Majority of Pacifica Board Votes to Restore WBAI


Berkeley-On the evening of Sunday October 13th, the majority of the Pacifica Board of Directors voted to restore WBAI-FM to local content and staffing and undo the heist that occurred on October 7th. This vote also occurred on Saturday, October 12th, but on that day the perpetrators decided to “not count” the votes of five members of the national board from three different signal areas and then muted their telephone lines so they could not participate in the board proceedings. 

The twelve directors who met on Sunday night, who represent an absolute majority of the Pacifica National Board and include at least one director from each of the five signal areas, also did the following:

1. Removed the vice chair of the board from the vice chair position

2. Removed the secretary of the board from the secretary position

3. Instructed law firm Foster Garvey to withdraw from all litigation on behalf of Pacifica

All 12 board members, who represent a quorum of the nonprofit’s board of directors formally waived notice requirements for the special meeting and convened on a conference line that did not permit the involuntary muting of participants. 

The perpetrators of the unauthorized shutdown failed to show up for the Sunday night meeting after only mustering nine votes in their Saturday night attempt to retroactively authorize their actions. 

Here is the motion that restored community radio to New York:

MOTION to Restore WBAI – from Alex Steinberg, James Sagurton, Shawn Rhodes, Tom Voorhees, Grace Aaron and Lawrence Reyes

Due to the severe financial stress being placed on Pacifica because of loss of revenue from the interruption of the WBAI fall fund drive on the one hand, and the unusual severance, legal, and administrative costs incurred by the closing of the WBAI studios and operations on the other, be it resolved:

1)  That WBAI be immediately restored to its fully functional state as it was prior to Oct. 5, 2019;

2)  That all funds, equipment, files, computer access, the ENDEC required for emergency broadcasting by the FCC, studio to transmitter link, website and email access, bank accounts and credit card access, and any other actions or materials needed to restore WBAI to its previous condition be restored or returned, as the case may be, immediately.

3)  That all actions and plans for WBAI and our other stations be provided by an iED to the full PNB for review and approval, prior to their execution;

4)  That financial reports be submitted to the full PNB by the iCFO as soon as possible after the relevant period close. The iCFO should devise a set of reports that includes monthly P&L statements, quarterly balance sheets and cash flow, cash flow projections by quarter if not by month, plus any additional analytical reports that the PNB and management would find helpful for planning purposes; and

5) That a plan be drawn up for reducing expenses by the PNB with the participation of the iCFO and presented to the PNB in writing before the next regular PNB meeting (scheduled for November 7, 2019).

WBAI is expected to return to local control after the federal holiday on Tuesday October 15, 2019. 

The board minority continues to insist the meeting was illegal and their takeover of WBAI was sanctioned, but they have never on a single occasion been able to demonstrate authorization of their actions by a majority of the board of the Pacifica Foundation .

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Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica’s storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases including the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin’s incendiary performances on WBAI. Pacifica Foundation Radio operates noncommercial radio stations in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and syndicates content to over 180 affiliates. It invented listener-sponsored radio.


One thought on “Majority of Pacifica Board Votes to Restore WBAI”

  1. You can’t make this stuff up. Given the scope of these board resolutions, wouldn’t it make sense to fire the interim executive director as well? What a screwup!

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