Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October 1, 2014 Report To the Listener.


By the way, one of the program changes Murillo has made, so far, is to extend "Sports Qualified." When you hear such handling of phone calls as this, you have to question the wisdom of that decision. Let's hope he sees the need for drastic discontinuance of dross. So, let's hear what you think of the following phone exchange:

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I just wanted to address some statements made by the current PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert at the last two finance committee meetings. I can't speak to whether this is indulging in exaggerated rhetoric or whether there is genuinely a problem with reading spreadsheets, but I would caution that the finance committee is a place for dealing with what spreadsheets actually say, not for exaggerated comments.

None of these four statements appears at all tethered to reality, so its a problem if they are being used to make financial decisions.
1) First wacky statement:

"The Pacifica Archives is becoming as big as some of our smaller stations".

No it isn't. PRA had expenses in 2012-2014  in the $545-575K range annually. In 2015, it will be spending $91K in National Archives grant funding it received, so it might go up to $650K. 

Pacifica's smallest station is KPFT, which raises and spends $1.2-$1.3 million annually.

The correct statement is the Pacifica Archives has grown to one half the size of Pacifica's smallest station.

2) Second wacky  statement

"Pacifica has $6 million dollars less than it did before the economic crash in 2008".

No, it doesn't. It has $3 million dollars less than it did before the economic crash, including the loss of CPB funding.

In 2006, listener support was $13,6 million and total income was $16.9 million.

In 2005, listener support was $13.7 million and total income was $16.9 million.

In 2012, (you seem to have suddenly taken down the 2012 Armanino audit from the pacifica.org website), listener support was $10.8 million and total income was $13.2 million. Or if you want to use the CFO's numbers and not Armanino's, total income was $14.3 million.

Either way, that's a loss of $2.5 million to $3.5 million, not $6 million.

The correct statement is that listener support has declined by about $2 million over the past 5-7 years and combined with the loss of CPB funding, the network has about $3 million less in annual revenue. 

3) Third wacky statement

"Pacifica has $6 million dollars in unpaid bills"

Pacifica issued a balance statement with an accounts payable line on August 8th. The accounts payable line said $3.3 million.

So is the accusation being made here that the CFO missed $2.8 million dollars in bills or that another $2.8 million dollars in bills has been generated in the past 80 days?

I would suggest that if the claim is that the balance sheet issued 7 weeks ago was off by $2.5 million dollars that an accounts payable printout, preferably from Great Plains, be issued immediately to back up such a statement. As well as maybe a correct balance sheet. 
The correct statement is Pacifica has $3.3 million in unpaid bills, about 2/3 of them payable to Democracy Now. 
4) Fourth wacky statement

"Every station has laid off at least a third of their staff"
No, they haven't. WBAI certainly has. WPFW and KPFT made fairly substantial cuts in the 20-25% range of salary/benefits expense. KPA cut $375,000 in 2010, which was about 15%, but is now creeping back up over $2 million in payroll, so the net reduction is barely 10%. KPFK cut even less, about 13% and is also creeping back up to pretty much where it was a few years ago at $1.9 million a year.

                                                           Tracy

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wondered what became of Uncle Sidney Smith?

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Sidney's response on the BlueBoard:
Thanks R. Paul. Just another silent back stage assassination. We've both seen this happen too many times over the years. I suppose it was just a matter of time.

Like the accused once asked his lawyer, "...Does it help that I'm innocent?" "Well it might help down the line, but don't bring it up."

The two sides of R. Paul...


You may have read earlier posts wherein I severely criticize R. Paul Martin for his mishandling of the infamous WBAI Listener forum (AKA the Blue Board), and I am not bringing that up now to express any regrets. With his handling of that board—which he volunteered to inherit—Martin has indeed proven himself to be a peripheral Pacifican jerk. An online forum's purpose is, in large part, to encourage subject specific exchanges of opinion. That requires the exercise of free speech, which does not mean that every submitted comment must be posted, because we all know that the anonymity option inevitably encourages frivolous personal attacks and the kind of senseless disruptive behavior that we have come to know as "trolling." This is not to be confused with spamming, an often bot-based attempt to inject advertising or divert visitors to another site.

I think every blog is targeted by such intrusions, which is why most of us find it necessary to exercise an intercept option. This blog receives its share of spam, but has largely been spared the trolling. Unfortunately, I find it necessary to check each submitted comment before posting it, but the poster's name is usually all I need to see. Whether I agree with a submitted opinion, or not, is immaterial.

I bring this up, because R. Paul Martin's administration of the blue board has prevented any meaningful dialogue from taking place there. He not only selectively bars certain people from posting a comment, he sets the software to reject any submission that contains the barred person's name or handle. I am one of those people, as are Carolyn Birden and Mitchel Cohen. There are probably others, but Martin keeps his list secret. This approach is probably a major reason why that forum has stagnated.

So much for the Fascist tendencies exhibited by Mr. Martin. There is also another side to him, one that warrants applause. We heard it this morning on his "Back of the Book" show: the reading of a listener letter that is well-founded and highly critical of WBAI. R. Paul Martin not only shares the letter on the air, but makes it clear that he agrees with the criticism. This is not the first time he has done this, but I bring it up to point out the puzzling inconsistency. Here's what he aired this morning—what do you think?



One of many questions that this brought to my mind is: How can you charge many times its worth for a product, add a fee for shipping and handling, collect the money, and then not have enough money to pay the postage?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Brace yourselves!!!!

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Could be a good idea, but that depends on Guru Gallagher's approach and, in the end, on the product. Will Gallagher stick a pin in the assembled egos? Will they be taught that it's naughty to lie to listeners? Will the fundamentals of copyright laws be revealed to them? Will people actually receive the "gifts" they overpaid for? How much is Gallagher charging for this workshop?

There are several Richard Gallaghers around, I suspect this to be the one who wrote the book, "How To Tell Anyone Anything"? How to sell anyone anything?

Any questions?