October 23, 2001
Pacifica Campaign Action Alert
Firings and Bannings Continue at Pacifica
African-American Staff Targetted
Pacifica Execs Can Only Destroy,
Call Pacifica station WBAI
* Protest the Firing of Producer Dred Scott Keyes
All the Firing and Bannings at WBAI
* Let WBAI Management Know
that You Will Boycott the Station Until Fired, Banned and Exiled
Staff Are Returned
Call 1-212-968-0500 this week
Call as many times as you feel necessary for your point of
view to be heard.
The cleansing of Pacifica station WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City
continues unabated with another long-term producer being banned and
terminated. New station manager, Bob Daughtry, after consultation
with former station manager Utrice Leid, has officially fired award
winning producer Dred Scott Keyes from his position as WBAI's
Dred returned October 22, 2001, from a two-week vacation and was
promptly handed a termination notice that was effective immediately.
He was told that if he attempted to re-enter the premises he would
be considered a trespasser. He was also told that arrangements would
be made so that he could retrieve his belongings. If the treatment
of the other banned and fired producers is an example of how he will
be treated, Dred may never see his possessions again.
This action comes on the heels of a letter he sent to Pacifica's
National Board members detailing the destruction of WBAI under the
leadership of Utrice Leid and his frustration with attempts to act
professionally in what he considered to be an increasingly hostile
atmosphere. His memo detailed a verbal attack by Djabel Faye during
which time Djabel reportedly called him a "nigger," has not yet been
In December 2000, Pacifica executives launched the "Christmas
Coup" at WBAI in New York City, changing all the locks overnight,
bringing in security guards, and firing and banning more than 26
long-time producers and volunteers.
Five of the six paid staff members fired since December have been
progressive African-American producers. "Although Utrice Leid and
other managers have gone on the air claiming that Pacifica's critics
are racists and white supremacists, the facts speak for themselves,"
said Bernard White, fired WBAI program director and now a staffer
with the Pacifica Campaign. "They are seeking the political
cleansing of the station no matter what the human and financial
As a result of the on-going purges, WBAI's audience ratings have
dropped dramatically and so has its on-air fundraising.
The station's share - or it's percentage of all radio listening
in the New York area, the most commonly used Arbitron estimate - has
plunged 40 percent since the Fall of 2000, the last Arbitron's
released before December's "Christmas Coup." And the Time Spent
Listening to the station by an average listener has declined from
7.6 hours a week in the Fall to 2000 to 4.6 hours in the Summer of
2001, a drop of 36 percent, according to Arbitron estimates released
this past week.
WBAI used to be the largest fundraiser in the network, bringing
in anywhere between $800,000 and a one million dollars per drive.
But in 2001, its drives have brought no more than $350,000-$400,000,
according to staff at the station. WBAI's programming line-up is
chaotic, all WBAI's top journalists have been fired, banned or
exiled, and the station cannot meet its bills and faces a huge
Dred Scott Keyes has been associated with WBAI for over 19 years.
Some of the awards he has won include:
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF COMMUNITY BROADCASTERS
Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship with Amy Goodman and Jeremy
The Southern Roots of Rhythm and Blues and Dreams of
What To the American Slave is the Fourth of
Malcolm X Speaks to the Midnight Ravers
Anniversary of the Peekskill Riots
24-Hour Tribute to Tito Puente
with Nancy Rodriguez, et al.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of BLACK JOURNALISTS
Bob Marley and the
Chevron & Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship with Amy
Goodman and Jeremy Scahill