Monday, September 16, 2013

Ibrahim Gonzalez

WBAI by the numbers

Interesting post on the Blue Board today:

One thing that jumps out is that WBAI brings in the second highest amount in listener donations (second only to LA's KPFK, by $500,000). This is probably well known by the cognoscenti, but I had thought for sure that the popular CA stations brought in way more revenue. The prevailing narrative is certainly about how BAI's listeners have totally abandoned it, but the numbers belie that narrative. Perhaps it's on the decline (what are the year to year trends?), but it's still got huge support. BAI's expenses are clearly much higher than other stations', largely now because of the Empire State Building costs (can't the station use a slightly less all-powerful antenna? or at least try to modify the terms of the contract?), but at least rent and personnel costs have decreased. I think there's some solace in the fact that it still brings in a humongous $2.186 million a year from listeners. Considering how horribly the management team treats its listener supporters, that shows some incredible loyalty and passion among listeners. The station basically spits in their faces every couple months, yet they still donate more than two million a year in small pledges. There is still clearly widespread support for the station's current programming, flawed though it may be. A competent development team could turn that kind of passion for the station into way more concrete support.

Friday, September 13, 2013