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By Mara Rivera
Sometimes you will hear that the Local Station Board (LSB) has no role in programming. This is not true.
The Local Station Board is supposed to keep an eye on programming, and has done so in the past by means of the Program Council, which consisted of representatives of paid staff, unpaid staff, and listeners appointed to it by the Local Station Board. The Program Council was destroyed by our opposition, Save KPFA, which refused to reconstitute a democratically representative Program Council, but wanted it to consist of department heads (paid staff administrators) only – or none at all. They appointed a Program Director who now makes these decisions unilaterally (with the participation of her cronies). A Community Advisory Board is also mandated by the Community for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to have a role in the process.
Here’s the complete list of the powers and duties of the Local Station Board. Item G covers programming. For a indexed copy of the entire by-laws, click here.
Article Seven, Local Station Boards
Section 3: Specific Powers and Duties
Each LSB, acting as a standing committee of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, shall have the following powers, duties and responsibilities related to its specific radio station, under the direction and supervision of the Foundation’s Board of Directors:
A. To review and approve that station’s budget and make quarterly reports to the Foundation’s Board of Directors regarding the station’s budget, actual income and expenditures.
B. To screen and select a pool of candidates for the position of General Manager of its respective radio station, from which pool of approved candidates the Executive Director shall hire the station’s General Manager.. The LSB may appoint a special sub-committee for this purpose.
C. To prepare an annual written evaluation of the station’s General Manager.
D. Both the Executive Director and/or an LSB may initiate the process to fire a station General Manager. However, to effectuate it, both the Executive Director and the LSB must agree to fire said General Manager. If the Executive Director and the LSB cannot agree, the decision to terminate or retain said General Manager shall be made by the Board of Directors.
E. To screen and select a pool of candidates for the position of station Program Director, from which pool of approved candidates the station’s General Manager shall hire the station’s Program Director. The LSB may appoint a special sub-committee for this purpose.
F. To prepare an annual written evaluation of the station’s Program Director.
G. To work with station management to ensure that station programming fulfills the purposes of the Foundation and is responsive to the diverse needs of the listeners (demographic) and communities (geographic) served by the station, and that station policies and procedures for making programming decisions and for program evaluation are working in a fair, collaborative and respectful manner to provide quality programming.
H. To conduct “Town Hall” style meetings at least twice a year, devoted to hearing listeners views, needs and concerns.
I. To assist in station fundraising activities.
J. To actively reach out to underrepresented communities to help the station serve a diversity of all races, creeds, colors and nations, classes, genders and sexual orientations, and ages and to help build collaborative relations with organizations working for similar purposes.
K. To perform community needs assessments, or see to it that separate “Community Advisory Committees” are formed to do so.
L. To ensure that the station works diligently towards the goal of diversity in staffing at all levels and maintenance of a discrimination-free atmosphere in the workplace.
M. To exercise all of its powers and duties with care, loyalty, diligence and sound business judgment consistent with the manner in which those terms are generally defined under applicable California law.