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Who has been irrational? ...Re: [wbailsbfinance] National Finance Committee Resolution on WBAI

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  • Stephen M Brown
    ... Don -- I take strong exception to your remarks about me. Not because of what you may wrongly believe to be my attitude, but because your remarks do not
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 12, 2004
      DonRojas@... wrote:
      > Hi Paul,
      >
      > I know how bitterly disappointed you must feel after last night's
      > vote to reject the budget. It was a slap in the face for you, Indra
      > (and me) after all the effort that you both put into this process. I
      > found Steve Brown's proposal to cut the budget by 30% to be
      > ludicrous, irrational and anti-worker.
      >
      > I'm not sure what compromise solution can be worked out but I'm
      > prepared to explore that with you, Lonnie and Indra.
      >
      > Take a break from the WBAI madness over the weekend and let's get
      > back to this budget challenge on Monday.
      >
      > Don

      --------Steve Brown's reply-----------

      Don --

      I take strong exception to your remarks about me. Not because of what you
      may wrongly believe to be my attitude, but because your remarks do not
      indicate a proper understanding of what a budget is.

      When a dollar amount is specified for revenue in a budget, this is not about
      giving money to workers, or taking it away from them. It is only -- ONLY --
      about making a prediction regarding how much money we honestly think will be
      coming in. It is not a favor to anyone -- especially not workers -- when
      management makes unrealistically optimistic predictions of revenue.

      In fact, short of tossing a hand grenade into our transmitter, making
      unrealsitically optimistic revenue predicitions is the most harmful thing
      anyone could do to our station. And that our own station manager should be
      guilty of such an act is especially sad.

      The fact is, Don, that the predictions of revenue in your proposed budget
      are -- to use your own words -- "ludicrous, irrational and anti-worker."

      Especially do I find your predictions -- and your budget -- to be
      anti-worker. That is because an incorrect prediction, especially if it is
      too high rather than too low, will have serious consequences that can force
      many workers to be laid off.

      I mean, Don -- what, after all, did you think all those pink slips were
      about last year? They were solely -- entirely -- a result of station
      management having made horrendously inaccurate predictions about revenue,
      and then operating the station as if those predictions were real. When the
      predictions were exposed as sheer fantasy -- half the station staff received
      pink slips.

      Shamefully, management decided to "play" that situation as having been
      caused by a "shortfall." But there was no shortfall, there was only
      irresponsible budgeting.

      Is that what you want to happen again, Don, with this budget?

      I am talking about responsibility, which is why the LSB very properly
      refused to pass your budget. I feel that you have "grandstanded" with regard
      to this budget, in two inappropriate ways.

      (1) You concocted a false revenue prediction to earn you Brownie points,
      because you could claim that it would be used to pay workers -- when it is
      almost certain that this money will not be there to pay those workers in
      2005, at which time there will be many groans of anguish when that happens.
      But, of course, you have already resigned. So you will not be around to hear
      those anguished groans, or to see the shocked and desperate experessions on
      the faces of the workers who must be laid off when your revenue predictions
      evaporate like smoke. Their cries will no doubt fail to reach your ears on
      whatever beach you may be sunning yourself on between jobs.

      (2) You sent the email quoted above, in which you denounce those who, like
      myself, were responsible enough to force management to confront reality,
      instead of pepetuating the same failed model of financial and programming
      policies that caused our listenership and our daily fundraising revenues to
      decline so drastically.

      You wrote as if I were gleeful that the station is declining in listeners
      and revenues. Yet you know very well that I have worked extemely hard and
      extemely long hours these last two years to raise money for this station in
      every way I can (or in every way that I have been allowed to do! but let's
      not even go there). Not to mention donating considerable sums to the station
      outright.

      It hurts me to say, "Cut the budget." Whereas it seems not to hurt you at
      all to grandstand and pretend that my call for cutting the budget is
      irresponsible -- when it is actually you who have been irresponsible in
      proposing a budget that turns every sensible method of constructing a
      budget -- on its head.

      If you are truly interested in understanding why the LSB had to vote against
      your budget, please read the following. If your budget is any indication,
      most of the following will probably be "news" to you.

      ********** Why Management's Budget Failed to Pass *********

      For 25 years WBAI has traditionally held two major fund drives and a mini
      drive -- usually 18 days per major, and 5-7 days for the mini. For many
      years (until the last two) we were able to do million-dollar-plus fund
      drives that averaged about $55,000-$62,000 per day.

      That is not "secret" knowledge; it is simply arithmetic: $1,100,000/18 =
      $61,111/day. And if we look at your projected expenses, this sum of
      $55,000-$62,000 seems to be the actual daily rate of fund drive revenue
      needed to operate the station. But those are figures from the "distant"
      past, not the recent past, and certainly not the predictable future.

      For things have changed at WBAI -- for the worse. In the last two years, the
      desertion of listeners -- and "donor fatigue" -- have forced the station to
      run extra mini "emergency" drives to make up for the failures of our major
      drives to reach their goals. This year we have had to run two such
      "emergency" mini-drives, almost within the same month. (And one of them went
      on for two weeks, which is scarcely "mini.")

      We have been driven to the point where we now do 92 days of fundraising a
      year, and still cannot make ends meet. (Our other four stations need to run
      only about half that number of fundraising days.) But the more days we
      fundraise and pre-empt our programs, the lower our daily fundraising
      revenues have continued to fall -- and the more days we have had to
      fundraise in order to catch up. It is a vicious cycle, and we will soon run
      out of days in the year.

      This has, in fact, actually been happening. All of our last six drives have
      failed. Our last full drive was in May, and I happen to have the figures in
      my head. After failing to raise the targeted $1.2 million in the allotted 18
      days, the drive was put on "emergency extension" -- for an entire month. Yet
      it still fell short, grossing only $845,000. (Wheresas KPFK can raise $1
      million in only 12 days?) So instead of $62,000 per day, we were taking in
      only $28,000 per day -- or less than half of what was predicted.

      And since our fulfillment is only 67% -- which is another indication of
      declining support from our listeners (since KPFK and KPFA both get as much
      as 85%-90% fulfillment) -- that $845,000 is really only $566,000. Or barely
      $19,000 per day Which is only 30% of what was predicted.

      Since that May drive, we have held two "emergency" mini drives. The first
      (from memory) averaged no more than $22,000 per day ($15,000 per day after
      fulfillment), and the second no more than $18,000 per day ($12,000 per day
      after fulfillment). So now we are down to only 29% of what was predicted --
      or really only 19% of predicted daily revenue if you use the more realistic
      "net" fulfilled figure.

      I will repeat that startling figure. Our daily fundraising revenues have
      fallen over 6 fund drives from approximately $62,000 per day to
      approximately $18,000 per day. A drop of 71%.

      But you will remember, Don, that my proposed amendment to the budget --
      which you railed at for being "ludicrous" and "irrational" -- called for a
      cut of only 30%, not 71%. So I suppose you could justifiably say that I was
      irresponsible in not asking for a larger cut in your budget.

      We -- the LSB and the listeners -- should have been terribly alarmed by this
      enormous decline in our daily fundraising revenues. But we were not
      alarmend, because, Don, you covered it up by misdirecting our attention. We
      were told, instead, that things were great. And you have gone on the air
      every day, five or six times a day during the last several months (and are
      still doing so) to proudly announce that listenership was growing and the
      station was stronger than ever (a very misleading statement, to say the
      least, which I deal with below) -- at the very monent that you were
      desperately adding more "emergency" fund drives to the schedule, and
      extending the time pre-empted for major drives, in a vain attempt to outrun
      sagging daily revenues.

      And it is not as if you had been overtaken by a surprise hurricane. This
      decline in daily fundraising revenues didn't sneak up on you overnight. It
      has been ongoing. And very evident. You just chose to ignore it -- and deny
      it. And, being the GM, people believed you. They still believe you,
      otherwise your "ludicrous and irrational" budget would not have received
      even those LSB votes it did.

      And the decline in fundraising mirrors a similar decline in our
      listenership, despite your either (honestly) mistaken or (deliberately)
      misleading reports to the contrary. For however much or however little
      credence you may wish to place in Arbitron, it is a fact that their latest
      reports [everyone please pay attention] document a startling fall-off in
      listenership between 2003 and 2004 of as much as 65% -- FOR VIRTUALLY EVERY
      PROGRAM ON WBAI (except Gary Null, which was up by 48%, and Democracy Now!,
      which was up by 18%).

      I am preparing Excel and PowerPoint graphs and and bar charts that tell the
      sad story of our declining listenership by listing both the Cumes and the
      AQHs (two ways of reporting the number of people listening) -- not just for
      the station as a whole, which can disguise much -- but in an HOUR-BY-HOUR
      format so that you can see how each of our programs has either gained
      listeners or lost them in the 12 months from 2003 to 2004. This is a story
      that management has evidently found so sad that it kindly tried to spare our
      delicate sensibilities by rewriting it with a happy ending.

      Is there hope for us?

      A declining trend like this is certainly reversible -- but it always takes
      longer to stop a trend than to start one. So even if we make our programming
      "better" (whatever that might mean), the very people whom we would need to
      tell about the improvements -- for example, our vanished audience -- are
      presumably no longer listening to us, so they will not get the message. And
      so will continue to stay away, listening instead to Air America. And, even
      more diligently, to NPR/WNYC.

      [For your information: WNYC is a feeble -- only 5,000 Watts -- New York City
      station with only one-tenth Wbai's 50,000Watts of power (and signal
      penetration) in the same Metro Area. But in 1996, WNYC cut itself loose from
      New York City municipal control and became a super-successful nonprofit
      independent that boosted its paid membership to 95,000 and increased its
      listenership to 1.1 million (NY Daily News, 9/8/04). Wbai's figures are, as
      you know, barely a fifth of that. Yet the only difference between WNYC's
      success and Wbai's failure can be summed up in one word: Management -- that
      is, the policies, outreach, and programming decisions of our GM and PD,
      which are responsible for 99% of any difference in listenership and support
      between one station and another.]

      Given the above information, I do not see how, Don, you could have possibly
      anticipated that the coming fiscal year would generate revenues of
      $2,775,000. That is actually MORE than the station brought in last year.
      Given that our daily fundraising revenues have declined by as much as 71%
      (gross) or 81% (net) in the past year, what can you have been thinking of?
      What were you smoking? On what could you have possibly based such wildly
      unrealistic revenue predicitions?

      And those optimistic revenue predictions seem even more unrealitic if -- as
      seems very likely -- you plan to continue with the same failed fundraising
      and programming policies that precipated this terrible decline in the first
      place.

      By the way, that failed model includes not only our programming (which may
      take a long time to correct) but also the inexplicably dumb policy of
      deliberately (I should say spitefully) banning Gary Null from significant
      participation in our fund drives (which is at least something that can be
      corrected immediately, and would make a large impact on revenues).

      Perhaps the members of the board may be glazing over at the prospect of
      hearing another discussion of Gary Null's fundraising. But I do hope I will
      not hear any cries of -- "Stop defending Gary Null!" Because this is not
      about Null, let alone about defending him. For as you know, he attacked me
      repeatedly by name, and often, over the air all during 2001-2002 for my part
      in the listener campaign against Utrice Leid and the national board. No,
      this is about a failure of management. And the "Null issue" is, for me, only
      a financial issue, which has been cynically warped out of shape by a petty
      power game of management, and the program director in particular (as his
      colleague, Dred-Scott Keyes, inadvertently let slip, and which was recorded,
      during a public meeting of the Wbai finance committee).

      For example, although it can be documented that Null has raised up to 30% of
      the revenue in every Wbai fund drive for the last 25 years (with similar
      results for WPFW), and could be counted on to raise as much as $200,000 to
      $300,000 per drive, he was deliberately sidelined for most of the last 6
      drives -- which failed miserably -- resulting in a possible loss to Wbai of
      as much as $1-$1.8 million in revenue. How many workers, about whom you
      profess such concern, Don, would that money keep from being laid off? Do you
      want to take responsibily for that $1-$1.8 million revenue loss, or was it a
      decision of Bernard White's? Or perhaps of Kathy Davis's? "Inquring minds
      want to know" -- for it is not just idle curiosity but the survival of the
      station that is at stake.

      During the recently completed "emergency" mini drive, Null was given only 7
      minutes on one day, 6 minutes on another, and 3 minutes on a third day for a
      total of about 16 MINUTES for the entire drive. (He traditionally used to
      pitch 18-22 HOURS per drive.) And to point up the "spite" involved, the
      first 15 minutes of Null's show was pre-empted, without notice and without
      announcing to his audience that he would be coming on later. Thus his
      (presumably motivated) audience was led to believe that Null's show was
      again being pre-empted for the fund drive, as it had been so far -- and
      therefore most of them tuned out. Nevertheless, even with a greatly reduced
      audience, Null still raised an average of $500 per minute or $30,000 an
      hour. (This is low, since Null's historic revenue rates have been as high as
      $45,000 or more per hour.)

      Yet although the program director gave Null only 16 minutes to pitch during
      this fund drive (a token amount, which allowed Paul Surovell to say, "See,
      Steve, Gary Null is being allowed to fundraise for us after all") he gave
      Amy Goodman 36 hours to pitch, or about 1/3 of the total functionally
      productive time of the drive.

      This is no criticism of Amy, who pitches her heart out -- it is a criticism
      of the program director. I don't have official figures, but it appears that
      Amy generated an average of $1,500-$2,000 per hour in this drive, compared
      to the $30,000 an hour ($500 per minute) generated in this same drive by
      Null. I do not claim that such extrapolations are accurate, but even if we
      predicate only half of Null's recorded rate, if he had been allowed to pitch
      for the same 36 hours, his total revenue might have conceivably been as high
      as $540,000 -- whereas, without him, the entire drive took in only about
      $250,000.

      How long can this kind of financial irresponsibility be allowed to continue?
      These petty power plays and testosterone wars of management endanger the
      entire foundation (which has to make up Wbai's shortfalls).

      I do not expect to be thanked for posting the preceding information. The
      message is unpleasant, so I expect there will be some (or many) who will
      want to shoot the messenger. But I hope not before we can approve a budget
      that will help the station instead of cripple it.

      It is unfortunate that our LSB is so terribly factionalized. Would it be too
      much to ask that, for a while, we put aside whatever personal agendas we may
      nourish and focus on what is good for the station? Roger Manning told me
      that he was planning to vote Yes on the budget until he was made aware of
      the preceding information -- so there is hope that, sometimes, knowing the
      facts can actually make a difference. The station certainly needs a budget.
      I hope we can come up with one that honors the station and its staff by
      being responsible, instead of putting both at risk by being too cowardly to
      face the reality of how much our station's revenues and listenership have
      declined -- and how hard we will all have to work to restore them to their
      prior highs -- and then beyond.

      Steve Brown
    • DonRojas@wbai.org
      To all the fundraising experts and the know-it-all critics, I say please present us with your brilliant ideas on how to cut from an already bare-bones budget
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 12, 2004
        To all the fundraising "experts" and the know-it-all critics, I say please
        present us with your brilliant ideas on how to cut from an already bare-bones
        budget without having to lay-off staff and how to raise the hundreds of
        thousands of dollars in off-air fundraising that would be required if we cut
        back on on-air pitching.

        Don Rojas

        Quoting Stephen M Brown <sbrown13@...>:

        > DonRojas@... wrote:
        > > Hi Paul,
        > >
        > > I know how bitterly disappointed you must feel after last night's
        > > vote to reject the budget. It was a slap in the face for you, Indra
        > > (and me) after all the effort that you both put into this process. I
        > > found Steve Brown's proposal to cut the budget by 30% to be
        > > ludicrous, irrational and anti-worker.
        > >
        > > I'm not sure what compromise solution can be worked out but I'm
        > > prepared to explore that with you, Lonnie and Indra.
        > >
        > > Take a break from the WBAI madness over the weekend and let's get
        > > back to this budget challenge on Monday.
        > >
        > > Don
        >
        > --------Steve Brown's reply-----------
        >
        > Don --
        >
        > I take strong exception to your remarks about me. Not because of what you
        > may wrongly believe to be my attitude, but because your remarks do not
        > indicate a proper understanding of what a budget is.
        >
        > When a dollar amount is specified for revenue in a budget, this is not about
        > giving money to workers, or taking it away from them. It is only -- ONLY --
        > about making a prediction regarding how much money we honestly think will be
        > coming in. It is not a favor to anyone -- especially not workers -- when
        > management makes unrealistically optimistic predictions of revenue.
        >
        > In fact, short of tossing a hand grenade into our transmitter, making
        > unrealsitically optimistic revenue predicitions is the most harmful thing
        > anyone could do to our station. And that our own station manager should be
        > guilty of such an act is especially sad.
        >
        > The fact is, Don, that the predictions of revenue in your proposed budget
        > are -- to use your own words -- "ludicrous, irrational and anti-worker."
        >
        > Especially do I find your predictions -- and your budget -- to be
        > anti-worker. That is because an incorrect prediction, especially if it is
        > too high rather than too low, will have serious consequences that can force
        > many workers to be laid off.
        >
        > I mean, Don -- what, after all, did you think all those pink slips were
        > about last year? They were solely -- entirely -- a result of station
        > management having made horrendously inaccurate predictions about revenue,
        > and then operating the station as if those predictions were real. When the
        > predictions were exposed as sheer fantasy -- half the station staff received
        > pink slips.
        >
        > Shamefully, management decided to "play" that situation as having been
        > caused by a "shortfall." But there was no shortfall, there was only
        > irresponsible budgeting.
        >
        > Is that what you want to happen again, Don, with this budget?
        >
        > I am talking about responsibility, which is why the LSB very properly
        > refused to pass your budget. I feel that you have "grandstanded" with regard
        > to this budget, in two inappropriate ways.
        >
        > (1) You concocted a false revenue prediction to earn you Brownie points,
        > because you could claim that it would be used to pay workers -- when it is
        > almost certain that this money will not be there to pay those workers in
        > 2005, at which time there will be many groans of anguish when that happens.
        > But, of course, you have already resigned. So you will not be around to hear
        > those anguished groans, or to see the shocked and desperate experessions on
        > the faces of the workers who must be laid off when your revenue predictions
        > evaporate like smoke. Their cries will no doubt fail to reach your ears on
        > whatever beach you may be sunning yourself on between jobs.
        >
        > (2) You sent the email quoted above, in which you denounce those who, like
        > myself, were responsible enough to force management to confront reality,
        > instead of pepetuating the same failed model of financial and programming
        > policies that caused our listenership and our daily fundraising revenues to
        > decline so drastically.
        >
        > You wrote as if I were gleeful that the station is declining in listeners
        > and revenues. Yet you know very well that I have worked extemely hard and
        > extemely long hours these last two years to raise money for this station in
        > every way I can (or in every way that I have been allowed to do! but let's
        > not even go there). Not to mention donating considerable sums to the station
        > outright.
        >
        > It hurts me to say, "Cut the budget." Whereas it seems not to hurt you at
        > all to grandstand and pretend that my call for cutting the budget is
        > irresponsible -- when it is actually you who have been irresponsible in
        > proposing a budget that turns every sensible method of constructing a
        > budget -- on its head.
        >
        > If you are truly interested in understanding why the LSB had to vote against
        > your budget, please read the following. If your budget is any indication,
        > most of the following will probably be "news" to you.
        >
        > ********** Why Management's Budget Failed to Pass *********
        >
        > For 25 years WBAI has traditionally held two major fund drives and a mini
        > drive -- usually 18 days per major, and 5-7 days for the mini. For many
        > years (until the last two) we were able to do million-dollar-plus fund
        > drives that averaged about $55,000-$62,000 per day.
        >
        > That is not "secret" knowledge; it is simply arithmetic: $1,100,000/18 =
        > $61,111/day. And if we look at your projected expenses, this sum of
        > $55,000-$62,000 seems to be the actual daily rate of fund drive revenue
        > needed to operate the station. But those are figures from the "distant"
        > past, not the recent past, and certainly not the predictable future.
        >
        > For things have changed at WBAI -- for the worse. In the last two years, the
        > desertion of listeners -- and "donor fatigue" -- have forced the station to
        > run extra mini "emergency" drives to make up for the failures of our major
        > drives to reach their goals. This year we have had to run two such
        > "emergency" mini-drives, almost within the same month. (And one of them went
        > on for two weeks, which is scarcely "mini.")
        >
        > We have been driven to the point where we now do 92 days of fundraising a
        > year, and still cannot make ends meet. (Our other four stations need to run
        > only about half that number of fundraising days.) But the more days we
        > fundraise and pre-empt our programs, the lower our daily fundraising
        > revenues have continued to fall -- and the more days we have had to
        > fundraise in order to catch up. It is a vicious cycle, and we will soon run
        > out of days in the year.
        >
        > This has, in fact, actually been happening. All of our last six drives have
        > failed. Our last full drive was in May, and I happen to have the figures in
        > my head. After failing to raise the targeted $1.2 million in the allotted 18
        > days, the drive was put on "emergency extension" -- for an entire month. Yet
        > it still fell short, grossing only $845,000. (Wheresas KPFK can raise $1
        > million in only 12 days?) So instead of $62,000 per day, we were taking in
        > only $28,000 per day -- or less than half of what was predicted.
        >
        > And since our fulfillment is only 67% -- which is another indication of
        > declining support from our listeners (since KPFK and KPFA both get as much
        > as 85%-90% fulfillment) -- that $845,000 is really only $566,000. Or barely
        > $19,000 per day Which is only 30% of what was predicted.
        >
        > Since that May drive, we have held two "emergency" mini drives. The first
        > (from memory) averaged no more than $22,000 per day ($15,000 per day after
        > fulfillment), and the second no more than $18,000 per day ($12,000 per day
        > after fulfillment). So now we are down to only 29% of what was predicted --
        > or really only 19% of predicted daily revenue if you use the more realistic
        > "net" fulfilled figure.
        >
        > I will repeat that startling figure. Our daily fundraising revenues have
        > fallen over 6 fund drives from approximately $62,000 per day to
        > approximately $18,000 per day. A drop of 71%.
        >
        > But you will remember, Don, that my proposed amendment to the budget --
        > which you railed at for being "ludicrous" and "irrational" -- called for a
        > cut of only 30%, not 71%. So I suppose you could justifiably say that I was
        > irresponsible in not asking for a larger cut in your budget.
        >
        > We -- the LSB and the listeners -- should have been terribly alarmed by this
        > enormous decline in our daily fundraising revenues. But we were not
        > alarmend, because, Don, you covered it up by misdirecting our attention. We
        > were told, instead, that things were great. And you have gone on the air
        > every day, five or six times a day during the last several months (and are
        > still doing so) to proudly announce that listenership was growing and the
        > station was stronger than ever (a very misleading statement, to say the
        > least, which I deal with below) -- at the very monent that you were
        > desperately adding more "emergency" fund drives to the schedule, and
        > extending the time pre-empted for major drives, in a vain attempt to outrun
        > sagging daily revenues.
        >
        > And it is not as if you had been overtaken by a surprise hurricane. This
        > decline in daily fundraising revenues didn't sneak up on you overnight. It
        > has been ongoing. And very evident. You just chose to ignore it -- and deny
        > it. And, being the GM, people believed you. They still believe you,
        > otherwise your "ludicrous and irrational" budget would not have received
        > even those LSB votes it did.
        >
        > And the decline in fundraising mirrors a similar decline in our
        > listenership, despite your either (honestly) mistaken or (deliberately)
        > misleading reports to the contrary. For however much or however little
        > credence you may wish to place in Arbitron, it is a fact that their latest
        > reports [everyone please pay attention] document a startling fall-off in
        > listenership between 2003 and 2004 of as much as 65% -- FOR VIRTUALLY EVERY
        > PROGRAM ON WBAI (except Gary Null, which was up by 48%, and Democracy Now!,
        > which was up by 18%).
        >
        > I am preparing Excel and PowerPoint graphs and and bar charts that tell the
        > sad story of our declining listenership by listing both the Cumes and the
        > AQHs (two ways of reporting the number of people listening) -- not just for
        > the station as a whole, which can disguise much -- but in an HOUR-BY-HOUR
        > format so that you can see how each of our programs has either gained
        > listeners or lost them in the 12 months from 2003 to 2004. This is a story
        > that management has evidently found so sad that it kindly tried to spare our
        > delicate sensibilities by rewriting it with a happy ending.
        >
        > Is there hope for us?
        >
        > A declining trend like this is certainly reversible -- but it always takes
        > longer to stop a trend than to start one. So even if we make our programming
        > "better" (whatever that might mean), the very people whom we would need to
        > tell about the improvements -- for example, our vanished audience -- are
        > presumably no longer listening to us, so they will not get the message. And
        > so will continue to stay away, listening instead to Air America. And, even
        > more diligently, to NPR/WNYC.
        >
        > [For your information: WNYC is a feeble -- only 5,000 Watts -- New York City
        > station with only one-tenth Wbai's 50,000Watts of power (and signal
        > penetration) in the same Metro Area. But in 1996, WNYC cut itself loose from
        > New York City municipal control and became a super-successful nonprofit
        > independent that boosted its paid membership to 95,000 and increased its
        > listenership to 1.1 million (NY Daily News, 9/8/04). Wbai's figures are, as
        > you know, barely a fifth of that. Yet the only difference between WNYC's
        > success and Wbai's failure can be summed up in one word: Management -- that
        > is, the policies, outreach, and programming decisions of our GM and PD,
        > which are responsible for 99% of any difference in listenership and support
        > between one station and another.]
        >
        > Given the above information, I do not see how, Don, you could have possibly
        > anticipated that the coming fiscal year would generate revenues of
        > $2,775,000. That is actually MORE than the station brought in last year.
        > Given that our daily fundraising revenues have declined by as much as 71%
        > (gross) or 81% (net) in the past year, what can you have been thinking of?
        > What were you smoking? On what could you have possibly based such wildly
        > unrealistic revenue predicitions?
        >
        > And those optimistic revenue predictions seem even more unrealitic if -- as
        > seems very likely -- you plan to continue with the same failed fundraising
        > and programming policies that precipated this terrible decline in the first
        > place.
        >
        > By the way, that failed model includes not only our programming (which may
        > take a long time to correct) but also the inexplicably dumb policy of
        > deliberately (I should say spitefully) banning Gary Null from significant
        > participation in our fund drives (which is at least something that can be
        > corrected immediately, and would make a large impact on revenues).
        >
        > Perhaps the members of the board may be glazing over at the prospect of
        > hearing another discussion of Gary Null's fundraising. But I do hope I will
        > not hear any cries of -- "Stop defending Gary Null!" Because this is not
        > about Null, let alone about defending him. For as you know, he attacked me
        > repeatedly by name, and often, over the air all during 2001-2002 for my part
        > in the listener campaign against Utrice Leid and the national board. No,
        > this is about a failure of management. And the "Null issue" is, for me, only
        > a financial issue, which has been cynically warped out of shape by a petty
        > power game of management, and the program director in particular (as his
        > colleague, Dred-Scott Keyes, inadvertently let slip, and which was recorded,
        > during a public meeting of the Wbai finance committee).
        >
        > For example, although it can be documented that Null has raised up to 30% of
        > the revenue in every Wbai fund drive for the last 25 years (with similar
        > results for WPFW), and could be counted on to raise as much as $200,000 to
        > $300,000 per drive, he was deliberately sidelined for most of the last 6
        > drives -- which failed miserably -- resulting in a possible loss to Wbai of
        > as much as $1-$1.8 million in revenue. How many workers, about whom you
        > profess such concern, Don, would that money keep from being laid off? Do you
        > want to take responsibily for that $1-$1.8 million revenue loss, or was it a
        > decision of Bernard White's? Or perhaps of Kathy Davis's? "Inquring minds
        > want to know" -- for it is not just idle curiosity but the survival of the
        > station that is at stake.
        >
        > During the recently completed "emergency" mini drive, Null was given only 7
        > minutes on one day, 6 minutes on another, and 3 minutes on a third day for a
        > total of about 16 MINUTES for the entire drive. (He traditionally used to
        > pitch 18-22 HOURS per drive.) And to point up the "spite" involved, the
        > first 15 minutes of Null's show was pre-empted, without notice and without
        > announcing to his audience that he would be coming on later. Thus his
        > (presumably motivated) audience was led to believe that Null's show was
        > again being pre-empted for the fund drive, as it had been so far -- and
        > therefore most of them tuned out. Nevertheless, even with a greatly reduced
        > audience, Null still raised an average of $500 per minute or $30,000 an
        > hour. (This is low, since Null's historic revenue rates have been as high as
        > $45,000 or more per hour.)
        >
        > Yet although the program director gave Null only 16 minutes to pitch during
        > this fund drive (a token amount, which allowed Paul Surovell to say, "See,
        > Steve, Gary Null is being allowed to fundraise for us after all") he gave
        > Amy Goodman 36 hours to pitch, or about 1/3 of the total functionally
        > productive time of the drive.
        >
        > This is no criticism of Amy, who pitches her heart out -- it is a criticism
        > of the program director. I don't have official figures, but it appears that
        > Amy generated an average of $1,500-$2,000 per hour in this drive, compared
        > to the $30,000 an hour ($500 per minute) generated in this same drive by
        > Null. I do not claim that such extrapolations are accurate, but even if we
        > predicate only half of Null's recorded rate, if he had been allowed to pitch
        > for the same 36 hours, his total revenue might have conceivably been as high
        > as $540,000 -- whereas, without him, the entire drive took in only about
        > $250,000.
        >
        > How long can this kind of financial irresponsibility be allowed to continue?
        > These petty power plays and testosterone wars of management endanger the
        > entire foundation (which has to make up Wbai's shortfalls).
        >
        > I do not expect to be thanked for posting the preceding information. The
        > message is unpleasant, so I expect there will be some (or many) who will
        > want to shoot the messenger. But I hope not before we can approve a budget
        > that will help the station instead of cripple it.
        >
        > It is unfortunate that our LSB is so terribly factionalized. Would it be too
        > much to ask that, for a while, we put aside whatever personal agendas we may
        > nourish and focus on what is good for the station? Roger Manning told me
        > that he was planning to vote Yes on the budget until he was made aware of
        > the preceding information -- so there is hope that, sometimes, knowing the
        > facts can actually make a difference. The station certainly needs a budget.
        > I hope we can come up with one that honors the station and its staff by
        > being responsible, instead of putting both at risk by being too cowardly to
        > face the reality of how much our station's revenues and listenership have
        > declined -- and how hard we will all have to work to restore them to their
        > prior highs -- and then beyond.
        >
        > Steve Brown
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ATTENTION:
        > This listserve is a private email group of the WBAI Local Station Board.
        > Please respect this and do not circulate messages beyond the LSB without
        > express approval.
        > ALSO:
        > Because this is a closed list, no LSB business can be conducted on this
        > discussion group. It is intended only for informal and unofficial
        > discussions.
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >




        -------------------------------------------------
        WBAI--99.5 FM in New York---Peace and Justice Radio
        On the Web at http://www.wbai.org
      • F. Frank Le Fever, Ph.D.
        It s not a brilliant idea, just an obvious one too long neglected: invest _something_ more (time, money, thought, organized volunteer efforts) in publicizing
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 12, 2004
          It's not a brilliant idea, just an obvious one too long
          neglected: invest _something_ more (time, money, thought,
          organized volunteer efforts) in publicizing WBAI among
          those who do not know of it or who "used to listen" and
          have a vague impression it was taken over and/or went down
          the tubes.

          Having single-handedly distributed well over 1000 flyers
          (produced at my own expense) at marches and rallies and
          conferences in the past year or so, I can assure you there
          are substantial numbers of each type of potential listener.

          I don't know if anybody else did, but I distributed my WBAI
          flyers (c. 400) at the BIG march last week (Sunday) and an
          equal number at the very small march in Harlem a few days
          later (Thursday?).

          I did so the following Thursday at Symphony Space, i.e. at
          the citizens' 9/11 hearings (including a couple I gave to
          Cynthia Mckinney), despite my acute embarassment when then
          announced WBAI live broadcast ("from 3 to 5 pm")
          proved...misinformed?

          I did so also at the even larger follow-up at Manhattan
          Center on the 11th.

          At each, people took and sometimes reached out to ask for
          the WBAI flyers.

          Who decided that this prime multi-racial population of
          politically-concerned and establishment-questioning
          potential listeners and supporters was not worth
          recruiting? [and who decided the potentially ground-shaking
          questions and informations they were considering were not
          worth sharing with current WBAI listeners?]

          As for specific ways for cutting costs: although I do
          believe it is management's responsibility to specify exacly
          how _they_ would cut costs _if_ revenues fall short of
          projections, I am eager to assist in this _if_ we are given
          expenditure data in sufficient detail. I' not a dentist,
          but it seems to me getting it so far has been like pulling
          teeth.


          --- DonRojas@... wrote:

          > To all the fundraising "experts" and the know-it-all
          > critics, I say please
          > present us with your brilliant ideas on how to cut from
          > an already bare-bones
          > budget without having to lay-off staff and how to raise
          > the hundreds of
          > thousands of dollars in off-air fundraising that would be
          > required if we cut
          > back on on-air pitching.
          >
          > Don Rojas
          >

          =====
          F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
          President, New York Neuropsychology Group
          http://www.nyng.org
          franklefever@...
          fflefever@...

          "Caminante, no hay camino;
          se hace camino al andar."
        • Stephen M Brown
          Don -- You can t have it both ways. The board s job is too tell you how much to cut (from an unrealsitic budget). But it is management s job to decide how and
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 12, 2004
            Don --

            You can't have it both ways. The board's job is too tell you how much to cut
            (from an unrealsitic budget). But it is management's job to decide how and
            where to make those cuts. Otherwise you would (finally) have a good reason
            to accuse us of micromanaging.

            For the manager of an organization to admit that he does not know how to
            keep within a budget based on a reaosnable foundations is an confession of
            his inability to do the job he was hired for. So I am sure that cannot be
            what you are saying.

            As for brilliant fundraising ideas -- There have been numerous fundraising
            projects presented to the station that have proved capable of generating
            large inceases in membership and correspondingly large increases in revenue
            from those members. Yet when those projects began to succeed as planned,
            they were viciously attacked by members of your staff for being politically
            incorrect ("bringing too many white liberals into the membership," was what
            one of your staff members said about a project that had brought the station
            $26,000 and nearly 1,000 new members in less than 12 weeks).

            But instead of standing tall in defense of a project you yourself had
            approved, you backed down. And the project died.

            The problem with your budget, Don, is that it was constructed backwards.
            First you decided what you wanted to spend, then you simply announced a
            figure for "anticipated listener revenue" that would cover those expenses.
            And voila! Instant budget.

            But that is not how budgets are constructed. First you must predict how
            much listener revenue there will be (based on historical evidence). Then --
            and only then -- can you begin allotting money to expenses. If the revenue
            is not there, you cannot budget the expenses. But that is what you have
            tried to do. And the board wouldn't let you. If it did, the listeners would
            be justified in running us out of town.

            For that kind of budgeting is what has brought WBAI into such a financial
            mess that it has to fundraise for nearly 100 days a year, and still can't
            make ends meet.

            Steve Brown

            donrojas@... wrote:
            > To all the fundraising "experts" and the know-it-all critics, I say
            > please present us with your brilliant ideas on how to cut from an
            > already bare-bones budget without having to lay-off staff and how to
            > raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars in off-air fundraising
            > that would be required if we cut back on on-air pitching.
            >
            > Don Rojas
            >
            > Quoting Stephen M Brown <sbrown13@...>:
            >
            >> DonRojas@... wrote:
            >>> Hi Paul,
            >>>
            >>> I know how bitterly disappointed you must feel after last night's
            >>> vote to reject the budget. It was a slap in the face for you, Indra
            >>> (and me) after all the effort that you both put into this process. I
            >>> found Steve Brown's proposal to cut the budget by 30% to be
            >>> ludicrous, irrational and anti-worker.
            >>>
            >>> I'm not sure what compromise solution can be worked out but I'm
            >>> prepared to explore that with you, Lonnie and Indra.
            >>>
            >>> Take a break from the WBAI madness over the weekend and let's get
            >>> back to this budget challenge on Monday.
            >>>
            >>> Don
            >>
            >> --------Steve Brown's reply-----------
            >>
            >> Don --
            >>
            >> I take strong exception to your remarks about me. Not because of
            >> what you may wrongly believe to be my attitude, but because your
            >> remarks do not indicate a proper understanding of what a budget is.
            >>
            >> When a dollar amount is specified for revenue in a budget, this is
            >> not about giving money to workers, or taking it away from them. It
            >> is only -- ONLY -- about making a prediction regarding how much
            >> money we honestly think will be coming in. It is not a favor to
            >> anyone -- especially not workers -- when management makes
            >> unrealistically optimistic predictions of revenue.
            >>
            >> In fact, short of tossing a hand grenade into our transmitter, making
            >> unrealsitically optimistic revenue predicitions is the most harmful
            >> thing anyone could do to our station. And that our own station
            >> manager should be guilty of such an act is especially sad.
            >>
            >> The fact is, Don, that the predictions of revenue in your proposed
            >> budget are -- to use your own words -- "ludicrous, irrational and
            >> anti-worker."
            >>
            >> Especially do I find your predictions -- and your budget -- to be
            >> anti-worker. That is because an incorrect prediction, especially if
            >> it is too high rather than too low, will have serious consequences
            >> that can force many workers to be laid off.
            >>
            >> I mean, Don -- what, after all, did you think all those pink slips
            >> were about last year? They were solely -- entirely -- a result of
            >> station management having made horrendously inaccurate predictions
            >> about revenue, and then operating the station as if those
            >> predictions were real. When the predictions were exposed as sheer
            >> fantasy -- half the station staff received pink slips.
            >>
            >> Shamefully, management decided to "play" that situation as having
            >> been caused by a "shortfall." But there was no shortfall, there was
            >> only irresponsible budgeting.
            >>
            >> Is that what you want to happen again, Don, with this budget?
            >>
            >> I am talking about responsibility, which is why the LSB very properly
            >> refused to pass your budget. I feel that you have "grandstanded"
            >> with regard to this budget, in two inappropriate ways.
            >>
            >> (1) You concocted a false revenue prediction to earn you Brownie
            >> points, because you could claim that it would be used to pay workers
            >> -- when it is almost certain that this money will not be there to
            >> pay those workers in 2005, at which time there will be many groans
            >> of anguish when that happens. But, of course, you have already
            >> resigned. So you will not be around to hear those anguished groans,
            >> or to see the shocked and desperate experessions on the faces of the
            >> workers who must be laid off when your revenue predictions evaporate
            >> like smoke. Their cries will no doubt fail to reach your ears on
            >> whatever beach you may be sunning yourself on between jobs.
            >>
            >> (2) You sent the email quoted above, in which you denounce those
            >> who, like myself, were responsible enough to force management to
            >> confront reality, instead of pepetuating the same failed model of
            >> financial and programming policies that caused our listenership and
            >> our daily fundraising revenues to decline so drastically.
            >>
            >> You wrote as if I were gleeful that the station is declining in
            >> listeners and revenues. Yet you know very well that I have worked
            >> extemely hard and extemely long hours these last two years to raise
            >> money for this station in every way I can (or in every way that I
            >> have been allowed to do! but let's not even go there). Not to
            >> mention donating considerable sums to the station outright.
            >>
            >> It hurts me to say, "Cut the budget." Whereas it seems not to hurt
            >> you at all to grandstand and pretend that my call for cutting the
            >> budget is irresponsible -- when it is actually you who have been
            >> irresponsible in proposing a budget that turns every sensible method
            >> of constructing a budget -- on its head.
            >>
            >> If you are truly interested in understanding why the LSB had to vote
            >> against your budget, please read the following. If your budget is
            >> any indication, most of the following will probably be "news" to you.
            >>
            >> ********** Why Management's Budget Failed to Pass *********
            >>
            >> For 25 years WBAI has traditionally held two major fund drives and a
            >> mini drive -- usually 18 days per major, and 5-7 days for the mini.
            >> For many years (until the last two) we were able to do
            >> million-dollar-plus fund drives that averaged about $55,000-$62,000
            >> per day.
            >>
            >> That is not "secret" knowledge; it is simply arithmetic:
            >> $1,100,000/18 = $61,111/day. And if we look at your projected
            >> expenses, this sum of $55,000-$62,000 seems to be the actual daily
            >> rate of fund drive revenue needed to operate the station. But those
            >> are figures from the "distant" past, not the recent past, and
            >> certainly not the predictable future.
            >>
            >> For things have changed at WBAI -- for the worse. In the last two
            >> years, the desertion of listeners -- and "donor fatigue" -- have
            >> forced the station to run extra mini "emergency" drives to make up
            >> for the failures of our major drives to reach their goals. This year
            >> we have had to run two such "emergency" mini-drives, almost within
            >> the same month. (And one of them went on for two weeks, which is
            >> scarcely "mini.")
            >>
            >> We have been driven to the point where we now do 92 days of
            >> fundraising a year, and still cannot make ends meet. (Our other four
            >> stations need to run only about half that number of fundraising
            >> days.) But the more days we fundraise and pre-empt our programs, the
            >> lower our daily fundraising revenues have continued to fall -- and
            >> the more days we have had to fundraise in order to catch up. It is a
            >> vicious cycle, and we will soon run out of days in the year.
            >>
            >> This has, in fact, actually been happening. All of our last six
            >> drives have failed. Our last full drive was in May, and I happen to
            >> have the figures in my head. After failing to raise the targeted
            >> $1.2 million in the allotted 18 days, the drive was put on
            >> "emergency extension" -- for an entire month. Yet it still fell
            >> short, grossing only $845,000. (Wheresas KPFK can raise $1 million
            >> in only 12 days?) So instead of $62,000 per day, we were taking in
            >> only $28,000 per day -- or less than half of what was predicted.
            >>
            >> And since our fulfillment is only 67% -- which is another indication
            >> of declining support from our listeners (since KPFK and KPFA both
            >> get as much as 85%-90% fulfillment) -- that $845,000 is really only
            >> $566,000. Or barely $19,000 per day Which is only 30% of what was
            >> predicted.
            >>
            >> Since that May drive, we have held two "emergency" mini drives. The
            >> first (from memory) averaged no more than $22,000 per day ($15,000
            >> per day after fulfillment), and the second no more than $18,000 per
            >> day ($12,000 per day after fulfillment). So now we are down to only
            >> 29% of what was predicted -- or really only 19% of predicted daily
            >> revenue if you use the more realistic "net" fulfilled figure.
            >>
            >> I will repeat that startling figure. Our daily fundraising revenues
            >> have fallen over 6 fund drives from approximately $62,000 per day to
            >> approximately $18,000 per day. A drop of 71%.
            >>
            >> But you will remember, Don, that my proposed amendment to the budget
            >> -- which you railed at for being "ludicrous" and "irrational" --
            >> called for a cut of only 30%, not 71%. So I suppose you could
            >> justifiably say that I was irresponsible in not asking for a larger
            >> cut in your budget.
            >>
            >> We -- the LSB and the listeners -- should have been terribly alarmed
            >> by this enormous decline in our daily fundraising revenues. But we
            >> were not alarmend, because, Don, you covered it up by misdirecting
            >> our attention. We were told, instead, that things were great. And
            >> you have gone on the air every day, five or six times a day during
            >> the last several months (and are still doing so) to proudly announce
            >> that listenership was growing and the station was stronger than ever
            >> (a very misleading statement, to say the least, which I deal with
            >> below) -- at the very monent that you were desperately adding more
            >> "emergency" fund drives to the schedule, and extending the time
            >> pre-empted for major drives, in a vain attempt to outrun sagging
            >> daily revenues.
            >>
            >> And it is not as if you had been overtaken by a surprise hurricane.
            >> This decline in daily fundraising revenues didn't sneak up on you
            >> overnight. It has been ongoing. And very evident. You just chose to
            >> ignore it -- and deny it. And, being the GM, people believed you.
            >> They still believe you, otherwise your "ludicrous and irrational"
            >> budget would not have received even those LSB votes it did.
            >>
            >> And the decline in fundraising mirrors a similar decline in our
            >> listenership, despite your either (honestly) mistaken or
            >> (deliberately) misleading reports to the contrary. For however much
            >> or however little credence you may wish to place in Arbitron, it is
            >> a fact that their latest reports [everyone please pay attention]
            >> document a startling fall-off in listenership between 2003 and 2004
            >> of as much as 65% -- FOR VIRTUALLY EVERY PROGRAM ON WBAI (except
            >> Gary Null, which was up by 48%, and Democracy Now!, which was up by
            >> 18%).
            >>
            >> I am preparing Excel and PowerPoint graphs and and bar charts that
            >> tell the sad story of our declining listenership by listing both the
            >> Cumes and the AQHs (two ways of reporting the number of people
            >> listening) -- not just for the station as a whole, which can
            >> disguise much -- but in an HOUR-BY-HOUR format so that you can see
            >> how each of our programs has either gained listeners or lost them in
            >> the 12 months from 2003 to 2004. This is a story that management has
            >> evidently found so sad that it kindly tried to spare our delicate
            >> sensibilities by rewriting it with a happy ending.
            >>
            >> Is there hope for us?
            >>
            >> A declining trend like this is certainly reversible -- but it always
            >> takes longer to stop a trend than to start one. So even if we make
            >> our programming "better" (whatever that might mean), the very people
            >> whom we would need to tell about the improvements -- for example,
            >> our vanished audience -- are presumably no longer listening to us,
            >> so they will not get the message. And so will continue to stay away,
            >> listening instead to Air America. And, even more diligently, to
            >> NPR/WNYC.
            >>
            >> [For your information: WNYC is a feeble -- only 5,000 Watts -- New
            >> York City station with only one-tenth Wbai's 50,000Watts of power
            >> (and signal penetration) in the same Metro Area. But in 1996, WNYC
            >> cut itself loose from New York City municipal control and became a
            >> super-successful nonprofit independent that boosted its paid
            >> membership to 95,000 and increased its listenership to 1.1 million
            >> (NY Daily News, 9/8/04). Wbai's figures are, as you know, barely a
            >> fifth of that. Yet the only difference between WNYC's success and
            >> Wbai's failure can be summed up in one word: Management -- that is,
            >> the policies, outreach, and programming decisions of our GM and PD,
            >> which are responsible for 99% of any difference in listenership and
            >> support between one station and another.]
            >>
            >> Given the above information, I do not see how, Don, you could have
            >> possibly anticipated that the coming fiscal year would generate
            >> revenues of $2,775,000. That is actually MORE than the station
            >> brought in last year. Given that our daily fundraising revenues have
            >> declined by as much as 71% (gross) or 81% (net) in the past year,
            >> what can you have been thinking of? What were you smoking? On what
            >> could you have possibly based such wildly unrealistic revenue
            >> predicitions?
            >>
            >> And those optimistic revenue predictions seem even more unrealitic
            >> if -- as seems very likely -- you plan to continue with the same
            >> failed fundraising and programming policies that precipated this
            >> terrible decline in the first place.
            >>
            >> By the way, that failed model includes not only our programming
            >> (which may take a long time to correct) but also the inexplicably
            >> dumb policy of deliberately (I should say spitefully) banning Gary
            >> Null from significant participation in our fund drives (which is at
            >> least something that can be corrected immediately, and would make a
            >> large impact on revenues).
            >>
            >> Perhaps the members of the board may be glazing over at the prospect
            >> of hearing another discussion of Gary Null's fundraising. But I do
            >> hope I will not hear any cries of -- "Stop defending Gary Null!"
            >> Because this is not about Null, let alone about defending him. For
            >> as you know, he attacked me repeatedly by name, and often, over the
            >> air all during 2001-2002 for my part in the listener campaign
            >> against Utrice Leid and the national board. No, this is about a
            >> failure of management. And the "Null issue" is, for me, only a
            >> financial issue, which has been cynically warped out of shape by a
            >> petty power game of management, and the program director in
            >> particular (as his colleague, Dred-Scott Keyes, inadvertently let
            >> slip, and which was recorded, during a public meeting of the Wbai
            >> finance committee).
            >>
            >> For example, although it can be documented that Null has raised up
            >> to 30% of the revenue in every Wbai fund drive for the last 25 years
            >> (with similar results for WPFW), and could be counted on to raise as
            >> much as $200,000 to $300,000 per drive, he was deliberately
            >> sidelined for most of the last 6 drives -- which failed miserably --
            >> resulting in a possible loss to Wbai of as much as $1-$1.8 million
            >> in revenue. How many workers, about whom you profess such concern,
            >> Don, would that money keep from being laid off? Do you want to take
            >> responsibily for that $1-$1.8 million revenue loss, or was it a
            >> decision of Bernard White's? Or perhaps of Kathy Davis's? "Inquring
            >> minds want to know" -- for it is not just idle curiosity but the
            >> survival of the station that is at stake.
            >>
            >> During the recently completed "emergency" mini drive, Null was given
            >> only 7 minutes on one day, 6 minutes on another, and 3 minutes on a
            >> third day for a total of about 16 MINUTES for the entire drive. (He
            >> traditionally used to pitch 18-22 HOURS per drive.) And to point up
            >> the "spite" involved, the first 15 minutes of Null's show was
            >> pre-empted, without notice and without announcing to his audience
            >> that he would be coming on later. Thus his (presumably motivated)
            >> audience was led to believe that Null's show was again being
            >> pre-empted for the fund drive, as it had been so far -- and
            >> therefore most of them tuned out. Nevertheless, even with a greatly
            >> reduced audience, Null still raised an average of $500 per minute or
            >> $30,000 an hour. (This is low, since Null's historic revenue rates
            >> have been as high as $45,000 or more per hour.)
            >>
            >> Yet although the program director gave Null only 16 minutes to pitch
            >> during this fund drive (a token amount, which allowed Paul Surovell
            >> to say, "See, Steve, Gary Null is being allowed to fundraise for us
            >> after all") he gave Amy Goodman 36 hours to pitch, or about 1/3 of
            >> the total functionally productive time of the drive.
            >>
            >> This is no criticism of Amy, who pitches her heart out -- it is a
            >> criticism of the program director. I don't have official figures,
            >> but it appears that Amy generated an average of $1,500-$2,000 per
            >> hour in this drive, compared to the $30,000 an hour ($500 per
            >> minute) generated in this same drive by Null. I do not claim that
            >> such extrapolations are accurate, but even if we predicate only half
            >> of Null's recorded rate, if he had been allowed to pitch for the
            >> same 36 hours, his total revenue might have conceivably been as high
            >> as $540,000 -- whereas, without him, the entire drive took in only
            >> about $250,000.
            >>
            >> How long can this kind of financial irresponsibility be allowed to
            >> continue? These petty power plays and testosterone wars of
            >> management endanger the entire foundation (which has to make up
            >> Wbai's shortfalls).
            >>
            >> I do not expect to be thanked for posting the preceding information.
            >> The message is unpleasant, so I expect there will be some (or many)
            >> who will want to shoot the messenger. But I hope not before we can
            >> approve a budget that will help the station instead of cripple it.
            >>
            >> It is unfortunate that our LSB is so terribly factionalized. Would
            >> it be too much to ask that, for a while, we put aside whatever
            >> personal agendas we may nourish and focus on what is good for the
            >> station? Roger Manning told me that he was planning to vote Yes on
            >> the budget until he was made aware of the preceding information --
            >> so there is hope that, sometimes, knowing the facts can actually
            >> make a difference. The station certainly needs a budget. I hope we
            >> can come up with one that honors the station and its staff by being
            >> responsible, instead of putting both at risk by being too cowardly
            >> to face the reality of how much our station's revenues and
            >> listenership have declined -- and how hard we will all have to work
            >> to restore them to their prior highs -- and then beyond.
            >>
            >> Steve Brown
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
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            >> --------------------------------------------------------------------~->
            >>
            >> ATTENTION:
            >> This listserve is a private email group of the WBAI Local Station
            >> Board. Please respect this and do not circulate messages beyond the
            >> LSB without express approval.
            >> ALSO:
            >> Because this is a closed list, no LSB business can be conducted on
            >> this discussion group. It is intended only for informal and
            >> unofficial discussions.
            >>
            >> Yahoo! Groups Links
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > -------------------------------------------------
            > WBAI--99.5 FM in New York---Peace and Justice Radio
            > On the Web at http://www.wbai.org

            Stephen M Brown
            sbrown13@...
          • Stephen M Brown
            Good work. Keep it up. Perhaps you might add a coupon to your flyer so the person can send it with a check -- which would enable you to track how many of your
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 12, 2004
              Good work. Keep it up. Perhaps you might add a coupon to your flyer so the
              person can send it with a check -- which would enable you to track how many
              of your flyers were used.

              STeve

              F. Frank Le Fever, Ph.D. wrote:
              > It's not a brilliant idea, just an obvious one too long
              > neglected: invest _something_ more (time, money, thought,
              > organized volunteer efforts) in publicizing WBAI among
              > those who do not know of it or who "used to listen" and
              > have a vague impression it was taken over and/or went down
              > the tubes.
              >
              > Having single-handedly distributed well over 1000 flyers
              > (produced at my own expense) at marches and rallies and
              > conferences in the past year or so, I can assure you there
              > are substantial numbers of each type of potential listener.
              >
              > I don't know if anybody else did, but I distributed my WBAI
              > flyers (c. 400) at the BIG march last week (Sunday) and an
              > equal number at the very small march in Harlem a few days
              > later (Thursday?).
              >
              > I did so the following Thursday at Symphony Space, i.e. at
              > the citizens' 9/11 hearings (including a couple I gave to
              > Cynthia Mckinney), despite my acute embarassment when then
              > announced WBAI live broadcast ("from 3 to 5 pm")
              > proved...misinformed?
              >
              > I did so also at the even larger follow-up at Manhattan
              > Center on the 11th.
              >
              > At each, people took and sometimes reached out to ask for
              > the WBAI flyers.
              >
              > Who decided that this prime multi-racial population of
              > politically-concerned and establishment-questioning
              > potential listeners and supporters was not worth
              > recruiting? [and who decided the potentially ground-shaking
              > questions and informations they were considering were not
              > worth sharing with current WBAI listeners?]
              >
              > As for specific ways for cutting costs: although I do
              > believe it is management's responsibility to specify exacly
              > how _they_ would cut costs _if_ revenues fall short of
              > projections, I am eager to assist in this _if_ we are given
              > expenditure data in sufficient detail. I' not a dentist,
              > but it seems to me getting it so far has been like pulling
              > teeth.
              >
              >
              > --- DonRojas@... wrote:
              >
              >> To all the fundraising "experts" and the know-it-all
              >> critics, I say please
              >> present us with your brilliant ideas on how to cut from
              >> an already bare-bones
              >> budget without having to lay-off staff and how to raise
              >> the hundreds of
              >> thousands of dollars in off-air fundraising that would be
              >> required if we cut
              >> back on on-air pitching.
              >>
              >> Don Rojas
              >>
              >
              > =====
              > F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
              > President, New York Neuropsychology Group
              > http://www.nyng.org
              > franklefever@...
              > fflefever@...
              >
              > "Caminante, no hay camino;
              > se hace camino al andar."
              >
              >
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              > --------------------~--> $9.95 domain names from Yahoo!. Register
              > anything. http://us.click.yahoo.com/J8kdrA/y20IAA/yQLSAA/WfTolB/TM
              > --------------------------------------------------------------------~->
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >

              Stephen M Brown
              sbrown13@...
            • Reimers, Berthold
              Don, One the brilliant ideas would be to continue with the ads in the Nation Magazine that brought us $35,000.00+. Why exactly was this initiative cut off and
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 13, 2004
                Don,

                One the brilliant ideas would be to continue with the ads in the Nation
                Magazine that brought us $35,000.00+. Why exactly was this initiative cut
                off and why wasn't it expanded? I do not believe you produced a report on
                this?

                Another one of these ideas would have been for you to request that the
                development director gives us a detailed description of the projects and
                time frame that would bring us $ X.00 amount of dollars. That way we could
                easily feel confident that $X.00 amount of money would come in by a certain
                time.

                Another one of these ideas would be that WBAI management and Pacifica
                Management would have by now worked a better listener survey so we can ask
                the listener/member to contribute more to cover the costs of the elections.
                Has Pacifica management considered sending out those surveys that would cost
                us nothing, would raise money and gather much needed information about our
                listeners?

                Another one of these ideas would be to have a WBAI roast of the media where
                WBAI would criticize the mainstream media and give award to WBAI producers
                who have produced "good" shows. That initiative would require the full
                collaboration and involvement of WBAI?!

                Another one of these ideas could be to take Ibrahim Gonzalez on his offer to
                have an old timer party night at the Palladium every month or every two
                months to raise money for the station.

                Another one of the ideas could be to have a dinner to invite progressive
                personalities like Dany Glover, Bill Cosby, Susan Serendon, Gil Noble,
                etc... to support listener sponsor radio.

                There are many ideas that are being killed because Management has always
                seen the WBAI LSB as an enemy instead of an ally. I personally was very
                committed to some of those ideas, but instead I found myself spending all my
                energies proving to the world that the WBAI LSB is not the enemy.

                Another idea would have been to be more forthcoming with the information
                that was requested so Paul Surovell could have presented the budget earlier,
                faced those issues earlier so we could have had much more time to resolve
                and address these issues.

                The fact is that we still do not have an inventory of the station, we do not
                have the organizational chart or operational chart of the station, we do not
                have the contracts of the Development Director and of any consultant at the
                station. To me, a consultant is someone who has specific skills and has
                offered to do a specific job within a time frame within which you have
                concrete results.

                We do not have a clue concerning what kind of contract management intends to
                negotiate with the unions.

                Don, these are al the issues that are really at stake here.

                I command Indra for her hard work and I command Paul Surovell for their hard
                work. I believe that they gave us as much as was possible under the
                circumstances.

                Collaboration is a two way street. Don, I feel your frustration because I
                was the subject of the same frustration when I felt I was betrayed and
                manipulated when Dan and you refused to provide the list of the 39 paid
                staff for the Management Evaluation survey.

                Please note that this is not a statement about the budget which I will
                review to analyze the concerns of those who objected. It is a statement
                about how we got to this situation through non-collaboration.

                I am certain we can put our head together and solve this problem.

                Respectfully Yours,
                Berthold Reimers
                Chair, WBAI LSB
                (646) 447-6343

                -----Original Message-----
                From: DonRojas@... [mailto:DonRojas@...]
                Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2004 7:35 PM
                To: wbailsb@yahoogroups.com; Stephen M Brown
                Cc: wbailsbfinance@yahoogroups.com; wbailsb@yahoogroups.com; Dan Coughlin;
                Lonnie Hicks; pnb@...
                Subject: Re: [wbailsb] Who has been irrational? ...Re: [wbailsbfinance]
                National Finance Committee Resolution on WBAI

                To all the fundraising "experts" and the know-it-all critics, I say please
                present us with your brilliant ideas on how to cut from an already
                bare-bones
                budget without having to lay-off staff and how to raise the hundreds of
                thousands of dollars in off-air fundraising that would be required if we cut
                back on on-air pitching.

                Don Rojas

                Quoting Stephen M Brown <sbrown13@...>:

                > DonRojas@... wrote:
                > > Hi Paul,
                > >
                > > I know how bitterly disappointed you must feel after last night's
                > > vote to reject the budget. It was a slap in the face for you, Indra
                > > (and me) after all the effort that you both put into this process. I
                > > found Steve Brown's proposal to cut the budget by 30% to be
                > > ludicrous, irrational and anti-worker.
                > >
                > > I'm not sure what compromise solution can be worked out but I'm
                > > prepared to explore that with you, Lonnie and Indra.
                > >
                > > Take a break from the WBAI madness over the weekend and let's get
                > > back to this budget challenge on Monday.
                > >
                > > Don
                >
                > --------Steve Brown's reply-----------
                >
                > Don --
                >
                > I take strong exception to your remarks about me. Not because of what you
                > may wrongly believe to be my attitude, but because your remarks do not
                > indicate a proper understanding of what a budget is.
                >
                > When a dollar amount is specified for revenue in a budget, this is not
                about
                > giving money to workers, or taking it away from them. It is only -- ONLY
                --
                > about making a prediction regarding how much money we honestly think will
                be
                > coming in. It is not a favor to anyone -- especially not workers -- when
                > management makes unrealistically optimistic predictions of revenue.
                >
                > In fact, short of tossing a hand grenade into our transmitter, making
                > unrealsitically optimistic revenue predicitions is the most harmful thing
                > anyone could do to our station. And that our own station manager should be
                > guilty of such an act is especially sad.
                >
                > The fact is, Don, that the predictions of revenue in your proposed budget
                > are -- to use your own words -- "ludicrous, irrational and anti-worker."
                >
                > Especially do I find your predictions -- and your budget -- to be
                > anti-worker. That is because an incorrect prediction, especially if it is
                > too high rather than too low, will have serious consequences that can
                force
                > many workers to be laid off.
                >
                > I mean, Don -- what, after all, did you think all those pink slips were
                > about last year? They were solely -- entirely -- a result of station
                > management having made horrendously inaccurate predictions about revenue,
                > and then operating the station as if those predictions were real. When the
                > predictions were exposed as sheer fantasy -- half the station staff
                received
                > pink slips.
                >
                > Shamefully, management decided to "play" that situation as having been
                > caused by a "shortfall." But there was no shortfall, there was only
                > irresponsible budgeting.
                >
                > Is that what you want to happen again, Don, with this budget?
                >
                > I am talking about responsibility, which is why the LSB very properly
                > refused to pass your budget. I feel that you have "grandstanded" with
                regard
                > to this budget, in two inappropriate ways.
                >
                > (1) You concocted a false revenue prediction to earn you Brownie points,
                > because you could claim that it would be used to pay workers -- when it is
                > almost certain that this money will not be there to pay those workers in
                > 2005, at which time there will be many groans of anguish when that
                happens.
                > But, of course, you have already resigned. So you will not be around to
                hear
                > those anguished groans, or to see the shocked and desperate experessions
                on
                > the faces of the workers who must be laid off when your revenue
                predictions
                > evaporate like smoke. Their cries will no doubt fail to reach your ears on
                > whatever beach you may be sunning yourself on between jobs.
                >
                > (2) You sent the email quoted above, in which you denounce those who, like
                > myself, were responsible enough to force management to confront reality,
                > instead of pepetuating the same failed model of financial and programming
                > policies that caused our listenership and our daily fundraising revenues
                to
                > decline so drastically.
                >
                > You wrote as if I were gleeful that the station is declining in listeners
                > and revenues. Yet you know very well that I have worked extemely hard and
                > extemely long hours these last two years to raise money for this station
                in
                > every way I can (or in every way that I have been allowed to do! but let's
                > not even go there). Not to mention donating considerable sums to the
                station
                > outright.
                >
                > It hurts me to say, "Cut the budget." Whereas it seems not to hurt you at
                > all to grandstand and pretend that my call for cutting the budget is
                > irresponsible -- when it is actually you who have been irresponsible in
                > proposing a budget that turns every sensible method of constructing a
                > budget -- on its head.
                >
                > If you are truly interested in understanding why the LSB had to vote
                against
                > your budget, please read the following. If your budget is any indication,
                > most of the following will probably be "news" to you.
                >
                > ********** Why Management's Budget Failed to Pass *********
                >
                > For 25 years WBAI has traditionally held two major fund drives and a mini
                > drive -- usually 18 days per major, and 5-7 days for the mini. For many
                > years (until the last two) we were able to do million-dollar-plus fund
                > drives that averaged about $55,000-$62,000 per day.
                >
                > That is not "secret" knowledge; it is simply arithmetic: $1,100,000/18 =
                > $61,111/day. And if we look at your projected expenses, this sum of
                > $55,000-$62,000 seems to be the actual daily rate of fund drive revenue
                > needed to operate the station. But those are figures from the "distant"
                > past, not the recent past, and certainly not the predictable future.
                >
                > For things have changed at WBAI -- for the worse. In the last two years,
                the
                > desertion of listeners -- and "donor fatigue" -- have forced the station
                to
                > run extra mini "emergency" drives to make up for the failures of our major
                > drives to reach their goals. This year we have had to run two such
                > "emergency" mini-drives, almost within the same month. (And one of them
                went
                > on for two weeks, which is scarcely "mini.")
                >
                > We have been driven to the point where we now do 92 days of fundraising a
                > year, and still cannot make ends meet. (Our other four stations need to
                run
                > only about half that number of fundraising days.) But the more days we
                > fundraise and pre-empt our programs, the lower our daily fundraising
                > revenues have continued to fall -- and the more days we have had to
                > fundraise in order to catch up. It is a vicious cycle, and we will soon
                run
                > out of days in the year.
                >
                > This has, in fact, actually been happening. All of our last six drives
                have
                > failed. Our last full drive was in May, and I happen to have the figures
                in
                > my head. After failing to raise the targeted $1.2 million in the allotted
                18
                > days, the drive was put on "emergency extension" -- for an entire month.
                Yet
                > it still fell short, grossing only $845,000. (Wheresas KPFK can raise $1
                > million in only 12 days?) So instead of $62,000 per day, we were taking in
                > only $28,000 per day -- or less than half of what was predicted.
                >
                > And since our fulfillment is only 67% -- which is another indication of
                > declining support from our listeners (since KPFK and KPFA both get as much
                > as 85%-90% fulfillment) -- that $845,000 is really only $566,000. Or
                barely
                > $19,000 per day Which is only 30% of what was predicted.
                >
                > Since that May drive, we have held two "emergency" mini drives. The first
                > (from memory) averaged no more than $22,000 per day ($15,000 per day after
                > fulfillment), and the second no more than $18,000 per day ($12,000 per day
                > after fulfillment). So now we are down to only 29% of what was predicted
                --
                > or really only 19% of predicted daily revenue if you use the more
                realistic
                > "net" fulfilled figure.
                >
                > I will repeat that startling figure. Our daily fundraising revenues have
                > fallen over 6 fund drives from approximately $62,000 per day to
                > approximately $18,000 per day. A drop of 71%.
                >
                > But you will remember, Don, that my proposed amendment to the budget --
                > which you railed at for being "ludicrous" and "irrational" -- called for a
                > cut of only 30%, not 71%. So I suppose you could justifiably say that I
                was
                > irresponsible in not asking for a larger cut in your budget.
                >
                > We -- the LSB and the listeners -- should have been terribly alarmed by
                this
                > enormous decline in our daily fundraising revenues. But we were not
                > alarmend, because, Don, you covered it up by misdirecting our attention.
                We
                > were told, instead, that things were great. And you have gone on the air
                > every day, five or six times a day during the last several months (and are
                > still doing so) to proudly announce that listenership was growing and the
                > station was stronger than ever (a very misleading statement, to say the
                > least, which I deal with below) -- at the very monent that you were
                > desperately adding more "emergency" fund drives to the schedule, and
                > extending the time pre-empted for major drives, in a vain attempt to
                outrun
                > sagging daily revenues.
                >
                > And it is not as if you had been overtaken by a surprise hurricane. This
                > decline in daily fundraising revenues didn't sneak up on you overnight. It
                > has been ongoing. And very evident. You just chose to ignore it -- and
                deny
                > it. And, being the GM, people believed you. They still believe you,
                > otherwise your "ludicrous and irrational" budget would not have received
                > even those LSB votes it did.
                >
                > And the decline in fundraising mirrors a similar decline in our
                > listenership, despite your either (honestly) mistaken or (deliberately)
                > misleading reports to the contrary. For however much or however little
                > credence you may wish to place in Arbitron, it is a fact that their latest
                > reports [everyone please pay attention] document a startling fall-off in
                > listenership between 2003 and 2004 of as much as 65% -- FOR VIRTUALLY
                EVERY
                > PROGRAM ON WBAI (except Gary Null, which was up by 48%, and Democracy
                Now!,
                > which was up by 18%).
                >
                > I am preparing Excel and PowerPoint graphs and and bar charts that tell
                the
                > sad story of our declining listenership by listing both the Cumes and the
                > AQHs (two ways of reporting the number of people listening) -- not just
                for
                > the station as a whole, which can disguise much -- but in an HOUR-BY-HOUR
                > format so that you can see how each of our programs has either gained
                > listeners or lost them in the 12 months from 2003 to 2004. This is a story
                > that management has evidently found so sad that it kindly tried to spare
                our
                > delicate sensibilities by rewriting it with a happy ending.
                >
                > Is there hope for us?
                >
                > A declining trend like this is certainly reversible -- but it always takes
                > longer to stop a trend than to start one. So even if we make our
                programming
                > "better" (whatever that might mean), the very people whom we would need to
                > tell about the improvements -- for example, our vanished audience -- are
                > presumably no longer listening to us, so they will not get the message.
                And
                > so will continue to stay away, listening instead to Air America. And, even
                > more diligently, to NPR/WNYC.
                >
                > [For your information: WNYC is a feeble -- only 5,000 Watts -- New York
                City
                > station with only one-tenth Wbai's 50,000Watts of power (and signal
                > penetration) in the same Metro Area. But in 1996, WNYC cut itself loose
                from
                > New York City municipal control and became a super-successful nonprofit
                > independent that boosted its paid membership to 95,000 and increased its
                > listenership to 1.1 million (NY Daily News, 9/8/04). Wbai's figures are,
                as
                > you know, barely a fifth of that. Yet the only difference between WNYC's
                > success and Wbai's failure can be summed up in one word: Management --
                that
                > is, the policies, outreach, and programming decisions of our GM and PD,
                > which are responsible for 99% of any difference in listenership and
                support
                > between one station and another.]
                >
                > Given the above information, I do not see how, Don, you could have
                possibly
                > anticipated that the coming fiscal year would generate revenues of
                > $2,775,000. That is actually MORE than the station brought in last year.
                > Given that our daily fundraising revenues have declined by as much as 71%
                > (gross) or 81% (net) in the past year, what can you have been thinking of?
                > What were you smoking? On what could you have possibly based such wildly
                > unrealistic revenue predicitions?
                >
                > And those optimistic revenue predictions seem even more unrealitic if --
                as
                > seems very likely -- you plan to continue with the same failed fundraising
                > and programming policies that precipated this terrible decline in the
                first
                > place.
                >
                > By the way, that failed model includes not only our programming (which may
                > take a long time to correct) but also the inexplicably dumb policy of
                > deliberately (I should say spitefully) banning Gary Null from significant
                > participation in our fund drives (which is at least something that can be
                > corrected immediately, and would make a large impact on revenues).
                >
                > Perhaps the members of the board may be glazing over at the prospect of
                > hearing another discussion of Gary Null's fundraising. But I do hope I
                will
                > not hear any cries of -- "Stop defending Gary Null!" Because this is not
                > about Null, let alone about defending him. For as you know, he attacked
                me
                > repeatedly by name, and often, over the air all during 2001-2002 for my
                part
                > in the listener campaign against Utrice Leid and the national board. No,
                > this is about a failure of management. And the "Null issue" is, for me,
                only
                > a financial issue, which has been cynically warped out of shape by a petty
                > power game of management, and the program director in particular (as his
                > colleague, Dred-Scott Keyes, inadvertently let slip, and which was
                recorded,
                > during a public meeting of the Wbai finance committee).
                >
                > For example, although it can be documented that Null has raised up to 30%
                of
                > the revenue in every Wbai fund drive for the last 25 years (with similar
                > results for WPFW), and could be counted on to raise as much as $200,000 to
                > $300,000 per drive, he was deliberately sidelined for most of the last 6
                > drives -- which failed miserably -- resulting in a possible loss to Wbai
                of
                > as much as $1-$1.8 million in revenue. How many workers, about whom you
                > profess such concern, Don, would that money keep from being laid off? Do
                you
                > want to take responsibily for that $1-$1.8 million revenue loss, or was it
                a
                > decision of Bernard White's? Or perhaps of Kathy Davis's? "Inquring minds
                > want to know" -- for it is not just idle curiosity but the survival of the
                > station that is at stake.
                >
                > During the recently completed "emergency" mini drive, Null was given only
                7
                > minutes on one day, 6 minutes on another, and 3 minutes on a third day for
                a
                > total of about 16 MINUTES for the entire drive. (He traditionally used to
                > pitch 18-22 HOURS per drive.) And to point up the "spite" involved, the
                > first 15 minutes of Null's show was pre-empted, without notice and without
                > announcing to his audience that he would be coming on later. Thus his
                > (presumably motivated) audience was led to believe that Null's show was
                > again being pre-empted for the fund drive, as it had been so far -- and
                > therefore most of them tuned out. Nevertheless, even with a greatly
                reduced
                > audience, Null still raised an average of $500 per minute or $30,000 an
                > hour. (This is low, since Null's historic revenue rates have been as high
                as
                > $45,000 or more per hour.)
                >
                > Yet although the program director gave Null only 16 minutes to pitch
                during
                > this fund drive (a token amount, which allowed Paul Surovell to say, "See,
                > Steve, Gary Null is being allowed to fundraise for us after all") he gave
                > Amy Goodman 36 hours to pitch, or about 1/3 of the total functionally
                > productive time of the drive.
                >
                > This is no criticism of Amy, who pitches her heart out -- it is a
                criticism
                > of the program director. I don't have official figures, but it appears
                that
                > Amy generated an average of $1,500-$2,000 per hour in this drive, compared
                > to the $30,000 an hour ($500 per minute) generated in this same drive by
                > Null. I do not claim that such extrapolations are accurate, but even if we
                > predicate only half of Null's recorded rate, if he had been allowed to
                pitch
                > for the same 36 hours, his total revenue might have conceivably been as
                high
                > as $540,000 -- whereas, without him, the entire drive took in only about
                > $250,000.
                >
                > How long can this kind of financial irresponsibility be allowed to
                continue?
                > These petty power plays and testosterone wars of management endanger the
                > entire foundation (which has to make up Wbai's shortfalls).
                >
                > I do not expect to be thanked for posting the preceding information. The
                > message is unpleasant, so I expect there will be some (or many) who will
                > want to shoot the messenger. But I hope not before we can approve a budget
                > that will help the station instead of cripple it.
                >
                > It is unfortunate that our LSB is so terribly factionalized. Would it be
                too
                > much to ask that, for a while, we put aside whatever personal agendas we
                may
                > nourish and focus on what is good for the station? Roger Manning told me
                > that he was planning to vote Yes on the budget until he was made aware of
                > the preceding information -- so there is hope that, sometimes, knowing the
                > facts can actually make a difference. The station certainly needs a
                budget.
                > I hope we can come up with one that honors the station and its staff by
                > being responsible, instead of putting both at risk by being too cowardly
                to
                > face the reality of how much our station's revenues and listenership have
                > declined -- and how hard we will all have to work to restore them to their
                > prior highs -- and then beyond.
                >
                > Steve Brown
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ATTENTION:
                > This listserve is a private email group of the WBAI Local Station Board.
                > Please respect this and do not circulate messages beyond the LSB without
                > express approval.
                > ALSO:
                > Because this is a closed list, no LSB business can be conducted on this
                > discussion group. It is intended only for informal and unofficial
                > discussions.
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >




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                WBAI--99.5 FM in New York---Peace and Justice Radio
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