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TUCoPS :: Radio :: steele.txt

"A History Reality Check" by Randi Steele, former operations manager of the defunct RNI (Radio Newyork International)





                          A HISTORY REALITY CHECK
             by Randi Steele, Former Operations Manager, RNI

               Between the fading memories of some, and the
       intentional misrepresentations and fabrications of others, a
       somewhat distorted view of the early days of Radio Newyork
       International has evolved.

               In early 1987, when Alan Weiner, I, and others were
       building the radio ship Sarah, we believed a large programming
       gap existed in N.Y. area radio.  We all loosely described it as
       Free Form Rock and Roll.  That format title was in itself a
       protest against FCC rulings of the late 1970's when they
       legislated the concept of Free Form Radio out of existance.
       This programming concept included the Caroline concept of
       loving awareness without the preachy political correctness
       that Pirate Joe ultimately sunk the RNI organization with.
       Pirate Joe was NEVER to be a part of the original RNI.

               Our plan was to go on the air the last week of July
       1987 with tests, from 6PM until Midnight, of our equipment and
       programming.  On August 7, 1987 we planned to start 18hr/day
       broadcasting where the entire range of RNI programs would first
       be debuted.  Because of the competitive nature of N.Y. radio,
       we wanted to make RNI a pleasant surprise and were
       intentionally vague about our programming concepts and plans.

               We did not plan on two things; 1, that major publicity
       would start after only two test broadcasts and; 2, that the
       station would be silenced after only 4 test broadcasts.

               The publicity that I'm now accused of "mishandling"
       was only our pre-planned, pre-launch hype.  When the station
       was busted up, and Alan and Ivan were illegally arrested, the
       "lawyers" at that time ordered myself and others to shut-up. I
       had planned a news conference in Times Square at 5pm the day
       of the bust, where I had hoped that all the "un-indited
       co-conspirators" would have our say.  Dudley Gaffin, Esq.
       personally ordered me to cancel that gathering.  Faced with a
       sudden publicity blackout, the press went with the only quotes
       and info they had, the pre-launch hype.  Before the gag order,
       I gave two interviews, one to the Associated Press, which ran
       nationwide, but not in N.Y., (see Chicago Tribune, July
       29, 1987), where I was quoted of the clear violations of the
       First Amendment, and of commerce, committed by the FCC.  The
       second interview was to Paul Colford of Newsday, where I tried
       to get him to focus on the constitutional issues, rather than
       on me personally.

               That some have forgotten this sequence of events, and
       others intentionally twist and distort history for their own
       perverse pleasure, doesn't bother me.

               What does bother me, however, is that Alan Weiner, for
       the rest of his life, will be deemed an unfit licensee, while
       the source of all his problems, Joseph Paul Farrero, (Pirate
       Joe), is an FCC licensee "in good standing", and owner of
       WHVW, (AM), Hyde Park, N.Y.  If Alan had followed my advice in
       the early 1980's and had not subjected himself, and his radio
       business, (WOZI/WOZW in Maine), to Joe's every impulsive whim,
       RNI wold have it's shortwave license and be operating
       profitably to this day.

               Joseph Paul's egotistical need to be "N.Y.'s most
       powerful pirate", was not satisfied by having 1.5Kw of FM
       power from his Yonkers, N.Y. apartment, so Alan was coerced
       to use the WOZW-AM transmitter site to broadcast "KPRC, Pirate
       Central", on 1616Khz AM.  It was Joseph Paul who got Alan to
       get an "RPU" of 100watts on 1622Khz licensed to his mother's
       house in Yonkers.  When the FCC ordered the 1622 "broadcasts"
       to cease, J.P. convinced Alan to "keep the frequency warm by
       playing music".  J.P., against Alan's wishes, turned 1622
       into, "The station that has nothing good to say about Ronald
       Reagan".  Because of these actions by Joseph Paul, Alan lost
       his licenses.

               When RNI returned to shortwave via WWCR, WRNO and
       R.F.P.I. in Costa Rica, Joseph Paul smelled potential
       political indoctrination and had to be included.  He tried to
       manipulate RNI's news coverage, causing News Director, Neil
       Scott to quit.  He repeatedly interfered with, and mistreated
       Dan Lewis, our Mailbag programmer, causing him to quit.  He
       then dragged his politically naive girlfriend, with no
       broadcast experience or talent, into the organization, and he
       interfered in the professional operation of RNI, causing me to
       quit.

               Joseph Paul Farrero doesn't believe in commercial
       radio, or so he said at the time I quit RNI.  He only believes
       in profitable radio when the money to be made is his.  So what
       does this righteous political broadcasting radical do with HIS
       radio station?  WHVW broadcasts a conservative country music
       format when J.P. can't sell time brokered blocks to every
       sleaze bag opportunist he can find, along with several hours a
       day of J.P.'s leftist, politically correct, dogma that is lost
       on a Hudson Valley busily listening to quality programing on
       FM.

               The original concept of RNI died in June of 1991
       because Joseph Paul didn't agree with it.  Alan's attempts to
       keep it alive have failed because it was those concepts that
       made RNI what it was, good radio.

               That Alan Weiner is forever bared from being a station
       licensee, and the hypercritical Pirate Joe-seph Paul Farrero
       owns WHVW-Hyde Park, is a grave miscarriage of justice that I
       can only hope will someday be rectified.

               As for me, I have a happy life far away from the
       egotistical back stabbing and jealous competition from many of
       the low-lifes that infest radio.  It's the listening public's
       loss, not mine.
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