Pacifica Radio, which owns KPFA, suffered a major financial blow today. A judge in New York City has ruled against the foundation in a case over back-rent owed to the Empire State Building, which owns the tower from which New York station WBAI broadcasts.
The judge awarded the Empire State Real Estate Trust $1.8 million plus attorneys’ fees.
Pacifica has not yet announced how it will respond to the ruling. Pacifica Executive Director Bill Crosier has raised the prospect of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which would protect the network’s assets from a seizure while it reorganizes its finances. He has not, however, committed to that course of action. The Pacifica National Board would have to authorize any bankruptcy filing. They will be meeting tomorrow night to discuss the situation.
It is unclear what kind of impact this will have on KPFA. Even during a bankruptcy proceeding, however, we would continue to broadcast. KPFA owns its transmitter site and studios debt-free and is exceeding its fund drive goals and is operating under a balanced budget.
KPFA 94.1FM is the world’s oldest listener-supported radio station. It has served the Bay Area since 1949.