Pacifica Radio ignores injunction, continues to play canned content on NYC's WBAI

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This is huge news. Thanks for reporting it, Cory.


This is how you overthrow our system of Government

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No blink182 then?

This is not new. I remember the original kerfuffle back in the late 90’s when they had a big coup in the board of directors. We lived in Berkeley for a year and made various acquaintances who were associated with KPFA. I forget the woman’s name, but she and her newly elected toadies came in and made huge sweeping changes to make the network more “corporate” and salable to a broader range of listeners, in the process alienating all of the Berkeley radio old-schoolers. I don’t know how that all turned out, because we moved up into the Sierra foothills, and got hooked on serious community radio station KVMR.


Having no prior familiarity with any of this, I read the story three times and couldn’t make heads or tails of what it means and what connection, if any, it has to do with its headline.

One nonprofit owning several broadcasting licenses, thousands of miles apart, and pretending to run them as separate, independent, local community stations, except when it doesn’t, because reasons, might not be the best organizational model

My local Pacifica affiliate has problems, but not THESE problems, because Pacifica doesn’t OWN it


To be fair, WBAI has had a ton of issues, operationally speaking, for a long time now. They’ve gotten themselves into trouble for not paying their bills for transmitter and tower space, for one, and moving to a new location didn’t really change anything, other than trading a pissed-landlord for a not-yet-pissed landlord.

From an industry perspective, they’ve got a bunch of stuff they have to address and resolve in order not to redig themselves into a new hole. Their internal politics between national and local aren’t helping anything either, and that’s a matter of public record. Ultimately, it comes down to a decision by the licensee to choose to operate in a sustainable nature or to cut bait and hand the license over to the local side and let them fail under weight of their own operational incompetence. NYC is a hell of a market in which to screw around with “playing radio”.

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What it means is WBAI has been repeatedly told to cut costs (it keeps hiring station staff when it can’t afford to, expecting Pacifica to pay for them) & the iGM finally said enough is enough & shut them down. This isn’t a coup. There’s nothing political about this. It’s about saving the network by making everyone live within their means. ( I should reveal I’m on the KPFT local station board, so I’m not a disinterested bystander.)


NYC is also a hell of a city to ignore a judge’s legally binding order.

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Bob Fass had a very long running show on the station. Apparently very different from “normal” broadcasting, and certainly influential in the sixties, maybe later. Nobody refers to him as an amateur. And likely his show wouldn’t have fit elsewhere.

Of course even he had run-ins with management.

We have a university station here, and one issue that came up, abd maybe remains is what it’s intended for? Is it to give students a chance, or to use their money to do shows that don’t fit elsewhere? About twenty years ago they droooed some long running hosts, or cancelled their shows, because they were seen as too much outsiders, not having anything to do with the university other than with the station.

The Pacifia stations were created to do radio differently. I’ve yet to read that book about its founding, so I don’t know tge full intent, or how decades later it meets the expectations of the founders. As I said in the earlier thread, it was started by WWII pacifisfs, though only one station at that time.

All non-profits have problems with money, bith raising ut and how to spend it.

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No one said it wasn’t. I don’t wish them any ill whatsoever. Broadcasting is vital to the national zeitgeist and consciousness and very few others come close to doing what the Pacifica stations are capable of doing.

That said, WBAI is so very badly disconnected operationally (I’m not talking about content or production here, just how management runs things) that the only thing they seem to do consistently is to have their head so far up their ass that they wonder who’s chewing on their duodenum.

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