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Contact Paul DeRienzo
Listener Candidate for the WBAI Local Station Board
WBAI is facing a financial crisis along with the Pacifica Foundation because of its failure to live up to its own principles and mission. I will work to set new standards for a progressive outlet that has lost its way. The answer is not wholesale programming change. If WBAI is to succeed it must promote its current line up. WBAI needs commitment to live programming, the age of the canned program must end. Constantly repeating programs are poison to our audience and the antidote are live voices. When WBAI works with community partners as we did years ago with St John the Divine for Listener Action for the Homeless WBAI lived up to its legend and the result was epic. WBAI must be a leader and not a follower. The technical failure of WBAI to carry out effective remote broadcasts whether from the Caribbean Day parade or anti-war marches is a disgrace and a sign that management takes no interest in the Pacifica Mission. If management blames programmers for declining funding and then violates the Mission which clearly requires WBAI to provide high technical quality then they're sabotaging themselves. WBAI must be organically involved with popular social movements! This is key. We cannot hide our heads on the sand any longer and make believe the sky will fall if we return to our roots covering and promoting protests. WBAI has strayed so far from its Mission that its become unrecognizable and listeners have been voting with their dollars. WBAI and Pacifica must not run away from its responsibilities to the activist community using false pretenses to claim its "not allowed" to take a position. If folks are worried about the Hatch Act then stop promoting politicians. There was never a problem in the past of collecting WBAI's rightful share of its CPB money. WBAI and Pacifica lost its CPB funding because of incompetence, especially a failure to deliver audits on time. Past management crews never had that problem. WBAI isn't a megaphone for the Democratic Party, WBAI is not a "communist radio station" as I've heard asserted at WBAI meetings. Pacifica is rooted in anarchism if anything because of pacifist founders. WBAI was begun as an arts station with a nod to theater. It's time to allow in some new voices, not to replace but to enhance current programming. There's plenty of space that's been taken over by canned fund raisers to allow new voices without impinging veterans. WBAI must reinvigorate its arts programming and remake its alliance with the NYC arts community. WBAI and Pacifica should ally with the Progressive Radio Network and expand its Internet footprint. It's already happening, let's make it official. WBAI should ally with MNN and add video streaming options to the schedule. WBAI can survive, but only if we are all prepared to link arms and get it done. I promise if elected I will help lead us to a new dawn for progressive radio. What have we got to lose?
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