I was stunned when I heard the news that three program hosts at New York’s Pacifica station WBAI-FM were found dead this week. On June 3, Ibrahim Gonzalez died in his sleep. The long-time WBAI staple (he’d been at the station for 23 years) and host of In The Moment and Radio Libre is being celebrated on a special memorial page on the WBAI website. In his post, WBAI General Manager Berthold Reimers writes, “Ibrahim brought lots of excitement and positive challenges to my life with his views, ideas, inspiration and always positive outlook at the future of WBAI.” A WBAI Evening News radio piece also reported on the news earlier this week. In the story, WBAI producer Janet Coleman calls Gonzalez a “consummate radio artist.”
On June 6, a post on WBAI’s Twitter feed announced, “The WBAI family mourns again this week…RIP Lynne Rosen + John Littig. Partners on the air and in life.” According to news reports, the couple committed suicide in their home. Rosen hosted a self-help call-in talk show on WBAI called “In Pursuit of Happiness.” Motivational speaker Littig was a regular co-host.
It’s hard to imagine the sadness among the staff and volunteers at WBAI following the deaths of three hosts in one week. Our thoughts are with the family, friends, and colleagues of Gonzalez, Rosen, and Littig.