WBAI Actually Being Sold?

RadioInsight Community Forums Northeast New York / Long Island WBAI Actually Being Sold?

This topic contains 54 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of joseph_gallant Joseph_Gallant 7 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #103348
    Profile photo of Buzzzz
    Buzzzz
    Participant

    As part of a long post detailing the latest on the infighting at Pacifica, it’s mentioned that the new board of directors has begun informal negotiations with a “corporate media outlet”. Being Pacifica, even a non-commercial outlet like WNYC could be considered corporate, but could we finally see the exit of WBAI?

    http://wbai-nowthen.blogspot.com/2014/03/padlocks-off.html

    #103361
    Profile photo of Buzzzz
    Buzzzz
    Participant

    I should add that we know Clear Channel or CBS can’t add stations, so who does that leave as legitimate bidders? Cumulus, Emmis, WNYC, and who else?

    #103377
    Profile photo of kent
    kent
    Participant

    Don’t forget that EMF swooped in when nobody was looking and bought 106.9 Philly from Merlin. So, even though they technically have a New York station, they might want something bigger, and they could park Air 1 on 96.7. Of course, whether or not EMF could pull off a deal this big is a separate issue. While it doesn’t have a problem generating cash (I believe it did north of $80 million, maybe even north of $90 million, a little over 5 years ago), estimates show 99.5’s stick value being as low as $60 million and as high as about $85 million. Even by EMF’s standards, this would be a huge deal. By comparison, 106.9 in Philly went for $22 million, and I’m not aware of them having done any deal bigger than that.

    #103386
    Profile photo of Rick Rose
    Rick Rose
    Participant

    I doubt EMF would pick up 99.5 for 60 plus million. Now to be able to have a full power signal in the largest media market would be tempting. But maybe WNYC would buy the signal for WQXR and then maybe Klove picking up 105.9fm for a deal. But these guys are tying up a big signal drawing little audience and 99.5 could do so much better.

    #103415
    Profile photo of Nathan Obral
    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    The way Pacifica is set up, the organization will collapse before WBAI gets sold. And even if it DID get sold, someone is going to try to sabotage or destroy the transmitter and/or studios… the fanatics within Pacifica view WBAI as their Waterloo.

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!
    #103431
    Profile photo of Bongwater
    Bongwater
    Participant

    Listening to KPFA 94.1 at 12:15 am PDT and WOW! They’re playing active rock! “What Do You Do For Money Honey” AC/DC, “Stardog Champion” Mother Love Bone….

    Curious, I checked the KPFA web site. And no, they didn’t change format….

    http://www.kpfa.org/playlist/id/101050

    Still, it was a bit of a shock. AC/DC is the LAST thing I would expect to hear on a Pacifica station! Interesting mix here though. Has potential…..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00sy6_jv7Lc
    #103442
    Profile photo of Bill Recto
    Bill Recto
    Participant

    Listening to KPFA 94.1 at 12:15 am PDT and WOW! They’re playing active rock! “What Do You Do For Money Honey” AC/DC, “Stardog Champion” Mother Love Bone….
    Curious, I checked the KPFA web site. And no, they didn’t change format….
    http://www.kpfa.org/playlist/id/101050
    Still, it was a bit of a shock. AC/DC is the LAST thing I would expect to hear on a Pacifica station! Interesting mix here though. Has potential…..

    http://www.amazon.com/Uneasy-Listening-Pacifica-Radios-Civil/dp/1900355450 Check this Book out. I read this and the author suggested that Pacifica’s dysfunction goes back to Lewis Hill the Founder of Pacifica Radio and KPFA rules and regulations at the time. Heck this Pacifica issue has outlived the founder of Pacifica and KPFA.

    #103460
    Profile photo of Christian
    Christian
    Participant

    I could see either Cumulus or WNYC getting it. If Cumulus were to get it, I would expect a new rock format of some kind. If WNYC, I would expect them to move WQXR to 99.5 and spin off 105.9 to either EMF or another commercial owner

    #103481
    Profile photo of Dave
    Dave
    Participant

    if so…would like to see a 70s or country gold on 99.5 FM.

    #103482
    Profile photo of joseph_gallant
    Joseph_Gallant
    Participant

    Nathan Orbal noted:

    (E)ven if it (Pacifica) DID get sold, someone is going to try to sabotage or destroy the transmitter and/or studios… the fanatics within Pacifica view WBAI as their Waterloo.

    The view of WBAI-99.5 being “Waterloo” is probably very true.

    Of course, if WBAI gets sold to a commercial broadcaster, the buyer would build a new studio for 99.5 at a new location, and probably wouldn’t be subject to vandalism or sabatoge. But security may be needed at the WBAI transmitter atop the Empire State Building since such sabotage could cause damage to the many other FM transmitters and antennas there, not to mention the building housing them.

    I’m beginning to wonder if the Pacifica saga might have an unpleasant ending. And by “unpleasant”, I mean vandalism, arson, or even violence.

    Hopefully, however this ends, it will end calmly and peacefully.

    #103488
    Profile photo of Scott Fybush
    Scott Fybush
    Keymaster

    Even before 9/11, the floors at Empire where the transmitter rooms were located were not accessible to the general public. Since 9/11, of course, security has become much heavier. The kind of transmitter-room takeover that happened to WBAI in the 1970s is not possible today. Whatever infighting might accompany a WBAI license sale (and that’s still purely hypothetical, anyway), it won’t be happening upstairs at Empire.

    #103506
    Profile photo of Bizzle
    Bizzle
    Participant

    So is WBAI being sold to a corporate company?
    I’m hoping they get sold to Cumulus so they can bring Alternative Rock back to NYC.

    Bizzle "MVB"
    #103511
    Profile photo of John Unrath
    John Unrath
    Participant

    Het gang. Could we not talk about ‘I would love to see WBAI sold so that FITB could be on it.’ I suspect everyone has a format of choice that they would like to put on the signal but that is not really germane to this thread.

    #103518
    Profile photo of K.M. Richards
    K.M. Richards
    Participant

    Het gang. Could we not talk about ‘I would love to see WBAI sold so that FITB could be on it.’ I suspect everyone has a format of choice that they would like to put on the signal but that is not really germane to this thread.

    What he said.

    #103520
    Profile photo of Barry
    Barry
    Participant

    Is it correct that while an alternative rock station can build a decent size audience, billing remains a major concern in most markets?
    In addition to the other potential bidders for 99.5 mentioned in previous posts, perhaps Hispanic broadcasters Univision or SBS may also be interested in owning an additional outlet? As was illustrated yesterday with the new Hot 105.7 in San Francisco, they are open to running stations that broadcast in English.
    Also, it would not be a big surprise to me if a broadcaster that wanted to serve another large local ethnic group, such as Russians, Koreans or Chinese bought a class B in New York.

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