Sunday, August 30, 2015

Union disunion


SAG-AFTRA Union Takes Pacifica Into Arbitration
 Alleging Bust of Collective Bargaining Agreement

Berkeley - On Thursday, the SAG-AFTRA labor union filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association. The union stated to its members their position that Pacifica is in ongoing violation of the collective bargaining agreement. The Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Radio and Television Artists represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Three of Pacifica's  four unionized stations are represented by SAG-AFTRA, one in Berkeley by the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the Houston station remains non-unionized. 

Pacifica is attempting to lay off three workers at KPFK (the webmaster, film club coordinator and a development assistant), reduce all other workers to 50% time for at least the next four months and "reorganize" the staff for the following budgetary year with new job descriptions and work schedules. This recording is from the staff meeting where Margy Wilkinson-appointed general manager Leslie Radford announced the layoffs and reductions to the workers.

The layoffs were handled klutzily by Radford, with one employee not finding out they were laid off until 4 days after the staff meeting, and incorrect job titles listed on layoff letters. The union also has taken umbrage at Pacifica's suggestion that it authorize supplementary unemploy-
ment checks for still-employed union members, a program that PNB treasurer and Upfront host Brian Edwards-Tiekert has used to supplement his own paycheck since 2011 through at least mid-2014 and possibly into 2015.

Both GM Radford and ED John Profitt have stated they relied on advice from Bay Area attorney Dan Siegel regarding the implementation of the layoffs and work reductions at the KPFK division. Siegel, along with former IED Margy Wlkinson, incorporated the KPFA Foundation clandestinely in 2013 to capture one or more of Pacifica's broadcast licenses in the event of organizational breakup.

SAG-AFTRA's resort to litigation against Pacifica was probably abetted by Pacifica's inability to present a coherent set of accounting records. On Tuesday night, the national finance committee made confused noises about an income statement, complete with 24 pie charts, presented by the controller that showed the KPFK unit with a $182,00 net profit for the current fiscal year and the 501c3 with a $959,000 net profit for the current fiscal year. You can listen to part of the meeting here.

The gist of the confusing explanation offered, both at the meeting and in a series of emails that flew around the network afterwards, went something like this: "After the temporary KPFK bookkeeper was terminated for embezzling on or around August 13th, the former CFO Raul Salvador, now consulting, was sent in and then most, but not all, of the station's April and May income was double-booked into the KPFK general ledger, income which had already been recorded before, presumably in April and May. The controller, formerly Salvador's subordinate and seemingly now his boss, issued financial reports based on that ledger, whose accuracy he was unable to assess because no bank reconciliations had been performed at KPFK in the last year".


KPFK is reported to have paid $46,000 in the first 9 months of the year for temporary bookkeeping services. This sound clip features Leslie Radford telling station staff about the embezzling at KPFK.

Former ED Summer Reese commented in a public list-serv: "During my tenure, the former National Office Controller, her childhood friend from the Philippines the current controller, his wife, his cousin the former KPFK Business Manager, and his former employee in the Philippines Pacifica's last CFO, were all separated from Pacifica. The books were literally millions of dollars out of whack when I took the helm.  After my termination, some of these separated individuals were obviously brought back for reasons that can only cause speculation".

Pacifica's board elections continue to be in a state of limbo, more than a year after they were supposed to be held by board resolution. One half of the local and national board members have overstayed their elected board terms by 20 months, and the other half will end their elected terms on December 15, 2015, rendering the whole structure illegitimate in about 100 days. After soliciting 100+ board candidates and hiring six election supervisors, Pacifica did not remit a $25,000 postage deposit earlier this month and has provided no revised schedule for the commencement of the election. The rogue Siegel/Brazon faction in control of the national board has taken no corrective action.

In the meantime, staff candidates not aligned with the majority faction, have experienced targeting with WBAI staff candidate Mitchel Cohen removed from his unpaid volunteer coordinator position and KPFK staff candidate Ali Lexa picked as the only full-time KPFK employee to be immediately laid off. Cohen is a former WBAI LSB chair and the lead plaintiff in 2008's Cohen vs Pacifica election fraud lawsuit. Lexa, the LA station's webmaster, was the first place winner in KPFK's staff elections in 2006 and 2009, and served on the Pacifica National Board for a year in 2012. Another LA staff candidate, music director Maggie Le Pique, has had her position eliminated on paper in GM Radford's 2016 staffing plan. Radford was an ardent member of the Siegel-Brazon faction during her local and national board terms.

Pacifica's audit lead, Grant Lam at Armanino LLC set off a firestorm when he informed the former chair of Pacifica's audit committee on August 25th that no work had been done to date on Pacifica's 2014 audit, which was due to California's Attorney General and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting two months ago on June 30. Pacifica took approximately $50,000 from KPFA at the end of July to "immediately start the audit" which was claimed to be delayed because Pacifica could not pay the balance due from the last year's audit, the most expensive in Pacifica's history. Lam's email, which was so lackadasical it barely acknowledged the "emergency payment" had been made, caused many to conclude that perhaps the payment hadn't been made (it was), but did confirm  a month has passed with no work completed on the overdue audit, marking the second consecutive year Pacifica has been delinquent on the legally required state filing. FCC attorney John Crigler confirmed the network will be unable to secure any of $2.2 million dollars in public media funding Pacifica has been unable to collect due to audit delinquency.

KPFT director Bob Mark, a new 2015 addition to the board of directors who is not aligned with the Siegel/Brazon faction, was mystified and saddened when his simple request that new CFO candidates be asked during the interview process what they would do to address Pacifica's problems with getting bank accounts reconciled and audits completed in a timely manner, was voted down. PNB chair Lydia Brazon's tangled explanations for why Pacifica's CFO has no responsibility for the network's financial recordkeeping and Mark's pained comments as the Siegel/Brazon faction closes ranks on him, has to be heard to be believed.

Five years ago, PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert and the Berkeley wing of the Siegel/Brazon faction spread accusations of "unionbusting" against  Pacifica far and wide after layoffs were imposed following a two year loss by KPFA of $1.1 million dollars. Flyers such as this archived copy of "What Is Unionbusting" were posted on websites at savekpfa and kpfaworker. The Siegel/Brazon faction and Edwards-Tiekert specifically, castigated Pacifica as "unionbusters" because they would not accept a "sustainable budget" proposal that among other features proposed 1) giving the Berkeley station three years to pay back its network services debt to Pacifica 2) shifting elderly union workers to Medicare 3) asking stations that replay programming produced at KPFA to pay the production costs (KPFA now broadcasts Uprising from KPFK every morning and does not contribute to its production costs) and 4) chopping from the top i.e. laying off national office staff instead of union workers.

In 2015, with KPFK's 2014-2015 two year operating deficit (in whatever version of the financial statements you choose to believe in) at half of KPFA's 2009-2010 two year operating deficit and the unpaid network services amount quite similiar, there is not a peep out of Edwards-Tiekert and Wilkinson about "sustainable budgets" and three year network services payback plans. Wilkinson's appointment of factional cohort Leslie Radford as KPFK's GM on her last day has depressed KPFK's daily fund drive revenues by 33%, from $30,000/day to barely $20,000/day, directly exacerbating the station's financial instability and in opposition to the stated objections of all but one of the LA station's workers.

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at pnb@pacifica.org.


For readers who may wish to do more, any donor to a California-based not for profit organization like Pacifica may file a complaint to the open file at the Registry of Charitable Trusts at the Office of the CA Attorney General. Pacifica's case number is CT011303. The form and instructions for filing may be downloaded here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Chef Reimers' recipes: Artificial flavoring?

Berthold Reimers is still using QuickBooks, an accounting system that apparently is simpler than Great Plains, which s what the rest of the stations rely on. For someone who in his resumé claims a background steeped in accounting, Reimers' admitted inability to handle Great Plains is somewhat astounding, but so are the figures he and his two interns come up with.

Indigopirate points out some of the discrepancies in the following summary, to which he has attached two pertinent links. This will undoubtedly sound as messed up to you as it does to the honest committee members. 


Apropos confusion, it reigned at Tuesday's (Aug. 25) telephonic meeting of the PNB Finance Committee, from which I have included KPFT representative 
Adriana Casenave expressing her considerable frustration with all these meaningless figures that seem to be pulled from nowhere and tell vastly different stories.

The 2014 Pacifica Audit, to be conducted by Armanino LLP, has not yet begun. There is confusion and consternation as to this fact.

This first short clip, extracted from the Pacifica National Board Finance Committee Meeting of the evening of 25 August, consists of, first, a passing reference by Efren in which he refers to $142,000 having been paid by the National Office for the 2013 Audit, and, secondly, his response to a question as to whether or not the 2014 Audit has in fact begun. He says that it has not, and questions follow as to why it hasn’t.

The second clip is from the Pacifica National Board’s Audit Committee, which took place simultaneously, also on the evening of 25 August. In this clip, which is far longer, we have at the very beginning a reading from an email from Armanino which is interpreted as referring both to the fact of the 2014 Audit not yet having begun and also is interpreted as that being the case because Armanino had not yet been paid in full for the 2013 Audit – at which point these considerations spiral onward to dominate the meeting. At one point, far into the discussion, one member, Virginia, raises the possibility that the email was ambiguous or misinterpreted as to the question of whether or not payment to Armanino for the 2013 Audit had been completed, and that it might be the case that Arminino had indeed been paid in full as stated by John Proffitt before his having left for vacation.

My guess is that Virginia will be proven right.

In any event the real attention-getter, panic and accompany-ing suspicions aside, is that the 2014 Audit upon which hopes of CPB money depends, has not yet begun.

~ ‘indigopirate’

Here we have another brief audio clip from the August 25 PNB FC meeting. Pacifica's Acting Controller, Efren Llarinas, offers to teach Berthold Reimers how to use the Great Plains software, which he says can easily be done via phone. Inexplicably (well, perhaps not), the Siegel-allied JUC rep from WBAI, Cerena, takes a dim view of this and comes up with laughably weak excuse for not teaching Reimers any new tricks. He is already overburdened with work, she says, echoing what his cronies (Mitch Cohen, et all) like to tell us when we wonder what, if anything, he is doing to earn $100,000.00 a year. Obviously, having an inept GM is something these people find beneficial. Notice how Chair Brian Edwards-Tiegert, a member of the destructive group, refers to this important impediment as a good source for "conversation"—by others. These people are very transparent.

Cerena's subsequently proposal that Reimers be allowed to continue using the QuickBook software was voted down. What will she try next?  

Monday, August 24, 2015

The culprit is Tracy?


The discussion was prompted by a secret maneuver whose movers, having now been exposed, claim it to be "incredibly prudent" and a barrier against KPFA becoming a voice for the right. As they struggle in their defensive mode, these scheming bozos even invoke the name of Rush Limbaugh, which is supposed to make everybody tremble and vote against reason. Pay good attention to Brian Edward-Tiekert's attempt to wiggle out of this one.

As someone points out, it is difficult to understand why something so important that it allegedly could save Pacifica from being Foxed must be done without Pacifica's knowledge. This meeting produced no acceptable excuse for the covert action taken by Margy Wilkinson, wanne-be Mayor Dan Siegel, and their ill-advised ilk. But listen for yourself, it's all herein its entirety.

AND HERE'S MORE FROM THE TRACY OF LOST TRUTHS...



Two Credit Cards Are Better Than One

Berkeley -The severe financial distress at KPFK-FM, which resulted on Monday in an announcement by Margy Wilkinson-appointed general manager Leslie Radford, of the immediate reduction of all KPFK employees to 50% work schedules and the layoff of three employees, has been accompanied by growing evidence of a year and a half of financial mismanagement of the station, Pacifica's highest earner as recently as 2013. KPFK abruptly fired its second consecutive temporary business manager after finding out about monthly checks issued to an outside person by the business manager, along with unauthorized cash advances never paid back. The business manager was personally hired and trained by former CFO Raul Salvador to "fix" the accounting mess at KPFK in the fall of 2014, and per a motion passed by the national board in 2014, reported directly to Salvador rather than the station's general manager. Thousands of dollars in fraudulent credit card charges at Walmart and Ralph Lauren on KPFK's company card in May were enabled by an April replacement of that card by Salvador with a new card issued to the identical card holder (not the now-departed business manager). Salvador failed to close the previous card, leaving Pacifica with two different credit cards issued to the same individual with different account numbers open at the same time. The old card that had been replaced almost a month earlier was the card victimized with almost $4,000 in bogus charges. The former CFO offered his resignation the following day, only to be brought back as a "financial consultant" and now assigned to replace the former KPFK business manager after her dismissal.


The layoffs at KPFK were for development assistant Sue Cohen Johnson, Film Club coordinator Donna Walker and webmaster Ali Lexa Al-Hilali. Walker's layoff may cause a problem as KPFK has many subscribers to their film club and with every single employee reduced to half-time, it is unlikely any will be able to take on new projects, and refunds would be expensive and strain the station's finances. The station's webmaster has double the then-seniority of KPFA's Brian Edwards-Tiekert who contested a layoff in 2010 on seniority grounds, and is likely being targeted for participation in governance, as the first-place finisher in staff board elections in both 2006 and 2009 and a candidate again in this year's suspended elections.

The station's SAG-AFTRA bargaining unit has stated that layoffs and work reductions were neither agreed to nor negotiated with the union and has already filed grievances against Pacifica. The union has refused to sign off on an EDD work sharing plan, a plan that has subsidized the salaries of KPFA's news department since 2011, although the station has made new hires since and probably should have terminated the state paycheck subsidies several years ago. (Recipients include Upfront host Edwards-Tiekert and news anchors Aileen Alfandary and Mark Mericle). KPFK GM Radford stated publicly at the station's local board meeting that the reductions of all staff to 50% time will not exceed 4 months in duration, but curiously presented a 2016 staffing plan with the 2016 budget which contains no full-time employees and several new part-time positions.This proposal, given Radford's definition of a half-time schedule as 17.5 hours a week, would eventually result in a completely non-unionized workforce with no health benefits, as the current union contract in effect only provides benefits with an 18 hour a week work schedule. 


Pacifica's long-delayed board election got even more delayed when the foundation failed to make a $25,000 postage deposit to secure the mailing of ballots. No information has been provided about the length of the latest delay. One half of the board's elected terms ran out  in December of 2013 and the other half runs out in December of 2015.  The network has until  September 12th to mail the ballots to salvage the election. The putative reason for the delay - that stations could not afford to pay the postage - no longer seems valid as KPFK has received a one-time bequest of $134,000 and WBAI has said they can fund their share of the postal deposit (about $9,000). Over 100 candidates have filed nomination papers for vacant board seats currently filled by stayovers whose terms expired twenty months ago. Meanwhile, the five local election supervisors and one national election supervisor, who remain on payroll for the duration of the delay at $10,000+a month, have been processing fair election complaints and issued their first reprimand to New York's Justice and Unity Caucus (a Siegel/Brazon-affiliated group) for failing to post a required disclaimer on their outside website.

Pacifica's latest overdue financial audit (for the year ending 9-30-2014) is looking, despite earlier reports to the contrary, like it will, after missing the June 30 deadline for submission to the State of California Registry of Charitable Trusts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, be almost as late as last year's effort. KPFK GM Leslie Radford confirmed that KPFK'smschedules for the audit "are not prepared" in this sound clip, contradicting earlier claims by Pacifica's national office that they were. You can hear the three statements (July 9, August 6, and August 19) in this sound montage.
KPFA's Local Station Board discussed the incorporation of the KPFA Foundation by Margy Wilkinson at attorney Dan Siegel's office at their August 22nd meeting, having the conversation the national board failed to have. The perpetrators expressed no shame about their actions with PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert putting forward that the KPFA local station board should "ratify" the creation of the corporation under Wilkinson and Siegel's sole control to "capture" the broadcast licenses.  Siegel/Brazon-affiliated KPFA Board Chair Carole Travis admitted she knew about the clandestine incorporation a year ago, but did not share the information with the rest of KPFA's local station board, the station's members or the Pacifica National Board.

Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance, when informed of the local board's conversation, indicated she had no interest in acquiring KPFA's broadcast license from Pacifica and has never had sexual relations with any FCC commissioners, despite what appeared to be Brian Edwards-Tiekert's claims.

The detritis of former WBAI program director Bernard White's destructive racial discrimination lawsuit has lingered long after the suit was thrown out of court. Pacifica has yet more legal bills to pay on the case it resoundingly won, as attorneys for station board member Steve Brown, who White sued individually, have taken action to collect their fees. White should have been dismissed from the case from the beginning, but following poor legal advice, Pacifica declined to do so and Chartis insurance mandated two sets of lawyers, one for each defendant. Despite Pacifica's overwhelming victory in the case, it did not receive any attorneys fees from the plaintiff, who continues to broadcast on WBAI despite sticking the station with at least a quarter million in legal bills from his failed lawsuit.

In Berkeley, the Siegel/Brazon-affiliated group  that used to refer to itself as KPFA Forward and then Concerned Listeners and finally Save KPFA has undergone another rebranding with a new  brownish logo that refers to themselves as "local", "community" and "progressive", using buzzwords greatly at odds with their previous rhetoric and actions, which included removing locally-generated programming from KPFA's AM drive time in favor of syndicated programming from Los Angeles and stating numerous times that KPFA was "not community radio" (Sasha Lilley 2008).

KPFA unpaid staff member Richard Wolinsky lamented on Facebook that the existence of this publication interferes with his ability to dish dirty laundry about Pacifica on Facebook discussion pages out of fear that his public comments on the social media network might be reprinted in this publication (and presumably read by a wider audience than that on the biggest social media network in the world). Wolinsky showed a somewhat confused understanding of the word "censorship" in his complaint stating:

"Richard Wolinsky It's funny. I have certain feelings and ideas about this whole issue (the KPFA Foundation) that I would love to express, but I'm silenced by the fact that anything I say could be misappropriated by Pacifica in Exile for their bulletins. So I have to remain silent. It's a form of censorship, a kind of pre-emptive blackmail". 

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at pnb@pacifica.org.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stream of unconsciousness


Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, Fass proves you wrong. This is not the kind of embarrassment Haskins's ignorance generates five days a week on the morning show, nor is it the cringe-inducing simple-minded "spiritual" blather Kathy Davis exhales. It isn't even the hate-filled, outdated crap Lister Hewan-Lowe regurgitates on "Burn Baby Burn". It's a self-made has-been refusing to let go of a past that froze in time several decades ago, and it is a very painful degeneration: a man who once moved and stirred the culture, mumbling to himself... reciting call letters of distant radio stations that may no longer relay the remnants of a forgotten past.

The question is: WHY?

Why is this and other utterly unproductive air pollution allowed to contaminate the ether and continue long after WBAI has exhausted its raison d'etre?

I rehired Bob Fass, who had been prematurely discarded by my predecessor, but that was back in the era when convention crashed, Brylcreem and Old Spice remained in the bottle, and the blooming flower generation smothered us with ersatz love. Dylan and a mixed assortment of rebels became frequent midnight visitors at BAI, and everything old suddenly seemed even older. Bob Fass did not orchestrate this, but he knew the score and conducted his program accordingly. It would be wrong to dilute his role in the success of Radio Unnameable, but it is also wrong to overlook the fact that none of this would have happened if Lew Hill's Pacifica had not set the stage.

Today, there is hardly a trace of that Pacifica left. A disastrous u-turn has long since killed the spirit of America's first non-profit, listener-sponsored broadcast experiment. Most of the original participants have moved on, some to great success, but even they can no longer reach back and offer, in good conscience, to help an organization run by small-minded vandals.

You probably do not listen to WBAI these days, so here is an unedited, torturous excerpt from last week's "Radio Unnameable." I don't know what triggered the rambling, disjointed recollections that goes from Jean Shepherd to Fass' grandmother via Wanamaker's burned out New York store, but the bumpy narrative's volume eventually sinks several decibels and remains there until Fass fizzles out and we are left with a very confused Bill Propp, who throws fragments of an old Fass show into the New York night.

There is bad radio and there is this sort of thing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ian Masters follow-up letter...


KPFK: Under New Management




Gerente General Radford's grief might have been somewhat less wrenching had she not interrupted a vital fund  drive to air a hate monger's weekend of racism, homophobia, and anti-seminism. —CA

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Open letter re KPFK's latest racist move...


Dear Listener/supporters of KPFK,

I have just been informed by the new GM at KPFK that I have crossed the line by announcing at the end of Thursday's program that I will be preempted on Sunday by Dr Kwaku Person-Lyne who was previously banned from KPFK for anti-Semitic and homophobic rants that cost us dearly in terms of donors and listenership. I'm told that I have to meet her on Monday and can bring a union shop steward with me. Perhaps I have handed her an excuse to get rid of me and Sonali etc., since her faction have branded us as the 1% who have to be purged and replaced by volunteers from the "oppressed communities".

The new GM, Leslie Radford, was recently appointed by the board having no professional radio experience or background in finance or management, but was a hardcore member of the board's wannabe-revolutionary faction now in control of Pacifica. 

Radford made the appalling decision to have this reactionary charlatan on in the middle of a fund drive, after Margret Prescod (who has enormous credibility with and knowledge of the African/American community) and I had a meeting with her and begged her not to go ahead with giving over the weekend to this poisonous audience killer. But the GM said the station's credibility was on the line. We pointed out that there is no obligation to give our air time to just anyone off the street without any community credibility or following. 

In truth it is clear that neither Margret or I have any credibility with the new GM and that she only listens to the most extreme members of her faction who have no audience, raise no funds, but have been promised more airtime. I do hope my colleagues stand by me for voicing an objection to rewarding anti-Semitism and homophobia but I am not counting on it. 

Instead I'll proceed with the California Attorney General to have the court order that brought in the crippling governance structure 15 years ago, reversed. If necessary I'll petition the FCC to remove the wrecking crew who have destroyed Pacifica and brought it to the brink of collapse, and have this community asset returned to the listeners and programmers who keep it going in spite of serial mismanagement and demented interference. 

With your input and the help of an attorney or a law firm familiar with the legal coup that enabled the disastrous takeover of Pacifica in the name of democracy, we will draw up a listener/programmer petition ASAP to demand that the Pacifica Foundation be returned to its original mission that did not involve a governance structure and was dedicated to bringing diverse races, religions and cultures together. Not using racism and revolutionary ranting to divide and inflame our communities.

Stay tuned (even if I'm off the air),

Cheers,
Ian Masters
host of "Background Briefing" at ianmasters.com
Save Pacifica Radio · Los Angeles, CA 91604, United States

TO HEAR THIS OUTRAGEOUS WOMAN SPEW HER HATEFUL, HOMOPHOBIC NONSENSE,
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO TRACY ROSENBERG'S PACIFICA EXILE REPORT. 

The August 16, 2015 Exile report



Tracy Rosenberg's latest excavation digs up a new buffoon in Pacifica's ever growing collection of embarrassing opportunists. Her name is Frances Cress Welding and she makes Pat Robertson sound sane. If she isn't mentally ill, she is at best an irresponsible, homophobic racist who shamelessly attempts to cash in on and contribute to the biases that plague today's culture. As such, she is a perfect fit for the vandalized Pacifica.

Leslie Radford, a major bozo sneaked into power by the dysfunctional Margy Wilkinson, put the KPFK fund drive on hold to make room for "Afrikan Mental Liberation Weekend," an outrageous continuum of the dumbing down of Pacifica.

If you think today's WBAI is a haven for barefaced neer-do-wells and pathetic armchair activists, you are right. However, KPFK may have topped everything with this one. If there is anyone more embarrassing that this woman, it is the person who takes her nonsense seriously and helps her spread it. 

Read Tracy's newsletter and hear this horror for yourself. 

Forget About That 
Election Thing

Berkeley - On Thursday night, Pacifica's election supervisor announced that despite soliciting over 100 local board candidates across the country, the Pacifica Foundation would not be mailing ballots to its 55,000 members on August 29th to replace 72 local and national board members squatting in their seats for the 20th month past the expiration of their elected terms. The reason given: an inability to pay the approximately $50,000 printing and postage bill.

National election supervisor L. Joy Williams, who has been on payroll since January of 2015, made this report to the board's election committee Thursday evening. No written announcement has been made on Pacifica's election or home website at press time for this newsletter. Williams said she had been notified less than a week earlier that the required deposit to the mail house would not be made.

Pacifica's latest set of financials (for the period ending June 30) show current fiscal year income at $10.071 million dollars with a surplus of $855,000, almost all tied to two unexpected bequest gifts to KPFA totaling $941,000. The surplus is mostly on paper as KPFA reported having less than $400,000 remaining in its bank account on July 11 and then canceled its summer fund drive. ED Proffitt had stated to the national board he did not foresee having sufficient financial resources for the month of August. Even with almost a million dollars in unexpected gifts, the network remains $375K short of projected revenues, meaning the actual shortfall between anticipated income developed in the budget process by management and the 2014 finance committee, has been more than $1.3 million so far.

The Foundation did not seem to have discussed having an online-only election or using nonprofit bulk mailing discounts to save money prior to pulling the plug on the election Thursday. The hope appears to be  fall fund drives scheduled to start in 4-5 weeks will be more successful in providing the needed revenue. ED John Proffitt has departed for a European vacation and will not return until after Labor Day weekend. 

The delay comes as Pacifica's elections received their first news coverage in about a decade, when the entry of Iraq war veteran and Occupy Oakland hero Scott Olsen into KPFA's local board race garnered attention in local papers.

Attorney Dan Siegel confirmed via e-mail that his and Margy Wilkinson's purpose in secretly incorporating the "KPFA Foundation" in California in 2013 and headquartering the new organization at the Oakland office of Siegel's law firm, was to acquire the KPFA broadcasting license in the event of  Pacifica dissolution. Siegel indicated he and Wilkinson had not pursued full 501c3 designation from the IRS or opened up a bank account for the new nonprofit. Siegel's implication, that the clandestine nonprofit could not receive KPFA's broadcasting license due to the failure to carry out those actions, is untrue as documented by this Catholic Radio Association Guide to acquiring a noncommercial educational radio broadcasting license. (p.3 "What is necessary to apply for a NCE FM? 2) The applicant must be a non-profit, educational entity. This can be as simple as two people being members of an unincorporated association).

If desired, further confirmation can be found via the bidding process opened up by the San Mateo Community College District for the noncommercial educational televison license for KCSM-TV accepted as FCC-eligible two proposals to purchase the license from the College District by entities incorporated less than four days prior to the date of their offers: (The San Mateo Community Television Corporation, which incorporated on February 9, 2012 by attorney Michael Couzens and submitted a bid to purchase the noncommercial television broadcasting  license on February 13, 2012 - and FM Media, which was incorporated on February 24, 2012 by Ken Ikeda on February 24, 2012, 11 days after submitting a proposal to buy the KCSM TV license from the Community College District). These documents were secured via a public records request and are available on the Internet. 

LA station KPFK's financial meltdown took some dramatic turns this week, with the summer "mini-drive" extended twice, now to a full month until August 21st. The drive is $300,000 short of goal after 24 days. The station abruptly fired its latest business manager. Former CFO Salvador selected and trained the new business manager to "fix" the breakdown in LA's accounting records last fall. Salvador himself is the replacement and is now working as the KPFK business manager on a consulting contract, more than 3 months after his resignation as CFO. (PNB Chair Lydia Brazon's note to Salvador after his January 2014 termination telling him "you'll be back" can be seen here).

The extent of the record-keeping breakdown in LA continues to unfold, with statements issued by Salvador on January 29, 2015showing $451,00 less in income and $402K less in expenses than financial statements issued 3 days ago, for the same period ending 9-30-2014. The scale of the missing entries indicates that 2014 financial statements issued to the board of directors and used for budgeting and financial reporting all that year, were fictional.

2014 IED Margy Wilkinson added to KPFK's current cash crunch by raiding a restricted fund containing grant monies solicited for the renovation of the music studio. $30,000 was transferred out of the restricted bank account to Pacifica's national office on June 27 and 30, 2014 and has not been replaced in the past 12 months. The transfers were undisclosed until uncovered by directors inspections by former PNB members Kim Kaufman and Richard Uzzell last fall. Music director/project manager Maggie LePique asked for the renovation funds to be replaced at the PNB meeting in June of 2015, a year after their removal, but with KPFK staff facing severe schedule reductions, if not layoffs, and new GM Radford's statement that perhaps the music studio's historic grand piano should be hocked to meet payroll, the project will likely have to be abandoned and the 100% restricted funds returned to the donor.

Among other questionable programming decisions at KPFK, new manager Radford put the struggling pledge drive on a "break" this weekend to air a 30-hour Afrikan Mental Liberation Marathon, an independently produced dawn to dusk black nationalist-oriented program . The program has disturbed queer-identified staff members and listeners with aggressively homophobic positions presented with little to no counterpoint.

A KPFK staffer provided this clip of an interview with psychiatrist Frances Cress Welsing in which she compares queer sex to human-dog mating, states that male semen is a dietary protein like sweet potatoes and greens, and homosexuality in Ancient Greece was caused by shock at the larger sizes of African genitals - among other bizarre statements deeply disrespectful towards LBGT people who are charaterized as mentally ill. You can hear for yourself here.

The program is presented at an ironic time, given the ascendance of the Black Lives Matter movement co-founded by an out black queer woman deeply interested in affirming the lives and  leadership of black queer and transgender people in the fight against white supremacy. Alicia Garza was the grand marshall at San Francisco's 2015 Pride Parade in June saying "The way I want to live in the world is to be unafraid, unashamed, and to be who I am" .

Wilkinson appointed Radford, a community college drama and speech adjunct, who served on Pacifica national and local boards as a stalwart member of Wilkinson's faction, as KPFK's general manager on her last day, while her replacement John Proffitt, was in his car on the way to California.  57 of KPFK's staffers objected to the hire.

At WBAI In New York, Jeannie Hopper is set to replace Mario Marillo as the interim program director, despite some grumbling by the Justice and Unity/Save KPFA/Grassroots KPFK board faction, whom she is not affiliated with. ED John Proffitt, who visited WBAI last month for the first time, strongly supported Hopper in this sound clip from the national finance committee. Proffitt also clarified that negotiations with the Empire State Building where WBAI's antenna is housed on prohibitively expensive terms, have not resulted in any reduction in a revised lease and that the amount WBAI owes Empire as it makes partial payments on the lease that currently runs through 2020, is "staggering".

At Texas's KPFT, the good news is the long road to replacing the blown transmitter is almost at an end with the Indiegogo campaign to raise the last $18,000 at 85% of goal. The installation of the new equipment promises to help the station bridge fund drive shortfalls that have plagued it since a combination of lightening strikes, age and digital broadcasting in HD combined overwhelmed its broadcasting equipment. The local station board, which has helped get the word out about the Houston station's first  crowdsourcing campaign, has been pre-occupied with the April director's inspection by national board member Adriana Casenave, which caused the station to be charged $5,950 to recover old banking documents, (later negotiated down to $3,000). Casenave castigated this publication and Houston treasurer Bill Crosier as "liars" when word leaked out about the expense to the station. Documentation was finally released verifying the scope of the Casenave requests (which approach the size of the document request made by the State of California),  and the bank charges to find and duplicate 585 documents for Casenave. Frustration boiled over when Casenave left the documents waiting in KPFT's office for months after being notified they were ready for pick-up.

Although elections may be postponed, electioneering is not and the Berkeley "Save KPFA" faction suffered an embarrassing foible on August 13th when they they had to remove an "endorsers" page from their 2015 election materials after listed "endorser" Diana Bohn noted that not only had she not endorsed the Save KPFA candidate slate, she was in fact working on the opposition UCR campaign, and another listener observed that two of the prominent 2015 endorsers had been deceased for more than two years.

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at pnb@pacifica.org.

Friday, August 14, 2015

New studio facilities?


The fact that no photo or drawing of WBAI's new Atlantic Avenue "studio" has been made available by "management", we have had only Jim Freund's early. murky snapshot to go by. Reimers' apologist-in-chief, Mitch Cohen, claims that construction is underway, but fails to explain how such work is being done silently while passing police sirens and Mr. Softee's chimes are heard with greater clarity than a Bob Fass mumble. About a year ago, they told us that architectural designs had been commissioned, but none have been seen.

All this has inspired jokes and triggered fantasies as to the look of WBAI's new studios and editing cubicles, including this one, submitted to our blog anonymously (and slightly customized by yours truly).

Does this image relate to what you hear on WBAI's air?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Berthold you so...


Is Reimers trying to inject color into the 33 year old "Personal Computer Show"? Is he attempting to discourage the old crew? Is he retaliating for host Hank Kee's repeated airing of complaints against the mishandling of "premiums"? Am I being overly mistrusting of Reimers' motive?

Listen to these two excerpts from yesterday's show and tell us what you think.

These sound bites, taken from the archived show, are low in audio quality, even for WBAI, but they may serve as a flickering light under the manager's desk. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Reimers says this...facts say that...


Here is the latest WBAI Treasurer's Report. You will have to click several times on the enlarge button to bring the dire report to a readable size.

And here, extracted from the Treasurer's Report, is this summer's fundraising tally, as furnished by the station's delusional management. Please click on the tally table to enlarge the image... unfortunately, that will have no effect on the totals, which—coming from Berthold Reimers—are less than reliable.

PNB 8-11-15 Executive Session summary (Updated w. audio)


WBAI/Pacifica Finances – ‘Fairly Free Floating’

Tonight’s PNB Finance Committee meeting, which was scheduled per the previous PNB FC meeting to discuss WBAI’s finances in some depth and in a meaningful way with respect to its situation and its planning, and to have WBAI’s General Manager, Berthold Reimers, present on the phone, was instead uninformative as to any particulars, strategy, or the thoughts of an absent Berthold Reimers.

It served instead as a vague general expression of alarm and concern, yet with no clear or particular sense of urgency or action other than expressions of a need for action… some time soon.

Also, hope for the future was expressed.

As for the customarily vague ‘specific’ numbers:

Revenue is off by ~$500k
Membership is down from ~15k 2012 > ~9k 2015, a 40% decline.

The accrued monies owed ESB/ESRT are referred to, effectively en passant, but remain effectively unidentified and unspecified for reasons of ‘confidentiality’ and ‘negotiations’, and may or may not be reflected or accurately reflected in actuals or accruals.

The terms repeated by various parties at various intervals were ‘sobering’, ‘stark reality’, and the like.

R. Paul, in reference to the long-standing long-term decline in fund raising said ‘Obviously that is a big killer.’

A question was posed as to whether there was any strategic plan to address the situation, either at the local or the national level. The answers were that, from the LSB, there has been none. Mr. Reimers has said that he ‘has some things in mind’. As for the PNB Strategic Planning Committee, Mr. Proffitt said ‘It’s fairly free floating’.

So… in summary it would seem that fiscal matters at WBAI/Pacifica are ‘fairly free floating’.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Comment on the Proffitt dilemma

Pacifica's Executive Director, John Proffitt willingly stepped into what can arguably be described as a management nightmare. We have heard him speak to WBAI staffers with a measure of optimism and we have heard him report to the Pacifica Finance Committee with less than that. Has he spotted a ray of hope that somehow eludes us mortals?

Here are sober thoughts on the matter from 'Indigopirate'


To enlarge, please click on text. If you are having a problem reading 
this on your mobile device, you can download a PDF file here.

Friday, August 7, 2015

As masks are lifted... Last night's futile PNB Meeting




August 6 2015

Majority on Pacifica Board Refuse To Discuss Secret Corporation to Acquire KPFA Broadcast License

Berkeley - In a shameful display, the majority on the Pacifica National Board refused to discuss the public matter of the 2013 secret incorporation of the KPFA Foundation by Margy Wilkinson and Dan Siegel for the purpose of acquiring KPFA's broadcast license. 

Addressing first a motion to censure Margy Wilkinson for the creation of secret incorporation she did not disclose for the past 22 months, majority members voted as a block not to move the item up on the agenda with WPFW board member Benito Diaz stating that the issue was "not timely and pie in the sky".

The second motion, to immediately sever legal representation of the Pacifica Foundation by Siegel and Yee, including representation in front of California's Attorney General that specifically addresses Pacifica's noncompliance with state nonprofit law and could result in the loss of Pacifica's nonprofit status, was also jettisoned.

Chair Brazon insisted the matter would only be discussed in an executive session closed to foundation members and referred to mysterious "contracts" with Siegel and Yee unknown to the rest of the board of directors.  Wilkinson was allowed to vote on the matter despite her obvious involvement in it.

The indifference of the Board of Directors compares unfavorably with the outpouring of distress from the network's members who have objected to members of the board and attorneys representing the Foundation making preparations to acquire Foundation assets without notifying the board, the executive director, the corporate counsel and the Registry of Charitable Trusts.

A late motion to ask ED John Proffitt to "investigate" the incorporation of the KPFA Foundation was, again, voted down by the board after chair Brazon broke a 7-7 tie by voting no.

The failure to disclose constitutes a breach of the duty of loyalty by Wilkinson and a violation of the California State Bar Code of Professional Conduct by Siegel.

The board spent their open meeting time expanding the bylaws amendment notice period by 8 days.

Board chair Lydia Brazon proposed canceling the upcoming board election by not mailing ballots until October, which would render the elections invalid per California Corporations Code which requires election ballots to be mailed no less than 60 days after the published date of record (July 14), which is September 14, 2015.
  
(c) The bylaws may provide or, in the absence of such provision, the board may fix, in advance, a date as the record date for the purpose of determining the members entitled to cast written ballots (Section 5513). Such record date shall not be more than 60 days before the day on which the first written ballot is mailed or solicited.

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at pnb@pacifica.org.

Now that you have read Tracy Rosenberg's excellent summary, hear the confusion for yourself. Click on this link:  August 6 PNB meeting.


And, hanging around in the background, we come upon a member of this August body's Brown suit... Ahh, it's at 120 Wall St., so you may have missed it!