Monday, October 23, 2017

Help Save WBAI Radio; NYCLPC Sued & More NYC Real Estate Foibles

As many of you know, I work in part as the senior producer at WBAI radio's The Morning Show, the only station-sponsored daily public affairs program. I came to the station--the oldest and largest independent progressive station in the NY area--after years of working in print. However, my background and greater passion has always been in broadcast and frankly, I'm a really good producer--much better than I am a writer. 

Unfortunately for me, my timing in broadcast was terrible, both in terms of the national economy dating back to the recessions of the 1990s; the deleterious post-OJ effect on serious and substantive public affairs discourse; and frankly, a curious phenomenon that developed during that time period where it became shockingly clear that smart women with opinions (that could be backed up) who were over 30 were not exactly welcome within the ranks of many news outlets.

WBAI and the host of The Morning Show, Michael G. Haskins, have been true blessings for me on multiple levels (though not financial.) I implore you to help us in the fight to save WBAI. The owners of the Empire State Building are essentially extorting the station, yet they just prevailed in court.

Please read this note from WBAI volunteer Marilyn Vogt-Downey:

The Empire State Realty Trust--the owners of the Empire State Building where WBAI's transmitter is located--has pushed WBAI Radio into a crisis. The crisis is real! And we need your help to turn this crisis around.

We need your time, your energy and, especially, your skills... we need YOU to be part of a cadre of volunteers to help build our off-air multi-million dollar fundraising campaign. 

YES we can do it together... 

We need grant writers, event planners, social media & computer technology experts, phone banking volunteers, and particularly those experienced with obtaining large donor contributions... Are you an experienced fundraiser??? We need you now!!!

Historically WBAI listeners have shown great heart and courage in the face of political adversity. Now it's urgent that we bring our efforts together on behalf of WBAI, our irreplaceable station.

Specify your area of expertise and experience and let us know how you can help. 
Again, please call 347-647-9224 or email

Together we will win!

In my capacity as producer at WBAI, I've had the opportunity to create substantive segments about issues I believe are either ignored by the mainstream press or not fully examined. Here are some important interviews on which I worked before the recent court decision:

A Community organization's lawsuit vs the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) 
for the 'capricious' manner in which it makes important landmarking decisions, with no standard set of regulatory guidelines. Because of the arbitrary nature, and absent standards, it's impossible not to speculate about what factors are considered like the administration's close ties to developers. Certainly, the fact that the LPC chair has no landmarking or preservation experience is more than troubling. Several other community groups have filed suit against LPC for an array of reasons, and this case has potential citywide implications;
Update on the controversial (and wildly unpopular) rezoning of Jerome Avenue in the Bronx;

The travesties occurring in Brooklyn's Crown Heights section caused in part by a corrupt community board and a mayoral administration hell bent on turning the city over to private developers as in the case of the Bedford Armory;

I'm also particularly pleased with the following two segments focusing on national issues:

1) What the Trump administration is trying to do to working Americans, in terms of overtime regulations and the pay gap;

2) A fine tribute to and discussion of the late LGBT pioneer Edie Windsor and her legacy  between the two co-hosts of GAYUSA, the longest running LGBT news and information show which has aired since the mid-1980s. Both hosts knew Windsor well and considered her their friend.