Pacifica-owned KPFT-FM Houston may hold the US record for the most violent attacks against a broadcast station. It was the target of two KKK bombings of its transmitter in the 1970s. The studios were attacked by brick-throwing youths in 2005 and last year an angry listener showed up at the door with a shotgun, but fled when told that police had been called. Now, the most recent attack on the station. Witnesses say a white car drove slowly by the studios just before 1:00 am Monday and someone fired a bullet through the studio window, missing on-air host Mary Thomas by about 18 inches.
General Manager Duane Bradley called all staffers to a meeting on security yesterday "In this climate of seemingly escalating violence, it is important for all KPFT staff and volunteers to remain vigilant and aware of the fact that KPFT has been a lightning rod numerous times during the past 37-plus years. Please know that we are taking this matter extremely seriously," he said in a statement on the station web site, which also has photos of the bullet hole in the window and a bullet casing found outside that is now in the hands of the police.
In Peoria, IL, someone early Friday shot up the transmission line of Regent’s WZPW-FM, knocking it off the air for more than a day.
RBR observation: Remember back in the 1960s when "window on the world" studios were popular? Listeners could stand on the sidewalk to watch and listen as their favorite DJ introduced the latest hit, then continue to watch as he did other exciting things, like drink a cup of coffee or smoke a cigarette. Even then some overnight jocks worried about being a brightly lit target on a nearly deserted street. Now it would be unthinkable to use such a set-up in any American city. We don’t have a solution – just an observation.