Reimers on strategy
Livingston's questions and thoughts
That content will always sell. It's specifically the content which large amounts of the Pacifica audience tune in to receive. The problem is that those whom see themselves as the 'gatekeepers for the intelligentsia' don't see a value in the programming which our audiences value. We're convinced that we know better than our audiences, therefore, like missionaries, we're delivering our stories and perspectives (as ancient as they may be) without concern for audience interest. Most of our political perspectives are commonplace, the same can be heard on NPR, CNN, or MSNBC. Why tune into Pacifica to hear a poorly produced version of the same perspective, which is on NPR with better production values or seen on CNN with video? We like the former "Air America" are becoming a mouthpiece for a Democratic Party which has moved rapidly to the political right.When I worked at WPFW, despite my protestations, the GM, who'd come from outside the network insisted to me that I become host of a new program I'd created, "Because you're the only person on this station who talks up to people, everyone else talks down to people." It's a truism for Pacifica radio. (Read one of our email chains if you think otherwise.) We're so convinced of our points of view, we air them whether or not the audience is interested, we'll air them even if no one is listening. So instead of talking to the audience, we end up talking at the audience, that is the few still tuned in.Recently, WBAI producer Geoff Brady, hosted a debate on geoengineering, a topic most in Pacifica positions of power or in 'gate keeping' positions would laugh at or dismiss. Post broadcast, the debate has garnered more than 25,000 listens on Youtube alone. Again this topic would be dismissed generally by the 'Pacifica Intelligentsia" and I use the term loosely, but the audience is widely interested.100s of milliions of people are debating the 'flat-earth' topic online. The debate has become so overwhelming online, that Neil Degrasse Tyson has practically been forced onto late night talk show circuit to debunk the theory multiple times. On late night television millions more are exposed to the topic, which is big enough for Stephen Colbert, but not for Pacifica, we apparently know better, so we don't need to have that stupid debate. It's the obvious 'missionary position, 'we'll learn these heathens yet...'.To be successful, we have to reach the audience WHERE THEY LIVE, rather than where we live.Pacifica audiences tune in largely for TOPICS, not just perspectives, and intellectual discussions which can't be easily accessed in the mainstream media. Tune in to our news coverage and note how similar our perspectives have become to the 'alternative mainstream' as well as CNN and MSNBC, it's the antithesis of Lew Hill's vision. When we ask questions anymore, they are often based in the already created narrative of the mainstream story. We are often parroting CNN & MSNBC. We're losing audience because we've lost our way.Here is a current example:In the last week, David Hogg, Parkland, Florida school shooting survivor, completely changed his story about his whereabouts the day of the shooting. (See video below.) Not altered... completely changed his story. He now claims that he was at home when the shooting began, not on school grounds. Rather, he rode his bike 3 miles from home to the school, arriving before the news media and before the police. Then sneaking past an active shooter, he joined his fellow classmates in hiding.From my perspective this is news. After all there was a national march based in part on this guy's reporting of the event just last week.One is left to wonder if any Paciica News Department finds this dynamic change in the story meaningful. How have we become so homogeneous as a network, that none of our news departments, are even questioning this huge anomaly in the biggest news story in the country?HOGG CHANGED HIS STORY ON CBS NEWS, but we're so caught in the narrative, we've neither noticed nor questioned it. It's a failure of our duty to our audiences.Interestingly, no mainstream media, from either side of aisle is reporting this story. Oddly Pacifica has the same position as the mainstream media, we aren't reporting the story either. So we have that in common.If our plan is truly to draw and build audience, our product at the very least must be unique, because the Pacifica mission requires it and the audience demands it be so. Their dollars, which we're no long seeing are speaking louder than our words.Tony BatesProgramming ManagerWBAI 99.5 FM388 Atlantic AveBrooklyn, NY 11217
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Hi Tom –Some news of what the PNB has been doing behind closed doors for almost a year has recently been made public, although the secretive PNB still has said nothing. We now know:The CFO is quitting and whyThe outside Auditor is quitting and will not do the FY2017 audit (due to the state of CA in June)Pacifica general counsel’s legal opinion on the FJC loanI have a couple of questions I hope you will answer:· What are the ramifications of signing the FJC loan that is immediately in default since the financial requirements cannot be met?
· What is the status of the $2 million “friends of Jan and Jerry” loan? My understanding is that KPFK, KPFA and KPFT’s buildings, plus KPFK’s 110 watt transmitter on Mt. Wilson, are collateral for the FJC loan. What collateral is being used for the FoJ&J loan?
· When will the actual loan documents be made public?
· Why was the CFO and General Counsel not given the FJC loan documents in a timely manner to review before the PNB voted?On June 15, 2017, the PNB passed the following motion in closed session. [My bold for the pertinent part]:MOTION: LOANS, APPRAISALS AND EMPIRE STATE REALTY TRUST SETTLEMENT PARAMETERSBe it resolved that:Appraisals be obtained for the KPFA building, the Nakapan/National Office property and the KPFTbuilding, with the priority being the KPFA building.Amendment: No settlement or loan will be finalized until a repayment plan is approved by the PNB."[11Y – 6N – 2A: Amendment passes]Motion as Amended[8Y – 6N – 4A – 1NV: Motion passes]Relative to the above:· What is the repayment plan for the loan/s?I, and I’m sure others receiving this, look forward to your response. It’s way past time where Pacifica can remain silent about all this.Thank you.KimFormer KPFK LSB, Treasurer,PNB, audit committee, personnel committee (including 3 manager searches)