Monday, March 17, 2014

Is it Summer time again?


Memorandum --  Please distribute to staff lists immediately 

To: Pacifica,station managers, staffers and programmers
 From: Summer Reese, Executive Director, Pacifica Foundation Radio
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 11:08 AM
 Subject: Rumors

 I want to thank all of you for the work that you do everyday to keep Pacifica running.

Recently, we have experienced internal conflict between the board of directors and the executive director. I know that when these conflicts are expressed publicly, it creates a lot of organizational stress and makes it hard to concentrate on your work.
I want to assure you that I am in possession of a signed and valid contract for three years of employment from the Board of Directors and that I fully intend to complete that contract and work with all of you to make Pacifica bright and strong again.
The illegitimate actions of board members have, over the years, created a great deal of turmoil and financial stress on all of our stations and workplaces. It is time for that to come to an end.
The charges that I am going to seek hundreds of thousands dollars are ridiculous. What I am going to do is go back to work immediately and you will join me in doing so.
I deeply regret that the infighting on the board was not kept in the boardroom where it belongs.

I look forward to getting back to operating five precious and much-loved community radio stations.  Thank you.
Summer Reese
Executive Director  
Pacifica Foundation Radio
1925 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

The following was posted to Facebook by Tracy Rosenberg
This morning, the padlock on the door of 1925 Berkeley Way, the home of the national progressive radio network, Pacifica, was removed so that locked out workers could return to work. Executive Director Summer Reese, who was offered and signed a three year employment contract in January of 2014, returned to her duties this morning despite a highly-c...
As events unfold, it appears a confrontation is building at the 60-year old radio network as Reese reports disputed chair of the board Margy Wilkinson who grasped control of the chairmanship via a mis-marked ballot) and less than a month afterwards proclaimed herself the new executive director, has brought her husband to the network's headquarters and is confroting Reese and the network's national staff as they try to resume network operations.
About a dozen people are present.
Reese is reported to have said that listener-sponsored station KPFA next door, has refused to release their books which are in a state of disarray, unreconciled since October of 2012 and with tens of thousands of dollars in event income unaccounted for.
One of the bones of contention between Reese and the board has been a chief financial officer hired by the board, who Reese believed to be concealing information, and who was “rehired” by the rogue board after his dismissal on January 2.
Another bone of contention is the stated desire of several board members associated with the coup to sell the license of New York station WBAI. There are unconfirmed rumors of unofficial negotiations between the officers of the new board and a corporate media outlet, although the full board has not been informed.

Here's a link to what Wilkerson-supporting "SaveKPFA" published online today, March 17, 2014.


  1. Like was said some time ago - there are two factions, bad and worse. Anyway now, having figured out how to work the Sirius radio in my car, I find that I'm listening to BAI a lot less now, and I can get KCR and NYC (not great but at least proffesional sounding) on my portable radio so why should I listen to endless Null / Blosdale infomercials.

  2. Funny, how that sociopathic, manipulative, windbag won't take no for an answer! A rat in the grain elevator! A cockroach in the dry cereal box! What does Pacifica have to offer, that is worth so much more than her 105K/yr salary, that she can sue for it's full three years worth under wrongful termination of a contract? But what do you expect from someone, who used to participate in a tax avoidance scam, that pandered to the self-serving extremists and con men, who do not abide by our system of laws, or by any rules for that matter (so-called sovereign citizen movement). What do Pacifica listener supporters have, that folks like Summer Reese and Gary Null are willing to forgo their pride and their self-respect, their honesty and sense of honor, that they will fight for their spot in Pacifica the way swine fight for the slot in the feeding through! Could it be for the power to grant access to the audience of the Pacifica listener-supporters those retired people, mostly urban teachers and social workers, who keep shelling out their pension funds, of which they never have enough of, for the inflated premiums of doubtful validity that BAI/Pacifica markets? Could it be the power to offer up Pacifica listener-sponsors to snake oil salesmen?

    Reese keeps insisting on keeping internal politics secret, so as to hide all the potential corruption and conflict of interests, but it is like I always say - the less you tell me about yourself, when I am talking to you, the worse I assume about you. If you tell me a lie, I assume that you do it for the worst possible motive, until I can determine otherwise. If there was GLASTNOST, or transparency, at the BAI/Pacifica, I could give credit where it's due, and maybe even respect Reese for decisions that she makes, but in the absence of it, I can only assume that Reese is the opportunist of the worst sort.

  3. Good point about transparency.
    While my gut tells me Reese's performance is more a result of inexperience/incompetence than maleficence it's impossible to have more than a "hunch". And the opposition can make their case sound OK too.
    So I as a listener/potential supporter is left to assume they're both crooks and anything I donate is likely to be wasted/stolen.
    (As far as I know Sidney and the other ex-WBAI employees still haven't received their severance even though the funds were supposedly sent to Pacifica...)

    1. That delinquent severance check should have been rushed to the former employees. Reimers and co. haven't wasted any time making the announcement.

      I still would like to know what happened to the Apple products raffles...did the station ever acquire the products...were there actual winners? Was it just pushed under the rug, like so many other things?

      I agree that there are so many conflicting, yet plausible stories and accusations going around that listener-supporters would do well to abstain at this time. Money has been known to evaporate as readily as the best of intentions.

  4. Except for KPFT where there is appropriate and accountable leadership, Pacifica and its stations have become little more than a bunch of dysfunctional clubs, people talking only to themselves and organizing in concentric circular firing squads.

    Except for Democracy Now -- which is an independent production distributed by Pacifica -- the organization no longer moves the meter in the progressive movement or in the communities it serves. It is an organization mostly governed by grudge-bearers and bedwetters.

    Watch a whole new level of fighting erupt when there's a ton of cash sloshing around after a bankruptcy judge forces the sale of NYC's 99.5 FM.

    1. I would disagree with you about Democracy NOw. Amy Goodman programming when she covers environment is great yes and also issues around prisons yes I would say she is progressive. But I don't feel that way when she covers foreign affairs. She often sounds like CNN to me or MSNBC. Which I believe is because she is taking funding from some right wing foundations that promote war. Also I remind you that it was the phony coop of 2000
      that instituted the board governership and elections which has helped to bankrupt pacifica. And that coop was helped and orchestrated by a large part Any Goodman and Bernard White.