members started insisting on punishment for anyone pitching a non-registered premium. Punishment was their theme for this meeting. One producer said that this bureaucratic approach to premiums limits us.
The PD said that all producers must file information with the Public Affairs Director on their programs for the public issues file now required by the F.C.C. This led to a drawn out discussion wherein some producers voiced concern about naming guests or saying what they were doing on the air. In the end the Public Affairs Director noted that if we don't comply we'll lose our license and then it won't be a problem.
There followed a discussion of various equipment issues around the station. The state of usability of station computers was discussed. In the end the iGM said that she was trying to put a half time IT person in the budget for FY07.
And then the issue of postings on the “Goodlight Board” came up. One posting was by a self-identified faction adherent about a demonstration against the iGM by the faction currently in charge, the other was by a Staff member. Faction leaders denounced it all and said they were not planning a demonstration. They then launched into attacks on the Staff member who'd commented on the information on the “Goodlight Board” and labeled it all COINTELPRO. It got very heated. Given the fact that as this newsletter goes to print the faction is overtly attacking the IGM, I have to wonder if maybe one of their dimmer lights leaked information about a demonstration that had to be canceled or if maybe this was a trial balloon.
During a short discussion of the Arbitron ratings the PD said that they only measured “the white middle class,” and not “the people we broadcast to.” One producer railed against this attitude and said that we should not be satisfied with a 0.3% rating. It was also pointed out that WBAI's membership base has declined as well.
Things grew heated again when a producer made a heartfelt complaint that the execution of gay teenagers by the government of Iran was ignored on WBAI.
The iGM noted that she's been the target of some racist actions at the station, one pal of the PD had to be escorted out of the station after one such incident. She noted that we can't just brush these
things off as if they're not happening.
The meeting ended oddly when the PD called for people to not say negative things about WBAI on the air or on Web sites. Apparently the PD had forgotten about his rogue “Report to the Listener” last August when he commandeered Wake Up Call to launch an extended attack on a LSB member who has called for the PD's firing for cause.
Local Station Board Meeting
This meeting started 53 minutes late. The topic of the illegal “suspension” of a LSB member came up again. His six month suspension had been in effect for a full year as of this meeting. He said that he may file a complaint with the F.C.C. about it. At one point during this meeting a faction member threw a piece of hard candy at the “suspended” member. I guess they feel entitled to adhere to no standards of behavior at all since they have a majority.
The iGM said in her report that she was embarrassed to be in a meeting that behaved the way this one did. She reported that WBAI's membership had fallen to 17,741, but the Winter ‘thon had brought in some members.
The night before this meeting the Finance Committee had been presented with a major contribution of $20,000 a year for 5 years to go towards moving the station. The Treasurer said that the PD had just gotten the donation, but it was later established that the iGM had actually gotten it three weeks earlier. However, the Treasurer presented the information to the LSB as the PD having gotten the donation! The Treasurer then presented a motion that the LSB would open a bank account for a building fund. During a discussion of this idea the iGM said that someone who was no longer a Pacifi ca employee had been brought to WBAI's bank to get a PIN, and she also noted that there was corruption at the station. The faction got all huffy about that comment, of course, and after a while the meeting was adjourned to the next week.
Program Director's Staff Meeting
Before this meeting a LSB member, who has
Page Three of this newsletter