Secret Plot Revealed to Hijack Pacifica’s Broadcast Licenses & Assets

Documents registered with the California Secretary of State for a private “foundation” called the “KPFA Foundation seem to be part of a conspiracy by “SaveKPFA” insiders to gain total control of KPFA (under the guise of protecting KPFA) and to “capture” its license in the event of Pacifica’s dissolution. Further, it appears to be an attempt to privatize the Pacifica Foundation for the benefit of a few instead of the many. These documents were recently uncovered by Pacifica’s National Board (PNB) Secretary Janet Kobren, a United for Community Radio (UCR) candidate and whistleblower.KPFA_Foundation

Here’s what was revealed:
In September 2013, PNB director, former PNB chair/interim Executive Director (iED) Margy Wilkinson registered the above named shadow corporation with the California Secretary of State at the address of Siegel & Yee, the law firm of former PNB director and current Pacifica legal counsel Dan Siegel. They kept this information hidden from the KPFA listeners, the Local Station Board (LSB) and the Pacifica National Board (PNB) until its discovery only recently.

In addition to usurping Pacifica’s trademarked “KPFA” call letters, this shadow corporation also adopted Pacifica’s Articles of Incorporation that includes its Mission Statement. When asked to explain, Siegel and Wilkinson admitted that they created this shadow corporation to acquire the licenses and assets of Pacifica (estimated to be worth more than $100 million) in case Pacifica went bankrupt and/or was taken over by creditors or the government.

The establishment of this covert “KPFA Foundation” raises the question of whether some of the decisions Wilkinson made when overseeing Pacifica’s finances during her tenure as interim ED contributed to the current disastrous financial state of the Pacifica Foundation and its stations. What might be considered gross ineptitude was so systematic that it appears to be an intentional attempt to bankrupt Pacifica and its stations, in order to gain control of KPFA from Pacifica via the “KPFA Foundation”  At the very least, this constitutes a severe conflict of interest and ethical violation by Wilkinson and Siegel.

How does this relate to the KPFA Local Station Board election?

Your Vote Matters (photo credit below)

Your Vote Matters (photo credit below)

As a KPFA member, your vote will elect members to the KPFA LSB. This board not only sets policy for KPFA, it also selects four of its members to sit on Pacifica’s National Board. Right now, the Siegel-Wilkinson “Save KPFA” faction has a majority of KPFA’s seats on this board. This election can overturn the “Save KPFA” majority of seats on the board and enable the new local and national boards to block their plan to hijack Pacifica’s licenses. “Save KPFA’s” Brian Edwards-Tiekert’s recent motion to get the KPFA LSB to overstep its powers and ratify the creation of thesecret “KPFA Foundation” was stopped by UCR LSB members. But it could still be approved if the LSB majority stays the same in this election.
The United for Community Radio (UCR) candidates are committed to doing everything in their power to block “Save KPFA” from dismantling KPFA and Pacifica and walking away with KPFA’s licenses and assets.

     HELP PACIFICA REMAIN INTACT ~
RESCUE KPFA
~  VOTE FOR THE UCR 9

————

“Your Vote Matters” photo by Brooke Anderson from a rally for the Right to a Roof / El Derecho al Techo in Santa Rosa, California, Summer 2015.

 

Program Council at KPFA

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KPFA PROGRAM COUNCIL —

What is it? Why is it important? What did it do? Where did it come from? Why should I care that it is gone?

[Written c. 2009, still relevant today!]

The Program Council (or programming committee) at KPFA has existed since the 1970’s – over 35 years. [45 in 2015.] During that time, its been composed of managers for the departments of public affairs, news, music and arts and humanities, representatives of the hundreds of unpaid programmers, often elected under the supervision of the Unpaid Staff Organization (UPSO) and at various times, technical and operations staff, managers from the apprenticeship program, local board members and listener representatives.

At times it has been facilitated by a program director or coordinator, and sometimes by someone else in the group chosen by the members. The author of this piece served in that role from 2004 to 2007 as a listener representative.

Birthed in the mobilizations of the 60’s and 70’s that demanded a meaningful place at the table for the perspectives of marginalized groups (and created at KPFA a Women’s Desk, a Third World Center, and the Unpaid Staff Organization itself), the program council had the philosophy that collaborative decision making about programming was healthy and desirable for a voice of dissent and resistance. Protected by a confidentiality agreement that allowed staff, volunteers and later listener reps to talk candidly about their programming visions and critiques, the program council always played an important role in airing and discussing contentious issues. During the many years the station lacked a program director (including the years 2000 to 2006), the program council took on much of the responsibility for non-emergency decision-making.

Some of the things accomplished in that period of time:schedule

(In the same interval of time – the only programs added to the schedule by management policy were Against The Grain, Sundays with Peter Laufer (since canceled) and imported programs from New York (Behind The News) and LA (Uprising).

  • Evaluated 2/3 of the current programs with a thorough 5 page evaluation form and programmer briefing
  • Developed a program proposal process for new additions to the grid from community members, processed over 40 demos, interviewed the programmers and developed a waiting list of approved programs.
  • Attempted to implement a contract basis for programming where individual programs would sign an agreement for a program slot for a contained period of time (until the next evaluation – projected for 2 years apart).

(Current system is indefinite until programmer voluntarily relinquishes a slot or is taken abruptly off the air; examples: Youth Radio, Peter Laufer)

The program council couldn’t always solve every contentious issue. In 2003, it was temporarily dissolved when its decision to move Democracy Now! from its current airing time of 6 am and 9 am to one daily 7 am airing failed to be implemented by station management.

When the program council was re-assembled, the Local Station Board passed a motion affirming the decision making power given to it.  It also made a highly controversial decision to place a one year moratorium on new proposals from a group called the Labor Collective.

In 2006, after a long interval without a full-time Program Director, KPFA finally assigned an interim person to the position. Unfortunately, the results were:

  • Suspension of meetings from April 2007 to October 2007
  • Unilateral reduction of meetings from weekly to bi-weekly
  • A statement that the program council was advisory only,
  • Removal of program proposals for long and short-term programs from the review of the council
  • Jettisoning of the approved program waiting list that had been created after the program council slogged through a backload of 20+ proposals between 2004 and 2005
  • Replacement of the established evaluation process with a one-page Survey Monkey online survey.

This is not what the unpaid staff organized, fought and went on strike for in 1970’s

This is not what the listeners envisioned when so many of them marched to protect KPFA in 1999.

KPFA is not to be encompassed by any one single person’s vision. The delivery of the mission depends on many perspectives being brought to bear and on sharing experiences, building understanding and resolving differences. If we cannot do that within our own community and build collaborative working groups, how can we hope to do so out in the world?

All the stakeholders sitting down and hashing out the best way to put the 59,000 watts into service for peace and justice. That’s the mission.

by Tracy Rosenberg, Media Alliance

 

     2015 Postscript – To date the Program Council has not been reinstated because the SaveKPFA majority on the Local Station Board rejected a democratically-constituted Program Council, as existed before. They preferred one dominated by department heads, which would hardly function as a democratic Council, dedicated to community programming.

“SaveKPFA” Squanders $600 Thousand Bucks

by Adrienne Lauby

Something remarkable happened earlier this year.   Two devoted KPFA listeners made bequests to KPFA in their wills totaling nine hundred and fifty-eight thousand dollars — nearly a million greenbacks. While these unexpected gifts allowed our sister station KPFT to finally replace their failing transmitter and made some improvements in KPFA’s building, most of the money vanished down a rabbit hole in routine salary expenses.2678453389_b997dd3496

It was remarkable to have such generous gifts. It was also remarkable that the SaveKPFA-led governing board allowed the money to disappear so quickly.

Here’s the details.

An Unrealistic Budget

The local station board adopted KPFA’s 2015 budget a year ago in the fall of 2014.   In what has become a yearly ritual, United for Community Radio board member, Janet Kobren, criticized the budget as unrealistic. The Save KPFA board members, as usual, claimed that the budget was reasonable because the projected expenses would be covered by an increase in fund drive income.

Why, one asks, was it reasonable when, KPFA subscriber numbers are decreasing? In only three years, KPFA’s subscriber numbers have dropped by 1800 individuals. And, what was the projection based on, given that fund drive numbers have dropped consistently over the last decade?

With the strong Save KPFA majority, the board passed the budget with the anticipated fantasy income intact.

That budget was again questioned when it went to the Pacifica National Board for approval.   The National Finance Committee asked the same questions that were asked by Janet Kobren on the local level. With several stations in the network unable to meet a payroll in the previous year and facing other financial problems, the Finance Committee wasn’t in the mood for fantasies. They said that KPFA’s income projections were over-estimated by at least $250 thousand dollars (1) and told General Manager Quincy McCoy to make cuts to bring that figure down.

Standard budget practices are contentious at KPFA. Generally, an organization makes its budget carefully, setting out the expenses it knows it can meet, and happily accommodating any additional money in a quarterly budget review process.

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At KPFA, most of the expenses are fixed. There’s no wiggle room in the electric bill and license fees, and only four managers do the administration and engineering work of a 300 person staff.  To stay within amount of money donated by the listeners, KPFA would have to lay off some of its union staff members.  Under SaveKPFA’s board majority and union leadership, this has become an unthinkable taboo.

The Bequests

Near the beginning of the year, $958 thousand in unexpected bequest income was greeted with great pleasure. For one thing, it alleviated General Manager Quincy McCoy’s immediate problem. As I said, the national board had told him to make cuts and later added that any cuts should include management. In addition, McCoy knew that after the spring fund drive, it would be obvious he didn’t have the cash to make his payroll.

McCoy knew that layoffs that would be greeted with a storm of public criticism and perhaps even the outright rebellion faced by former Pacifica Executive Director, Arlene Engelhardt, when she ordered tough cuts to save KPFA from bankruptcy in 2010. Nevertheless, McCoy began union negotiations to make the necessary cuts.

When news of the unexpected bequests arrived, McCoy not only cancelled the union negotiations but also cancelled two fund drives.   Save KPFA’s board members and staff representatives tacitly agreed with him. McCoy went on air to proclaim the fund drive cancellation and many paid staff members also made triumphant on-air announcements. They all spoke in glowing terms about “KPFA’s promise to the listeners” claiming that KPFA had cancelled the summer drive because listeners had asked for it.

There was a vague thank you for those who include KPFA in their wills in an announcement encouraging more listeners to leave some of their cash to KFPA. But, no one made it clear that the summer fund drive was cancelled because of the generosity and love of two deceased listeners.

This emotional manipulation of KPFA’s listeners hit a new propaganda low in the station that claims to “tell truth to power.”

How the Money was Spent

General manager, Quincy McCoy presented his plans for spending the money to the local station board after that spending was in progress. United for Community Radio representatives reminded the board that it is their responsibility to set budgets and asked that there be a discussion with Mr. McCoy about his plans for the money.   The SaveKPFA majority did not agree and managed the meetings to keep such a discussion off the agenda.

Here’s numbers the General Manager gave to the local board (rounded to the nearest hundred):

$119,000 help for other stations in the network2
$110,250 building improvements (carpeting, elevator repair, painting)

$30,000 new membership software
$223,400 routine payments (National Office and Pacifica Archives)3
$350,000 salaries4

$134,500 lost income due to cancelled fund drives

In short, only $260 thousand dollars of these incredible gifts were spent on one-time expenses and improvements.  $573 thousand dollars were frittered away on expenses that should have been covered by KPFA’s usual fundraising.

A Missed Opportunity

It’s fairly standard financial practice to sequester unexpected and large gifts.   It’s Bookkeeping 101 that large gifts should not be used for routine expenses.  To use gifts to push tough decisions down the road creates an unrealistic expectation that expenses can and will remain high.  It’s far better to make the tough decisions based on the routine income and use the major money for something that will strengthen the organization over the long haul.

Here’s a few things this money was NOT used for:

  1. A major outreach effort to new, more diverse and younger audiences.
  2. An improvement in KPFA’s digital and social media presence in order to connect with audiences who are migrating to wireless and web devices.
  3. A revamp of the program grid with new programs, hosts and formats.
  4. Remodeling work on the crumbling and currently uninhabitable property owned by KPFA on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Berkeley Way.

These projects, many of them proposed as no-brainers by multiple listeners and staff members, have been on the back burner for years. Managers haven’t been able to find the money and staff time to spearhead anything beyond the next payroll.

Large gifts should be used for large projects, items that can’t be funded with the usual income. They should be used to initiate well-planned projects that might develop greater income, larger audience or be of use to listeners over the long haul. Naturally, most organizations are tempted to use an unexpected gift to relieve some immediate or chronic stress. But generations of bookkeepers and accountants have taught us that is the fast road to regret. If an organization receives a large gift, it should leave something tangible in place when it is gone.

Under Save KPFA and Quincy McCoy’s watch, these lessons have yet to be learned. Next year, unless more generous and devoted people die, KPFA will return to the grind of one fund drive after another, with the energy of paid and unpaid staff alike tied up in, (have I said this enough?) an unsustainable level of staffing.

10-18-15

  1. Link to National Finance Committee meeting.  Begin listening at 9:40 to hear the resolution.
  2.  $100 thousand was loaned to KPFT in Houston who had been operating at 30-50% of its authorized power (100 kilowatts) for almost three years in order to stay on the air despite a failing transmitter. This money allowed them to make the replacement.  Approx. $19 thousand was loaned to WBAI to help them meet an immediate legal obligation.   It’s unlikely either loan will be repaid.
  3. KPFA’s obligations to pay a share of the national Pacifica office cost as well as support the Pacifica Archives are anticipated expenses that should be covered in routine fund drive income.
  4. Salaries ($350 thousand). This figure was called a 3-month reserve but it will be, obviously, a reserve that is quickly spent.

 

photo credit: Money via photopin (license)  

photo credit: Pay Bills via photopin (license)

“Save KPFA” Supports Union Busting at KPFK

broken Transmitter towerSave KPFA’s current Pacifica National Board member Margy Wilkinson was elected to chair the national board.  As part of that position, she stepped in to serve as the Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation when there was no one serving as the E.D.   This summer, in the weeks immediately before John Proffitt took over the job, Wilkinson appointed Lesley Radford, a long time SaveKPFA ally, to the job of General Manager at KPFK, our sister station in Los Angeles. 

Radford, although faced with a nearly impossible task, massively bumbled her dealings with the KPFK union and set off a staff rebellion.  To date, neither Wilkinson or Save KPFA have severed their support for Radford.  In fact, another central Save KPFA member, Dan Siegel continues to advise Radford.

KPFK Management’s Anti-Union Tactics

  • Management cut all the union staff working over 50% to 50% pay.
  • They gave the staff less than two weeks’ notice before their pay cut took effect.
  • SAG-AFTRA said the pay cut was breaking the contract. KPFK management refused to talk to or negotiate with SAG-AFTRA. The matter went directly to arbitration.
  • Management made no arrangements to cut the staff workloads and to address the critical needs of running a radio station.
  • KPFK management said that the staff would be eligible for the Cal Works program. It was discovered later that when KPFK management made that statement KPFK was not eligible for the Cal Works program. Management claimed the union did not sign off on it. Management had not sent it to the union for their signature when they made that statement. KPFK management has, as of Monday, still not put through the paperwork in order for the staff to receive this benefit from the state.
  • KPFKManagement is using volunteers for some of the union positions.
  • There is still a discrepancy about:

– Seniority pay
-Pension funds owed

   It seems management is contesting these monies; management is anticipating litigation over these monies.

  • KPFK/Pacifica collected the union dues from staff salaries as usual – but for the previous six months did not send those monies to the union. SAG-AFTRA could have kicked our staff out of the union but did not. It is not known if those funds have since been paid to SAG-AFTRA.
  • At least one staff member, with a critical position – the webmaster – was terminated with no reason given. Web donations are somewhere between $150,000-$200,000 a year.
  • The union host, although offering to work 100% for 50% pay, had her show cut and half her days given to volunteers.
  • The subscriptions manager and person who runs ours fund drives, also a shop steward, is or was in the hospital; cause unknown. Management claimed Tues night at the finance meeting it was not work related.
  • The other person now out sick was not a union person. It is not known if she is or was in the hospital but claimed exhaustion for overwork due to filling in to replace the subscriptions manager for the fund drive.
  • Due to these two absences, KPFK’s GM cannot verify any of the fund drive tallies and can only guess at an overall total to date.
  • Save KPFA member, Dan Siegel, is advising KPFK’s GM in these matters against the SAG-AFTRA union staff.

Suggested question to ask Save KPFA folks:

Do you condemn the CURRENT regime’s extensive union – busting tactics at KPFK?

The massive cutbacks and layoffs, all done without any union negotiating was just the start. There are over half a dozen union grievances that have been filed and arbitration on all these complaints is set to happen during the first weeks of November. Add to that the intimidation and hostile tactics to intimidate the staff and you have classic union busting that Walmart would be proud of.  

A KPFK Staffer

 

10-21-15

Source: KPFK Staff

 

Union Activists Endorse United for Community Radio

The folks at SaveKPFA seem to say that anyone who opposes their ideas are union busters. Although it’s a knee-jerk response on their part, it’s a serious charge.

Read this for a comprehensive explanation of the union dynamics at KPFA, Historical Analysis: KPFA’s Working Majority Gets Screwed by CWA Job Trust.

Brief Summary:  Both paid and unpaid staff were represented by United Electrical Workers (UE). UEDue to machinations, the paid staff formed a union that excluded the unpaid staff. Now, KPFA has staff that are paid to be at the station, and are represented by a union, and are allowed to participate on the Local Station Board. That is too much control in the hands of too few.

Read recent strong criticism of Save KPFA for union busting at KPFK, our sister station in Los Angeles.

Union Supporters of UCR.  Here’s some of the union stalwarts who have endorsed United for Community Radio:

Jack Heyman, Executive board member International Longshore and Warehouse union Local 10 (retired) and chair of the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee

Mary Prophet, Member – KPFA Community Advisory Board; Steering Committee – US Labor Against the War; Delegate – Alameda County Central Labor Council; Past Chair – California Teacher’s Association Peace & Justice Caucus

Marsha Feinland, former Berkeley Rent Board member, California Teachers’ Association honored union activist

Wendel HarperMichael-David Sasson, Former President, Coalition of University Employees (CUE), Local #3, (now part of IBT #2010)

Ramses Teon Nichols, Vice President of Organizing, SEIU Local 1021, Local Station Board member from the United For Community Radio slate in 2012.

Francis Grinnon,  Communication Workers of America, Local 9415, former Vice-President, Retired Members Council

Laurence Shoup, author, Wall Street’s Think Tank, Rulers and Rebels, and other books, former member, Alameda Central Labor Council

Richard Stone,  Delegate, S.F. Labor Council;  member, Save Mid-town (San Francisco)

Dave Welsh, San Francisco Labor Council delegate; retired letter carrier, longtime executive vice president fo Golden Gate Branch 214 of the Letter Carriers Union;  helped protect union jobs from the privatization effort which was the context of the successful struggle to stop the sale of the Berkeley Post Office.  

Noelle Hanrahan, Director, Prison Radio, former KPFA programmer and union steward

A quick list of our endorsers tells the larger story.  These people are often active in union issues.  They, and the United for Community Radio candidates, know how important vibrant unions are to the crucial progressive issues we work on.

Save KPFA’s “Principles” vs Reality

Click here to see this article in an easy to read table.

By Mara Rivera

Here’s SaveKPFA’s statement of principles 2015, with rebuttals:

WHAT SAVE KPFA SAYS:  Protect local control. 
 In 2014, Save KPFA led the effort that put KPFA back under the control of locally-hired management for the first time in 5 years — resulting in the recruitment of a talented General Manager, and a permanent Program Director hired by, and accountable to, KPFA’s elected local board.

4906011803_80a410f20fTHE REALITY:  Control the Station.  The Executive Director of Pacifica and sometimes the Pacifica National Board make the final decision on KPFA’s General Manager hires, out of a pool chosen by the Local Station Board (see next answer).  Pacifica is the parent organization of the 5 stations, holds the license and provides oversight.  The paid staff, Save KPFA, and its previous incarnations like Concerned Listeners, have driven out most of KPFA’s General Managers for not agreeing with them 100%.

WHAT SAVE KPFA SAYS: Ensure high-quality, progressive programming
. In 2010, Save KPFA campaigned to reverse Pacifica’s cancellation of KPFA’s most listened-to local program, The Morning Show;in 2012, we supported the launch of UpFront, restoring local programming to KPFA’s morning lineup.


4906011803_80a410f20fTHE REALITY: 
Protect Unsustainable Budgets.  In 2010 Pacifica’s Executive Director had to step in because Concerned Listeners / Save KPFA were bankrupting the station by not cutting paid staff hours as all the 5 stations had been ordered to do 2-3 years before. Shortfalls in fundraising made these cuts necessary and obvious. Because most station expenses are fixed, wages are the only significant place to balance the budget. The Morning Show staff members were low on the seniority list and, according to the union contract, had to be laid off first. Save KPFA created a huge fuss on the airwaves, in e-mails and in complaints to the National Labor Relations Board. They lied to the listeners that the layoffs were politically motivated and deceived hundreds of listeners into hating Pacifica and opposing the layoffs.
When paid staff refused to replace the laid-off Morning Show workers, volunteers stepped up to do the programming, creating the Morning Mix, much of it focused on local matters. Recently, the Save KPFA forces displaced these volunteers with a crony.

WHAT SAVE KPFA SAYS:   Support staff and volunteers.  Save KPFA led the successful fight to reverse Pacifica’s 2011 hiring of the nation’s top union-busting law firm; Save KPFA members have also raised money to update aging equipment in KPFA’s studios, and established a training fund for volunteer staff in KPFA’s budget.

4906011803_80a410f20fTHE REALITY: 
Raise False Claims – Undercut Unpaid Staff.  That firm was hired for its expertise dealing with a previous harassment lawsuit, not any labor issue. We run on listener support, not faction-related funding of anyone’s favorites. No individual faction can claim credit for fund drive totals. Save KPFA does not value volunteers and trainees (unless they’re part of their faction), and pushes “professionalism” (paid staff). One of their most celebrated supporters, Larry Bensky, referred to volunteer programmers as “monkeys.”  Years ago, this group destroyed union coverage for the unpaid staff by switching to CWA, a union which would not represent unpaid staff. The former union United Electrical Workers (UE) had covered both paid and unpaid staff for many years.  Save KPFA later attempted to destroy the Unpaid Staff Organization (UPSO), which the volunteer staff organized as a substitute. Most of KPFA’s programs and 70% or more of staff are unpaid volunteers.

wrongway

WHAT SAVE KPFA SAYS:   Transparency and accountability from Pacifica
.  Save KPFA’s representatives on the Pacifica National Board are part of a new majority that has begun issuing regular financial statements for the first time in nearly three years, dramatically shrunk Pacifica’s deficit (from -$2.8 million in 2013 to a small surplus in the 12 months ending in June 2015), and rationalized (and lowered) the dues that stations like KPFA pay to Pacifica’s national office.

4906011803_80a410f20fTHE REALITY: 
Incompetence and Lack of Accountability.  The statement above is an egregious lie.  The SaveKPFA-dominated station board has allowed the KPFA General Manager whom they got hired and KPFA’s business manager to get away with producing unrealistic income and expense figures for the required yearly budgets. They have not held the business manager accountable for her tardiness in producing necessary audit material for the national office accounting department to complete the FY2013 and FY2014 audits in a timely manner, as required by non-profit corporate law and CPB. This gross incompetence only adds to the potential bankruptcy of KPFA and the Pacifica Network.


Some wonder if it is actually intentional, part of an attempt to grab the station for themselves (see KPFA Foundation argument below). The “three years” were three of their years in the majority on the KPFA board, with their incompetent financial officers and management

On a national level, Pacifica lost 2 million dollars in Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funding because it did not keep up with required record keeping, among other things. This might have contributed to the California State Attorney General doing a documents audit this year (although the AG office is responsible for overseeing non-profits and probably should have done one sooner}. And there is a possibility that our auditors will refuse to renew their contract with Pacifica.


We have discovered that members of the faction have secretly set up a shadow corporation, the “KPFA Foundation”, which they say is to “catch” KPFA in case of bankruptcy – which they are seemingly trying to achieve in any way and as fast as possible!

This is why we urgently need you to vote them out now!

 

WHAT SAVE KPFA SAYS:   Experiment with new shows; expand into new platforms. Under SaveKPFA leadership, KPFA budgeted for, and carried out, a re-design of its website that makes it more accessible on mobile devices–which is where more and more radio listeners are turning to get their favorite shows.  KPFA has also started using its second signal, KPFB, to pilot 20 hours of programming per week from new, energetic producers. 

4906011803_80a410f20fTHE REALITY:  Dominate the Airwaves.  The website was vastly neglected for years, under Save KPFA’s watch.  Although flashy, the new website is cumbersome to navigate and a memory hog.  Save KPFA disempowered the former democratically-representative Program Council, which once chose new programming and evaluated all programming.  Instead, they choose new programs by hiring their cronies. They have spoken out against and even censored local, radical, youth, Black, and investigative programming, while claiming the Local Station Board has no role in in programming (but see the Bylaws, Section 7, Article 3, Item G* – below). The new programming at KPFB was created by one staff member and the many apprentices and former apprentices who produce programming there.

WHAT SAVE KPFA SAYS:   Reform Pacifica’s Byzantine Governance System.  We believe Pacifica’s acrimonious boards have generated many of its problems. Save KPFA participated in cross-factional dialogue talks this year, and now endorses the Pacifica Unity Pledge, which commits us to participating in a network-wide consensus-building process with the goal of making Pacifica’s governance system simpler, effective, smaller, and calmer. 

4906011803_80a410f20fTHE REALITY:   Calm By Suppression.  The “acrimonious board” meetings are a result of Save KPFA’s blocking of any governance and positive change by the Local Station Boards.  SaveKPFA always votes for a hands-off policy regarding management decisions, claiming the board must not “micro-manage” the General Manager.  Their actions show they believe that boards have no right to govern, only the paid staff, as they have often said.  (The “acrimony” is the slim minority of United for Community Radio board members and allies fighting to strengthen the station, network, and democratic governance. Democratic governance may be imperfect but it’s our only hope for real community programming and a range of real progressive opinions on the air.

——-

*under LSB duties: their role in programming   — From the Pacifica Bylaws, Section 7, Article 3 , Item 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

(Note: The Save KPFA faction has maintained that the Local Station Board’s main or even sole function is fund raising – which may be true of corporate boards of directors, but not that of a democratically-run Pacifica.)

photo credit: This Way via photopin (license)