The Fight to Save WBAI - 1977 back  next

Save wbai 1977
They hired management to institute sweeping changes to get rid of staff without consulting the listeners.

When the staff objected and formed a union to fight against these changes they ordered them not to discuss their objections on the air and said that anyone who did would be fired.

Even though the staff complied with this order, they were still afraid that listeners would find out what was going on so they pulled the plug to prevent this from happening.

They have rejected repeated attempts by the Friends of WBAI to be present at Union-board negotiations so that we could find out what was going on and make the listener's voice heard.

They are willing to give up current listeners and subscribers to the station in the hopes that they can be replaced by another group of subscribers. They are still backing Guzman, who said that he expects listenership to go down to zero In the interim period when the new programming goes into effect.

Their solution to the financial problems of the station will lead in short order to WBAI's financial ruin. Their plan to give up independently produced programs in favor of a slick, highly controlled. commercial format emphasizing popular music Is sure to result in the loss of support from the station's current subscribers, without any evidence that they will be replaced by enough new subscribers to keep it afloat.

If not, the Board will have to turn to the foundations-which they have been increasingly doing over the last three years-to bail it out or it will be sold and 99.5 will become a commercial station.

That is why this reckless course that the Board has adopted is a betrayal of the Principles of Pacifica and of the listeners who have supported the station during its seventeen years of existence.

The Board cannot be allowed to continue on its course. We, the listeners, must protect the station!

We must act now to save our station! This battle is likely to lead us into the courts, media and community. Funds are urgently needed. Just one mailing to all WBAI subscribers will cost roughly $1000.00. It is urgent that you become a member of the Friends of WBAI, and contribute according to your means to pay for legal fees, postage costs, production of the newsletter, etc., which require funding beyond the means of all of us who are already actively Involved. Please fill out the membership blank at the bottom of the page.

General meetings have been held for the previous eight Sundays at the All Angels Church, 251 West 80th Street, In Manhattan. For information, on further meetings and other activities of the Friends of WBAI, call the Action Number: (212) 675-3045.

The fact that the interim agreement does not provide for either staff or listener participation In decision-making makes it all the more imperative that we join together to take all the action necessary, including legal action, to prevent the station from being destroyed. Join the Friends of WBAI and fight with us to save Free Speech Radio.

Join us Come to meetings. Circulate petitions. Write to the media. Try to involve as many people as you can. Every person counts! Any effort helps!

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