowed to breathe freely, a station that could have remained significant and blossomed further were it not for the gross incompetence of those who abused it.

Here is a letter that was posted today by one of WBAI's staff representatives on the Local Station Board. It is written under the pretext of seeking information regarding a meeting that is scheduled to take place three days later. The practical approach would have been for the writer, Mr. Riley, to simply give Mr. Young a call, but this letter is typical of the faction strain that has come to characterize the LSB and PNB meetings. It's a game played with inherent clumsiness.  —Chris  

November 5, 2017

To: Robert Young, WBAI Local Station Board Chair
Cc: Entire LSB

Dear Bob, At this time of extreme crisis and some irrevocable decisions about WBAI being contemplated by the Pacifica National Board (PNB), I'm writing to ask what plans you have for this Wednesday's LSB agenda to make sure that the board has sufficient information to take a position regarding the debt to the Empire State Building and the fate of WBAI. 

A swirling set of issues are being discussed by the PNB - - from a signal-swap to bankruptcy to loans. And it's critical that we, the governing board of WBAI, engage in due diligence to regarding the legalities, rules, practices, and pros/cons of all options. That requires bringing in experts. The interests of WBAI's listeners and staff may not be in alignment with those currently making decisions. 

A signal-swap would permanently affect WBAI's reach and listenership. We likely would be stuck with a signal that that has far fewer listeners which would make it harder to generate sufficient resources for ongoing support of our station. I agreed with your suggestion that the LSB hold an emergency board meeting BEFORE this week to deal with this situation, and I sent you several possible dates. You said you were still working on it, but never got back to me. On Thursday I left a message asking if you'd support inviting experts on these issues to this Wednesday's meeting but you never replied. 

I intend to introduce 2 resolutions on Wednesday: one opposing a signal swap, the other calling an emergency LSB meeting to dig deeper into the options with experts on either Wed., Nov. 15 at 7 PM or Sat., Nov, 18 during the day. 

Please include these items on the agenda, and let us all know if you will support including at least 45 minutes on this Wednesday's agenda to hear from and ask questions of at least one expert on some of these issues (if available). Of course I am willing to help locate such a speaker. 


John Riley
Staff representative, WBAI Local Station Board

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


If King Kong wishes to grab Pacifica's assets and effectively lead WBAI to market, it can proceed with such a move in less than two weeks. November 13th, to be exact. We don't yet know what the secret society known as the Pacifica National Board will do, but it is clear that gross mismanagement of this body and the stations it owns has hastened this day of reckoning.

Some of you may have noticed that yesterday, the judge's decision in the Empire State Realty Trust vs. Pacifica case (that he read in court on Oct. 3) was posted on the NY courts web site, at:

That's where all the filings are for this case. New ones are at the bottom.

However, the clerk for the court had sent the transcript to the wrong judge, who signed it, and there were a few other errors in it. It has since been taken down from the web page above.  So we have a little longer before it is corrected and signed by the correct judge, and re-posted.

While it's possible that starting 2 weeks after it's re-posted, that ESRT could begin the process to start seizing Pacifica assets, Sam Himmelstein, our attorney in the case, has told us repeatedly that he believes ESRT wants to work out an arrangement with us that will work for both parties, without disrupting things for us.

We are still getting information on possible options and hope we can have something specific that the PNB can agree on soon, and which we can present to ESRT as part of a plan to pay the judgement.

We need a plan to deal with more than the judgement, though, as the tower lease runs until 2020, and everyone knows we have found it impossible to keep up with the lease payments. So we need a plan that addresses those. Pacifica also has other very significant financial issues, including unfunded pension liabilities, the FY2016 and FY2017 audits still to do (with some additional funds needed to complete them), and other debt. There's a lot we need to catch up on.  We need a plan to handle the cash flow of all that plus our ongoing activities, as we have no extra revenue that can pay for the remaining years of the ever-increasing tower lease, or interest on a bridge loan.

Good news includes that KPFT, KFPK, and WPFW just concluded successful fund drives. KPFA concluded their fall fund drive a day early, last month. WBAI had to add a fifth week to theirs, though, and it's still continuing.

I want to assure everyone that we will not allow ESRT to seize Pacifica's assets and clean out our bank accounts. I realize that's what people are afraid of, but that's not going to happen. Chapter 11 bankruptcy (which would stop collection efforts while we continue to operate, until we can develop a plan to pay creditors) remains a possibility, but we want to avoid that because there are significant costs to the bankruptcy itself, plus some other issues, even though there are some advantages.  A bridge loan is also being considered, but both Sam Agarwal (our CFO) and I feel it should be part of a bigger plan, that includes how to pay off the loan itself as well as other 
obligations as noted above, such as the remaining tower lease. The PNB will be reviewing what information we have so far, this Thursday evening, and I think they soon will have enough info so they can make a decision about how to move forward on all of this.

Bill Crosier
Pacifica interim Executive Director
713-641-4941 (home), 713-305-5346 (mobile)
KPFT - 90.1 FM Houston - Radio for Peace
Pacifica Foundation

The following letter was posted today, November 1, 2017, by Steve Brown, who recently has kept a low profile.

Dear Pacifica Supporter:
To bring you up to date, in case you missed my prior emails: 
On Oct. 6, the Empire State Building corporation (a $3 billion realty trust) won a claim against the Pacifica Foundation for $1.8 million. It claimed that it was owed this amount for unpaid rent on WBAI’s broadcasting transmitter. The judge ruled—as irrelevant— Pacifica’s argument that it was being gouged by Empire State, which had been charging the foundation four times the current market rent, and that the “elevator clause” of the lease – raising Pacifica’s rent by 9% every year -- was “unconscionable.”
On Oct. 31 (yesterday), the judge posted his official order, setting Nov. 13 as the date on which Empire State could begin seizing Pacifica’s bank accounts and other assets. This would leave the foundation without any cash to pay for phones, electricity, salaries, etc., possibly shutting it down and forcing it off the air for the first time in its 68-year history.
Is there a solution? Of course there is. It’s just that management refuses to act on it. In fact, management seems not to be acting responsibly at all, as the “doomsday clock” ticks down for Pacifica. I have held back from publicly criticizing management until now, because of the good work it has done since taking over from the prior “rogue” management and board of directors, which had destroyed Pacifica’s finances. But I must criticize them now for not applying the correct solution to Pacifica’s debt crisis before it is too late.
What is that solution? It is simply to mortgage or sell some of Pacifica’s unused and underutilized real estate. (Our business is radio, not real estate.) This would bring in more than enough to pay the $1.8 million judgment and prevent Empire State from seizing Pacifica’s bank accounts and forcing it off the air. Pacifica would then have two to three years in which to recover and move forward. 
Unfortunately, management and a number of board members – without any real knowledge or experience in such matters – mistakenly believe that the foundation should declare bankruptcy. But it is clear, from the advice of five eminent bankruptcy attorneys, that this would be disastrous and, ironically, would ultimately force Pacifica to pay – not just $1.8 million – but more than $8 million. And Pacifica would have to sell its real estate anyway.
So why isn’t Pacifica doing the sensible thing? Because, in addition to poor judgment by management, there is self-serving factionalism among board members, some of whom seem to have private agendas that violate their fiduciary duty to the foundation. So unless their minds (or attitudes) are changed, this account of the problem that I have just sent you -- is worthless. It merely alerts you to an impending train wreck, which you must stand by and watch in horror, but are powerless to prevent. 
Since the advice of leading debt and bankruptcy authorities is being ignored by management, perhaps an outpouring from Pacifica’s thousands of supporters might be more effective. So if you have the time and the will – that is, if you haven’t yet given up on Pacifica – you might send an email urging immediate mortgage and/or sale of Pacifica’s unused or underutilized real estate to pay off the Empire State judgment before the Nov. 13 deadline date.
Here are the addresses of the Executive Director, Bill Crosier; the Chief Financial Officer, Sam Agarwal; and the Pacifica National Board. You can send one email to all three.;;
I wish I had better news to share with you.
Stephen M Brown