Regrettably, our weekly radio show ("Off The Hook") will once again not be heard at its usual Wednesday night timeslot over WBAI 99.5 FM in New York. The reason we're being given this time is that the station hasn't reached the goal for the latest fundraising drive and other programming will have to be substituted in order to accomplish this. While we don't want to second guess this programming decision, we feel it's important to point out that the unprecedented number of pre-emptions we've had to endure since moving to our new timeslot has made it virtually impossible to adequately cover the many technological issues affecting not only our community, but people everywhere.
Since June, when we started broadcasting on Wednesday evenings, we've been pre-empted on five separate occasions - nearly a quarter of the time. Twice we've been off the air for a three week period which amounted to around 50% of the time in both September and October. We don't know if it's just bad luck or some kind of curse. The end result is that we're unable to report on many extremely important developments in technology that affect everyone's privacy as well as tell the stories that are unique to our perspective. We've also missed the opportunity to tell our broadcast audience of events that would interest them, such as Monday's speaking engagement in New York by renowned hacker Kevin Mitnick. Every show that doesn't air means a wealth of information doesn't make it to our listeners, guests don't get the opportunity to tell their stories, and listeners don't have the chance to ask questions and share opinions. It's especially important given the many disturbing changes that have been taking place in our society in recent months that simply aren't being talked about in very many other forums.
We fear that our perspective isn't being taken as seriously as it should at WBAI. There are numerous programs that get significantly more time to cover issues (or play music) and don't get pre-empted nearly as often as we do. In fact, we've even been pre-empted for some of these same programs! In short, we feel it's just not fair and it's seriously impeding our ability to bring a decent radio program to our audience.
Many of our online listeners have suggested doing an Internet-only program. While this is certainly possible, it doesn't help those many people who listen to us over the air and, as this is the radio station we fought hard to save (we continue to stream its signal around the world free of charge), we should continue to do everything we can to stay a part of it at every opportunity.
We'd like your opinions on how we can solve this problem. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to share your opinion with the people at the station, they can be reached at +1 212 209 2800.