On the morning of October 7, 2019, staffers at WBAI in New York were locked out and all programming suspended. According to the Pacifica Foundation (parent of WBAI), this was done due to "serious and persistent financial losses at WBAI." This necessitated the foundation laying off all the staff.

But, as with most things, it's not quite that simple. For one, the implication that WBAI is responsible for all of Pacifica's financial woes is simply not true. There has long been hostility towards WBAI from other members of the network who believe that too much money is being spent on New York rents and that selling the station's valuable license could benefit the rest of the network. However, many of the problems WBAI has faced in recent years came about as a direct result of Pacifica actions. For instance, WBAI's recent financial crisis caused by being locked into an exhorbitant transmitter lease to the Empire State Building only happened because Pacifica signed that lease. There are numerous other examples, but the point is that it's inaccurate and unfair to blame one station for problems that the entire network is responsible for. We also question the wisdom of suspending all programming at the beginning of a month-long fund drive.

So for now, "Off The Hook" is off the air. Yes, we can always do a podcast, but we're a radio show and half the magic is reaching those people who aren't on the net while also talking to those who are. We intend to fight to preserve that. We hope you join us.

UPDATE: As of Tuesday, October 8, an injunction has been granted that allows WBAI to resume operations. We now expect "Off The Hook" to air in its normal timeslot this Wednesday. Stay tuned for further updates.