WBAI is a community sponsored public radio station in New York City, the third station to become part of the Pacifica network. WBAI, formerly a commercial station, was given to Pacifica in 1960 by philanthropist Louis Schweitzer. The programming on WBAI consists of international, national, and local news, commentary, and music rarely, if ever heard elsewhere. WBAI broadcasts a 50,000 watt signal at 99.5 FM.
Recent issues have caused significant changes in programming at WBAI.1 Many staff have been fired or banned from the studio (many of the staff are volunteers). As a result, many of the programs previously heard on WBAI, like the award-winning Democracy Now!, Wake-up Call, and many others are no longer on WBAI. Some of these programs are broadcast over the internet on WBIX (WBai In eXile)2, a internet radio station created by many of the former staff of WBAI.
WBAI still hosts many notable programs, like Off The Hook, a radio show hosted by 2600 magazine editor Emmanuel Goldstein. The programming, in general, is of the highest quality - content you will never find on a commercial radio station. It is also very different from NPR - far more leftist than NPR (I heard a WBAI staffer accuse NPR of being part of the "conservative media establishment"), and far more variety in the programming. It is not the sort of station where you will always like what you hear, but at the very least, what you hear will be well done, and will make you think.
The WBAI website is presently nothing more than a nodeshell (www.wbai.org). WBAI can be heard in RealAudio at http://www.2600.com/offthehook/elbnet2.pls
1. See www.savepacifica.net