Battle to regain control of Pacifica’s WBAI continues in court
NEW YORK — Local hosts have regained access to studios at Pacifica’s WBAI but remain off the air, with control of the station subject to a pending legal dispute that is dividing the network’s board of directors. Dueling factions of the board both claim that the opposing side has misinterpreted the foundation’s bylaws. Their legal tussle has gone from state court to federal court and back to state court, with a federal judge urging the two sides to reach a deal. The legal dispute hinges on who has the power to make decisions about WBAI under Pacifica’s bylaws. But the underlying disagreements run much deeper, with competing narratives of why the layoffs occurred. While Pacifica’s leadership argues that the layoffs were a necessary response to the station’s poor financial condition, WBAI staff and supporters say the move was a coup meant to silence the iconic station’s radical voices.