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 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.



  1. What's the difference between Pacifica and a porno video? Pacifica has bigger boobs...


  2. What's the problem with Pacifica ?

    – You weren't *there*, man!

    ~ 'indigo'

    1. When people who staunchly support Lew Hill's Pacifica concept respond to its death throes with humor, you know the problem is real. In this case, it also has a cast of characters (the bozos, the boobs, the beatified), a long list that goes back several decades.