Friday, July 8, 2016

Pacifica Radio in Exile News July 6,2016

The Pacifica Radio in Exile Newsletter
July 7. 2016
Berkeley-The Pacifica national board will be meeting this evening at 5:30pm Pacific in the middle of a financial crisis getting worse every day. Their top two priorities per the meeting agenda: delegate elections (i.e. their own seats) and witch hunt punishments for the board minority and the organization's chief financial officer for holding an emergency meeting on finances on June 26th. Yep, those are the top two items on the agenda, with the witch hunt also scheduled to continue in the executive session behind closed doors.

You can listen to the full 90 minute audio of that meeting here. CFO Sam Agarwal's written report prepared for the meeting can be read here.A shorter (28 mins) audio segment with selections from the meeting can be heard here. A list of 17 recommendations from the June 26th  meeting can be found here. The entire board majority boycotted the meeting. 

The board majority has already excluded 4 elected directors from WBAI for the past six months, seated two affilate directors from stations that are not affiliates and do not have affiliate contracts and now looks poised to "suspend" the rest of the opposition and the organization's desperately-needed chief financial officer. You can hear a brief selection of the threats from the June 29th coordinating committee meeting here.

The faction insists they will also hold emergency meetings on the financial crisis - later. Their first attempt, a meeting on July 6th described as a "special meeting on fundraising" by the national finance committee didn't go so well. There was one action item: a recommendation the volunteer executive director convene a conference call with the station managers to discuss how to hold better fund drives. Long-time WBAI treasurer R. Paul Martin asked on the publicly streamed meeting audio: "Why do they need a committee to tell them to do that?"

The rest of the meeting was dominated by a series of accusations from Houston listener rep Adriana Casenave, who was publicly scolded by PNB treasurer Edwards-Tiekert.

Casenave's first accusation was that all of the stations had "secret underwriters". She used as an example a KPFA public service announcement about an event at Berkeley's Impact Hub.

Her second accusation was that funds to pay for the network's 2014 audit were being deliberately withheld. The 2014 audit report, which is 13 months late to the Registry of Charitable Trusts, resulted in Pacifica ineligibility for millions of dollars in Corporation for Public Broadcasting Community Service Grants, threatens negotiations with the Empire State Building, now Pacifica's biggest creditor, and is required by insurance underwriters prior to issuing Pacifica a 2016 liability insurance policy. Casenave insisted that her May director's inspection proved there was $250,000 in one of the California station's bank accounts (probably KPFA) and the 2014 audit fee should have been paid immediately with those funds.

She further insisted at the coordinating committee a few days earlier, that she wanted to meet with the board in executive session without the ED or CFO present to discuss what she had found out in her director's inspection, a conversation likely to ensue on July 14th again behind closed doors. Casenave had earlier suggested that payroll, health benefits, and shared service fees be automatically debited from station bank accounts monthly and that the West Coast stations needed to trim their work forces. Casenave is a member of the majority Siegel/Brazon faction and an ally of the local Justice and Unity Caucus, Grassroots KPFK and Save KPFA groups.

In other news, unpopular KPFK GM Leslie Radford in the middle of the station's latest summer fund drive (one ended a month ago and a new one starts in mid-August) sent an email telling the stations employee's "We need you at work". The station's SAG-AFTRA bargaining unit recently won a decision in arbitration that Radford and Pacifica had violated the union contract on several grounds and employees are awaiting financial restitution for pay cuts, unauthorized layoffs and the withholding of severance pay. Corporate counsel Dan Siegel signed off on the planned actions by Radford last fall, but was unable to defend them in arbitration.

Radford's email admitted the drive was not doing well, said the station was empty and depressing and told the employees that jobs aren't always fun and asked them to smile. You can read it here


  1. Are we having fun yet?


  2. The PNB passed a motion requiring the stations to broadcast coverage of the Democratic, Republican and Green Party conventions. They see it as a fundraising tool. There is some debate about how to use any money raised and how this will work with scheduled station fundraisers. Lydia said she had not heard from Reimers but that Hopper's only concern was the scheduling with the fundraiser. I don't know what the history is regarding this must carry programming but I support the idea because it is a great opportunity to gain listeners and funds. They should not the let the regular boring fundraiser interfere with this.

  3. According to the Windows 10 Show... errr... TPCS, WBAI would not be carrying the Dem & Rep conventions.

    Funny how the Green convention is mandated but not the Libertarian one.

    And, has ANYONE heard from Reimers about anything?

    I disagree about the conventions gaining listeners. Non-listeners won't even know they are being covered.

    Maybe Kathy Davis can seance the spirit of Severn Darden, right, Chris?


    1. They were talking about Pacifica's convention coverage at the PNB FC meeting, which appeared to be conducted (misconduct end?) on a treadmill. It will be costly, but the think it will pay for itself. In the meantime, Bill Crosier's thought that it might be prudent for the Commitee to look just a short distance ahead and see what they might come up with to put on the brakes before Pacifica goes over the looming cliff.

      Cerene and the bozos were quick to suggest that there were higher priorities.

      I guess the will look for a solution during the final descent to oblivion.

      Severn would have found comedic inspiration in every fold of Kathy's body.

    2. We did not have serious coverage of the two National Conventions in 1964 (my only election year as Manager). Both (Democrats in Atlantic City, Republicans in San Francisco) were covered by the major networks with personnel and technology that we could never compete with.

      Rather than ignore the Johnson/Goldwater parties, we decided to do our "reportages" live, but as a satire. It was Richard C. Neuweiler who brought the idea to WBAI and when we heard that he was gathering some of the country's funniest people as the cast, "The Big TuneOut" was added to our program schedule. It was aired live on each night of the two conventions, with some parts prerecorded. The "cast" included Barbara Harris, Elaine May, Anthony Holland, Taylor Mead, prominent members of Chicago's Second City group, including Bill Alton and Severn Darden (who come up with some of the best ideas) and David Amram in a cameo as Ladybird Johnson.

      It was comedy on par with some of the best BBC had to offer.

  4. Check again SDL. They said its must carry as in all stations must carry the national programming. They're also arranging to promote the coverage. There was mention of covering the Libertarian convention but the planning is still in flux. Lydia did seem open to it in the meeting. I think if they take it seriously it can be very good programming. Both major parties have major internal disputes and there is a lot of interest in the Greens among the members and volunteers that I have met. The fundraising would be more effective with this programming instead of just mindlessly pushing the same old premiums and playing fundraising clips which were obviously recorded weeks if not months ago. I am not aware of the history regarding must carry programming. I was hoping Chris could enlighten us on past experience. I know that previous programming this year was only picked up by one or two member stations but they were not required to broadcast it anyway. If its something that could reasonably draw a lot of interest and dollars, then I say try it. The regular programming is archived anyway and no one will miss a few hours of mindless regular fundraiser programming.

    1. I was just repeating what Hank Kee said, and he's normally correct, like him or not.

      I don't doubt the mandate, but I question who will oblige. Look how Reimers always ignores Pacifica mandates. No one gets punished, so why feel obligated to carry out orders?

      If they do broadcast the conventions, it could be interesting to see if it breaks the monotony and brings in more loot than hocus pocus and conspiracy DVDs. The question is whether there are enough listeners with any brains. Doesn't hurt to try.

      Where's Waldo Reimers?


    2. My info comes from listening to last night's PNB FC meeting.

      Where's Waldo Reimers? Some insiders suggest following the trail of empty beer bottles, some recommend checking the PMPP (Pacifica Manager Protection Program)... Rikers has also been mentioned.

    3. [quote]There was mention of covering the Libertarian convention but the planning is still in flux.[/quote]

      The Libertarian Party convention already happened at the end of May...

  5. Another sad echo of a past that once mattered.

    This isn’t 1968, and no one but a small circle of friends even know Pacifica exists.

    For very good reason.

    As for coverage, there’s this thing called the net, see…

    There will be a wealth of coverage, and promotion, and each and every one of the Pacifica stations has well demonstrated it can’t even begin to compete in that space.

    Indeed, Pacifica has no grasp, not the least notion as to the ever-shifting character of those spaces.

    Far better to imagine it’s 1968 or that 1968 can be reinvented, recaptured, or recycled.

    Pure delusional dysfunctional madness.

    Which is of course a Pacifica specialty.

    Pacifica is dedicated to what it is – a very particular form of failure.

    Coverage of the 2016 Libertarian National Convention of 27-30 May well require a well-constructed, properly maintained, and fully operational time machine.

    Cardboard boxes and computers which are ancient and failing, as are their owners, will prove of limited use.

    Failure within a very limited range of possibilities is Pacifica’s only option.

    What one finds perhaps a bit unnerving is that it seems to reflect many of the realities of a certain failing state situated principally somewhere on the North American continent.

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

    1. You're right. I forgot about the Libertarian convention. I should have remembered especially after Gary Johnson somehow convinced William Weld to join him. Of course, that doesn't mean they couldn't rebroadcast convention speeches for those like me who missed it. It would be nice hear that Vermin Supreme (is that his name?) guy ramble on one more time.

  6. Just finished listening to this latest meeting. Especially the part about "radio listenership" isn't going downhill". How does she explain these then?

    CBS is still trying to sell their radio network. Listen to their commercial breaks, and in many it's almost all sales exec ads or PSA's. CEO Les Moonvees is still trying to have them go public. How much will he get in the IPO? Anybody's guess.

    Corporate consolidation (which also means massive debt loads) continues. Both in mergers and then massive layoffs, etc.

    To many consultants and CEO's, right wing content is still the #1 cash cow. Rip the **** out of anything remotely liberal! Now, across the board talk ratings (esp. for neocon talk) continue to go down.

    But NOT ONCE does ANYBODY mention the decades long turf wars that continue to demolish Pacifica's overall image. If it's so easy to raise listenership from 100 to 200, why has the network listenership continued to go down? These people apparently are so severely delusional that they literally don't care. I'll do anything to get control and get rich.

  7. Chris,

    I have provided an excerpt from a brief legal comment on bankruptcy from Jones Day. Ed Manfredonia.

    Even though a non-profit cannot be the subject of an involuntary liquidation under chapter 7, it may nevertheless be possible to effect an involuntary liquidation of a non-profit by confirming a liquidating chapter 11 plan over the debtor’s objection. A chapter 11 debtor has the exclusive right to propose a plan of reorganization for 120 days ensuing its bankruptcy filing, unless that period is augmented or shortened by the court. Once the debtor’s "exclusivity" expires (due to lapse of time or the appointment of a trustee), any party-in-interest (e.g., creditor or shareholder) may propose its own plan of reorganization for the debtor. Among the things that a chapter 11 plan can accomplish is liquidation of the debtor. Thus, if a creditor or other party-in-interest proposed a liquidating plan and the requisite number of creditors and shareholders vote to approve it, any debtor ― including a non-profit or other “non-moneyed, business or commercial corporation” ― can be liquidated involuntarily according to the express terms of the Bankruptcy Code. Applying the statute strictly, some courts have allowed confirmation of liquidating plans over the objection of other kinds of debtors that are also protected from involuntary bankruptcy and liquidation under Bankruptcy Code section 303(a), such as farmers. Others have taken the opposite tack, reasoning that the policy underlying the involuntary bankruptcy and conversion preclusion for such debtors should apply equally to preclude the confirmation of a liquidating plan proposed by someone other than the debtor. The same reasoning should apply in the case of a non-profit debtor.

  8. Should amy be changing the name of the show to Blackness Now ?
    Could tomorrow be the 4th day in a row? We shall see.

    1. Amy is reporting on an increasingly militarized, decidedly racist U.S. police system—sad to say, this has surfaced to become the top issue, and —whether we realize it, or not—it affects us all.

      I would say that it is putting a serious dent in what we now call "democracy." Notice that Amy's show, unlike WBAI (two really separate entities), does not exclude or fluff over non-black victims.

      Some of us—certainly most black Americans—have been aware of the official/unofficial bigotry for many years, but most white Americans like topretend that it is either rare or non-existent. Camera-equipped phones and surveillance cameras have brought the issue to the fore.

      Had Amy ignored or treated the issue superficially, I would have been as upset with her as I am every time I hear the WBAI opportunists spew their one-sided, twisted armchair views on the subject.

      Amy Goodman has lost some of the spark that made me notice her years ago, but this is a national crisis that needs to be kept up front and reported on with an honesty no longer known to WBAI.

    2. "Amy is reporting on an increasingly militarized, decidedly racist U.S. police system".

      If blacks didn't behave like such animals "from the get-go", the police would treat them better.
      "The fault, Dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings'.

      Cassius to Brutus: Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)


    3. KGT, now you are being racist and doing as much fact-twisting as the worst of the WBAI hate crew or, for that matter, Goebbels and his followers.

      Innocent citizens are being killed by hateful people who receive a salary for protecting and serving taxpayers. Those taxpayers include the victims. Animal behavior is generally better than that which these policemen and women exhibit and when animals attack, it is generally a matter of self-defense.

      I am not black, but I have had police injustice directed at me. On one of those occasions, I was stopped while driving on Chicago's South Side. The cops wanted to know why I was in a black neighborhood—it was none of their business, but I was on my way to Lil Armstrong's house for dinner. When I told them that I was visiting a friend, they snarled and kept me sitting in my car for over half an hour while they allegedly checked my "record." Had I been black and driving in a white neighborhood, who knows what they might have done. This was in 1962 and things have grown worse.

      I was also stopped by a LAPDD motorcycle cop in 1964 while on my way to KPFK. When I instinctively reached for my driver's license, the cop pulled a gun on me. When I told him that, he said, "I could easily have killed you." My offense? The Hertz rental car I was driving did not have a required tag on the rear license plate.

      Three years later, I drove my rental up a London street, going the wrong way. A cop stopped me, gave me a little salute and said, in a very friendly manner, "Sir, I am afraid that you are going the wrong way—this is a one-way street. Let me help you turn around."

    4. I am not like Joseph Goebbels. I pride myself in being more like Leni Riefenstahl.