FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Feb. 3, 2011

Listen over the Internet at WBAI.org

Contact: Tony Bates, Program Director, WBAI Radio
email:  tony@wbai.org phone #: (510) 508-2566

Mitchel Cohen, Chair, WBAI Local Station Board
email:  mitchelcohen@mindspring.com


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WBAI (99.5 FM) Launches Al Jazeera-English on U.S. Airwaves

Only U.S. Network Radio presence providing On-the-Ground Coverage of the Protests in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere

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New York, N.Y.- Pacifica Radio becomes the first radio network to broadcast Al Jazeera English in U.S. on New York flagship station WBAI (99.5 FM). The broadcast airs Monday through Friday 5 a.m. to 6 a.m.

"This week's on-the-scene reports from the protests in Egypt have been absolutely riveting," said Berthold Reimers, General Manager of WBAI.

As North Africa & The Middle East experience some of the most tumultuous times in recent history, independent media is of paramount importance as a voice of the People in the street, in the struggle, says Tony Bates, the Program Director at WBAI. "WBAI has been and will continue to be on the forefront of coverage as the world is changing right before our eyes. Much of the breaking news has been brought to us by the Al Jazeera and Al Jazeera English networks.

"WBAI is proud to of the Pacifica Network's exclusive partnership with AJE. Hear the story first right here on WBAI 99.5 FM. The world is changing. Don't be left behind," Bates stated in an on-air promo. "Get the real story, the whole story, at 5 AM on Al Jazeera-English on WBAI, the only Left, left."

The one hour of Al Jazeera English is followed at 6 a.m. by "WakeUp Call" with Esther Armah and at 8 a.m. by the award-winning "Democracy Now" with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. "WBAI is broadcasting a formidable 4-hour daily block of 'Must Listen - Happening Now' information every morning that cannot be heard elsewhere," Reimers said.

Since it was launched in 2006, Al Jazeera English has become a world leader in the coverage of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. With news bureaus in 70 countries worldwide and a staff of more than 1,000, Al Jazeera's aim of providing independent news through a spirit of journalism that is honest, courageous and distinctive for an international audience complements that of WBAI and its Pacifica Mission. It is widely seen as the channel of reference for coverage of the Middle East and the global south. Its broadcasts reach more than 220 million households in more than 100 countries around the world.

Recently, the NY Times reported that cable networks will not touch Al Jazeera English, so AJE's website traffic is exploding. WBAI's partnership with Al Jazeera English gives radio listeners the opportunity to tune in to Al Jazeera English in New York City and the surrounding area.

"Broadcasting on Pacifica Radio allows us to bring Al Jazeera English's acclaimed news content to an even wider audience in the United States," said Al Anstey, Managing Director of Al Jazeera English. "For more than four years, Al Jazeera English has been setting new standards in international reporting by providing a platform for stories from the under-represented corners of the world. The demand for our ground-breaking news and current affairs programming continues to grow in the United States, and we look forward to providing Pacifica's listeners with a global perspective on today's most important news events."

Arlene Engelhardt, the Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation in Berkeley California, is one of the main Pacifica architects of the partnership with Al Jazeera. She said, "Al Jazeera-English News is an exciting addition to our current line-up of thought-provoking programming. It is part of our mission at Pacifica to act as a bridge between cultures and to present stories that are too often overlooked by other media in the United States. Al Jazeera English is a truly global channel, and we are pleased to provide this important news service to our dedicated listeners throughout the country."

The new broadcast rounds out WBAI's roster of impressive news programs, which include "Democracy Now!" with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, "Wake Up Call" with Esther Armah, "WBAI Evening News" with Jose Santiago, Andrea Sears and Rebecca Myles, "Five O'Clock Shadow" with Polk Award journalist Robert Knight, and "Free Speech Radio News." As part of the first listener-supported network in the United States, Pacifica's WBAI provides a variety of programming including local, national and international news and music featuring live music from local musicians, and in-depth interviews and public affairs analysis unavailable elsewhere.

About Al Jazeera English

Al Jazeera English is the first English language world news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. Launched in November 2006, Al Jazeera English seeks to present every side and every angle to its stories and act as a bridge between cultures. With unique access, making it the channel of reference for Middle East events, and 70 bureaus strategically placed around the world, Al Jazeera English provides independent and impartial news for a global audience, giving voice to different perspectives from under-reported regions around the world.

The channel was awarded "Best 24 Hour News Programme" at the 48th and 50th Annual Monte Carlo Television Festival and has received awards from the Royal Television Society, Amnesty International and YouTube. The channel has also received a total of six International Emmy nominations in the News, Documentary and Current Affairs categories.

About WBAI 99.5FM

For 50 years WBAI has been commercial-free listener-supported radio for the community, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently the 50,000-watt signal from the broadcast tower at the top of the Empire State Building carries programming to listeners from Connecticut to Delaware, New Jersey to upstate New York and Long Island, and to the five boroughs of New York City. In addition, programming can be heard over the internet at www.WBAI.org.

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WBAI Radio (99.5 FM)
120 Wall Street, 10th floor
New York, N.Y. 10005
(212) 209-2800
 http://wbai.org

Berthold Reimers, General Manager
(212) 209-2820