In the past several years, WBAI and Pacifica have faced serious difficulties and instability that have cost both listener money and morale. Changes in the economy have caused many non-profits to struggle for survival. The station has accumulated very large debts, and the main response has been ever-increasing on-air fund drives.
Now the entire paid staff has received layoff notices effective July 15, and SAG-AFTRA members expect the final outcome will be the termination of about three-fourths of those workers.
While the station must again become self-sustaining, Pacifica should avoid the usual capitalist practice of taking aim at workers first and instead seek to share internal resources. The Pacifica National Board has called for the local board and staff to provide multi-year sustainability plans by August 15. If layoffs occur on July 15, then most of the staff would not be around to participate in the plan.