Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Official Word re iED Change

Press Release re new appointment

And then there is this:
Many people have pretty set positions on the loan vs bankruptcy issue that has faced Pacifica.

The PNB has decided to go the loan route, so that's what we're doing. But I still think it's very likely we'll be in bankruptcy before the end of the year, whether people want it or not, and I do question whether Pacifica can survive, especially if our boards do not rise to the challenge. I'm determined to do whatever I can to make sure that we not only survive but also get to where we can thrive, and I assume all of you reading this want that, too. But if we keep fighting each other over this issue, in addition to our traditional factional issues, and if we don't look down the road a bit to see where we are going, then it may not be possible.  Read on to see how you can prove me wrong about bankruptcy being in our future this year.

The controversy has people crossing what used to be long-time factional lines in Pacifica. I have friends on both sides of the loan vs. bankruptcy issue. I wish everyone would listen more to each other and consider the points being made on both sides, and not demonize or blame each other. That does not help.

I strongly believe in following the advice of experts. This especially includes our attorneys and our CFO, who know more about the law and finances that probably anyone on the PNB, including me.

Our attorneys, including the two bankruptcy attorneys with whom we've consulted, told us months ago that we should avoid bankruptcy if possible, but if and when we lost the NY lawsuit and Empire State Realty Trust filed their judgment in each of our locations, that unless we had a written forbearance agreement, we should declare ch. 11. That's been my position all along. I've also been consistently against getting a loan (especially using our buildings as collateral) without a defined payment plan. Saying that we'll later decide what signal to swap or what buildings to sell is not a plan.

I realize that some of you think bankruptcy means the end of Pacifica (I don't think that, obviously), or at least that it will cost too much. But chapter 11 is really made for situations like ours, to stop collections by creditors and give us time to develop and implement a financial restructuring plan - that could continue and enhance our mission. Organizations that don't make it out of bankruptcy are generally the ones with no assets. We do have assets- substantial ones (our licenses and buildings) that are worth much more than all of our debt - but we are cash poor.

I know many of you feel all we need to do is get some loans, and we'll have plenty of time to figure out what to do. But look at where we're headed in the next few months, and do the math. It's simple, but it's not pleasant to think about. We hope to have a $2 million loan funded very soon and hope that we can use that to pay off the ESRT judgment. There's an issue ESRT brought up last week about whether that money can be used to pay the judgment or whether they might force us (under provisions in the lease) to first pay the rest of the unpaid tower lease fees that have been accumulating since May (as the judgment only covers the period up to then). With the lease going up each year, we should be paying around $65K/month this year. Perhaps we can force them to accept the loan money in payment of the lease. That's something our attorneys will have to work on. But the debt remains, either way - it's just transferred to the loan.

We also have about 3/4 million dollars that we owe to our employee retirement fund very soon, and we may be hit with a very large penalty (in addition to interest) if we don't get it paid as soon as possible.

The total of what we owe ESRT now (about $2.6 million, including the judgment & additional accumulated lease fees through Dec. 31), plus the pensions (with some interest but without including penalties) is about $3.4 millionThat's what we owe nowthat must be paid very soon. By the end of 2018 we'll owe about $780K more to ESRT, plus interest and penalties if we continue to not pay anything on that tower lease. Remember we've paid zero since May 2017, and were only able to pay $12K/month (for most months) for the three years before that. That's why they sued us. We should not expect that we can make the ESRT lease payments if we keep doing the same as what we've been doing.

So if we don't change things regarding our finances, by the end of 2018 we'll need at least $4.2 million to pay for the above, plus whatever penalties we may have for the pensions being so late, and whatever legal fees we'll incur when ESRT sues us again for not making those tower lease payments. And that $4.2 million does not include any loan payments at all. We can't ignore them, either, or we'll lose our buildings to foreclosure.

Note that even the bigger, second loan of 3 to 3.5 million dollars will fall short of the $4.2 million that we'll need at a minimum to get to the end of 2018, and that's in addition to all of our regular expenses. Also remember that we have about $4 million more in debt that we're not even talking about.

The loan route that the PNB has approved has some bad assumptions:

* that a $2 to 2.1 million loan with the KPFK/PRA building as collateral will let us pay off the judgment - that sounded like a good assumption until last week when ESRT told us how they had the right under the lease to apply payments first to other outstanding lease amounts. Maybe we can get around that, but we don't know.

* that we can get an acceptable $3 to 3.5 million loan this year from another friendly lender to pay off the first loan and to pay the delinquent pensions - the "acceptable" part is what I'm worried about, especially if it uses all of our buildings as collateral. The $2 million loan we looked at last fall had VERY unacceptable terms, that would have put us in default immediately and put us at the mercy of the lender - not a good place to be when we're using one of our buildings as collateral. We have seen no loan paperwork/conditions yet for the future loan we're hoping for - and we don't know if the conditions will be better. With $8M in debt and no cash flow to pay aur current bills, any lender is going to put some guarantees in any loan that they'll get their money back, so we better watch out for that.

* that the second loan will give us 3 years or more to worry about how to pay it off - As I showed above, we need at least $4.2 million more than our regular revenues, to get to the end of the year and pay what we owe to ESRT and to our employee pensions, not even counting anything for loan payment. It will be more if we have to pay penalties.

So you can see why I think we'll be in bankruptcy by the end of the year, if not sooner. Even with a $3 or 3.5 million loan, we won't have enough to make hardly any of the tower lease payments for 2018, as the loans will all get used up paying what we already owe to ESRT plus the pensions. If ESRT does not file another lawsuit against us this year, how much longer do you think they'll wait?  Our debt to them will continue to grow again, even if we get current for a short time via the loans. And the monthly payments that we can't afford get bigger each year. Even if we can find a loan that requires zero payments until the end (unlikely), we'll owe hundreds of thousands more to ESRT by the end of the year. 

Without enough money to keep making Empire State Bldg tower lease payments, ESRT will sue us again before the end of 2018 and win again, and we'll be in even worse shape then with more debt, and with loans using possibly all of our buildings as collateral. 

Here's how you can prove me wrong about bankruptcy. We must increase revenues substantially, and reduce expenses wherever we can. A little bit won't be enough. We need to generate a surplus THIS YEAR of at least $1 million, and do even better next year, and the year after that.  We will need that so we can pay the increasing ESRT tower lease payments through June of 2020, and to be able to make loan payments so we don't lose our buildings. We also need to make sure that ALL stations pay their Central Services dues EVERY MONTH to the National Office, so they don't continue to be so starved for cash that they can't hire enough people to do the work - that's why our audits are late, why we have minimal HR support, why our pensions are not funded, and why our debt has been increasing.

This is going to require some changes. No, not in the missionbut in how some of our stations operate, because we have to be able to pay our bills if we want Pacifica and our mission to survive.

Our LSBs and PNB need to stop micro-managing, and especially should not insist on keeping programs that listeners don't want and will not pay for, no matter how much you personally might like a show. We can make exceptions at times of the day when most people don't listen to radio. But we must have enough good, quality programs that are consistent with our mission and which listeners will support, to bring in enough money to pay our bills and keep Pacifica operating.

Arguing with, and blaming each other, and having weekly (or more frequent) 3-5 hour PNB meetings that accomplish almost nothing is not going to help. The failure of our boards is scaring away major donors and even small ones. 

I know that those of you who've been pushing for loans believe that's best for Pacifica. I hope you will realize that there are are also those of us who believe it's a band-aid approach that will give us a few months at best, and make matters worse later, and that bankrupcy is best for Pacifica. 

Is it possible for us to agree to disagree, at least for a while, so we can work together on how to solve the above problems? We have to stop fighting with and blaming each other, so much so we can decide how we're going to increase revenue and cut expenses. If we don't make changes to accomplish this, there won't be anything left to fight about much longer.

Bill Crosier

outgoing interim Executive Director

Is the savior coming?

Mr. Livingston will be in New York this Thursday and Friday (January 25-26). Let us hope that he discovers and eliminates such major blemishes on WBAI as Berthold Reimers and Tony Bates and that he listens to the garbage that made the station irrelevant to the overwhelming majority of its listener-supporters.

From SPARK NEWS January 23, 2018:


SPARK NEWS is highly recommended to anyone who is interested in news, analysis and opinion about noncommercial media and radio broadcasting. It  can be reached at and is created by Ken Mills. Copyrighted by Ken Mills Agency, LLC 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

This just in—Wednesday 10:51 PM


Having MNN agree to "pay all bills going forward" means the rest of Pacifica would be stuck with the $2.6 million (and growing each month) debt that is owed to ESRT for unpaid tower rent, with no way to use WBAi to help raise money in the future to pay it back. 

While it would be a good deal for MNN to get a station like WBAI (whose license is worth $40-$50 million) practically for free, the rest of Pacifica would be stuck with figuring out how to pay all that debt owed to ESRT as well as WBAI's share of the rest of Pacifica's debt (which is another $5 million).  Also remember that WBAI also owes at least $4 million in Central Services to Pacifica. That's IN ADDITION TO what we owe to ESRT.

As we have pointed out numerous times before, the FCC does not allow PSOA's to pay debt or anything other than current operating expensesMNN could pay nothing on the ESRT debt, or other debt, even if they wanted to, and that's our big problem, which a PSOA would do nothing to resolve. 

The FCC has fined stations a lot of money for trying to use a PSOA to pay more than current operating expenses, and also made them pay it back.

Do we want to risk the wrath of Trump's FCC for violating their regulations and federal law? I don't think so.

I hope those of you at WBAI will share this with your local e-mail lists, that I cannot post to. They need to know the other side of the PSOA story.      —Bill

Thursday, January 11, 2018

And he puffed and he puffed....

If the "General Manager" is befuddled and uninformed, whom should the listener remnants turn to for answers?

It might interest the truly concerned to hear that there was a commercial for MNN on WBAI just before this sorry Reimers ramble began. Subtlety is not practiced by these bozos. 

New Emperor approaching throne?

We'll see.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Important Clarifications from iED

Skip to the bottom to read the big issues and my big worry about Pacifica's survival, if you don't have time to read all of this.
I have not had time to respond to the flood of e-mails about these issues - if I answered a quarter of them, I would not have time to get any real work done.

But I want to clear up some misinformation. Many of you are not going to like what I have to say, but it's the truth and you deserve to hear that. There's way too much rhetoric and assumptions stated as fact, that are going around. I believe in real news, not fake news.

The bankruptcy vs loan issue is basically moot, at least for now, because the PNB has decided to pursue loans. But I remain very worried about our financial situation, with our growing debt and no approved plans to pay it off. Pacifica did better financially overall last year (with a net loss of $184K for FY2017, vs losses of $597K in FY2015 and $980K in FY2016), but it's still not good enough to pay off our debts, and the amount we owe to Empire State Realty Trust keeps growing every month. We have been kicking the can down the road for years, accumulating debt and hoping we'll be able to reverse the downward trend the next year, but it has not been happening. But we can't keep doing tht forever. Other creditors, besides ESRT, will come forward, and we have to find funds for our employee retirement funds and other obligations.

This is not finalized yet, but some friends of KPFK, possibly with some others, have pledged $2 million for a short-term loan to Pacifica so that all of the ESRT judgment can be paid off. This loan would only be for a few months. So assuming we can finalize that soon, then the immediate crisis of seizure of assets by ESRT will be averted. The PNB also approved, last Thursday, that we pursue another larger and longer-term loan that would pay off the first loan and also some other immediate financial obligations, such as the employee retirement fund and part of the accumulating unpaid tower lease fees for the Empire State Building.

About filing for bankruptcy:
I, and all of our officers, recommended last month that Pacifica file chapter 11 bankruptcy, because we had no written forbearance agreement from ESRT and no indication that they'd give us one, and because ESRT had hired attorneys to file their judgment in every state where we operate and even went to the extra expense and trouble to personally serve the notice on the National Office in order to cut a few days off of the mandatory waiting period in California (before they could seize assets). That also allows them to place liens on all of our properties. We had consulted with two bankruptcy attorneys over the last few months, both of whom had advised us to avoid bankruptcy if possible, but who had told us we should file chapter 11 when and if we got to this point, in order to protect our assets and continue operations. Two other attorneys also advised us to file ch. 11 if we had no written forbearance or stand-still agreement with ESRT. The attorneys told us that getting a loan before bankruptcy would put Pacifica at a very significant disadvantage (and cost us a great deal of additional money) if we had to file bankruptcy later (which I still think may be likely, as we have no repayment plan for the loans and the amount we owe to ESRT increases every month). Although bankruptcy does indeed add additional costs, there is the potential (not guaranteed, though) that we could substantially reduce the amount of future tower lease obligations, possibly saving us $1 million or more. Chapter 11 would also ensure that other creditors could not take legal actions to seize assets, and it would give us time (up to several years) to pay off our creditors.

But the PNB majority decided to pursue the loan route, and so that's what we are doing now. I was pleased that so many friends of Pacifica stepped forward with this loan, although I'm disappointed that my pleas to the LSBs for months to help with major fundraising largely were ignored, as donations (rather than this loan) would have avoided the necessity to pay interest and other fees for this loan. Thanks to the individual board members and others who did help, though, even if the PNB as a whole did not do so. It appears that the possibility of imminent seizure of our bank accounts demonstrated the urgency of why we need to pay the ESRT judgment, and I thank the people who have agreed to lend us money to do that.

However, I still have significant concerns about the second, larger, loan. Pacifica has a lot of debt, a bad history of paying our financial obligations, and inadequate cash flow to pay our current obligations (including the WBAI tower lease), and so lenders are going to insist that provisions be put in any loan agreement to ensure that they get paid back.  For the short-term $2M loan, the KPFK/PRA building will be used as collateral. I have not seen the loan documents yet for it, but because the loan is from friends of Pacifica, I'll hope they are reasonable. But for the longer-term larger loan, I worry about the conditions that a lender may insist on. We looked at a loan in November to pay the ESRT judgment, but when we got the loan document details, we found we would have been in default on the first day of the loan and thus would be at the lender's mercy immediately. Some of the problems could have been fixed by correcting information in those docs, but there were multiple other default triggers that we would not be able to avoid, because they required us to do things we would not be able to do. That loan would have put the collateral (the KPFK/PRA building) immediately at risk of foreclosure. I'm worried that the second loan we're looking for may have similar problems. We don't have a lender identified yet, and no loan documents to review. But we have a loan broker looking, and I put him in touch with a bank who I'm told may be friendly to Pacifica. I'm hoping for the best but being cautious. It is critical that the PNB thoroughly review loan documents before approving them to make sure they are acceptable, especially because the second loan may require using all of our buildings as collateral, thus putting all of them at risk of foreclosure in the event of default.

In the long term (which should be this year), the PNB MUST approve a financial recovery plan, that includes paying off our debt. One significant part of our debt is disputed, but all of the rest must be paid. That's going to require that we not only break even, but generate surpluses, and/or that we use some of our assets to pay the debt, such as approving a signal swap for one of our stations. All of our stations must fulfill their Central Services obligations each month so we can hire adequate personnel for the National Office. Lack of enough senior accounting staff is why we're so far behind with bookkeeping and audits, and why our tax exemption is again threatened. But that takes money. 

Specifically, WBAI must make changes in how they operate, including some changes in programming and how fund drives are conducted, as they have not been able to make CS payments even though they have paid zero on their tower lease since June. Programs with few listeners to and which no one supports are not fulfilling our mission, no matter how good the programmers may think they are. Fund drives that drive off many of the remaining people don't help our mission either. 

WPFW also needs to make CS payments each month. They are doing better than a couple of years ago, but are still struggling and are again getting behind on those CS payments.

Even KPFA, which has been doing better than our other stations in recent years, needs to make some changes, as they had a $187K deficit last year. They dropped below KPFK in revenue but continue to have the highest expenses (mostly for personnel) of all of our stations. 

KPFK has been doing better in the last year but I worry about the projected increase in spending for this year, and how they'll raise the extra revenue to support that.

KPFT has been doing significantly better financially in the last six months, with fewer fund drive days while making C.S. payments and payments on its transmitter loan, every month since August. This is with the smallest paid staff of any of our stations. But they are trying to figure out how to afford the paid staff they need, including a Program Director.

We also need to get our employee retirement fund payments up to date for all stations, as no money has been put into that for the last three years. KPFK has set aside money for that in 2017, but our pension fund administrator told us last year that we had to fund all stations' retirement, and could not fund just one of them at a time.

Board interference and micromanaging programming and station operations must stop. Our boards should be setting policy and helping with fundraising and getting more listeners, not in raising hell if an unpopular program that listeners don't support is replaced or moved around in the schedule to make way for something new or for a quality program from one of our other stations, or if a needed personnel change is made.

I continue to be very concerned about our extreme levels of board dysfunction. We should not need to have 3-5 hour long (sometimes longer, including the executive sessions) PNB meetings every week, sometimes twice a week, and still we are not able to get through the agendas. It should not take an hour or more to get through the public session agenda approval in each meeting, and then have to argue over the executive session agenda at length as well. We have committee and LSB meetings, too, and I ask you to think about what (meaning how little) our boards and committees are accomplishing in all of that time. We've had Bylaws amendments, mostly ones to help make our boards function better, on the agenda since early December, but we have not gotten to them, and it's probably too late now.

Some on our boards especially don't want to hear this, but we have to make changes to our Bylaws regarding our governance. It is not working. It is hindering, rather than helping, to fulfill our mission. It is driving away major donors and interfering with station operations.

The big questions: 

* Are we willing to make some changes to help Pacifica not just survive, but grow in order to better fulfill it's mission? 

* Or will we continue to spend so much time and energy fighting with each other and ignoring the impending financial disaster that's coming? 

If we can't make some changes to make sure we can pay all of our bills, and adequately fund the National Office so we can get audits and other necessary work done so we don't lose our tax exemption, there may not be a Pacifica around next year to fight about.

I plan to work on changes to our Bylaws this year, specifically to improve board function while helping rather than hurting our mission. This is one of the main reasons I supported the hire of a new interim Executive Director and recommended to the PNB that they hire the new person that the Personnel Committee found - so I'll have some time for that. The new person looks very well qualified, too. (I'll give more details in the next few days, but we need to get the written agreement in place first for the new person.) 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Pacifica Crisis—a KPFK view

Friday night, January 5, a KPFA program called "Full Circle" put aside its scheduled 2017 roundup to devote an hour to the current financial situation.

The Pacifica guest is Grace Aaron, who expresses her opinion, answers questions, and touches on what occurred at this week's super secret PNB executive meeting. They also take calls.

This discussion is handled professionally, which contrasts the Kathy/Cerena/Reimers blather WBAI aired Thursday afternoon.

KPFA's Full Circle audio
For the sake of brevity, I deleted the musical interlude.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Brown Truth?

We all know that WBAI/Pacifica is being painted an ersatz shade of Black and that this has played a role in pushing it deep into the Red—not surprisingly, this has produced a Brown response. Here Steve Brown gets a few things off his mind, as it were.

Here it is in a downloadable PDF form.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Kettle calling....

Insignificant e-mail sent by Berthold Reimers within minutes of participating in WBAI's "Report to the Listener." A man who cannot tell a truth accuses Andrew Leslie Phillips of lying.

Shame on you. You keep lying. WBAI had nothing with audit not being done. You are clueless, have no backbones. You decided to leave WBAI and blamed it on Summer but it was because of your paranoia and weakness. Summer gave you a chance to help WBAI because I begged her to do so because I believed in you and gave you the authority to make the changes. Of course, all decisions you make can't go exactly your way because of the money problem we had and could not send to hire what you needed. I gave you full authority and power to make any changes you wanted and I backed you up but you punked out. These are the facts. I thought you were retiring and staying out of Pacifica. I have watched you lied and blamed everyone but you. I have also heard you perpetuate the lie of WBAI keeping double accounting book. This tells me that you are either totally clueless or dishonest. 
Click on image to enlarge
I stayed away from this stupid exchange of this list where ... I will refrain from giving my opinion of this list. But I had to set the record straight. 2018 is a new year and I am no longer letting people lie or be dishonest with impunity.

Be man enough and call me 646-620-7833 and we can talk or I would love to see you face to face eye to eye and see if you can lie in front of me.

Berthold. WBAI Radio 99.5 FM
General Manager


For the record this is how I recall it.

I resigned as interim PD at WBAI in mid October, 2013 after ten weeks on the job because:

1) I knew that if WBAI were to succeed it was imperative to have a strong morning presence. In my first weeks on the job you and Summer Reese failed to provide promised funding and support for the project.  This after Summer Reese and I negotiated with radio agent, Ron Hartenbaum, who'd she’d asked to help find a host for a new morning format at WBAI. This was an audacious proposal that I supported. It was the kind of out-of-the-box thinking Summer was capable of that, along with other deep program changes, may have saved the station. Hartenbaum offered  names like Thom Hartman and David Pakman and finally Karen Hunter who you can read about here:
 : You’ll see she now has her own show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Since WBAI had no facilities, Hartenbaum found WBAI a professional studio at CBS at no cost to run this show. Karen Hunter, offered to help create it as a volunteer though there were expenses of course which you and Summer would not or could not meet. In fact Summer disappeared from the negotiation which was rather unnerving as she ultimately held the purse strings.  The plan was to try Hunter for a few months and see if we could break into the NYC market and become a contender. We'll never know.  

2) After that fiasco I asked WBAI’s operations director, Tony Ryan to coordinate with Jon Almelah, long-time Pacifica Technical Director and Jake Glanz, an old colleague of mine whose kept the WBAI transmitter running at the Empire State building for years, to install a Comrex system at The Commons building in Brooklyn where there was no radio studio.  Laura Flanders had agreed to work with us in the mornings, at no cost. Setting up a Comrex is a simple thing but for some reason it never worked. It was becoming evident that WBAI’s operations skills were insufficient to say the least. Almelah and Glanz were ready, willing and able to take the next step and install a simple studio but that didn’t happen either because there was no support .  A radio station can’t run without a studio and good tech support and "renting" a studio way uptown (but not paying the rent) was not a long term solution. You may recall that I brought all this to your attention.

3) The final straw came when Summer and you overrode my plan to try ween WBAI from the premium and fulfillment model that has been such a long-term disaster at WBAI. Since we had no morning host I was doing the show  - as other program directors had before (and since). But it was never a solution.  You and Summer insisted that Gary Null, with whom I had no personal animosity and who's done a great deal over the years in support of WBAI, take over the morning during fundraising and pitch his products. I walked! I remember Null opening that morning segment with Wagner's - Ride of the Valkyries!

Finally, the fact that you and other managers and some program directors before you, were illegally duplicating material for premiums which was actually against the law - and then not fulfilling listener pledges - frightened the shit out of me. I didn’t want to be a party to that and neither did another program director a while later. You may remember talk of bringing in New York's Consumer Affairs and Attorney General. 

No Berthold, it has nothing to do with backbone. I  don’t know anything about “two sets of books” I do know that WBAI seemed unable to comport with Pacifica’s accounting system and that you were in charge of the accounts. 

And I do know that you have shown no leadership - that you let WBAI flounder during Hurricane Sandy because you were unable to make very simple back-up plans. All you needed was a Comrex and a telephone line. Radio can really shine and provide real and essential services at such times but you failed our community.  WBAI went dark. You should have been sacked then. And I do know that after the Sandy WBAI disaster, over at KPFA where I was the terrible manager Mr Steinberg excoriates, I had KPFA raise nearly $200k for WBAI. I think you and Mr Steinberg, if you ask, will find that I left KPFA with head high and a new very successful morning show in place and the station in good shape despite - shall I say - the kangaroo court orchestrated by Summer Reese and Tracy Rosenberg. 

So though I respect your tenaciousness hanging onto your bloated salary for so long I don't think you have offered much to Pacifica these past seven or so years but the imminent prospect of crashing the whole damn thing.

Andrew Leslie Phillips


Robert Hennelly was WBAI's PD for a brief period, but he, too, fell victim to amateur management. A prolific print and radio journalist, Bob was a clear misfit in the polluted atmosphere of a crumbling WBAI and thus able to identify with Andrew's problems all too well. He sent the following  letter of support:

Jan 4 at 9:33 PM
​Andrew, it was always a pleasure to work with you. You have an impressive body of work and more importantly you have helped train scores of people ​who have all gone on do to important work.

For you it was always about the collective succeeding. I ran into the same fiscal nightmare you did including Gary Null confronting me just before a pledge drive about WBAI counterfeiting copyrighted material. Evidently, this has been going on for years. 

When I asks around people substantiated it and when I raised it with Summer and Berthold I was terminated. Of course management will say it was because I failed to raise money but my actual termination came a few minutes after I announced DC 37 Executive Committee donating $5,000. 

The continued use of the float of the money generated by pledges to cover other bills, ignoring the legal requirement to cover the premiums that are offered, makes the station an ongoing fraudulent enterprise. 

Current management will hold on to their stranglehold on the station until either law enforcement or creditors intervene.

Robert Hennelly

Live, from New York!

It was said that the scheduled "Report to the Listener" had been postponed until next week due to the snow storm.

I decided to check and found it to be in process, so I only missed the first 3 minutes of Kathy Davis' opening statement. It turned out to be a somewhat heated hour, with Cerene Roberts reprising some of her disruptive performances from streamed PNB meetings. She. of course is a member—some say leader—of the JUC faction, the perennially abusive group that wants to make a self-serving deal with MNN.

Roberts comes center stage following Davis, who has a different horse in this race. Somewhere in the middle of that, Berthold Reimers—the unseen inactive GM—appears on the station's only phone line, mumbling his own BS, which is closely related to the cause of this mess.

Next, Cerene and Kathy engage in verbal battle, seemingly forgetting that this is supposed to be for the benefit of listener-supporters. It's ugly but, sadly, not unexpected. Note that Roberts wants the phone line opened—Reimers having volunteered to hang up and make that possible—while Kathy is adamantly against taking calls. Hmmmm. She wins this time.

Another meeting will be broadcast live next Thursday at 4 PM, or so they say.

Here, is an audio clip minus the first 3 minutes:
Here it is.

An aside:
True to form, Cerene posted the following at 4:57 pm, presumably for the benefit of her JUC co-conspirators:

"I've been dropped so Kathryn can have last word."

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

You cannot censor thought...

Click on above text to enlarge
From time to time, a former WBAI contributor looks at the present and shares thoughts of a radio experience none of us can look forward to. Tom Wisker's program on weaponry was informative and his emotions often made it surprisingly appropriate for airing on a Pacifist station. The above assessment appeared yesterday, January 2, 2018 on FaceBook. If you find the text too small, please click on the image.

My thanks to another WBAI/Pacifica veteran, Andrew Leslie Phillips who originally hosted the above statement in his own FaceBook spot and has now added his own observations:

Tom was a gem and there were many others down through the years and I doubt current management knows any of them. WBAI was an incredible and awesome place and I use both adjectives in their true sense. Some over here might find insights over there:

KPFA is very much misunderstood my many on this coast. I managed the place (much to my surprise) for 2.5 years and learned a lot. There are some really good producers there, very professional and way different to over on this coast. The music programing is extraordinary and most hosts are ersatz ethno musicologists. The news is a little conservative for my taste but well produced. The morning programming headed by the talented Brian Edwards Tiekert, with a little help, could become a national morning program. When I arrived at WBAI - should I say returned after about 17 years as PD (for ten weeks) I brought some of the west coast programming to WBAI - to the consternation of some like Mitchel Cohen - and I would have brought more had I stayed. Ian Masters "Background Briefing" should be a national program but as soon as I left, Reimers dumped it. I was at WBAI 1979-1994 and it was a pretty good radio station. After that it went into decline and then Bernard White's destructive years sealed its fate. Bernard was a good music host but that was about the end of his talent. The JUC folks should not have been near a mic. Political Correct nonsense flooded the airwaves and the audience evaporated. There was a time when Null was a pretty good producer. When I was PD he returned about 25% of the income from fund raising - which was unhealthy of course but he was professional on air and his numbers compared with others were huge. I introduced Amy Goodman to WBAI in 1984 and soon she ran the news room. DemNow came later, long after I left. There was talent at WBAI and one can still find some at WBAI but basically its sadly dissipated now. And why Reimers and Bates have been permitted to essentially loot the place is beyond me. The ineffective boards local and national over the past twenty years have facilitated the demise. It would be a terrible thing if the once great WBAI cause the sacking of the entire network. It would be terrible of KPFA which really is the jewel in the crown also came tumbling down.—Andrew Leslie Phillips

Tuesday, January 2, 2018