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Sandy update: how to help WBAI and WFMU

East coast community radio stations WBAI-FM in New York City and WFMU-FM in New Jersey are still trying to dig themselves out of the Hurricane Sandy swamp. Yesterday, all the Pacifica stations ran a network-wide emergency fundraiser for lower Manhattan’s ‘BAI.

Here’s an excerpt from Pacifica Executive Director Summer Reese’s appeal:

When Superstorm Sandy hit WBAI, it trapped seven of the station’s staff in studios on the 10th story of a building with seawater up to the second floor.

Today, the building’s wiring is still unusable, and the station’s facing a second disaster: because the storm knocked WBAI off the air in the middle of a fund drive, and the station has no way to resume fundraising, it faces the prospect of laying off its entire staff.

The goal was to raise $150k to relocate WBAI to a temporary headquarters, suitable for the resumption of programming and fundraising. I’ve seen an unofficial comment suggesting that Pacifica made that number, but I’ll bet ‘BAI won’t turn down some more assistance. You can make a contribution here.

WFMU needs helpMeanwhile WFMU in New Jersey is back on the air following the loss of power at both of its transmitter sites. But the station sustained a lot of damage and was forced to cancel its Record Fair:

When power was restored in Jersey City, we soon discovered that the outage combined with subsequent electrical surges had caused significant damage to our equipment . To date, here’s what we’ve lost: Ichiban stream computer, WFMU’s backup streaming computer (also handles our web-only shows), our interconnectivity equipment at WMFU, as well as plenty of audio processing equipment. WFMU’s main ISP, phone system, fire alarm system, and remote access system were out for over a week. We are still trying to assess the extent of the damage. We have cobbled together some temporary solutions to these issues, but replacements are inevitable.

Sympathizers can donate some cash at WFMU’s “hell and high water” page.


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