Lack of funds ends ‘Free Speech Radio News’ after 17 years

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The final episode of the weekly syndicated program Free Speech Radio News airs Friday on community radio stations.

The broadcast, carried by 40 stations, is ending its 17-year run for “purely financial” reasons, said Nell Abram, general administrator and co-editor.

Each half-hour episode of FSRN’s Weekly Edition features five to six short features about domestic and international news stories that FSRN says are “neglected or suppressed by the corporate press.” The show aired daily until 2013, when it went off the air temporarily, in part because it was owed more than $200,000 in support from the chronically cash-strapped Pacifica Foundation. At the time, FSRN aired on 100 stations.

FSRN returned in 2014 with seed money from a donor to start a weekly half-hour roundup of news. The show drew from reserves while seeking major donors who could add to its donor support and station carriage fees, Abram said, but was unable to find such funding.

Abram said stations dropped FSRN in recent years because a weekly program couldn’t “fill the void” on their weekday schedules for news as a daily program did.

  • John Browne

    Breaks my heart. 💔 Correspondents around the world, who Don’t require a ‘fixer’ or “translator” to do their work… gone. A wonderfully collaborative news producer- a “co-op”- with very little hierarchy and wonderfully insightful reporting is gone… while the ‘fake news’ and the “press release repeaters” roll on. People who say that “it’s all the same”, consider this: if you want to get a quote from Congress, would you prefer Sen. Chuck Schumer, like most of the ‘mainstream media’ seem to prefer, or Rep. Barbara Lee?
    THAT’S a tiny glimpse into what “we” have lost… and no billionaire ‘angel’ has come along to save. So, Rest In Peace, FSRN. We lost a truly “big-league” organization that consistently punched above its weight.
    I’d say “DON’T get over it… but rather, mourn our loss.” ^..^