|From the Station Manager - Berthold Reimers |
Dear Friends of WBAI,
As we celebrate the New Year, let's pause and reflect on the challenges of 2012. Let's reflect on the accomplishments and shortfalls of WBAI and Pacifica. Let's reflect on the accomplishments and shortfalls of the U.S. media and our government.
As we rapidly approached the so-called fiscal cliff we are reminded that the entire conversation in the U.S. has shifted significantly to the right and to total absurdity.
Do we get to discuss why Rush Limbaugh calls a college activist a slut, why Fox 5 and Karl Rove were so out of touch with the American people until the last minutes of the presidential election's results, why CNN continues to one-sidedly talk about the Syrian regime, the lack of security at Bengazi, and why so-called more progressive MSNBC continues to promulgate ideas such as the greatness of the U.S. in the world, the land of opportunity, the right to bear arms?
If you are a WBAI / Pacifica listener you know the answers: there has been a consolidation of the Media into about five conglomerates that are part of the one percent. Any attempt to sway from self-censorship is met with dismissal of the reporters or the editors.
We are also aware that that WBAI has not produced consistently and often enough, analytical, educational and hard hit investigative reporting that we would have liked. We are fully aware that WBAI is far from meeting its mandate. During hurricane Sandy WBAI was not able to be a loud voice of the community, bringing information, news and criticism as much as we would have liked to.
However, we are fully aware of the fact that WBAI is the only outlet where any progressive or not-for-profit organization, small or with a low budget can without proper notice get a PSA (Public Service Announcement) on air to service the community.
We know that the WBAI News Department strives to produce news stories not covered by mainstream media. We also know that with little resources, the WBAI morning show with host Esther Armah, was named the Most Valuable Local Show by the Nation Magazine. It is important to realize that our morning show, Wake Up Call, competes with morning shows that have as many as 7 producers while WBAI can only afford one part-time producer.
We know that WBAI brought you Chris Hedges' poignant analysis of Death of The Liberal Class, professor Richard D. Wolff's critic of the capitalist or mercantilist economic system and a plethora of shows on housing, civil liberties, and injustice.
Yet, WBAI is moving out of its current location because we can't keep up with rising fixed costs. WBAI will relocate its staff to 4 World Financial Center because we were able to secure free rent and we are moving our studios to City College's WHCR station until a permanent long term home is secured. You have helped us meet the fiscal demands a radio station requires and kept listening, spreading the word about WBAI, and we thank you as we look forward to your continued support in 2013.
Host Z. Starman of ASTROLOGY NUMEROLOGY NOW (Tuesdays 4-5am) was visited at his WBAI studio by the crew of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams to do a segment with him on the significance of 12/12/12.
It features Z. Starman and engineer Max on air live in studio at WBAI and his comments off air about the significance of 12/12/12. The segment comes in at the 1:24 point of the show.
Click here to see video
Most Valuable Local Radio: Esther Armah (from http://www.thenation.com)
"The Nation's annual Most Valuable Progressives Honor Roll has been going strong for the better part of a decade, and its alumni are moving up. Elizabeth Warren is
now a senator-elect. Keith Ellison and Raúl Grijalva co-chair the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Two of our most valuable state legislators were elected to Congress on November 6: Wisconsin's Mark Pocan and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema. Ed Schultz has a prime-time show on MSNBC. The Dream Act dreamers spoke from the podium of the Democratic National Convention, and President Obama and Vice President Biden hailed their courage. But after a long election season and a hopeful outcome, there is still work to be done. Here are some of the Americans doing it.
Raised in England and Africa as the daughter of a Ghanaian diplomat, Armah came to New York's WBAI after establishing herself as a reporter for BBC Radio and BBC World Service and a presenter for the BBC TV series Black Britain. Internationally recognized for her explorations of issues relating to the African diaspora, she could easily have focused on international affairs. Instead, Armah devoted her show, Wakeup Call, to working people in New York, examining persistent poverty, violence and gentrification.
She's made morning drive time an emotionally engaged forum for discussions on race, gender, and economic and social justice. This was especially the case after Superstorm Sandy, when Armah and her fellow hosts scrambled not just to keep the station on-air but to reveal the storm's hidden devastation. That's what local radio should do, and it's just one of the reasons that WBAI-a Pacifica station briefly forced off the air by Sandy's flooding of lower Manhattan-deserves support."
An interview conducted by Fran Luck producer of Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio (1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 9-10 pm) with Indian Feminist Rita Banerji, and which aired on WBAI on December 19, has been picked up by WINGS (Women's International News Gathering Service), a much respected women's news distribution service that goes out to thousands of subscribers via email link, and is carried on two community radio satellites and two community radio distribution sites and distributed in the U.S., Canada and Australia. This is a great honor. The 28 minute segment will be up posted shortly here.
|Please click here: Calendar for an extensive list of upcoming events
- Friday, January 4, Benefit Concert for WBAI, one of NYC's greatest supporters of independent music. From the mesmerizing electro-pop of Dynasty Electric, to the Afro-indie jams of Oskere and the Lucky Bastards and the transportive psychedelic electro dance/rock of Jadex, Naked Sounds features a night of blistering and enervating sets from Beyond This Point, (i am) isis, and pILLOW tHEORY, some of NYC's most exciting live performers. The Studio at Webster Hall, 125 East 11th St., New York, NY 8:00 PM EST (7:00 PM DOORS) $12.00. Tickets:here
- Monday, January 7- 8:15pm - Wine reception @7pm - Premier of CORPORATE FM, A New Film by Kevin McKinney & Jill McKeever about the striking and alarming effects that the Telecom Act had on radio. Be surprised by not only the the extent of the damage that deregulation has wrought to commercial radio, but how deeply it threatens public and college and community radio as well. Worse yet, the fcc is still trying to consolidate even more, despite overwhelming 99% opposition feedback it receives from citizens. It may not surprise you that each of the past 4 FCC commissioners has at some point made money off of the industry that they are here to regulate. Reception and Q+A by film makers. Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.) NY. FREE TICKETS TO FIRST 10 LISTENERS TO SIGN UP TO BE BAI BUDDIES! (We will contact you when you have won)
- Friday, January 18 to Sunday, January 20 - Best of ADIFF Film Series- Some of the best and most popular films presented during the 20th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival will enjoy another screening during the Best of ADIFF film series to be held at Teachers College, Columbia University from January 18 to January 20, 2013. Highlights of The Best of ADIFF include Winner of ADIFF's 2012 Public Award for the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color Here We Drown Algerians, October 17th, 1961 by Yasmina Adi and Cannes 2012 "Un Certain Regard" official selection La Playa D.C., about an Afro-Colombian teenager who faces difficulties of growing up in a city of exclusion and racism, also made the Best of ADIFF 2012 selection. For more information about these and other screenings and events, for tickets and schedule, please visit www.NYADIFF.org or call (212) 864-1760.
- Saturday, January 26th from 6-10pm- The Last Mapou: An exhibition for the launch of One Moore Book's Haiti Series. One Moore Book is a publisher and distributor of culturally sensitive children's literature. Please join us as we celebrate the launch of The Haiti Series--a collection of six stories that feature the vibrant culture and people of The Republic of Haiti. The launch event will be an art exhibition of the work of artist Edouard Duval-Carrié.
Live music by Haitian musician Obed Jean-Louis who combines Haitian folk twoubadou and roots sounds to create original soulful music that speaks to the world.
Each ticket sold will pay for the purchase and shipping of one book to a child in Haiti through a partnership with the LitWorld Organization. A portion of the proceeds will also benefit Haiti Cultural Exchange, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization established to develop, present and promote the cultural expressions of the Haitian people. Space on White, 81 White Street,Tribeca, NYc. $40 Admission (Includes one book to take home and one book to be donated to the LitWorld organization) For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit OneMooreBookHaiti.eventbrite.com.
| From the Development Office |
Andrea Katz tours our area with Congressman Jerry Nadler
From the Interim Development Director, Andrea Katz
It has been a busy few months and not because of the 1st Annual WBAI Art Auction or the holiday season fund drive, not because many interns leave this time of year, or because we are in the process of relocating the station.
My office has been a "storm" of activity because of Hurricane Sandy. We have been seeing scenarios similar to those that we all heard about in New Orleans...and thought perhaps would not be repeated here.
As Interim development Director I have been attending meeting upon meeting, filling out application after application, making continual phone calls - but no $$$$ is forthcoming just yet. We were able to secure office space at the World Financial Center where we have 6 months rent free to do some longer term planning about our future quarters.
Because of the lack of forthcoming Federally funded help to local small businesses in lower Manhattan, grants have not been available. The singular one, the Back to Business Small Business Grant Program from the Downtown Alliance, was forced to close the period for local businesses to submit grant applications 2 weeks early, because of the overwhelming demand. Like after 9/11- only loans are being offered and many businesses in the area are still paying off loans from back then!
At this point we are awaiting responses to our applications from the CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting), our insurance company, the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services(DHSES) who is administering Disaster Assistance for Not-for-profits for FEMA, The Rauschenberg Foundation and others. We received free legal assistance from the Legal Aide Society who gave pro bono legal support for businesses in the Seaport area as well as counseling on dealing with insurance issues from former City Council member Alan Gerson, who donated his services.
We have joined forces with the Seaport Business Association and have developed relationships with many city officials who are strongly committed to WBAI remaining a media presence downtown, including Borough President Scott Stringer, who's office has been aiding us however they can and Ro Sheffe, Chair of the Financial District Committee, Community Board 1. Like what occurred in New Orleans, we are stuck in a frustrating waiting game, and hopefully Federal Funds (now back to starting over to get approval in the Senate), insurance funds - any recovery funds - will be forthcoming to aide in our establishing a new home for WBAI.
In the meantime we had a very successful Art Auction, many end of year donations and the REBOOT campaign continues. You can help right now in any of these ways:
Become a BAI Buddy here
FREE TICKETS TO PREMIERE + RECEPTION FOR CORPORATE FM (see Events above) TO FIRST 10 LISTENERS TO SIGN UP TO BE BAI BUDDIES! (We will contact you when you have won)
Give in the name of your favorite show here
Give to the (MOST IMPORTANT AT PRESENT) Capital Campaign here
THE STATS ARE IN ON OUR NEW WEBSITE
As my office worked to improve our web presence as well as expand our social networking reach, I am pleased to announce that the statistics are in and they are FANTASTIC. We launched the totally-revamped website in June, focusing on what WBAI does best: news, arts, music, ecology and public affairs.
So far, we are thrilled with what we've managed to accomplish in such a short time. For the first six months of operation, wbai.org enjoyed almost 900,000 individual page views over more than 340,000 visits. On an annualized basis, we are looking at almost 2 million pages viewed over approximately 700,000 visits. 40% of our visitors appear to be new to the site each month.
That's pretty exciting. Obviously, wbai.org has become a primary source for news, articles and live broadcasts for hundreds of thousands of people - and not just in New York. A significant number of our visitors are reading and listening from the UK, Europe, Canada, South America, the Baltic states, Russia and Asia.
We hope to grow those numbers in 2013 with more articles, features and fine-tuning. The site will continue to expand and grow throughout the new year, building on the base we created in 2012 and feedback from our listeners, producers, board members and staff.
Have any good ideas? Click here. We'd love to hear what you think.
|Interns + Volunteers |
WINTER / SPRING INTERNSHIPS
Internships (credit and non-credit) internships in audio engineering, marketing, accounting, graphic design, social media networking, event planning, general station support, and business organization. Please email a resume, days/hours of availability, and areas of interest to:
| The War Against Too Much of Everything|
by Alexander Dron
click cartoon to read article
I'm glad to see that BAI has significant support here in NJ. I've been a listener since 1964 (The Goon Show), and a subscribing member since 1969. I just voted in the BAI Board election.
Back in the 60s WBAI provided heavy Vietnam coverage. It's 6 pm news drew a larger audience than did any of the television stations. It gained its popularity because people realized they were being lied to and manipulated. Those were the days of Larry Josephson, Margo Adler, unmatched in the broadcast industry. I grew up listening to BAI.
BAI , part of the Pacifica group of listener supported stations, relies entirely on listener financial support. This is unique and it's what allows BAI to offer honest, fearless, factually supported reporting. It draws on news sources around the world, exposing listeners to other perspectives. It also provides exposure to new experimental art, music, poetry, prose, and a glimpse at what repulsive special interests are located behind the mask of power, and the extent to which they control Congress. WBAI absolutely refuses to accept government or corporate money.
Powerful government agencies and the very rich have attempted to get rid of this counterculture station, located in the center of the FM dial position at 99.5, but all have failed. WBAI is among the very last remnants of the 60's, still doing battle with crooked government and rapacious corporations. It hammers at the bastards who have, among other things, given us poisonous food, inappropriate medicines, and whose handiwork we can (despite the media blackout) see in the US, especially since 2007.
I send WBAI $100 each year. Not a lot, but we need that station Please support WBAI financially, but also tune them in. No commercials. No corporate names scrolling down after a public TV program. The masters of the universe may yet destroy WBAI; it would be huge loss.
- John Marcinski
I just received your newsletter and I have a comment...They best way to get more people to subscribe is to be more RELEVANT, ok? I'm all for giving a voice to those who have been disenfranchised, but BAI has become a place where too many minority ISSUES are highlighted. Seems like most of your programming is about BLACK issues, and anything that's confrontational. I enjoy a lot of the programs, as I have for DECADES, but these days, very little is relevant to people like ME.
You've got to determine where the money is coming from, OK? You want to SURVIVE. Frankly, I'm getting tired and irritated by some of your programming. It's become so depressing and negative, and anti-American, and antisemitic and pro-Muslim. That's very clear. And do we really need to have a Spanish-speaking program on during prime time? Who is going to listen to that? And how many in that category are PAYING? I liked it better in the old days. But I still listen and subscribe.
- Frank B.
Please send your comments, complaints, or compliments related to any program subject matter aired this month to Listenercommentary@wbai.org with "Listener Comment" in the subject line. Submissions should be limited to 400 words and please include your full name and location. We reserve the right to edit where deemed necessary.
Berthold Reimers - General Station Manager
WBAI Pacifica Radio
120 Wall Street, 10th Floor