Report: Pacifica Foundation Shuts Doors on WBAI/New York
|RADIO ONLINE | Tuesday, October 8, 2019|
WBAI-FM/New York was shut down on Monday by the Pacifica Foundation, a California-based nonprofit organization that owns the Public Radio outlet, reports Spectrum News' NY1.com. Engineer and host Reggie Johnson learned of the news while on his way to work. "And then when I got here, third floor is locked," he said. "The elevator to the third floor is not functioning whatsoever."
In a phone interview with health guru Gary Null, who NY1.com says has probably raised more money for WBAI than anyone in its history, he told Spectrum News that he believes the Pacifica Foundation is setting the up station for a sale, and the license alone could yield more than $50 million. Null also told NY1.com that, historically, the problem has been that the Pacifica Foundation has chosen ideology over competency when it picked the WBAI management team.
Jay Smooth, who started hosting a show on WBAI in the 1980's called "The Underground Railroad" said, "It is so heartbreaking to hear this news. I am one of many people who gave decades of my life to this institution." He added, "Tried to sound the alarm about mismanagement, turning it into a shadow of itself, while all of us volunteer producers tried to stay true to our progressive mission."
People who work there insisted they will continue fighting keep WBAI on the air. "They want to just break up the network because we are a radical voice in New York," former WBAI board member Mitchell Cohen told NY1.com.