Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Could Amy Goodman save WBAI?

 
From an LMA, that is?
 
An LMA is definitely not the way for WBAI to go, according to Gary Null. Here's what he said today:


Amy Goodman
Gary Null: BAI is not alone today. We have thousands of more sources of information, and we have to get good programing that finds a market, that finds an audience that then supports the station. And that's what we're doing now. We're beginning. It's a process. But until that happens, we'll be hearing more of my show than what I want or the audience wants. But it's necessary until we get up on our feet, and our goal is to get up on our feet so that we're not leased.

The last thing any of us wants is the sale of the station or the leasing of the station. If we lease the  station you have to ask, why would anyone want BAI? Well they'd want 99.5 and the 50,000 watts. They don't want WBAI, there's nothing there. We're flatlined in terms of our audience, we'd have no value there.  And then they would bring in some corporate Democrat liberal group like MSNBC, and that would justify it for most people. Oh, they're from the left. No, they're from the Clinton left, the Obama left. Is that what you want? I don't. I won't be a part of it. So let me make this very clear: the day that happens is the last day I'm on BAI, because I will not support that.

But in any case, our goal now is to support the station, to keep it alive, to keep it viable, and we're given an opportunity to do it right now. So that's why we're doing this, we're pulling out all the stops to do everything to get good programming on, new programming.

Luanne Pennesi, who does a regular segment on Gary's PRN show, had something interesting to say a few days ago (on 12/9). This is an opinion, and we don't agree with everything Luanne says about Amy Goodman here, but we think her suggestions for avoiding the LMA Option are food for thought.

Luanne Pennesi: The other day I had mentioned information about  Amy Goodman: the truth about Amy's empire, the fact that she stole Democracy Now! from Pacifica, and is even being paid by them. And she even uses the word "Pacifica" in her title. Well I got such a flood of feedback - emails, phone calls - from people who never realized what she did.  And really, Gary,  her audience according to the statistics and her fund-raising is very small. And she even took a chunk of Pacifica's audience to her TV show. Now I'm not judging her in terms of the quality of her journalistic talents at all. But look at some of the things - she supports the official AIDS theory, she supports Big Pharma, and even with the facts about the 9-11 conspiracy  she doesn't support that at all. And people are really responding to this.

So here's a positive solution for helping Pacifica save millions of dollars immediately. It's a way for the foundation to become fair, transparent and really democratic in a positive way. How about this to clean up Amy Goodman's bad karma?

Number one, forgive the debt that Pacifica owes her. I think they owe her about 2 million dollars at this time. She can afford that, she's a very wealthy woman. Her salary is almost $150,000 a year, her Democracy Now! corporation, of which she is CEO, earns 6 million a year, of which 20% or 1.2 million is profit. Her corporation has - are you ready? - 13 million dollars in net assets.

So how about if she donates about 2 million dollars to Pacifica, the very foundation that made her who she is? That would pay off all of Pacifica's debt. She's drawn over $10 million from this foundation. I would say, cancel her contract with Pacifica. I mean, what is the criteria for her getting paid for a show? And what's the criteria for not getting paid for a show? Most all the other producers at Pacifica work without pay for the good of the station. I mean it's not like she's the top fundraiser for the station either.  

So it would be great if she'd just step up and do these things immediately, so that would prevent the need for these ongoing fund drives that happen all year long. And just one more thing, in case the audience doesn't realize it  -- nobody else that I know of has used Pacifica's lawyers to represent them in order to negotiate a private contract between her and Pacifica. The same lawyer that represents Pacifica is representing Amy Goodman. Now you tell me, is this a conflict of interest?

Gary Null: I don't know. I don't know who represents her now.  I just knew that the lawyer at the time that she was given Democracy Now! and this contract, I know that he represented Pacifica and negotiated on her behalf. That was not a transparent deal. But I think the idea of forgiving Pacifica's debt is a good idea. And I believe that if you have a foundation and you have 13 million dollars and  you could contribute to Pacifica to help it with 1 - 2 million that would be terrific. Or to help it raise funds beyond what it's capable of doing, those are positive. So those two ideas - to forgive the debt and give a donation - those are very positive, and I would hope that something like that actually happens.

9 comments:

  1. Perhaps you should do a blog post about the Democracy Now ads that are currently running on NPR/WNYC.

    Phil

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    1. Can you give me any more information about this? Thanks!

      WBAI Listener

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    2. I don't have a recording of the ad, but twice today I heard an ad spot for Democracy Now on 93.9. This is not an ad saying that it's going to be in the NPR line up, it's more like DN has purchased ad space on NPR to promote their television broadcast and web site.

      Phil

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  2. Amy Goodman has stolen a lot of other things from Pacifica/WBAI as well. She was a tyrant in the newsroom when she was the news director, yelling and screaming all the time. A producer said she stole an aircheck of a fundraising show while the show was on the air at the behest of Samori Marksman, the late program director. Long time observers know what kind of person she is - she will be exposed one day!!

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  3. I wholeheartedly support the idea of getting Amy to kick in the $2 million (especially if the numbers quoted above are accurate), but why not gander/goose this approach and convince Gary to kick in a few mil as well? BAI has helped his career and I am sure he would want to help out, right?

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    1. Gary does help WBAI and gives a lot. I think I heard that he gave $10,000 recently, and he's held several retreats recently which raised thousands for WBAI. And last pledge drive he volunteered his time to raise $70,000 that paid the transmitter rent and the salaries.

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    2. cute avatar!!

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  4. Baloney. How can DN make 1.2 million in profit a year when it is a non-profit corporation? Answer: it can't. Revenue generated by non-profits cannot go to shareholders...there are no shareholders in a non-profit. The $$ goes to program expenses!! DN receives 4 of 4 stars on charitynavigator for financials. Goodman's salary is 148K a year. If you think that is too much for the anchor, founder, and leader of the best news program in America, then I'm sorry but you are a fool. And this is someone that lives and works in America's most expensive city. I am truly grateful to Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales for what they do; we need them now more than ever.

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  5. This is the second piece I have ready quoting Gary Null saying how much Amy Goodman is making with her corporation. The above poster is correct in all that I find. DN is a 501c3 corporation and no profit from it can go to Goodman. As we say here in Texas " I don't have a dog in this fight, but it should be a fair fight" What he is saying is wrong.

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