Although KPFA is financially healthy, its sister station in the Pacifica Network, WBAI, based in New York, is raising very little money, and is trapped in a lease on their antenna tower that they cannot pay – it currently costs $60,000 per month, and is rising.
In late 2016, the landlord, the Empire State Realty Trust, sued for unpaid rent. Three months ago, they won a judgment of just over $1.8 million dollars, plus attorneys’ fees. WBAI has no assets to speak of for them to seize. But since WBAI is part of the same legal entity as KPFA, they can come after KPFA’s bank account, and they can come after the building we broadcast from. They have filed paperwork in California that would allow that as early as this Monday.
And yet, in the three months since that judgement – and in the more than one year since the lawsuit was filed – Pacifica’s governing board of directors has been unable to commit to any actions that would protect its assets.
We spent the bulk of this show discussing the situation with Pacifica’s Interim Executive Director, and taking calls from KPFA
listeners. [segment starts 1:07 into the audio archive]
- Bill Crosier is a member of Pacifica’s Board of Directors – he represents listener-members at KPFA’s sister station KPFT in Houston. He is also currently serving, in a volunteer capacity, as Pacifica’s Interim Executive Director.
- You can contact the members of the Pacifica National Board by writing to [email protected]
- The next meeting of the Pacifica National Board takes place tonight, beginning at 5:30 PM Pacific time. The streaming link to listen in is at kpftx.org