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Petitioning The Indy Caucus-ACE WBAI Local Board Members and 1 other

Keep WBAI in Control of Its Programming

To solve its financial crisis, the Pacifica National Board has publicly solicited proposals to lease WBAI to another organization and is about to make the decision on whether to lease, and to whom, in one or more secret meetings. With our petition, we are insisting that they should not lease away the station –losing WBAI's input into program decision-making, and depending on the lessee chosen, possibly devastating the Pacifica's mission – instead of first fully trying proven fundraising methods. And in no case should the National Board make any such decision in a secretive manner and without input from listeners and staff. This is also the position taken by the WBAI Local Station Board's Finance Committee on September 25.

In early October, Pacifica published a Request for Proposals to enter into a Public Service Operating Agreement (PSOA) or a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA), with a November 6 return date. (See http://www.wbai.org/lsb/documents/RFP for WBAI.pdf )

Earlier it had been reported on the website radiosurvivor.com that: “According to a source on the WBAI paid staff, Pacifica's Interim Executive Director, Summer Reese, has recommended to the Pacifica National Board leasing out the station for several years to the nonprofit that runs WFMU (a mainly music station in NJ) and WMFU.” 

Two troubling facts about this organization, Auricle Communications, which has confirmed that it has applied for a WBAI lease:

•    Auricle’s manager has told a WBAI local board member that their application proposes running only about a third of programming as public-affairs/news, a major cut from its current level, and not guaranteeing the continuation of any current WBAI shows – the rest would be music and arts.

•    One of Auricle’s Directors, Nachum Segel, who (according to Auricle’s IRS 990 form) receives a salary, hosts a daily, 3-hour drive-time show on WFMU called “JM [Jewish Moments] in the AM” (http://jmintheam.org ). According to archived programs, Segel has repeatedly aired uncritical interviews with Israeli government officials and supporters, justifying the policies of occupation, war and repression. This type of programming is contrary to the Pacifica mission of promoting information and dialogue toward the resolution of conflict among nations and peoples.

The Pacifica National Board will probably make a decision on this matter soon in one or more secret telephone meetings.

At stake is the very identity and integrity of a station that has been a vital voice of dissent for more than half a century!

This petition was delivered to:
  • The Indy Caucus-ACE WBAI Local Board Members
  • Pacifica Executive Director
    Summer Reese

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