Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Money? Let's not talk about it...

Another PNB FC meeting for the birds. Here's what Indigopirate heard... feathers dying, not flying.
At the Pacifica National Board Finance Committee, Tuesday, 27 February, there was no sense of concern for Pacifica’s finances.


All it seems is well at Pacifica.

The tone was casual/cordial.

Sam Agarwal, CFO, was absent.

Many committee member were absent.

There was toward the conclusion of the meeting a passing reference to the existence of the new Executive Director, Tom Livingston.

There had been a meeting.

There was of course no indication of any analysis or action.

Members of the Finance Committee introduced themselves.

So far as I could tell, no refreshments were served.

The next committee meeting was pushed back by a week.

R. Paul Martin noted in passing that there had never been a FY 2017 Budget, and that nothing was going at with respect to any FY 2018 Budget, which was due 1 October of last year.

‘We’ve sort of stalled…’

‘It’s complicated… it kind of has to loop around… the money wheel has to keep turning.’

They sail onward. All is well...

~ 'indigopirate’

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hail to the Chief... or not?

As the fundraiser fizzles, averaging a low $7,647 daily, and the hawking of a dubious 7-year (they say) deal with Manhattan Neighborhood Network crosses the established demarcation of decency, worker bees are busy buzzing rumors, innuendos, venom and fantasies through the polluted air at 388 Atlantic Avenue. This clueless cast of the current WBAI melodrama awaits in fear and trepidation the primal scream of Pacifica's latest iED, Mr. Livingston a proclaimed fixer-upper into whose paid hands the accumulated cesspool has been plopped.

Will he live up to the task? Will he decontaminate Pacifica? Will he put the loose screws in place? Will he materialize?

With Cerene and her fellow saboteurs plotting the latest takeover with frenetic ass kissing at MNN, recent Pacifica meetings have been uncharacteristically calm and characteristically uneventful.

As always, Indigo is on the case, no longer the baffled pirate, he remains the astute observer. Here is what he has to say about Thursday's smartphonic Pacifica pow wow: 

The meeting was civil, perhaps even cordial, as they’ve become of late for whatever reason(s), which is nice enough, but there was no significant information, simply some nice thoughts on this and that, eg, better programming would be a good idea. The usual, pretty much.

The shiny new iED is still largely absent from any public view. He was scheduled for ten minutes but, we were told, was, like Holly Golightly, ‘Traveling’ and so the only sliver of information from him was said to be that he was visiting, having meetings, and ‘making progress’ on HR and Operations.

The overall description as to his activities, which was made in the course of this meeting, is that he’s learning about Pacifica and its history and its issues, and that, therefore, he can’t be rushed.

No information was presented as to any of the significant current issues and questions: ESRT – nothing. Hoped-for extension of audit deadline – nothing. Present income – nothing. Budgets – nothing. Pension plans debt and penalty status – nothing.

Needless to say, nothing about any planned implementation of any changes in structure, programming, whatever.

To date, then, a summary: Whole lot of Plans, Whole lot of Nothing, iED, Holly Golightly-like, Traveling.

What was Holly’s occupation, again?

Extract from February 22, 2018 PNB meeting.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Pacifica in Exile Newsletter

Berkeley - Information from Pacifica's National Board out to the members it represents has been a little scarce as of late, with 4 consecutive closed session meetings on January 25 and Feb 1, Feb 8 and Feb 15 not providing the routine report out. The audit committee has also not filed report outs from its last three closed session meetings. Part of the problem has been the transition between executive directors as Tom Livingston takes over for Bill Crosier and part the annual turning over of the national board. This year's rotation of national board members has been far from smooth with repetitive director elections from KPFA's local station board, which has been hemorrhaging members at the rate of one a month, and filing lawsuits against Pacifica. More on the KPFA directors mess below. 

Back in late January, the Pacifica National Board approved a friendly loan from KPFK members to pay off the judgment due to the Empire State Realty Trust and bridge the organization to a $3 million dollar 3-year line of credit intended to tide the organization over until it can decide how to leverage its $10 million dollars in real estate and $100 million in broadcast licenses to pay off acculmulated debts, primarily to the Empire State Building, Democracy Now and the network's duplicative fixed benefit pension plan. The exact amount of the debt has been a subject of debate with an $8 million dollar amount thrown around the media. When this publication asked for substantiation of that figure, since it was approximately double the known debt level 4 years ago, the document provided by Pacifica's chief financial officer indicated the $8 million figure included a $1-$1.5 million dollar estimate for the legal and administrative costs of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing (which has not happened), $500K in "ongoing operating expenses" and $650K listed as accrued for program fees for Democracy Now in FY 2013, although the second five year contract with DN expired on October 1, 2012. The program has since been supplied to Pacifica without payment for 4 years. 

The friendly loan fund is in an LA-area escrow account while a prominent public media broker assists Pacifica in discussions with the Empire State Building aimed at resolving the long-term outcome of the contract, which runs until April of 2020 at ever-increasing rates. By the final year of the contract, annual expenses would approach $750K a year (currently it's at about $600K annually). This is an amount that would sink almost any community radio outlet in the country. 

The slightly exaggerated $8 million debt amount was used, mostly at KPFA, but also in a few other sectors of the network, to push for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, an expensive and risky process (85% of entrants into Chapter 11 never get out of it) that would have placed the nation's only progressive media network at the mercy of the federal judiciary and a creditors committee. The national board rejected that route in January 2018, choosing instead to accept a short-term loan from its Southern California supporters and then to mortgage property for a line of credit in order to maintain autonomy for the harder decisions that lie ahead in the next few years. Some in the network have remained distressed by the avoidance of bankruptcy, despairing that the network's members, who fought hard in the late 90's for the right to decide on any swaps, transfers or sales of broadcast licenses, would ever agree to leverage "their stations" assets. These folks are essentially taking a Hobbesian view and prefer to rely on the authoritarian force of the judiciary to make the decisions instead of Pacifica's members. KPFA's litigious lawyer on the local station board, Bill Campisi, stated in a February 18 email: 

On another side of the fence, a number of WBAI programmers continue to push for the NY station to be leased out in a public service operating agreement (PSOA) to former Pacifica executive director (2002-2005) Dan Coughlin via Manhattan Neighborhood Network, the NY public access channel Coughlin runs. The PSOA offer, which has been floating around since at least 2011, would pay ongoing operating costs including forward payments to Empire State, but leave the other 4 Pacifica stations stuck with all debts accrued prior to the operating lease, with no access to WBAI's income during the lease period. In its earlier iterations, Coughlin's offer was clearly non-temporary in nature as it removed WBAI's occupancy in its Brooklyn rental property, and incorporated all BAI programming into MNN, leaving nothing viable at the end of the operating agreement. Coughlin was the ED of Pacifica during the negotiation period for the catastrophic Empire State lease and resigned from the position 2 weeks prior to his successor Ambrose Lane signing the 15 year lease. Apparently, without saying "No, don't sign it or Pacifica will go broke". 

Coughlin has his own troubles with the public access community in New York City, having been sued by Deep Dish TV co-founder Dee Dee Halleck and Puerto Rican poet Jesus Papaleto Melendez for banning them from MNN's premises. Coughlin's somewhat quixotic argument that a public access channel is not a public space was rejected by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on February 9, which stated: "“We conclude that the public access TV channels in Manhattan are public forums and that MCAC’s employees were sufficiently alleged to be state actors taking action barred by the First Amendment to prevent dismissal of the claims".

Meanwhile, KPFA's local station board which has lost seven members since the last election set in 2015-2016, continues to turn itself into a self-selecting body in an ironic joke on the station's rebellion of 1999. No less than Carol Spooner, the architect of Pacifica's democratized bylaws, was the latest old hand to reverse course and grab on to an appointed seat. In so doing, Spooner skipped over no less than 20 different write-in candidates who had been written in by KPFA's members, including seven former members of the KPFA local station board over the past decade and a half. As with the first appointed seat given away in January to Susan Da Silva, there was only one candidate for the seat provided, and it went to another retired white woman with a decades long history in KPFA politics. A third appointed seat will be filled in the March board meeting.

The skipping over of write-in candidates, whatever representational concerns it presents, maintains the disproportionate whiteness of KPFA's local station board which, at a ratio of 70% (17/24) is considerably whiter than the 9-county Bay Area (which was 43% non-latinx white as of the 2010 census) and the station's domicile county of Alameda (which was 34% non-latinx white as of the 2010 census). It is likely that at least one of the write-in candidates would have taken a seat if offered one. Samsarah Morgan, a Black Oaklander who served on the board from 2013-2016, intended to run for re-election in 2016 and filed papers to do so, but ended up being declared ineligible after a membership renewal on a monthly installment plan didn't hit the required amount by the deadline. Morgan was never offered the seat despite being on the runners up list and her willingness to serve a second term on the local station board. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Cerene's crawlspace...

The association is by no means new. Here is a link to the latest edition of Ken Mills' Spark News, an authoritative source for up-to-date information on non-commercial community radio. This issue focuses on the somewhat lurid details of Amy Goodman's controversial acquisition of Democracy Now!, a tangled web in which we see masks lowered, rumors confirmed or perpetuated, and Pacifica/WBAI ineptitude taken advantage of. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Is Mr. Livingston behind curtain 2?

Our trusty observer, Indigopirate, has this to say about tonight's meeting of the PNB:

A very subdued, civilized, chaotic and disorganized meeting, which accomplished…

Discussing and ultimately voting in favor of constituting a Strategic Planning Committee to supplement the existing Strategic Planning Working Group, with procedures for nominations and elections, representation numbering approximately twenty or so.

Suggestions as to how to transform the present dire/catastrophic financial situation:
  • A celebrity fund-raiser
  • Improving Programming
  • A Kickstarter campaign
  • Cross-promotion with the Black Panthers

Crosier, who had called the Meeting specifically to discuss concrete proposals to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses, expressed his frustration that only eighteen minutes were spent on this. Rather than spend more time, the Meeting moved to Adjourn.

The Mysterious Tom Livingston remained Mysterious. A report was scheduled, but never happened.

No reason was given.

~ ‘indigopirate’

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Intuition radio?

AshValentine’s Day, or: Something of an En Passant Pissant

Sam Agarwal, Pacifica’s CFO, seems unable to adapt to or comprehend the fact that he can’t find well-qualified accountants at $35,000/yr in the Bay Area, part-time, which would mean, prorated, roughly, say, $17.50/hr – with no benefits, and for no more than a short term hire of, perhaps 3 months or so.


He appears to be capable only of expressing wonderment, disappointment, regret, and befuddlement at this state of affairs. 

Keeps scheduling interviews, though.


As does, indeed, all of Pacifica, in All Things.

Also, interestingly, we can’t expect Pacifica or its units to have financial records in digital form. It’s necessary, you see, to ‘adapt’ and ‘adjust’ from whatever records and partial records might exist. It’s The Pacifica Way, you see.

It seems to be a bit of a challenge.

New hires seem to leave after one or two days.


Another challenge referred to in passing was the minor detail of, oh yes, Programming.

One participant pointed out that it’s entirely possible, even without hard numbers, to figure out which programs actually have listeners and which, effectively, exist because the ‘Producer’ feels (s)he has a ‘Message’ that ‘Needs to be Communicated.’

Response to this observation was, as it has long been, effectively nil.

Incidentally, does Pacifica actually have an iED?

~ ‘indigopirate’

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Recalling a vintage plug yank...

It was 41 years ago today, 11 February 1977, that the staff of WBAI occupied the station, then located at ‘The Church’ on East 62nd Street, in a desperate attempt to resist the board-mandated change from a mix of the arts, music, literature, education, news, drama, public affairs, and free form radio to a redefined role centering on political advocacy.

The attempt to hold true to the original principles of WBAI and Pacifica had evolved in a series of fairly disparate/desperate meetings in Margot Adler’s living room overlooking Central Park, with as many as 200 staff in attendance.

The meetings were long and contentious as to details, but there was clear agreement that the abandonment of the original principles of WBAI and Pacifica’s founding in favor of simple, strident political advocacy was intolerable, and to be fought, and so the die, as it were, was cast.

The station was occupied. Ralph Engelman, as chair of the local station board, took the station off the air, insistent on the transformation.

At the end of something like six weeks, the police were brought in, and resistance to the mandated shift in programming and purpose collapsed, and the local and national boards had their way.

Power and all that, a coup of a minor sort, perhaps.

WBAI/Pacifica was now all about political advocacy of the left/progressive  subtype.

Listenership, which had declined from the high point of the late 1960s-early 1970s now declined sharply further.

Yet the enormous inherited value of a prime frequency in the New York Market, a gift of the philanthropist Louis Schweitzer, proved sufficient to sustain the station, even with decreasing influence and listenership, for many many years.

At present, of course, as an irregular but essentially asymptotic decline appears to be nearing the horizontal axis, some question as to WBAI and/or Pacifica’s survival have been raised.

Any question as to the survival of WBAI/Pacifica’s foundational purpose was settled long ago when the power was cut, and the police brought in.

A certain squalor….

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Audit Committee Meeting - February 5, 2018

With that eagle eye and extrasensory Pacifica perception, Indigopirate had all ears to yesterday's babbling PNB stream and came up with a suggestion:

Let’s Follow The Money, Shall We?
Sam Agarwal, Pacifica CFO, has for some years complained at length that it’s impossible for him to do his job without more money, and has for those same years complained at length as to how he cannot retain staff, train staff, or hire contractors to perform essential functions.

Yet his most recent response to Pacifica’s National Audit Committee, which was much delayed, states that he paid himself as well as some of his staff from the monies donated to Pacifica last year which were to have been dedicated to paying outside audit expenses.

Whether or not this may have included overtime or performance bonus for what he previously reported as extraordinarily, indeed heroic, efforts to complete long, long overdue audits was not made clear, though it was clear that the allocation of monies was at his sole authorization.

As CFO with no oversight he was of course able to do that, at his sole discretion, and without any reporting or justification – indeed, any characterization as to the allocation of those specially raised dedicated funds was long resisted and obscured, the first questions being raised by last summer.

It came as a shock to the Audit Committee.

He now says that he needs $500,000 to pay for bringing audits and other required reports fully up to date.

He now further says that, by the way, Pacifica needs a minimum of $6,000,000, very quickly.

No unit of Pacifica has submitted even a tentative budget for FY 2018, fully approved budgets having been due by 1 October 2017.

It is reported that there are no balance sheets.


Thus, we are told, no actions of any sort have been taken.

Having had its previous requests for extension to file its FY 2016 audit previously rejected, with a deadline of 14 February looming, and the process having not actually begun, Agarwal has repeated the request for further extension, with the same basis as previous rejected attempts, asking for an extension to 31 May.

All this seems to further reflect a total loss of any financial control, controls, or oversight at Pacifica.

It also raises a question or two as to Agarwal.
                                                             ~ ‘indigopirate'

How do your ears perceive this telephonic to-do?

And here is the latest word from former iED Bill Crosier:

I sent the e-mail below a couple of weeks ago, pointing out how if we're going to avoid bankruptcy this year then we need to focus on increasing revenues and controlling expenses. Since then, I've seen NOTHING from those opposed to loans on how we should do that (get more money so we won't have to file for bankruptcy).

Instead, the PNB has continued to spend zero time on plans to improve our finances. Those opposed to bankruptcy on the PNB seem to be focused solely on making sure that they remain in control of the PNB this year. Should this loans vs bankruptcy litmus test be the only thing that matters when choosing PNB officers and national committee members for 2018?

I don't think so. In fact, as I said a couple of weeks ago (again, see that note below), if we stick with the loan route that the PNB majority seems to want, without making changes in our operations to generate a substantial surplus this year, we're going to be in bankruptcy within a year, whether you want it or not. Those of you who think we should continue to avoid bankruptcy need to help us focus on fixing our finances - not just kicking the can down the road.

KPFK and KPFT have been doing significantly better than they were a year ago, although KPFK has been doing it with very long fund drives - almost as much as WBAI. But these changes are not enough. WBAI continues to run large deficits and they are having even more trouble paying their bills now than they were at this time last year. WPFW is doing a little better than a couple of years ago but needs to do better, too.

The second bigger ($3 to 3.5 million) loan that we are looking for, even in combination with proceeds from selling the building that houses the National Office/Nakapon building, will only provide temporary relief. But it will do that by requiring that we generate additional cash flow later to pay off the loan (even if it's structured to require no payments in the first year). The plans for selling NO/Nakapon also call for putting aside enough funds to lease back the NO space for up to a year and pre-pay rent on a new place for another year, but we'll need additional cash flow (more than we have now) after that to pay rent.

We MUST make operational changes, soon, to increase our cash flow, because we're going to need a lot more of it at least through June 2020 (when the Empire State Bldg tower lease ends) and also to pay off the loan.

We need to develop and actually implement a real plan to improve our finances - not just talk about it. I realize many of you don't want to hear this, but I think we have to do the following, at a minimum:

* Make significant changes at WBAI. It's in the largest city in the country with the best (and most expensive) antenna location there, yet even while paying nothing on its tower lease it can't even raise enough money to pay its other financial obligations. And it has, by far, the largest debt to the rest of Pacifica (at least $4 million) - that's in addition to what is owed (and will be owed) to Empire State Realty Trust.

* Control the increase in expenses (primarily for staff) at KPFA and KPFK, so they don't go the route of some other stations with ever-increasing fund drive days.

If/when we can actually implement (again, not just talk about) a real financial recovery plan that includes the above, I think we can get more major donors, which we really really need. But it's going to continue to be difficult to get them if we can't show that we are serious about getting our finances under control.

When can we work on making the changes needed for Pacifica to survive? Will we continue to spend most of our time and energies fighting with each other? We need to remember our real adversaries - the corporate broadcasters and the crazies in the White House and Congress (and state governments). If they pay any attention to us at all, it's probably to laugh at how work so hard at infighting, instead of working to preserve our mission.


Monday, February 5, 2018

A den of thieves...


And then there was Mister Microphone, all alone...

Many of us have, including former iED Bill Crosier:

During my first trip to WBAI last March after I became iED, I told Berthold I'd like to see what was in storage. He said WBAI got behind on paying the rent for the storage units, and lost it all. I asked if it was possible to catch up on the past-due rent on those facilities, so we could get it out and even ship it to other stations if they did not have enough space in WBAI's offices in Brooklyn, and he said it was too late. I was told there was indeed some expensive equipment there, and I don't know why it was not offered to other Pacifica stations (for them to use or store) before it came to that point.      —Bill Crosier

Think about it. If what Reimers said is true, an honest answer would not only be a first for him, it would signal a time to finally round up the usual suspects.

What other insiders are saying:
Jim Dingeman seems prepared to blame it on poverty and let it slide:

I think whatever blame game happens all these problems are caused by a overwhelming amount of debts and fixed fiscal obligations versus a limited amount of cash to deal with it

That is a wider issue than fixating on 1 to 3 individuals. There are dozens involved in the low cash flow issues. That is why I hammer away at the content problem which is the source of our cash flow 

If we had a bigger space to move into we could have moved that equipment easily and utilized it. We are currently in a space many times smaller than 120. Theoretically. We need the entire building and ideally should have had a space like that a long time ago. Jim Dingeman

Mitchel isn't buying it:

Disagree, Jim.
Lack of money is not the cause of failures to communicate problems when they arise (and hopefully before they arise), especially on things as significant as losing everything in storage. The month by month there was not onerous IF WE KNEW ABOUT IT. Where are the reports. Who benefited?

ALSO, remember around 2005 or so when LaVarn Williams and Patty Heffley reported to the PNB in Executive Session that over $60K in computer equipment was ordered by the then-GM, and sent to his relative's business? WBA/Pacifica was never paid back, and the JUC members on the PNB at the time buried it. PNB members should resurrect their report and follow up on it, even now.    


Carolyn Birden gets right to the point:

Jim, let’s not be too quick to ignore the possibility of illegal removal of WBAI equipment.  It happened before (remember the GM’s transferral of computers to his family’s office in New Jersey, and the PD’s collection of “tributes” and cash from the pier parties, for starters)?  Enough already:  we have enough troubles caused by less direct “failures to thrive” so that we cannot afford to ignore the disappearance of more equipment and money. All of these problems are not “caused by” the imbalance of debts vs. available cash.     —Carolyn 


I was involved with truck delivery to the storage and the truck move to bklyn ... i talked about this with bill c just before the atlantic antic last september.

i do not believe the value of the stuff in storage was considerable. mostly old, broken and second hand electronics, a turntable, speakers etc... files, tapes and other stuff.

i worked to release then pull out from under the floor... and so salvage... from 120 wall st days before mlk day that year a the 16 lead main cable connecting master control/  when the station moved office to world financial and studio / transmit from city college.

spools of wire, hardware and all/ but not anything of use or value i thought. i believe the working electronics needed...a crown power amp and cd player went off to harlem in a taxi with tony r and btold. or that was my impre
ssion as i shared with bill c. the storage facility is on atlantic ave near bedford ave.

however moving as we did with little plan or goal in mind seemed to cause desks, conference table and other unmovable or not so salvageable stuff to be trashed or given away.

a very large fine 20 foot oval wood conference table was trashed. sad and upsetting.

Jack A DePalma
Brooklyn, NYC

Sunday, February 4, 2018

IMPORTANT—what JUC will not tell you

MONDAY SPARK NEWS PREVIEW: Whenever a business or organization is on the ropes you can count on want-to-be heroes showing up to save the day. This scenario is now playing out in and around WBAI, New York. A new suitor, promising a miracle cure, is making an aggressive push to take over WBAI.

That organization is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), a company that operates cable TV public access channels. MNN has offered Pacifica’s National Board of Directors a “sweet heart” Public Service Operating Agreement (PSOA), a nonprofit version of a Local Management Agreement.

MNN has been recruiting WBAI employees and volunteers to be on “their team” for a takeover. MNN says it will be holding a community meeting on Saturday, February 10th [link] from 3pm-6pm at MNN’s Firehouse Studio at 175 E. 104th Street in Manhattan to make their case. Also MNN has produced a short infomercial [link] that supports have been airing on WBAI.
MNN describes what they envision being in the PSOA in a letter to the Pacifica Board and its supporters within WBAI:
  • MNN will house and operate WBAI at MNN’s facilities. Pacifica keeps the FCC license. No term for the PSOA is mentioned.
  • MNN will assume all costs including staff salaries and rent for WBAI’s transmission site atop the Empire State Building.
  • MNN will be responsible for all fundraising, programming, hiring and firing decisions and promotion of WBAI. 
  • MNN says an advantage to Pacifica is that the PSOA will “stop the financial bleeding” at WBAI. However, Pacifica will still be on the hook for all of the debts (estimated to be $8-million) incurred prior to the PSOA. Other advantages MNN says they offer include: Simulcasting WBAI on a cable channel, simulcasting some MNN programming on WBAI and providing WBAI producers training.
I have no idea if Pacifica’s Interim Executive Director is considering MNN’s offer and I hope they won’t. I am not dissing MNN – they seem to be doing fine work with the cable access TV channels – they simply are in a different business. 

MNN is almost totally subsidized by cable franchise fees that subscribers pay to their local cable company. According to MNN’s IRS 990 for 2015 (the most recent available) in 2015 had total revenue of $9,070,891. Franchise fees made up $9,038,502 – 99.6% - of MNN’s revenue. MNN apparently has no income or experience in fundraising. 

Also, Dan Coughlin, the CEO and President of MNN, has a history with Pacifica. He was Executive Director of Pacifica of the Pacifica Foundation from 2002 – 2005. Though his stated reason for leaving the job was to spend more time with his family, news articles from the time paint Coughlin as a secretive man who allegedly paid bonuses to himself and friendly associates at WBAI.

Coughlin was hired at MNN in 2006. According to 2015 IRS information, he was paid around $400,000 in salary and benefits that year.
Posted by Ken Mills Agency, LLC to WBAI at Sunday, February 04, 2018

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The chaotic Coughlin/Cerene coalition

If you thought WBAI was a ball of confusion last week, you should see it now—they don't even know which side they're on. Alliances are going the way of principles and morale is in the Pacifica slop jar.

The schemers who cower under the ravaged JUC umbrella are aiding and abetting Manhattan Neighborhood Network's Dan Coughlin in his blatant effort to take over the operation of WBAI. It is believed that these on-and-off lemmings have before them a dangling carrot that promises jobs and/or power.

Last week Sally O'Brien ("Mama Mumia") devoted her heavily race-laced program in toto to a live FaceBook/phone video promotion of MNN's plot. The WBAI "studio" was strewn with Dan Caughlin's disingenuous "invitation" and the usual characters—including Morphed Mimi (Rosenberg) and Lederer spewed their JUC propaganda. It was totally one-sided and twisted until Max Schmed showed up and horrified the little JUCies with a reality check.

The latest bone of contention is a JUC commercial for MNN that has been airing on WBAI. The source seems to be JUC bozo John Riley, who promised a follow-up. However, Pacifica appears to have put a stop to this blatant JUC propaganda and it is believed that the cease and desist order came from the new iED, Mr. Livingston. If so, good for him. 

The following is the note with which Riley launched the JUC's ill-advised, deceptive and now, banned MNN on-air campaign.

Dear BAI colleagues,
As you may know, Manhattan Neighborhood Network has proposed a partnership with WBAI that offers many benefits -- financial, technological, and programmatic (summary letter from MNN here). After a recent set of meetings at MNN, many BAI producers are supporting this proposal. A new group called the Coalition to Save WBAI is holding a public meeting at MNN's East Harlem studio on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 3-6 PM to invite listener, staff, and community dialogue with MNN. 

We would appreciate it if you could play the attached 1-minute cart for the Feb. 10 public meeting, prepared by Joyce Jones (Suga in My Bown)(sic) and Pam Brown (Morning Show).

We will follow this soon with a 5-minute cart with background information. We can also make Coalition members available for interviews on any of your programs.

Let us know if you have any questions.

John Riley
co-producer, Out-FM and Health Action staff representative, WBAI Local Station Board

A typically idiotic note from Berthold Reimers.
Sent: Thursday, February 1, 2018 7:02:49 PM
Subject: Re: [wbai-indy-caucus] JUC efforts on PSOA here in NYC

WBAI management is neutral as we should be - being the professional we are. However, we encourage all parties to talk, meet and put it all on the table and discuss the terms and conditions they will accept or absolutely not accept and give the final documentation to a lawyer to review - Whatever the outcome, the fact is that we should be rational instead of all you you trying to kill each other. It is pathetic. Deal with the facts and put them on the table.

WBAI will not act as a propaganda tool for either side - we believe that WBAI is a radio station and should focus on radio. Period.


The latest from Tony Bates.
Dear WBAI Staff

It seems that some WBAI producers have found time to mobilize around their personal internal political preferences, some of the same whom decry a lack of time and resources for WBAI's fund raising needs. I am left to wonder how such a producer organized effort might actually have served WBAI had it been focused upon a unified Fund Drive effort. 

As has been the case for years, WBAI has a zero tolerance policy for airing our dirty laundry, WBAI's airwaves belong to the People of New York. Our personal opinions and preferences about WBAI's internal politics don't serve WBAI or its listeners broadly. Rather its self serving and divisive, it continues to reinforce the image of WBAI as a place of bickering and division. That image destroys financial confidence, save that of the monied vultures attempting to steal our radio station and remake it into something 'other'. Our obligation as stewards of this great station is to put WBAI's best interest and image forward, not our worst. As a general rule, investors don't invest in divisiveness and failure. Our listeners are our investors and we ought to respect them as such.

Certain WBAI producers have abused their on-air privilege to promote interncine (sec) LSB and petty personal internal political ideologies. Any further such violations will be met with disciplinary action. Management is currently reviewing the previous violations and will follow up with transgressing producers 1 on 1. During my tenure, WBAI is moving away from the WBAI status quo, whereby we are are own worst enemy, working toward our own destruction, on our own airwaves.  

Regardless of the position of the internal political faction which may own your allegiance or the faction with whom you're warring, both of which behave very much like the Democrats and Republicans, we at WBAI will be guided by the Pacifica Mission. Therefore commercials for MNN or any other entities involved in this NATIONAL BOARD / LOCAL STATION BOARD created problem, won't be airing on WBAI.

To put an exclamation mark on the point, WBAI IS A RADIO STATION, NOT A 'LOCAL STATION BOARD' STATION. Our duty as WBAI producers is to serve listeners in the tri-state area, rather than ourselves. Matters germane to the board belong in the board room, not on the air. This applies to both LSB factions.

Our actions are speaking louder than our words.

Let's focus our efforts on radio excellence, WBAI listeners love it.

Tony Bates
Programming Manager
WBAI 99.5 FM