Pacifica agrees to loan for paying Empire State debt

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The board of the Pacifica Foundation voted Thursday to finalize a loan to pay debt owed to the Empire State Realty Trust for the transmitter of WBAI in New York City.

The network will use the building that houses KPFK in Los Angeles as collateral for the $2.1 million loan, according to a board report from Thursday’s closed session meeting. The loan was financed by a group of KPFK supporters.

It’s unclear whether the loan will fully cover Pacifica’s debt to ESRT, according to Bill Crosier, Pacifica’s interim executive director. Crosier said he hopes the network will be able to repay the debt in full as soon as next week.

A judgment in October ordered the network to pay $1.8 million to ESRT. The board plans to take on a second loan later this year to pay off the loan finalized Thursday and other debts the foundation owes.

In addition to finalizing the loan, the board voted Thursday to hire Tom Livingston as interim executive director. Livingston, owner of the public radio consulting business Livingston Associates and a longtime public radio executive, begins in the role this week, Crosier said.

Livingston will replace Crosier, who was in the position on a volunteer basis.

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