ESRT: Stop Profiteering Off 9/11 - Be Fair to NYC's WBAI Pacifica Radio
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Dear Mr. Malkin,
My son, police officer John W. Perry, was killed on 9/11/2001 while attempting to save a woman’s life when the South Tower collapsed on him and countless others that horrific day. The pain and impact of 9/11 were felt by local businesses and people throughout the New York City area. One of those impacts was that your property, the Empire State Building, became one of the few places for local TV and Radio to transmit from since all antennas on the Twin Towers were destroyed.
One of those stations, Pacifica's WBAI, has been part of the fabric of our great city for decades and now is on the verge of shutting down because you continue to price gouge and take advantage of the station by repeatedly jacking up the monthly lease payments. You took advantage of this when WBAI's antenna tower lease was renewed in 2005 by making the license fees under the lease increase by more than four times the rate of inflation. That is unconscionable.
WBAI management went to Empire State Realty Trust three years ago, asking that you accept the market rate for antenna tower leases because WBAI could not afford the large annual increase in payments in the lease, but never got an answer.
Please negotiate in good faith with WBAI and stop price gouging this small non-profit - be fair and reasonable. Let them out of their lease, release them from the obligation to keep paying increasingly exorbitant fees, and don't force them to pay additional late fees and legal fees because they have not been able to keep up with the unfair lease payments.
This station has always been one of the feelings of pride of our city and beyond - providing a platform for our local elected officials and NYC’s best and brightest. For decades, WBAI has fearlessly served the public with independent news, music, and public affairs that other stations won't let you hear.
My son did not risk his life for you and Empire State Realty Trust to profit off of it. It is not the New York Way.
Sincerely, Patricia J. Perry, Seaford, New York
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