Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Exiles see the sun


March 1, 2017
Sunshine in Los Angeles

Berkeley - A turbulent 21 months at KPFK in Los Angeles has come to an end with a change in the station's general manager position made on February 27, effective immediately. Leslie Radford was hired in May of 2015 to be KPFK's general manager by outgoing IED Margy Wilkinson on Wilkinson's last day. The hire was against the wishes of incoming executive director John Proffitt, who was literally driving from Texas when Wilkinson made the hire. Proffitt had asked Wilkinson to allow him to interview the KPFK candidates, but she did not do so and hired Radford, a former Siegel/Brazon-affiliated national board member, to the KPFK job.


Radford's tenure was marked by a huge judgement for labor contract violations, won by SAG-AFTRA in arbitration in mid-2016. The $285,000 assessment included back pay, severance awards and penalties in response to dozens of grievances filed after Radford imposed involuntary pay cuts, laid off two employees and denied severance benefits in the fall of 2015. Proposed KPFK budgetary plans for 2017 (never approved by the national board) further punished KPFK employees with the loss of all spousal and dependent child health care coverage.  

In a press release put out by the Pacifica Foundation, new interim ED Bill Crosier commented: "KPFK is an important part of the Pacifica Foundation, and is our biggest and most powerful station in the second biggest media market in the United States. The station has been through some difficult times recently. I want KPFK to take a leadership role, both within our radio network as it recovers, and in the Southern California media landscape as the country meets the challenges presented by the Trump administration. This change will position KPFK to do so” 

Long-time staffer Christine Blosdale has taken over the KPFK general manager position on a temporary basis. 

The morning after the change in management at KPFK, the station's legendary overnight host Roy of Hollywood, returned in a 40th anniversary celebration that was extra joyous due to the unexpected return to the midnight time slot. The program's listeners responded with one-night donations in excess of $4,000. Something's Happening had been bifurcated to 3am to 6am for the last year in order for Radford to put on a melange of new programs under the name Safe Harbor, a reference to the FCC relaxation of rules on broadcast profanity during the late night hours. Safe Harbor took full advantage, making a specialty out of indulging in as much on-air profanity as humanly possible, generating numerous listener complaints and few listener donations. Some of the new shows also had problems with plugola (on-air promotions) and copyright infringement, particularly volunteer coordinator Adam Rice's Music to Resist By, with Rice unaccountably posting programs with copyrighted music on the Internet Archive in KPFK's name and ducking Soundexchange reporting requirements for Internet streaming.  Rice has been suspended from KPFK until further notice. Other displaced programmers from the year-old Safe Harbor block have been invited to submit requests for new time slots to interim program director Alan Minsky. 


Pacifica received some great news from the Office of the California Attorney General which gave a six-month extension to submit the fiscal year 2015 financial audit, which has not been started 9 months after it was due. The extension follows a series of scary letters in December and January threatening the loss of nonprofit status and an AG meeting with the board's 2016 officers in mid-January that was concealed from incoming directors. The California AG requested the submission of a written plan for re-establishing Pacifica's financial stability and proof of replacement of restricted funds used inappropriately by the previous regime, by the end of March.

New IED Crosier has implemented a nationwide fundraising day on Thursday March 2 to raise funds to immediately proceed with the delinquent audits. The "audit fundraiser", first proposed by the WBAI Community Advisory Board in December, will feature voices of resistance from the Pacifica Archives with original programming simulcast on WBAI, WPFW, KPFT and KPFK all day. KPFA will maintain its regular fund drive programming, but donate the day's proceeds to the dedicated fund.

The special day of fundraising has been given a huge head start by a generous $86K gift from a long-time WBAI supporter who is providing a match fund for the whole day or until the funds are all used up.

So every donation up to $86K will be matched at 100% of its value, netting Pacifica at least $172K to dedicate to cleaning up the accounting once and for all and preserving the network's tax-deductible status. 


27 comments:

  1. I wonder how much the stations will actually tell about why they are having this fun day of begging.

    You also have to wonder what kind of dope puts up $86k for these thieves.

    SDL

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    Replies
    1. First I have to wonder if it's true.

      And why is KPFA left out?

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    2. No idea. Does KPFA have some sort of special programming pre-arranged for tomorrow?

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    3. Not that I know of, but they have a bad habit of dishing out pot-luck programming, so it would have to be very special. Remember, we are not dealing with professional people here.

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  2. I'm wondering what sort of on-air delay system WBAI uses. OTH just "beeped" Kevin Mitnick for cursing, which resulted in several seconds of silence. Doesn't digital delay seamlessly put the before and after together so we don't hear a silent patch? Maybe they are using an old analog delay...

    SDL

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    Replies
    1. The old delay used to be about 10 seconds. Now, most shows use at least a 30 second delay.

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  3. TPCS is really rocking the silent transmitter tonight. Best show in a long time!

    SDL

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    1. Old age, stagnation, glued to the past... and engineers who can't. Oh, now we have piano/vibes music.... how PC is that???

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    2. They just ruined the show by coming back on and asking for money. BOOOOO!

      SDL

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  4. I'm becoming a fan of the Great Campisi. He's taken out an imaginary ED, a bogus affiliate director and ended the reign of incompetence at KPFK and he's still not done. We now know the next target. Is he overreaching? Is his luck about to run out? Is he going to take a wrong turn and wind up in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco? Stay tuned.

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    Replies
    1. Are you speaking of Campisi or Crosier?

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    2. None of this would have happened without the Great Campisi throwing his support for Crosier and his faction. And now for his next trick, making that woman with the shrill voice and the never ending points of something disappear.

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  5. Today they're running their "National Radiothon". They want people's money. But they can't be bothered to have anything live? Can't be bothered to save the 800 number live. How much of listener donations are being used to still pay all active lawsuits against and factions within Pacifica suing them?

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    Replies
    1. KPFK has just announced that they have met their goal.

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  6. The national funds raised today are all restricted for audit compliance. With the matching fund, receipts are already at $160k with KPFAs contribution still to come. May well get to $250 or $300k. It's a very good day for Pacifica.

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  7. I just nearly fell out of my seat laughing. I tuned in a minute ago and heard silence, then Bates come on blathering about some potential conspiracy to knock Pacifica offline. Well, immediately after, they were back to some old audio.

    SDL

    P.S. About to send this and silence...

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    1. I've heard that conspiracy fantasy Bates likes to blab about—he is really becoming a bigger embarrassment by the day. I can understand why you laughed—it becomes even more ridiculous when one considers that there are virtually only a couple of busloads of listeners (double deckers :))

      Have you heard his other fantasy re imagined listeners? He has recently taken to saying that people stop him in the street to tell him how much they love WBAI!!! Is he carrying a name tag?

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  8. Listen, Bates is a pure bullshit artist who will say anything and sell anything. That is why Reimers brought him in. Let's not forget he was originally fired for thinking he was god's gift to women.

    SDL

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    1. I believe he still overestimates his sex appeal. Heard him the other day say that he didn't wear sunglasses, because women like his eyes... or was that, lies?

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    2. When he says that he floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee, we'll know he really went off the deep end.

      SDL

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  9. Tried sticking it out and listening to more of the "Great Pre-Recorded Radiothon". One minute, it's Christine Blaisale endlessly plugging how she just LOVES "1984". Gotta get me some more of that. Then, feeds run from KPFA, KPFK and BAI. They're from earlier in the day, of course. So more than once when someone in that feed says "in our first hour" there's a MASSIVE gap of dead air. They're thinking if we turn this down it won't be obvious that this was pre-taped. But what these geniuses don't realize is that if the listener at home/in their car tuns their volume all the way up you can STILL hear what they're trying to censor. Which makes it sound even more ridiculous.

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  10. they say they have 13 thousand hours of material , and yet they keep replaying the same dozen people
    over and over again . How much better would this have been if they were doing this live and broadened
    out to cover at least 2 or 3 dozen people . These idiots are doomed !

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    Replies
    1. They just can't let go of black history month.

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    2. Is there a complete list of what makes up these 13,000 hours, or is it a surprise package, mainly?

      SDL

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  11. I don't know if there is a complete list (there ought to be, of course) but I'm sure there are some names, because they read off names during the commercial. They are usually the same names, so it may be the ones up front.

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    1. Probably shitloads of Allan Watts, Mae Brussell and other filler.

      SDL

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    2. I'm sure there's a lot of dross, but there is also some excellent stuff on that stick. Interesting (and telling) is the fact that the material is, in the main, from the pre-vandalized Pacifica. I just hope they haven't included the outrageous lies of the two old farts who posed as African history "scholars."

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