Berkeley – When making decisions about how to go forward, we believe it is always helpful to look at the actual numbers. The adage “follow the money” applies to well, just about everything. Pacifica has released a draft profit and loss statement for the last fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2017. (Finally).
We need to disclose that it is a “draft” financial statement, so the numbers are not finalized, but at 95 days after the end of the fiscal year, most financial transactions should have been recorded in the books by now.
Berkeley – (Editors note: After more than three and a half years of regular weekly bulletins, Pacifica in Exile did not come out for the last eight weeks. The primary reason for that has been to avoid providing surplus information to Pacifica’s main creditor, the Empire State Realty Trust, that could hamper negotiations. At this point, however, we believe the member’s right to know has to be the priority, and since various members of the Pacifica community have been putting out information of varying levels of accuracy for some time now, we decided the time was right).
When we last left off publication, Pacifica had been hit with a $1.8 million summary judgment from the Empire State Realty Trust for back rent from 2013 to 2017, The rent is for WBAI-FM’s transmitter which broadcasts from the iconic NY skyscraper. A 15-year lease had been signed in 2005 by very temporary IED Ambrose Lane, a WPFW broadcaster who presided briefly between Dan Coughlin and Dan Siegel. The lease was signed under somewhat mysterious circumstances in that members of the 2005 board of directors have not confirmed that they saw it or reviewed it prior to signing. The lease took full advantage of the skyscraper deficit in New York City after the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001, hiking the rent abundantly every year for a decade and a half until 2020, where it topped out at more than 3/4 of a million dollars a year, a prohibitive amount for any community radio station. Continue reading What The Dickens Is Going On?→
This is a public copy of an email sent to the Pacifica National Board on 12-16-2017
A couple of things. I think it would help to publish an accounts payable listing. The throwing around of vague figures regarding the total amount of debt isn’t really that helpful. Can you provide a list of amounts owed?
If this $8 million dollar figure is true, then what it means is that Pacifica’s debts have doubled, increased by 100%, with no help from a Democracy Now contract, in the last four years – ie. from the close of the 2012-13 fiscal year at 9-30-2013 to the current day.
Since word has leaked out of some shall-we-say disagreements about the national board’s course of action, I’m going to take a moment to go over some of this. There is some obfuscation going on, in traditional Pacifica style, and at this point in time, the less of that the better. There are also some assertions being made that, at a minimum, need some back-up before being taken at face value. For ease of reading, I’m going to divide this into three broad sections, although some of the discussion will cross categories because the issues are inter-related. In broad strokes, the topics are a) Bankruptcy i.e. Chapter 11 Reorganization b) Summary Judgment and c) Swap/Sale of License Continue reading An Open Letter To The Pacifica Community→
Berkeley – To no one’s real surprise, a NY court ruled on October 4 that the Pacifica Foundation owed $1.8 million dollars plus attorney’s fees to the Empire State Realty Trust, the multimillion dollar real estate firm that owns the Empire State Building, where Pacifica has lodged WBAI-FM’s antenna since 1966. A 15-year contract signed in 2005, after the collapse of the World Trade Center, made antenna space in NYC a hot commodity, and featured soaring prices and a 9% annual escalation, which left the price of the rental by 2015 at more than 4 times the market value and in excess of $500,000 a year, a vast amount for a listener-sponsored radio station.
Berkeley – Clean-up work continues as the recovery of the network from the 2014 Siegel/Brazon coup enters its 7th month.
Financial statements through June 30, 2017 are available here. For the first time in recent history, the Pacifica Foundation is listed as “Current” status (rather then Delinquent status) at the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, after the fiscal year 2015 audit was completed prior to the deadline. The audit report, which is also available on the www.pacifica.org website, can be downloaded here.Continue reading Current For The First Time In A While→
Berkeley – The Pacifica Foundation, which got into serious trouble with the State of California’s Registry of Charitable Trusts for delinquent audits and forfeited millions of dollars in Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding, has completed their 2015 audit in record time and before a deadline set by the state’s Attorney General. Continue reading Pacifica 2015 Audit Completed→
On July 13, a number of prominent politicians came to the steps of New York’s City Hall on WBAI’s behalf to ask the Empire State Building Realty Trust to be a good corporate citizen and negotiate in good faith with Pacifica to resolve the long-term antenna lease at quadruple the market rate.
Berkeley – Pacifica’s ticking bomb, the 15-year incredibly expensive WBAI transmitter lease at the Empire State Building, has been the center of attention, since the owners of the iconic NY skyscraper reneged on the supposed deal announced by then-IED Margy Wilkinson in December of 2014 to reduce monthly rent from $50,000/month rate to $12,000/mo and sued Pacifica for the balance of the unpaid rent for the 2014-2016 period. The deal, much to the distress of the then-PNB minority was described as “verbal”, and if it existed at all, has no legal enforceability in court. Due to traditionally bad Pacifica negotiating, this time by then-interim ED Ambrose Lane in 2005, Pacifica is locked into the lease until 2020, which was never economical, goes up by 9% per year and is currently set at 4 times the current market price for radio antenna/transmitter space in Manhattan. Continue reading The Empire Strikes Back Delayed→
Pacifica Radio Coverage of Comey Testimony – June 8
[Berkeley] – On Thursday June 8 from 10:00am to 1:00pm EDT, Pacifica Radio will provide three hours of gavel-to-gavel analysis of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the United States Senate Intelligence Committee.