WBAI LSB Meeting — August 8, 2006

The fiftieth WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) meeting was held on Tuesday, August 8, 2006, in executive session via teleconference. This is not an official Web page of the LSB.

Since this meeting was held in executive session I can't say everything I'd like to about it here.

The LSB has publicized part of the motion passed at this meeting, so I can certainly comment on it, to a limited degree. Below is the LSB's statement and my comment on it.

The full motion is posted on wbai.org. Click here to see that full motion.

Here's my reply to this motion that was passed by the WBAI LSB in executive session on August 8, 2006.

This is an example of how a majority can manipulate an executive session where not all of the information can be revealed but what the majority decides to reveal can be.

I voted against the motion for a number of reasons. First and foremost is the following ridiculous section:

2. ....
b) to stipulate that any person acting in such temporary management capacity shall not have authority to hire or remove any paid or unpaid staff member or to direct any program changes.

I don't think that this would be legal.

The Communications Act, which establishes the rules and licenses for radio stations, is the primary thing which the F.C.C. exists to enforce. It requires that the license owner/operator be in control of the air at all times. We are required to have someone in ultimate charge of the radio station and in order to be in charge that person must have the power to hire and fire and do things with programming. If the Executive Director were to knuckle under to a provision like this we could lose the license, and maybe not only WBAI's license would be in jeopardy. And of course it would also be an evisceration of the Executive Director's powers.

In any case, even putting this provision out is ill-advised. We are reportedly already engaged in dealings with the F.C.C. over on-air violations and I can't imagine what the F.C.C. will make of this motion from the LSB.

And then there's the need for someone who can fire and ban people who are actively harming the radio station through violent actions or theft. The current iGM has banned six people from WBAI for such violations over the past year. Section 2.b of this motion would potentially subject the station to an absurd level of criminal behavior.

In short, section 2.b is probably illegal and I pointed this out during the executive session meeting but the faction currently in charge voted for it anyway.

2. a) to immediately consult with the LSB General Manager Search Subcommittee, the two WBAI unions, and the WBAI staff about the nature of such changes before implementing them;

This is another nice sounding attempt to tie the Executive Director in knots. The faction currently in charge is treating him as if he's an opposition LSB member and not the Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation.

Given that someone has to be in charge, the Executive Director has asked to be given candidates for iGM by the end of August. He apparently wants to name someone to that position by mid-September. I would say that the Executive Director's only consultation has to be with the General Manager Search Sub-committee, which the LSB has delegated to do the searches for GM and iGM, and that consultation only has to be for them to send him their list of candidates.

That there was going to be an announcement by current iGM Indra Hardat at a meeting the next day was known at this executive session. It was obvious that things had changed, but the faction currently in charge wanted to rush this motion into the public view.

I think that the faction currently in charge at WBAI is afraid that they might lose their smothering grip over the radio station, especially if the atmosphere of intimidation they use to get their way were to be lifted.

Here's the page showing the attendance at the LSB meetings.

Back to the New Pacifica page.

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