The Pacifica Foundation was born in the late 1940’s out of the (now nearly forgotten) peace movement surrounding World War II. Lewis Hill, a conscientious objector and Washington, D.C. newsman, was fired from his mainstream reporting job when he refused to misrepresent the facts.
This was a time when the idea of a listener-sponsored radio station was a new one which had never been implemented. Many people doubted the viability of a broadcast model which didn’t rely on some kind of corporate or government funding. But the idea was too compelling for Hill and others who agreed with him. Pacifica was born in 1946.
WBAI began as WABF in 1941 and moved to 99.5 FM in 1948. The station took a respite from broadcasting in 1953, and came back on the air as part of World Broadcast Associates, Inc (WBAI) in 1955.
On January 10, 1960, WBAI joined Pacifica when philanthropist Louis Schweitzer gave the station to the network.
Pacifica now has 5 radio stations (the other four are in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Houston, and Washington, DC) and more than 100 affiliated stations across the U.S.
A station sponsored by its listeners, WBAI offers participation in its governance, policies and directions through its Local Station Board. Members of the Local Station Board are also represented on the Pacifica Foundation Board.
For current news about the radio network, please visit the independent blog Pacifica in Exile.