Facing tight deadline, Pacifica leaders disagree over relocation plans for WPFW

By Mike Janssen

WPFW-FM, the Pacifica station in Washington, D.C., faces a deadline to vacate its studios at the end of month and still has no clear plan for relocating, reports the Washington City Paper.

Programmers and listeners have opposed a plan to move to studios in Silver Spring, Md., that would be leased from a subsidiary of Clear Channel. Even Pacifica Interim Executive Director Summer Reese opposes the move — she’s asked WPFW’s Local Station Board to determine whether the station can back out of the sublease agreement.

The building’s landlord also is questioning the lease, reportedly because Pacifica briefly lost its corporate charter earlier this year. Pacifica’s poor finances, as well as WPFW’s, have thwarted the station’s efforts to negotiate for other locations.

Furthermore, the City Paper points out that WPFW’s current landlord sued Pacifica for eviction after the station was late on paying rent. WBAI, Pacifica’s New York station, was recently scrambling to avoid eviction as well, raising money to pay overdue rent on its antenna on the Empire State Building.

Last summer, an auditor warned that the five-station radio network may lack sufficient funds “to continue as a going concern.”

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