Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Diga Diga Doo Doo

Pacifica National Board Programming Committee
19 February 2019

Maxie III Explains It All For You

In this report from Pacifica's Executive Director, Maxie III, we have further insight into the approach, thoughts, and insights of the Executive Director.

He finds that Pacifica's people lack his professional education, experience, credentials, perspective, and insights, and seeks to educate and evaluate them accordingly and appropriately.

He finds them to be appreciative of his efforts and eager to learn.

His focus is on market identification and focus.

There is no consideration of talent or the recruitment of potential talent.

It's all analytics, you see... 'Best Practices'....

Listen...! Learn...!

As Pacifica sails Onward.

Toot Toot!

~ 'indigopirate'

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Houston, we have a problem...

KPFT's LSB Sticks Its Tongue Out At Pacifica
Tells Maxie Jackson Where He Can Get Off

A few representative samples from the KPFT LSB Meeting of 13 February

Limitless entertainment, mirth and bonhomie abound...

Pacifica's Future of Infinite Promise...! —'indigopirate'

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A much needed reminder

Unless one first tuned in to WBAI within the last few years, one need not listen to the station for long before realizing that Pacifica Radio has been derailed, if not totaled. Those who have the microphone these days will give Pacifica high praise as a free speech, independent voice of truth—a once honest description made by staffers and volunteers whose dedication to such a concept (most commonly known as listener-sponsored radio) was in line with Pacifica's devotion to its listeners.

My association with Pacifica goes back to 1961, when I volunteered to work there in whatever capacity I was needed. KPFA went on the air in the late Forties—its aim was to satisfy the intellectual hunger of people in San Francisco's, Bay Area, so it became a community station in a relatively narrow sense. Pacifica founder Lewis Hill had idealistic ideas of a world without war and he believed the key to that was an informed populace. While the following Wikipedia bio synopsis brings into focus Mr. Hill's own formative experience, the text linked to below explains why he felt that American broadcasting needed an overhaul, in general. It should be required reading for any individual or group that has authority or the use of broadcasting facilities at a Pacifica radio station.

The magnet that drove most of us to Pacifica a few decades ago has been degaussed by self-serving lightweights who see Pacifica as nothing more than a soapbox for their own advancement. Whether consciously or not, they are cashing in on the honorable efforts of distant predecessors while making a pretense of following in their footsteps. 

The fault lies, in the main, with unprincipled, like-minded management—haphazardly hired and left to its own, often ignoble, devices.

About Lewis Hill (From Wikipedia): 
He was born in Kansas City, Kansas on May 1, 1919. His father was an attorney who made his fortune by brokering a deal to sell an oil company to J.P. Morgan. His mother's brother was Frank Phillips, builder of Phillips Petroleum. Lewis was sent to Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri because he was too bright for the public school. According to his widow, he "despised" his time at military school, but he completed his first two years of college there and also was the Missouri State doubles tennis champion. He then transferred to Stanford University.
While studying at Stanford in 1937, his interest in Quakerism led him to a belief in pacifism. As a conscientious objector, Hill served in Civilian Public Service during World War II. In 1945, Hill resigned from his job as a Washington D.C. correspondent and moved to Berkeley, California.
In 1949 he established KPFA. To support the station financially, he founded the Pacifica Foundation. He served as Pacifica's head until his suicide (during a period of failing health from spinal arthritis) in 1957.

⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨In Lew Hill's own words

Friday, February 8, 2019

How colleagues see today's Pacifica


READER COMMENTS - Posted: 08 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

Our coverage of Executive Director Maxie Jackson’s comments at the January 31, 2019, meeting of the Pacifica Foundation’s National Board  brought over 1,000 page views and several comments. Readers had mixed reactions: 

Gregg McVicar

• Gregg McVicar, the host of UnderCurrents and a digital audio pioneer said he supports Jackson’s proposed changes in Pacifica’s system or governance: 

McVicarMaxie (and you) nailed it with the Pacifica assessment.  Likewise, I have the utmost respect for Maxie who totally knows what he’s doing, and it shows.

• A major market programmer and former PRPD board member who requested confidentiality wrote:

Confidential:  Enjoyed your piece today on Maxie speaking truth to power – but I would have liked to have gotten some sense as to how people reacted to what he was saying on that conference call. He is absolutely correct that the governance set up is crazy and needs to be changed – but I can’t imagine this board accepting that it is failing. What a mess. 

• An anonymous reader told us:

Anonymous: Jackson’s “analysis of the situation” is not that impressive. It’s been obvious for a long time - but is also not the full story. While there’s no dispute for me that the boards, who do have ultimate authority, have been overwhelmingly destructive since 2002, the flip side is that the stations’ management is not blameless for the damage they’ve done. Getting “talented” people on the boards is not as easy as it sounds. There have been good people but they are driven away by the various bad actors.

The stations’ were also enabled by the poor financial controls at the national management level. who have gotten inside

Steve Robinson

• Steve Robinson, former GM of WFMT, Chicago and longtime system manager was skeptical about Pacifica’s willingness to change:

Robinson:  “...Pacifica must change its system of governance. “ 

That’s hilarious.  

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Adieu PNB Civility

These days, Pacifica vandalist No. 1, Cerene Roberts—whose Board terms exhausted everybody—flutters on the fringes of her botched attempts. The realization that she is but a meddling outsider is something she finds unacceptable, so she plots in the shadows and desperately fires off fact-starved email that could have come right out of Trump's potty. So far, the collusion between her and MNN's Dan Coughlin has not worked as planned, but she and her gang have played a major role in what may have been a fatal blow to the Pacifica Lew Hill and his associates envisioned. 

A significant cause of the problem is the network-wide ineptitude of management and the lowered standard it generates. The goalpost has long since moved from serving the intellectual community to merely staying on the air. Pacifica stations have become a deceitful Home Shopping Network with high-priced scams, lies and other political propaganda oozing in to bang on downgraded eardrums.

On Thursday January 31st, when dysfunctional PNB delegates once again convened for "business", Cerene Robert's most tiresome, disruptive understudy, Adriana, did a splendid job of stretching a ten-minute extension bid into an hour-long exercise in futility.

Appearances by ED Maxie Jackson provided a sign of sanity, but most Board members—even those who mean well and think straight—appear to have been smitten by the germs of palaver dabble.

The following audio excerpt has been sparingly unmasked, but I think it captures the essence of what happens when the moon of civility descends.

Following that is ED Maxie Jackson's report and an unexpurgated four-part audio of the full meeting. Only the hardiest of you is likely to sit still for the latter, but listening to the remarkably tolerant Mr. Jackson is not a waste of your time.   

The cackle debacle.

Executive Director Maxie's Report

Full meeting - part 1 of 4 - Full meeting - part 2 of 4
Full meeting - part 3 of 4 - Full meeting - part 4 of 4

Monday, January 21, 2019

FYI: The Exiles' voter choices

January 21, 1019 - Berkeley - The printed ballots for the 2019 Pacifica local board elections were mailed on January 18, 2019.

If your local station has your email address, then you will receive an electronic ballot to save the trees and postage dollars.The online ballot will hit your inbox on Wednesday, January 23rd. 

If you get an online ballot but would prefer to vote by paper ballot because you hate computers, like pencils and do not trust online voting, you can send a request to for a paper ballot to be mailed to you and your online ballot will be voided. If you get a postal ballot but would prefer to vote online because you love computers and hate stamps, you can also send a request to and then an online ballot will be emailed to you and your paper ballot will be voided. Pacifica is using a professional election service, so your online ballots are secure and your selections will not be known by any Pacifica-related personnel.

Please vote so Pacifica can make quorum and not have to spend extra money to extend the election period.
Below you will find Pacifica in Exile's 2019 endorsements for each of the 8 listener and staff elections. We will name a few candidates we hope you'll vote for, some others you might want to consider, and a few candidates that we advise you not to choose. We hope this guide will be helpful to you.

KPFA-FM Berkeley - Listener Election
In Berkeley, there are two candidate groupings and an independent candidate or two, but voters are likely to find it all a little confusing as the Save KPFA/Concerned Listeners group of Margy Wilkinson, Dan Siegel, and Sherry Gendleman has changed their name and yet again, their new name is remarkably similiar to the name of their previous opposition. Since this is the second time this has happened, we are going to go out on a limb and suggest that it is probably intentional. Given how many words there are in the world, it seems unlikely to have happened twice by accident. However, despite the similarity of United for Independent Radio to United for Community Radio (the opposed slate in the 2016 election), the endorsement list tells the tale with the Save KPFA stalwarts all aboard.

The story the UIR group wants to tell is that they have united with their opposition and will end all the fighting and live happily ever after letting bygones be bygones, but the actions have been anything but happy with UIR member Bill Campisi launching an expensive failed lawsuit to try to keep radio engineer Tom Voorhees off the national board and hitting KPFA with $50,000 in legal bills for factional shenanigans after appealing his Superior Court loss to the California Court of Appeals. We've seen better displays of peacefulness. And the UIR incumbents have presided over some of the worst and least transparent financial reporting to ever come out of KPFA after advocating relentlessly for a bankruptcy filing in 2017. One of our strong beliefs here at Pacifica in Exile is that inflated financials are an insult to the members and a grave danger to the organization.

The opposing slate, which renamed itself Rescue Pacifica, is entirely composed of new candidates and we think they deserve a chance.

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: the Rescue Pacifica candidates with your first four ranked selections (1-4 in any order):

Don Macleay, Daniel Borgstrom , Noni Session and James McFadden. They have a solid and well-developed platform and a ton of endorsements.

With the remaining rankings on your ballot (5-9), consider the following candidates; Richard Phelps (independent), and newer UIR candidates Shirah DedmanLuci Riley, Maria Judiceand Tim Van Landuyt.Riley and Van Landuyt are prominent local activists with no previous KPFA political involvement and although they are running with the wrong slate, we are semi-optimistic they will perform well on the local board and similarly, Dedman and Judice have impressive resumes and no KPFA track record.

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Bill Campisi, whose lame maneuver of running for the national board as a bogus candidate and then "resigning" seconds after being elected has now cost tens of thousands of completely wasted dollars. Sharon Adams, an ardent advocate for bankruptcy and breakup who has perforned poorly as the board treasurer by presenting inflated numbers and a 2019 budget that spends a quarter of a million dollars more than KPFA took in 2018,Susan Da Silva, the intended beneficiary of Campisi's manuever who strongly supported the failed lawsuit, Ahmad Anderson, a former employee who was largely missing in action for his entire first term on the board, Donald Goldmacher, one of the veteran Save KPFA'ers from the days of coups and missing audits, and Lily Kimura, whose inability to spell Jerry in "Gerry Brown" worries us.

KPFA-FM Berkeley - Staff Election
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Frank SterlingDarlene PaganoSabrina Jacobs. 
Sterling is definitely the #1 pick. He was a standout as a local board member in his previous term and has a track record of advocacy for the staff and particularly the apprenticeship program that is unmatched within the station.   
DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Tim Lynch, Phillip Maldari 

KPFK-FM Los Angeles - Listener Election
The hard work by the Committee to Strengthen KPFK incumbents on the KPFK local station board (and the national one) is pretty much the entire reason the Empire State Building did not eat Pacifica Radio in 2017. They richly deserve election. Everyone talks about fundraising, but they are the ones that pulled together a listener loan fund and then a nonprofit loan to pull Pacifica back from the brink of a bankruptcy filing. Their opponents, Lydia Brazon's Grassroots Radio Coalition, had their turn at the helm from 2014-2016 and we saw how that went. No contest. There are 16 endorsed candidates from the Comittee to Strengthen KPFK (for 9 seats), so you will have to choose, but here are our recommendations:

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Grace AaronJan GoodmanJohn SuarezPaul RobersonMarcie Mills
And your choices among:  Rob Macon, Marshall James, Fred Blair, Allan Beek, Robert Payne, Ken Aaron, Michelle Manos, Nancy Pearlman, Michael Adler, 

DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Michael NovickBella De SotoBill Eisen
Novick and De Soto worked closely with Leslie Radford and Adam Rice during the bad old days at KPFK. Eisen has been a divisive figure in some previous nonprofit and community group work.

KPFK FM Los Angeles - Staff Election
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Mansoor Sabbagh, Kiyana Williams, Myla Reson
Velazquez was a strong supporter of the Radford/Rice regime which was a disservice to KPFK.

KPFT-FM Houston - Listener Election
At KPFT, the local station board's challenge is to stop putting each other on trial and do something to help the station grow instead of shrink. The abrasive board temperature is largely due to the leadership of Adriana Casenave, whose six-year board stint has come to an end, but whose acolytes adopted her accusatory and confrontational style. We are not advocates of shrinking violets nor particularly conflict-averse, but years of capturing Casenave's tirades on audio and years of painfully listening to the KPFT local station board suspending and expelling and sanctioning and reprimanding virtually the entire membership has left us convinced that the group Casenave created has nothing good to offer. KPFT is a lot smaller than it was, and the station's survival in getting-more-blue-but-not-there-yet Texas is too important to leave to the pointlessly argumentative This board has work to do and we are recommending the candidates who we think might actually do it. 
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR:   Bill Crosier, Adrienne LaViolette, Sandra Rawline, Lynden Foley, Darelle Robbins, Teresa Allen
And your choices among:  Danae Moreno, Micheline Milligan, Jordan Moreno
DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Dewayne Lark, Ted Weisgal, Ben Perodeau
Lark, Weisgal and Perodeau have been key participants in the board's disruptions and toxicity. They don't deserve another term. 

KPFT FM Houston - Staff Election
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Egberto Willies, Thomas Harper, Wendy Shroell or Danielle Allen
Patel Adams was a national board member during the coup years and complicit in the missing audits. 

WBAI-FM New York - Listener Election
At WBAI, the primary issue is whether or not control of the station should be given over to former Pacifica executive director Dan Coughlin, who now runs Manhattan Neighborhood Network, a public access station. Coughlin is currently litigating a case at the United States Supreme Court after a dispute with Deep Dish TV co-founder Dee Dee Halleck and Puerto Rican poet Jesus Papaleto Menendez spiraled into a lawsuit and now, a referendum on whether public media platforms themselves are state actors. The case has encouraged the National Cable Telecommunications Assn to file a brief arguing that access channels are fundamentally unconstituional and potentially threatens the existence of thousands of governmental and public channels across the country. Coughlin's judgment in appealing his lower court loss to the Republican Supreme Court was poor, and has potentially disastrous consequences. That's enough for us not to advocate for his control over Pacifica's assets. Pacifica in Exile will not endorse any candidate shilling for a Coughlin-WBAI merger.

Even without the Manhattan Neighborhood Network issue, there are plenty of reasons to support the Indy candidates over the Justice and Unity group, not the least of which is the Justice and Unity's shameful effort to keep three of their opponents off the national board for an entire year. But there are also some fresh new faces on the Indy Caucus side who seem like good additions, which WBAI certainly needs. 
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU VOTE FOR: Carolyn MacIntyre, Michael White, Jim Dingeman, Alex Steinberg, Randy Credico, Maxine Harrison-Gallmon
And your choices among:  Carolyn Birden, Mitchell Cohen, Jack De Palma, Michael Jankowitz, Michael Lardner, Katherine O'Sullivan, Neale Vos, Marilyn Vogt-Downing, Linda Zises
DEFINITELY DO NOT VOTE FOR: Errol Maitland, Hazel Pinder, Ralph Poynter
These three top-ranked Justice and Unity candidates are ardent supporters of the half-baked Coughlin deal and should not be on WBAI's board.