The situation in Brooklyn is becoming a battle between Pacifica’s Board of Directors and the staff at the progressive-leaning station. Station personnel are now in charge of the station after a Manhattan Supreme Court judge issued a temporary restraining order and set a court date for October 18.
The ruling was made after WBAI staff, in a lawsuit, accused Pacifica Foundation of violating its own bylaws by taking over the local station in the latest episode of a longstanding conflict. Pacifica has been unable to pay staff and decided to close the doors of the commercial-free station this week. The station had been on the air since 1955.
Patch.com in New York reports that Sabrina Jacobs, chair of Pacifica’s board of directors, said the foundation would respond to the “ridiculous” restraining order in court. She said the station is $4 million in debt. “It’s against the law to have a paid employee working when you’re not able to pay them. And that’s what we were trying to do. We were trying to avoid breaking the law because we don’t have the money to pay those employees.”