Wednesday, March 27, 2019

February 2019 PPM Nielsens

Below is an unsolicited response from Linda Perry, who has been with WBAI for a few years and currently has the very difficult—some say, impossible—task of upgrading the station's lapsed listenership to or beyond the level of intellect Pacifica founders had in mind almost seventy years ago. 

The above listed Nielsen figures don't look hopeful, but there has been improvement. Still, tuning in continues to spew worn out, ill-conceived infomercials or the race-based rants of Mimi Rosenberg, the painful, hopelessly tattered remnants of a once culturally significant show hosted by Bob Fass, the shameless tabloid fantasies of Geoff Brady, or a plethora of self-serving audio Kool-aid by wannabe DJs, medical hacks, "spiritual" scammers and propagandists. The fact that the station's most worthwhile programs are retrieved from the Pacifica Archive really says it all.

Unless integrity and truthfulness are restored, WBAI (and its sister stations) will never again see decent Nielsen figures. As PD, Linda has made some notable improvements to the weekly schedule and I continue to encourage support of her efforts, but I still feel that WBAI's programming must undergo radical change if it is to overcome the damage inflicted upon it by years of misguided, incompetent management.

Clearly, we are not waiting for WBAI to die—that has already taken place.  We are, however, waiting and hoping for some sign of a turnaround, but that prospect is further dimmed by what looks like incompetence or, perhaps, willful negligence by the Pacifica National Board.

In all fairness, I realize that Linda's mission is probably made more difficult by having restricted rein, so I do not solely blame her for what appear to be shortcomings. I know for a fact that she reaches out for advice, which is a giant step in a direction not taken by the person who inexplicably remains in ultimate charge. 

Although I right now am inclined to say of WBAI that it would be better dead than chronically dying, I think we owe Linda Perry our thanks for her effort and the following response.    

Hi Chris, The Pacifica National Board’s Strategic Planning Committee was grappling with a motion at the meeting you posted for what would be a very big change for Pacifica. That is underwriting messages for increased revenue. The meeting was totally misrepresented by Spark News whose snarky comments add nothing to the conversation which i listened to in full. 
WBAI needs to change our funding model away from on air pitching into events and underwriting by reputable bonafide progressive organizations to have the revenue it needs to improve and grow. WBAI is driving this debate. 
Our new ED Maxie Jackson describes the network as the progressive window on America’s conversations. He is putting best practices forward and trust in the five stations to administer this change. He wants to task the new local station boards to come up with suggestions for appropriate organizations for underwriting.  
The original underwriting motion came from WBAI’s LSB & National Board member Alex Steinberg and committee members were working out details to his motion for an underwriting trial which would be presented to the Pacifica National Board. Other members are working to ensure that best practices are followed.  —Linda Perry, WBAI Program Director 


  1. Dazzling.

    Simply Dazzling...

    As for the last forty years or so, Pacifica, having led the way to the bottom, continues to drift, bounce, stumble, snarl, snipe, and explore every possible failed possibility within the nether regions – which appear on evidence to be its natural provenance.

    Its 'mission'.

    There will doubtless be a resurrection soon.

    Wait for it.

    ~ 'indigo'

  2. Indigo said it pretty well. Here in Houston, KPFT, doing the same. Even illegal acts being done. Crosier had his hate fomenting questionnaire put up on the KPFT web site, so as to also collect angry people's e-mail addresses to use to get himself and his flying monkeys elected. This threatened KPFT's License! We are in a pit. They illegally kicked off the Board, and out of the station, the guy (me), who made a beautiful garden out of the backyard and kept the stately Magnolia tree alive through the drought of 2013 (?). I also fed the birds and did all the recycling. And all the other things too numerous to mention here. All year last year they bashed the good on the Board for calling them in their shameful activities.

  3. I just don't understand how anyone at Pacifica can look at these numbers and not get angry. Where's the outrage? Where's the shame? In any other organization or company, heads would roll. There would be a sense of crisis. Staff would be cowering in fear or jumping ship before the ax falls. There would be talk of reorgs and new programming. You can barely get a shrug at Pacifica. Its just business as usual. Boring bad programming for one month followed by long interminable fundraisers and repeat.
    Its especially upsetting when you hear people looking down at NPR and NYC when even the AM station is getting twice the audience of WBAI. Is this what the two factions fight so desperately to achieve?
    After all the drama, the bickering, the flouting of their own rules, these are the results? Seriously?

    1. Sadly, you hit the nail on the head—WBAI is infested with the fatal incompetence of mindless masturbatory bozos. They are incapable of addressing the now near-extinct listener-sponsors with intelligence. Pacifica, of course, was conceived to address people of intelligence and taste... and years ago, it did.

  4. KPFK has 81,000 and 0.1


  5. Any characterization of the Strategic Planning Committee to which Perry refers as other than meandering, delusional, and incoherent is itself delusional. As I noted, with the exception of Maxie Jackson and Robin Smith this was a group incapable of coherent thought, grappling with an issue Pacifica has floundered with for many years and for which it is still very much on the fence.

    Reformist noise notwithstanding there is no sign of movement toward improvement other than the procedural efforts of Maxie Jackson.

    The simple fact is that Pacifica consists overwhelmingly of delusional talentless incompetents now more than ever desperate to cling to their delusions.

    That's just swell, but it doesn't make for interesting radio, nor is it likely to draw meaningful listener support.

    Nothing new, fundamentally, the same story reaching back decades.

    ~ 'indigopirate'

    1. Perhaps Maxie has a plan. A complicated plan with a lot of moving parts with a timescale measured in months and years or perhaps it is just wishful thinking. Either way, they're running out of time and money. Its not like folks are just waiting in line anxious to underwrite this program schedule. They may want to take over but I doubt seriously whether they want to underwrite the current model. Tick Tock Maxie...Tick Tock.

  6. Byrd with voices of the ancestors . Hey Gary, Nobody gives a shit.
    Except your 15 listeners.

    Yeah, here's another example of small-minded racist, race based white bashing, chip on their shoulders, black nationalist, white bashing, whatever the fuck you want to call it, that you will hear on BAI 'til you want to puke.
    It's boring race based garbage that NOBODY wants to hear over and over and over and over again.
    Wake the fuck up , Perry and Reimers. This is the number 1 reason you have NO listeners.

  7. Perry's "news" , five minutes of the black guy that was shot by cops that got off.
    Now i'm not saying it shouldn't have been mentioned , but that was the news . at 2 pm.
    But no, Perry is not on board with the race based programming that you can't escape here.