Q. Is it true that WBAI was never actually threatened with eviction from its studios?

A. The landlord's notice (hand-delivered March 23, 2009) said WBAI had to pay the full amount due within three days or surrender the premises to the landlord. If neither was done, the landlord would "commence summary proceedings" (i.e. begin legal action for eviction). Here is a photocopy of the notice: http://pacificana.org/public/files/WBAI/Media/2009/3DayNotice.pdf

The amount due was $132,694.86 (of which, $1,426.56 were late fees). Photocopy of the invoice here: http://pacificana.org/public/files/WBAI/Media/2009/WbaiArrears.pdf


Q. When did Pacifica Foundation learn about the 3-day notice of intent to evict?

A. Apparently not until LaVarn Williams, Pacifica's Interim CFO [Chief Financial Officer] arrived in NYC; for some reason, Tony Riddle (WBAI's General Manager at the time, subsequently transferred to different Pacifica job) did not inform his immediate superior (Interim Executive Director Grace Aaron). Riddle, without the IED's or CFO's or General Counsel's advice or knowledge, struck a deal with the landlord to avoid eviction by paying arrears at the rate of two months at a time (with revenue previously inadequate to pay even one month on a time).


Q. Why doesn't WBAI move to a less expensive location?

A. We have a lease until 2012; if we break the lease, we have to pay rent due until then in full. We also do not have enough money to pay for a move nor to renovate a new space for studios.


Q. Is it true that Grace Aaron changed the locks to WBAI's transmitter room and changed the circuitry so she could cut off broadcasts of WBAI programs and replace them with her own programming, piped in from California?

A. Pacifica counsel was concerned about Pacifica's ability to safeguard its stations and assure broadcast continuity, as required by the FCC; but when it was determined that Empire State Building communication-tower security was adequate, locks were NOT changed. WBAI's maintenance personnel CONTINUE to have access, and she did NOT install circuitry to let her replace WBAI programs with something piped in from California. [Counsel may have had in mind assaults on small and/or isolated free-standing transmitters at other Pacifica locations, and a previous occasion when WBAI's transmitter was seized by dissidents.] Bottom line: WBAI's signal continues to be under local control.


Independents = ACE?
There are no “independents formerly known as ACE”. This is a label promulgated by the JUC (= CEMOTAP = Bernard White turf protectors), on the basis of ACE having endorsed SOME independent candidates for the LSB (not all).

These independent LSB members are not “interlopers” and are not “here for a takeover” — they are WBAI listeners and staff ELECTED by WBAI listeners and staff to represent their interests and protect THEIR station from the catastrophic outcome a continuation of its 6-year decline would result in. Moreover, most of them favor programming MORE diverse than what Bernard White has put in place (without consulting with Program Council or LSB Programming Committee).


Q. Why are people from California taking over our station?

A. The people from California were sent by the Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI. They are here because local people elected to the Pacifica National Board by our Local Station Board and other directors elected by LSBs of Pacifica's other stations authorized and requested their coming to help deal with WBAI's declining membership and listener support. This has become so serious as to threaten the survival of the entire Foundation and the other four Pacifica stations.


Q. Can there possibly be any legitimate reason for these management changes?

A. In most organizations, management is usually changed if it has failed to halt a downward trend in all aspects of its operation. In the case of WBAI, listeners, members, and financial support from listeners have all declined over the past 6 years or so. There has also been no progress in upgrading basic systems, such as telephones, data entry (and database organization and security) and studio equipment, or in any orderly way of recruiting volunteers and coordinating their activity. There has been a backlog of 5000 or 6000 unmailed premiums, with some donors waiting more than a year without receiving premiums they were promised. There are other legitimate reasons that could be cited, but these are the most obvious. Because of legal constraints, we cannot know exactly what the decisive reasons were, but these are reasonable and legitimate possibilities.


Q. Why are they ethnically cleansing WBAI by firing WBAI's black managers and staff?

A. Nobody is doing this. The General Manager (Tony Riddle, who is black) has been transferred to a high-level Pacifica job, working on development plans for WBAI; he has been replaced by a very able black woman. The Program Director (Bernard White) has been replaced by a black man. The director of operations (who is white) has been replaced by a black man. Ayo Harrington, who had been given a job as Premium Coordinator by Bernard White had already been removed from that temporary position by (black) Tony Riddle while he was still GM and replaced by a staff member (a non-white woman) who had been laid off from her usual job because f WBAI's financial crisis.


Q. I don't understand -- how can they prevent LSB members or Pacifica from telling us he reasons for these management and staff changes?

A. They can sue the Pacifica Foundation if details of their evaluations and reasons for transfer or removal are disclosed without their permission.


Q. Why are they so secretive about why Tony Riddle, Bernard White, and Ayo Harrington have been removed from their positions?

A. Because these individuals will not allow members of the Local Station Board or Pacifica management to reveal the reasons publicly. (Ayo Harrington had no position to be removed from; she was Bernard's "personal assistant".)


Q. Why are they discontinuing Wake Up Call?

A. Wake Up Call continues, from 6:00am to 8:00am. Listener data shows many quit listening between 8:00 and 9:00am, then listeners increased at 9:00 when Democracy Now! began. That was a re-broadcast, and with the new schedule WBAI listeners can hear it live at its original time (8:00-9:00am)