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What's happening to Pacifica's NY station - WBAI ?

by sidestepper Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Alert !!! Find out about a proposal soon to put WBAI into “internal receivership”...Please share this information widely and confirm it as necessary. No false rumors necessary. Let's see what is happening so close to our own KPFK radio station. Does this affect KPFK's financial standing too? Tell us what you know too.

Confirm this information, and find out how this Pacifica failure may also affect our local radio station KPFK.
Let everyone know. No more secrets, hidden moves, manipulations, or denials. We who pay our dues highly to keep our station alive want the reality and facts and truth....for a change....

**** then PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY across the national to wherever Pacifica stations exist or are heard*******

[if you disagree with this version or opinion, please put in your own when you pass this information forward. Check out the facts anywhere YOU can also. ]

For a while now, members of the Pacifica National Board (PNB) have been focusing their concerns about the Pacifica Foundation's financial problems on WBAI, which has fixed space-related expenses almost twice that of the other four stations combined. More so than other stations, WBAI has not been meeting its pledge goals in recent drives.

The focus on WBAI has recently been sharpened by othe station's $150,000+ shortfall in the February pledge drive.

Last night, on the public conference call of the PNB, it came out that Grace Aaron, the new (as of January) board chair from Los Angeles station KPFK - who is also the acting Executive Director because that position is still vacant - is now floating the idea of putting WBAI into “internal receivership” (i.e., taking control and management away from the local station) and running the programming out of the Pacifica National Office.

No decision has been made public - yet.

When WBAI listener representative Nia Bediako
(of the Justice & Unity Campaign) insisted that Aaron's proposal must be discussed in public session, Aaron said it could only be discussed in executive session because it involved “confidential advice of counsel.”

Nia argued passionately that separate from the issue of the lawyer's advice, a policy of this scope and significance must be publicly discussed, but her motion to add the item to the public agenda was defeated by a vote of 6-11.* [see votes below]

The other 3 WBAI National Board members (from the ListProg/ ACE/ "independent" faction) -- Kathy Davis (staff rep), Carolyn Birden, and Jamie Ross (listener reps) -- voted against public discussion.

[if you disagree with this version or opinion, please add in your own - so labeled - when you pass this information forward]

Clearly some will rise up and say, “Hell no!” to this effort to destroy local control of a beloved NY station.

If you also are opposed, then here are some suggestions, for starters:

1) Email the Pacifica National Board at pnb@pacifica.org and tell them you are set against any plan that removes local control from the station and its programming, and that any discussion of the proposal to do so MUST be held IN PUBLIC.

What is particularly needed is to demand that ALL of the WBAI National Board members take a position and hold it firmly.

2) Call in to the Local Station Board's at WBAI at 212-209-2900 - and say what you personally think about this proposal.

3) If you know someone in NY, have them turn out for the next meeting of the WBAI Local Station Board on Thursday, March 26, at 7 PM at a location to be announced (check the web at www.wbai.org), and let the entire local board know what they think.

4) Plan on organizing together if you want to fight this attack on WBAI - and to work on all the viable strategies folks can come up with to bring the station out of its financial crisis, if it is possible.

Other ideas are welcome. The next National Board conference call is Friday, March 20.

Many protestors will keep people posted, and they can email with questions or ideas at info@justiceunity.org and sign up for their email list at www.justiceunity.org.

this was edited but the essence was posted by the "WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign"


*Roll Call Vote on Nia Bediako's motion to have public discussion on the proposal to put WBAI into “internal receivership”:

Nia Bediako Yes
Carolyn Birden No
Kathy Davis No
Jamie Ross No

Jim Brown Yes
Acie Byrd not present
Luzette King No
4th seat vacant

KPFT (Houston)
Sandra Rawline No
George Reiter No
Wendy Schroell No
Susan Young No

Leslie Radford Yes
Ricco Ross No
Shawn Casey O'Brien No

KPFA (Berkeley)
Sherry Gendelman Yes
Bonnie Simmons Yes
Andrea Turner Yes
Joe Wanzala No

Affiliate Representatives
Efia Nwangaza not present
David Beacon not present

{obviously there is enough disagreement as noted by votes above )

AND ALSO NOTE: The financial losses/ problems of WBAI have come close to KPFK being used as a collateral [damage included ] with KPFK's mortgage in danger for a moment there of being used to save NY's station.

It is of concern to all here in Los Angeles if WBAI is having losses and trying to cling to others to save itself....we at KPFK and environs must be alert, aware and active in not allowing our [still fragile it seems] station to be taken DOWN along with any other so called 'sister or brother' station.

We have not been close siblings in sharing programs or finances or any gifts so far, and only when THEY have $$$$ problems does our name seem to be attached to theirs....like any family that cannot maintain their own standing, each member is self-responsible, even while caring and carefully helping the others, but up to a limit.

PUBLIC DEBATE AND INPUT IS IMPORTANT in all matters that can be addressed by the sponsors/ payees of Pacifica and their stations. This is called transparency and participatory ownership [as it is alluded to during each pledge fun $$$ drive].

[No say no pay. No next time. ]

Let's all learn more about what is the actuality and voice and write our opinions on la.indymedia and NY's and any others as well that are relevant. Or in blogs that may elicit more of a Pacifica over all connection than has been provoked up to now.

what do YOU think ? what do YOU know ? tell us all.

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