An open letter to our community,
We are writing as fellow lovers of radio to share with you news and search for a way forward together. We are penning this letter because we appreciate the amazing energy and commitment WBAI has manifested over the years and know you do as well. We are also writing to express certain understandings about the Pacifica Network of radio stations and the Pacifica Foundation.
As a network we hold each other together, we act in the spirit of solidarity and fiduciary responsibility. The WBAI staff has tried for several years to mitigate a ballooning debt and has been unable to do so. WBAI has accumulated $4 million debt to the Pacifica Central Services - a weight our stations, Archives, and National Office have had to carry. Additionally, we as a network of stations must secure $3.2 million to repay a loan that is due in full in 2021.
On Monday, October 7th the Pacifica Foundation had to suspend most of the local NY operations. We were necessitated to act in the most responsible way we saw in order to stabilize and secure the future of 99.5fm WBAI and the network. While this decision was abrupt it was after careful examination of all possibilities.
The current program grid for WBAI will be based on Pacifica Across America - a curated collection of original content produced by stations in the Pacifica Network.
The next step will be to relaunch WBAI. We hope you will join us in (re)creating a truly independent, resilient, economically viable institution from the people - for the people. We seek to create an eclectic mix of local WBAI favorites alongside new shows and best-of nationally syndicated content.
To succeed we call upon our wonderful and loving community of listeners, rebels for their creativity, patience, and financial support.
Thank you now let's make great radio.