According to Pacifica, the station is in dire financial straits after Hurricane Sandy’s flooding damaged the wiring of its building. This problem was compounded because the storm struck during a fund drive, and Pacifica says if WBAI does not raise enough money to relocate soon, it may have to go off the air permanently.
Pacifica’s KPFA(FM) 94.1 in Berkeley, KFCF(FM) 88.1 in Fresno, Calif., KPFK(FM) 90.7 in Los Angeles, KPFT(FM) 90.1 FM in Houston and WPFW(FM) 89.3 in Washington banded together in hopes of raising $150,000 to move to WBAI to a temporary studio and allow it to hold its own fundraising campaign. Donations are also being accepted online.
The fundraiser highlighted WBAI’s coverage of Sandy by Democracy Now!, a syndicated WBAI program, in order to emphasize what will be lost if the station goes dark.
The station is currently broadcasting archival programming, but Interim Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation Summer Reese said, “This is precisely the time when New York needs a Pacifica station. WBAI needs to be reporting on the suffering of people who’ve been neglected by relief efforts; how the city is treating residents of public housing and the incredible grassroots organizing of groups like Occupy Sandy.”