Friday, February 14, 2014

Report: Lack Of Fundraiser Response Gets PD Fired

Bob Hennelly
WBAI general manager Berthold Reimers has fired the radio station's interim program director, Bob Hennelly, according to an email Hennelly sent colleagues this morning.

Hired by the noncommercial, listener-supported station at 99.5 FM in December with a decade of experience reporting for New York's NPR-affiliated WNYC under his belt, Hennelly led an initiative to retool WBAI's programming during the afternoon driving hours. Capital New York reported Thursday, he replaced public affairs programs imported from WBAI's sibling stations in California with new call-in programs hosted by volunteer producers from New York.

Since the station's winter fund drive began on Feb. 3, the same week it aired new programs like "Health Styles" and "PolitiSIZE," Hennelly was assigned to raise $500,000 by the end of the month. He particularly appealed to labor groups for donations.

Hennelly gives as the main reason for his firing "Pacifica's dysfunctional governance and the trouble WBAI business model," which gave him, he wrote in his email, "no running room."

Reimers and his superiors at Pacifica Foundation Radio, the nonprofit that owns WBAI, were not pleased with the amount of money raised so far, as Hennelly noted in a email he sent to supporters this weekend: "The drive is not doing well ... The indication from management is that the station is broke."

WBAI 99.5 FM (4.2kw)  54dBu Coverage
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