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Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! booted from main studio

Sources say that the interim station manager at New York's Pacifica station (WBAI) has permanently banned Amy Goodman and her staff from producing Democracy Now! in WBAI's main broadcast studio. The team of the nationally broadcast program have been sent to live in Studio 3 which cannot accommodate multiple phone guests and has a clock that's been broken for months.

Pacifica is the nations oldest progressive radio network. It is under siege by a Board of Directors attempting to kill the community directed network, replace the broad selection of news programming with popular entertainment and take the non-profit's multi-million dollar spectrum commercial. Background info available at www.savepacifica.net.
Sources say WBAI's interim manager Utrice Leid has permanently banished Amy
Goodman and her staff from producing Democracy Now! in WBAI's main broadcast
studio. With no explanation, the decision to
interfere with the production of Pacifica's most popular national-news show was
handed down to the DN staff today by Pacifica's National Program Director Steve
Yasko, who is in New York (see post below).

The smaller production space is limited technologically, and could seriously
compromise the production values of Democracy Now!--notwithstanding
management's so-called fierce campaign to professionalize the network.

Sources say Yasko informed Goodman he would send up a clock.

Eileen Sutton
Banned WBAI Unpaid News Reporter
Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship

============================
August 8, 2001

Democracy Now! Harassed

Friends,

Sources say that minutes before air time this morning, and without explanation,
interim general manager Utrice Leid once again threw Amy Goodman and
Democracy Now! (DN) out of the master broadcast studio and into WBAI's Studio
3--a small, sub-standard broadcast space not suited to a national program. Leid last
moved the show into Studio 3 this past May, when Democracy Now! was taken off the
air for 3 weeks in New York.

Technical challenges abound. Studio 3 cannot accommodate multiple phone guests,
and the clock--a critical component of professional radio production--has been
broken for months. The clock in Studio 3 is in fact covered with gold foil. When
Goodman commented on the clock to Leid, sources say Leid sarcastically told
Goodman to go buy one. National program director Stephen Yasko (a staunch
promoter of Pacifica's professionalism) also happened to be at WBAI this morning
when the DN staff was racing to prepare. Goodman asked Yasko for a
clock. He then brought her one without numbers.

Other morning producers laughed as they watched Goodman and her staff hurrying to
prepare Studio 3 for a complicated show. Sources say Leid mocked them by saying,
*Watch them run. Watch them run.*

When a Democracy Now! producer asked Leid if DN would in fact be broadcast to
the New York audience today, sources say Leid got right up into the producer's face
and, in a highly agitated state said: *You do not talk to me. You are a producer. You
do not question me. You do not interrogate Utrice Leid.*

Goodman has been warned repeatedly regarding her *Banned and Fired* sign off.
Sources say that because of how bad conditions still are at WBAI, she still ends her
show with a pointed reference to the results of the Christmas Coup.

Eileen Sutton
Banned WBAI Unpaid News Reporter
Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship
 
 

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