In a letter to staffers, Pacifica Foundation wrote that the shut down is "due to ongoing and continued projections of further financial losses at WBAI."
The California-based foundation said while the news would come as "a deep and painful shock" keeping the station in business would "jeopardize the survival of the entire network."
WBAI first came on the air in the 1960s as a champion of liberal causes.
The news drew reactions from politicians and community leaders alike.
WBAI - Call letters that stand for the Other New York -- a zany, radical, free-form, free-thinking city where anything could and often did happen, live, on the air and with an unforgettable soundtrack.— Tom Robbins (@tommy_robb) October 7, 2019
Say it ain't so.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams tweeted "We need outlets like #WBAI to tell the untold stories of our city. @RadioPacifica , please relaunch ASAP."
I have been a listener of @WBAI for longer than I can remember, from my good friend Bob Law to new hosts like @CelesteKatzNYC, @JackHites, @TweetBenMax, and @JarrettMurphy. We need outlets like #WBAI to tell the untold stories of our city. @RadioPacifica, please relaunch ASAP. pic.twitter.com/v4Yx1j0mqC— Eric Adams (@BPEricAdams) October 7, 2019
My first ever time on the radio was on @WBAI, and the past year working with @JustMattersWBAI show has been so instrumental in my life. Shocked and saddened at the news of their closing as so many are. Farewell to a New York icon, hope to hear you on the air again one day.— Luke 🎃 (@lukemessina) October 7, 2019
The closing of WBAI is a huge loss for New York City and local news coverage we all depend on.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) October 7, 2019
This is deeply disappointing and I hope this station is relaunched. https://t.co/3cGghd49G5
The station will continue to broadcast live feeds from "Pacifica Across America" and the foundation suggested in its statement that a comeback is possible.
"We will relaunch WBAI once we are able to create a sustainable financial structure for the station," the foundation said.
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