For over 50 years, WBAI-FM in
While commercial stations up and down the radio dial bombard their listeners with news about fire, crime, sex and celebrities, or subject them to endless blather by right-wing commentators or hours of mindless "sports talk," listener-supported WBAI does something else --- it educates people.
Whether it's the acclaimed investigative news show, Democracy Now, or Law and Disorder, Economic Update, Guns and Butter, the Gary Null health show, Where We Live, or Building Bridges, WBAI does so much to help people better understand a range of vital issues.
Now however, that beacon of light in a media wasteland is threatened with extinction. WBAI is in serious financial distress, and it's an open question whether the station can survive.
On August 10 th , Summer Reese, the interim executive director of the Pacifica Foundation, which owns the station, said in an emotional report to listeners that due to the station's substantial debt, a majority of the paid staff at WBAI had to be laid off. In the process, most of the existing day-time programming would be dropped. Only a skeleton crew would be kept on to maintain operations, she said.