Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Affiliates also matter...

Here is an audio clip of Affiliates Director Ursula Ruedenberg's report, courtesy of Indigopirate, who had the Audacity™, as it were, to extract it for the encore it deserves. Note the prevailing civility, even when the obstacle called "The New" Pacifica is duly criticized—the current PNB could learn a lesson from these affiliates.

Friday, June 26, 2015

PNB Special Committee 6-25-2015 (exerpts)

Here is an audio from the June 25, 2015 telephonic Special PNB Committee meeting to discuss a proposal to implement fund raising via underwriting. The proposal was submitted last year and scheduled for discussion at the recent live PNB meeting, but time apparently ran out. This audio, edited to include "a few of the more salient points," comes to us from a trusted visitor—we thank him for his insightful comments.

Here, tweaked for clarity, is a brief revealing soundbite—a study in frustration, it abruptly put the lid back on this important subject. "John" is Pacifica's newly appointed IED, John Proffitt.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Impressions of PNB Underwriting discussion

Please click on text to enlarge it.

If you have trouble reading this post in this graphic format, there is a text version here.

The Rosenberg Report: April 25, 2015

Here is Tracy Rosenberg's latest Report from the Exiles...

June 25, 2015
For Immediate Release 
Factional Lawyering

Los Angeles - The Pacifica National Board, after 15 months of ad-hoc legal consultation, is moving ahead with appointing a corporate counsel. Unfortunately, the fix appears to be in for the law firm of former board member Dan Siegel. Siegel and Yee has been an active factional entity within Pacifica for years, sending three of the firm's employees to the KPFA local station board in the last six years as listener representatives with the Save KPFA group. Jose-Luis Fuentes, a Siegel and Yee associate from 2002-2014, is on the search committee appointed by the board, despite his 12 years of employment at one of the applicant firms.

Siegel, who twice served as Pacifica's interim executive director in the last decade, has cut a destructive swath through Pacifica's post-democratization history including being pitched off an LA-based sexual harassment case by insurance provider Chartis for trying to represent at the same time both Pacifica and a manager accused of multiple incidents of lesbian harassment (Eva Georgia), solely negotiating the 2007 Democracy Now contract renewal which many hold responsible for Pacifica's severe financial problems, firing elections supervisor Casey Peters in 2007-8, replacing him with himself  and then harassing Peters and his wife at their personal residence, and running an alterna-fundaiser to divert listener pledges from KPFA/Pacifica to the Save KPFA faction. Siegel has expressed support for the sale of WBAI's license and coined the term "organizational darwinism" to support the concept that not all five of the Pacifica stations should continue to operate.

Depositions filed in support of the petition to disqualify Siegel and Yee from further representation of Pacifica Radio in court can be read here.

A corporate counsel is supposed to provide equilateral service to all the members of the board of directors and provide impartial legal advice to the board of directors, while managing all litigation activities across the country.

National board member Jose Luis Fuentes continues to sit on KPFA's local station board and represent KPFA on the national board despite moving to Los Angeles 4 months ago. Fuentes has not stepped down from his position as a KPFA delegate, although he announced at the national board meeting that he was now a "member" of KPFK-Los Angeles and made a $1,000 donation to the LA station last month. Fuentes is the third delegate on KPFA's local board who does not live in the station's signal area, joining Save KPFA members Burton White and Kate Gowen who reside in Oregon.

At the June 16 national finance committee meeting, ED John Proffitt reported the 2013 audit (completed in March of 2015) cost an additional $65,000 (on top of the $70,000 originally charged) which Pacifica has not paid. (Total audit fees for the FY2010 audit were $66,000). Armanino will not start the 2014 audit until Pacifica pays the additional $65,000. Proffitt stated the national office cannot pay the money in a "lump sum".

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and State of California Registry of Charitable Trusts deadline for the submission of the completed audited financial statements is June 30, 2015 - 9 months after the close of the last fiscal year.

The first week of new KPFK-Los Angeles manager Leslie Radford's tenure, which closed out KPFK's month-long fund drive, was a disaster, booking only $67,000 in receipts for the period June 1 to June 5, barely a third of the station's weekly fund drive goals. Per statements given out at the national board meeting, KPFK joined east coast stations WBAI and WPFW in the "less than $75,000 in the bank" club as of May 31st, a disturbing situation to be in right after the Spring fund drive cycle.

Even KPFA, the beneficiary of several bequests, was surprisingly low on cash after a fund drive booking about $525,000 in pledges and the receipt of $941,000 in bequests a month ago for a total of $1.45 million. The station reported cash in bank at May 31st at less than $700,000.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The morning slop.

Suppose a program has captured your interest and you have spent an hour or so listening to it, but the station cuts it off before it reaches its intended end. What does that tell you about the station's concern for its listeners? What does that tell you about a station that constantly asks you for your money and, in doing so, assures you that you are important, that this is your radio station?

Well, the sad fact is that WBAI has stagnated and sunk to the depths of incompetence. It now has victims where it once had devoted listeners: people of all stripes who hungered for and received intelligent programs covering a wide spectrum of subjects.

Before it was dumbed down and narrowly aimed at a small segment of the area's population, WBAI was a real community station, but self-serving abusers have given a new meaning to the term, "community." Now, in their limited minds, it only covers "black and brown" people whose knowledge of the world around them is a blurry funhouse mirror, far removed from reality. This is what allows the likes of Michael Haskins, Pamela Brown, tobacco advocate John Kane, reparations rally-rouser Ron Daniels and members of the newly formed Murillo puppet troupe and side show to spew their nonsense throughout the week. It is also what compels intelligent listeners to feed their thoughts elsewhere. 

Here is Michael Haskins, one of Pacifica's most pedestrian pundits, opening Murillo's can of worms on Tuesday morning, June, 23, 2015. A velcroed WBAI staffer, he has spent about 30 years on the payroll without grasping the fundamentals of broadcasting. But he's a gofer not a loafer, and easily led by people like Murillo, Null and anyone whose posterior he can moisten to his own advantage.

Listen as he demonstrates his ineptitude. First, he cuts the previous program short in the middle of someone's statement, then he fumbles to get out a station break and introduce his own hopelessly harebrained show. He would not have lasted a day at WBAI when it was run professionally.  

Matt Birkhold, who I think is of a sepia hue (if not a male Mimi), tells Pam Brown what it really means to be white in America.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Infamous note pad scans.... and more.

Most of their meeting are phone affairs, but they did it in person last weekend. Berthold Reimers flew out to mumble a few not-so-well-chosen words. He alleges to have paid his own fare. if you can believe that. Here is Tracy Rosenberg's report with video excerpts and a link to scans of the infamous Wilkinson note pad. Watch and listen as Tony Bates, who did so much to lower WBAI's standard even further, plays the race card.

         Citizen's Arrests and the CIA: An LA Weekend

Los Angeles - Pacifica's National Board held one of its increasingly rare in-person board meetings in Los Angeles this past weekend. as LA station KPFK, the most financially successful Pacifica station as recently as 2013, continues its rapid free fall into insolvency.  In May, outgoing IED Margy Wilkinson saddled KPFK with a community college teacher as a new general manager, Leslie Radford, whose only credential appears to be a few years as a factional fighter on the local and national boards.

The meeting began on Friday with a bang, as PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert  falsely asserted Pacifica's 2013 audited numbers of a $2.8 million deficit (helped along by the bizarre accrual of $658,000 in additional debt to Democracy Now when Pacifica's contract with the program had expired before the year began), were "the biggest deficit in a decade". They weren't even the biggest deficit in the last five years, as Pacifica's audited numbers are 2009 - $1.9 million deficit , 2010 - $2.9 million deficit, 2011 - $643K deficit, 2012 - $1.0 million deficit, 2013 - $2.8 million deficit.

On Saturday, local issues at LA station KPFK took center stage. Many KPFK employees came to register their concerns about the managerial hire, expressed here by their selected representative Tony Bates. The public comment period (you can see brief comments from that session from long-time LA overnight host Roy of Hollywood and former IED Grace Aaron) was followed by a meeting disruption when the board majority attempted to argue with the audience and were shouted down and told to return to their agenda. They did. A few brief clips of the disruption were recorded here and here (when board chair Lydia Brazon hissed at board secretary Janet Kobren to "stop touching me".

The meeting then moved on to several hours of discussion of a board mandate to increase the number of program broadcasts entirely in the Spanish language by 5 hours a week more than the current amount (which ranges from15 hours a week at KPFK  to 0 hours a week at WPFW-DC). The motion from the board's Spanish Language Task Force is a must-carry mandate for all five stations, indicates the programs must be broadcast weekdays between 6:00am and 8:00pm, describes the programming as "permanent" and advises that if stations cannot assemble their own local program collectives  they should then consider picking up programs from the existing 15 hours at KPFK (or as also suggested, board member Robert Rabin's low power station in Puerto Rico). Board member Rodrigo Argueta, who brought the motion, produces Voces de Libertad at KPFK and his wife produces Insurgencia Femina, two programs that recently came under fire from some segments of LA's activist community. The motion passed the board overwhelmingly. All 4 KPFA board members voted for it as did all KPFK board members and the entire DC delegation.

On Sunday, the board majority visibly split apart on several votes, including one that abolished on-air election information tutorials, which was voted down and then brought back up for reconsideration where it passed after modifying the length to five minutes and airing requirements to once in a month per program. Board members Argueta, Casenave, Norman and Tucker broke with Brazon, Wilkinson and Edwards-Tiekert and restored the on-air announcements. Similarly, a motion by KPFA board member Jose-Luis Fuentes to strip any supervisory authority by executive director John Proffitt over the organization's chief financial officer was soundly defeated, with only Brazon and Medina from LA and Diaz and Brown from Washington DC supporting the idea of stripping the executive director from any financial operational  supervision whatsoever.

It was also announced that Lydia Brazon's employer, millionaire real estate investor Aris Anaganos, had given up on repayment of his $156,000 loan to Pacifica in August of 2014 and would no longer ask for the debt to be repaid after Pacifica missed the first four installment payments. Pacifica, despite claiming repayment was the top priority at the time of the loan, did not make a single payment on the loan for the last 9 months.  Brazon came under fire at the time for not recusing herself from a vote to accept a large personal loan from her employer. Pacifica was facing potential legal problems for not using available funds that came in July of 2014 to pay overdue employment taxes.

Brazon's role in a US government operation to free from prison Nicaraguan Contra operative and suspected CIA agent James Jordan Denby, described as a "prime Contra supplier" by the Chicago Tribune, is described in this 1988 LA Times article.  Pacifica provided gavel to gavel coverage of the Iran-Contra hearings, but has never covered the involvement of their board president and long-time board member in the operation to free Denby.

The note pad found on the floor at the Pacifica National Board meeting in November of 2013 traveled to Los Angeles and the national board meeting. Former IED Margy Wilkinson could be seen pacing rather intently when the note pad was visible, but did not choose to reclaim the Esselte pad. The full contents have been scanned and they can be found here. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for a PDF download of the entire contents of the notebook). The note pad categorized all the members of the 2013 national board of directors under three labels: "US", "THEM" and "WORKABLE".

In the "US" category: Brian Edwards-Tiekert (KPFA), Wilkinson (KPFA), Dan Siegel (KPFA), Lydia Brazon (KPFK), Brenda Medina (KPFK) and Cerene Roberts (WBAI).

In the "THEM" category: Tracy Rosenberg (KPFA), Carolyn Birden (WBAI), Heather Gray (Affiliate), Teresa Allen (KPFT), Jessica Apollinar (KPFT), John Cromshow (KPFK), Richard Uzzell (KPFT) and Summer Reese (KPFK).

In the "WORKABLE" category are listed: Janet Coleman (WBAI), Janis Lane Ewart (Affiliate), Tony Norman (WPFW), Katea Stitt (WPFW), Luzette King (WPFW), Benito Diaz (WPFW), Nancy Hentschel (KPFT), and Manijeh Saba (WBAI).

One of Leslie Radford's first actions  as KPFK's general  manager was to return to station premises a former board colleague of hers, Ian Johnston, who was removed from the local board after attempting to make citizens arrests with handcuffs of staff and board members, both in the LA station's lobby and then at a board meeting held at the People's College of the Law,  which asked the KPFK local board to never meet there again after the Johnston incident.

The lobby incident was recorded on a security camera and while the footage was embargoed for a long period of time, (attempts to arrange a viewing for the KPFK local station board at the time were shut down by Radford and others in her faction at the time of the incident), it is now available. The raw footage is 34:52 in length, and brief clips from before, during and after the incident are now on Youtube. You can view the 8 minutes of footage here. They include Johnston's altercation with the receptionist prior to the confrontation, a confrontation with IT director Jonathan Alexander, and the aftermath with several female KPFK  employees encountering Johnston in the lobby.

Johnston, who was at the entire June 2015 meeting, was handcuff-free at this meeting, but threatened several members of the audience, board and KPFK staff, including following some for more than half a block outside the meeting area and threatening to "serve" them or "get them".

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

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Your appointment is at 99.5

Is this borderline? Questions have been raised as to whether Gary Null has crossed the border as to giving medical advice on WBAI's air. What do you think? (and how do I make the SoundCloud embed much much smaller?)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WBAI LSB May 10 Treasurer's Report

The first fundraising figures we  have seen, but grain of salt is highly recommended. Sorry about the fine print originally posted. Clicking on the following link should do the trick:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

FOUND: Long Lost Wilkinson Note Pad

June 8, 2015
For Immediate Release 
Wilkinson's Note Pad

Berkeley- A note pad found on the floor at the Pacifica National Board meeting in November of 2013 and belonging to soon-to-be board chair and interim executive director Margy Wilkinson has been given to Pacifica In Exile. The note pad details strategic notes regarding the board's in-person meeting, as well as notes from a few KPFA local station board meetings of the same period. A full scanned copy of the contents will be made available in the future, but some highlights from the national board section are below.

At the national board meeting in November of 2013, the board was interviewing 3 candidates for the executive director position, among other tasks. The meeting concluded with a hire letter being issued to Summer Reese, who Wilkinson replaced in March of 2014 after taking over the board chair position in a disputed vote in February of 2014.

In the "US" category: Brian Edwards-Tiekert (KPFA), Wilkinson (KPFA), Dan Siegel (KPFA), Lydia Brazon (KPFK), Brenda Medina (KPFK) and Cerene Roberts (WBAI).

In the "THEM" category: Tracy Rosenberg (KPFA), Carolyn Birden (WBAI), Heather Gray (Affiliate), Teresa Allen (KPFT), Jessica Apollinar (KPFT), John Cromshow (KPFK), Richard Uzzell (KPFT) and Summer Reese (KPFK).

In the "WORKABLE" category are listed: Janet Coleman (WBAI), Janis Lane Ewart (Affiliate), Tony Norman (WPFW), Katea Stitt (WPFW), Luzette King (WPFW), Benito Diaz (WPFW), Nancy Hentschel (KPFT), and Manijeh Saba (WBAI).

A list labeled "tactics" follows including:

* "Get everyone on Google Chat for the meeting" (a violation of Brown Act standards for public meetings if this actually occurred),

* "Break up the seating" (presumably to prevent people from sitting where they pleased)

* "Don't fight WPFW"

* "Abstain more" (presumably to avoid angering "workables").

Notes follow citing Houston station KPFT: "It all depends on Theresa" and citing DC station WPFW: "Right now, both sides need Summer. Resolve that!"

The notebook suggests "one on ones" with certain board members and suggests what the topics might be. Everyone should be asked if they "care to be an officer of the board".

For WPFW staff rep (and now program director Katea Stitt), the note pad suggests "Do you think Summer {Reese} put him {GM John Hughes} up to it?" This refers to program changes at the DC station made by Hughes.

For WBAI staff rep Janet Coleman, the notebook suggests "What do you want to do re: Berthold {WBAI GM Berthold Reimers} and will Summer do it?".

For affiliate rep Janis Lane-Ewart, the suggested topic is "Say that you are worried about Summer and ask if  she is worried about Summer too".

A list of the meeting "goals" includes:

* "Summer out",

* "Efren back" (which refers to current controller Efren Llarinas),

* "Margy chair"

* "Tracy neutralized" (seems to be a reference to then-KPFA rep Tracy Rosenberg).

The misplaced note pad indicates a couple of things about the state of Pacifica Radio. The first is the noticeable lack of attention to any of the normal functions of nonprofit boards: strategic planning, Pacifica's place in the media landscape, development, financial analysis, maintenance of capital assets including buildings, licenses and equipment, and project and program opportunities.

The second noticeable aspect is the majority's perspective on their colleagues which appears to be akin to guinea pigs in a science experiment to be prodded and manipulated. Should they not succumb to being worked over, they would then be "neutralized".

This is antithetical to the establishment of respectful working relationships on an elected body entrusted with the preservation of valuable public assets.

The third thing the note pad establishes is that when Wilkinson and other members of the board majority testified in Alameda Superior Court under penalty of perjury and filed formal court filings in 2014, they were not telling the truth.  They testified the salient issues leading up to the coup in March of 2014 were related to background checks and a January 2014 contract.

The notes in the note pad were written before the contract was drafted, before the background check was performed, before the final interviews had occurred, and before the offer letter for employment was put out (as they said in a Siegel and Yee filing): "in good faith by the board of directors".

Pacifica has recently been notified that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has initiated a proceeding regarding employment discrimination against Reese.

Wilkinson's final act before ending her long tenure as interim executive director was to hire her factional crony, community college teacher Leslie Radford as LA station KPFK's general manager while new ED John Proffitt was driving across the country. The hire of the unqualified Radford has been unpopular with the station's employees, with all but one signing a letter objecting to the hire. The first week of Radford's tenure, with the station in the 4th week of the spring fund drive, raised a miserable $67K from June 1 to June 5. The fund drive, extended to a back-breaking 31 days, raised only $600,000, $150,000 less than the $750,000 budgetary projection. This returned the station to the six figure hole that prompted an April emergency fund drive to avoid shutting down. That April drive averaged over $30,000 a day under former GM Zuberi Fields.

Radford's special fund drive programming did not attract the station's listeners who largely limited their donations to the station's traditional money-raisers including Background Briefing, The Aware Show with Lisa Garr, Democracy Now and Sojourner Truth. Radford's innovations included cutting off Sonali Kolhatkar's Uprising half way through on June 1st (cutting off the show's pitch and raising only $125 for the entire 8-9 AM drive time hour)  and a 5:00am rap show called Music to Resist By, which you can hear a sample of here.  Music to Resist By was undoubtedly a surprise to the usual listeners of public affairs program Counterspin, produced by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). It woke everyone up with several audible profanities.

The Pacifica National Board will be meeting from June 12th-15th at the Aris and Carolyn Anagnos Center in Culver City, CA. 4 days prior to the meeting start date, no draft agenda has been provided at press time notifying the public of the subjects under discussion, when they can attend and the available times for the board to hear public comment. 

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

This newsletter is written and distributed by 
Tracy Rosenberg. To subscribe, visit www.unitedforcommunityradio.org.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The transfiguration of Mimi Rosenberg

As WBAI is made blacker, browner and, sadly, dumber, the handwriting on the wall is open to interpretation. The station's delusional dabblers see a message of hope: the new, angry ersatz ebony WBAI is rising from honkey's ashes with reams of I.O.U.s. What the dedicated realists read is more of an admonishment: the days are numbered, the WBAI under cork angle isn't working. 

The poor Mumiaistas just keep wading deeper and deeper into the cesspool of lies created by their ignorance. The hypocrisy factor is up as they contradict themselves (a liar must have a good memory) and somehow believe that the station's listeners haven't caught on.

How many times have they told you that WBAI is the area's only totally independent station? They love to use that as a selling point, but is it true? They will point to corporate underwriting—as heard on WNYC and PBS—and tell you that it is a demonic free speech killer. News and documentaries aired by those stations are tainted to comply with the wishes and needs of the Evil Empire known as USA. 

Yet, they now tell us that "Eyes on the Prize" is the most extraordinary series ever produced, and they want you to buy a copy of this $23 Amazon item for a mere $150. No one at WBAI is pushing this product harder than Mimi Rosenberg, whose ethnic conversion seems almost complete. Listen to this brief, unedited excerpt from last Wednesday's "Morning Show" (the dead air and commercial credits are real). Her Kleenex worthy theatrics haven't quite reached the level exhibited by the late Robert Knight, but it's getting there.

Here is Mimi selling listeners on Reparations... or is she using the Repscam© to sell them on WBAI? 

Have you noticed how these WBAI bozos constantly grab the coattails of whatever is in the news? The "reparations" thing is typical, so is "WBAI Matters," and when I hear them bandy about the names of recent police victims, I see that thin line between news and exploitation dissipate.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

So, will we finally get a tally?

Subject: [WBAIStaffAnnounce] FundDrive
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2015 17:27:04 -0400
From: Berthold Reimers via wbaistaffannounce <wbaistaffannounce@wbai.org>
Reply-To: Berthold Reimers <breimers62@earthlink.net>
To: wbaistaffannounce@wbai.org

Dear all,

I apologize for the late notice. Although I sent a previous e-mail announcing the extension of the drive, I am not sure it stated clearly that the drive extends until Sunday at 9:00 PM. Max Schmidt will be the last person pitching on this drive. 
Click on above text to enlarge it.

Reggie Johnson gropes

Reggie Johnson confused in new "studio"
(Click on "Reggie" to play audio)

After several minutes of dead air, Reggie Johnson, one of WBAI's engineers, finds the dead air button and creates his own, but it all gets the better of him. There is a lot of such haphazard radio going on as the station attempts to win back fleeing listeners. 

WBAI used to take pride in telling it like it is/was, when other stations were not, but that has long since been found inconvenient: it either interferes with personal agendas or requires bothersome research. A bit of both may be the case here when Reggie, eager to make WBAI sound good, gropes his memory to come up with impressive alumni. He skips a few real ones, like composer/Oscar winner John Corigliano, author Ayn Rand, pianist Marian McPartland, singer Dave Lambert, and Yoko Ono, but dwells on Malcolm X, claiming that he hosted a WBAI show in the early Sixties when no other station dared air him. Malcolm actually came to the station once, for an interview, and that was it.

As the audience grew beyond capacity, Art d'Lucoff opened
his other venue, Top of the Gate, All the artists performed in
both places.
He also credits Bob Fass with launching the careers of Phoebe Snow, Bob Dylan and José Feliciano, but that's a huge stretch. José came to us on the night of our Village Gate Jazz benefit, guitar in hand. Sadly, we were filled up both on and off stage, so I suggested he come to my office the following day. He performed a number and I recommended him to Bob.

As this latest fund drive droned on, you probably noticed how hopelessly amateurish and confusing many of the pitches are. Spending a moment instructing the staff and volunteers on how to sell these products most effectively would not be wasted time, or would it? Was it? Do you remember last Fall, when Murillo hired an expert for this purpose? If so, did you perceive any improvement on the air? I didn't.
This appeared on WBAI's website.

As WBAI attitude goes, Reggie is one of the good guys, but these are stressful days at the station.

Voices from the ruins...

Morning Dew delusions
(Click on "Morning Dew" to play audio)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Pacifica tremors...

Very little escapes the scrutiny of Tracy Rosenberg. Here is her informative June 1, 2015 release.

Berkeley-Controversy continues to rage at Pacifica's Los Angeles station KPFK-FM, after former board chair Margy Wilkinson appointed former board member and factional crony Leslie Radford as the new permanent general manager at Pacifica's LA station KPFK, one day before vacating her position as interim executive director. Incoming ED John Proffitt was driving across the country to begin his tenure on May 11th when the hire was made. The maneuver has thrown Pacifica into chaos and deeply depressed fund drive revenues at KPFK. As recently as 2013, KPFK was the network's most successful fundraiser. 

57 of the network's staff (all but one of the paid workers) signed a letter objecting to the hire and demanded a meeting with the station's local board to discuss the situation. Their request was denied, with unelected board secretary John Garry (Garry is not a member of the board but was appointed as an ex-aficio secretary after none of the board's 24 elected members volunteered to fill the position) using his title as an "officer of the board" to formally deny the meeting.  An informal meeting was held on May 27th in response to Uprising host Sonali Kolhatkar's demand. Six local board members (out of 24) attended voluntarily, only one of them from the majority faction.

The meeting focused on Radford's objective qualifications for the job, having worked for the past 15 years as adjunct faculty at LA-area community colleges teaching public speaking and Intro to Communications classes, mostly in theater and performing arts departments. Radford has an MFA in Drama. Prior work experience includes stints as an administrative coordinator at a small community theater association and a health insurance firm.  The requirements listed for the job included 3-5 years of management experience in radio or related media, a requirement that objectively Radford does not meet. A report was issued by the local search committee and confirms the committee altered the criteria to eliminate the media management requirement. "Criteria included ability to work collaboratively with a large and diverse paid and unpaid staff and group of volunteers, and with governance; experience with management, finances, budgeting, and development (fund-raising); community engagement and knowledge; communication and leadership skills, etc.

Dueling open letters were sent, including one from KPFK news reporter Dan Fritz, objecting to the shoddy treatment of African-American interim GM Zuberi Fields, a letter signed by most of the staffers opposing the last-minute hire, and an unsigned letter supporting the hire posted by local board member and GM search committee chair Michael Novick said to be from unnamed "Spanish-language programmers and programmers of color". The Novick letter doesn't speak directly to the hire and instead labels those questioning the hire as "xenophobes and bigots", somewhat disregarding the many programmers and workers of color who signed the letter opposing Radford's hire.  The Novick letter pays tribute to  former KPFK manager Eva Georgia who resigned after lawsuits alleging same-sex sexual harassment and abusive behavior were filed by three different women (Mollie Paige, Esther Manila, and Shari Epstein), and then corporate-counsel Dan Siegel was reprimanded by Chartis insurance for conflict of interest after serving as both Pacifica's attorney and Georgia's personal lawyer simultaneously. Georgia resigned after she was found to have charged KPFK for limousine rides to work.

Former national board vice-chair Bill Crosier, who served with Radford on the national board in 2010, commented "One problem with your reasoning. You are assuming qualifications are a requirement (or at least desirable) for the position. But is that the Pacifica way?  Rhetoric, support of PNB members' Pacifica political positions, and one's position on social issues are usually what matters.  Qualifications can get in the way of things like that.  Does she have management and leadership experience and abilities, including the ability to get and keep trust and support from staff to motivate them to do what needs to be done even with big challenges ahead?  It appears that Leslie has lost almost all of that kind of support from her prior dealings with KPFK and on their LSB, even before day 1 of her job". 

Radford's first memo to the station's staff, declared the current fund drive which has been extended after barely reaching 1/2 of the budgeted goal, a "no goal drive". Radford's memo is probably a tacit admission that her hire has had a negative impact on KPFK's fundraising, which had recently picked up after interim GM Zuberi Fields, who was passed over for the job, appealed to listeners to help bail the station out in April.  Rumors are flying that the station is preparing for 50% staffing cuts, which if true, would constitute an $850,000 reduction, larger numerically than the 2013 WBAI staff reductions. Such devastating cuts would be a disemboweling of the unit with the highest listener support numbers in the network as of September 30, 2013 - in less than 18 months under the board majority.

Radford's return to KPFK after leaving the local station board in 2011, has led to the return of some of her factional cronies, including former board member Ian Johnston, who was banned from the station's premises for assault in 2009. This still shot from KPFK's security camera in 2009 shows Johnston grabbing by the arm African-American IT director Jonathan Alexander, a SAG-AFTRA member, in KPFK's lobby in 2009. A few weeks later, Johnston came to a KPFK local station board meeting brandishing heavy metal handcuffs and trying to perform "arrests" on those whose disagreed with him. Police were called and he was banned for life from KPFK's premises and affiliated off-site events. Alexander has stated that Johnston's return to station premises endangers his physical safety at work. The Siegel-Brazon majority faction heavily endorsed a banning of KPFA programmer JR Valrey in 2013 for a Facebook post declaring an intention to picket a KPFA fundraising event with signs, but has been silent on Johnston's physical assault and threats and unwilling to enforce the 2009 ban.

Radford's first morning of work on June 1st is reported not to have gone smoothly, with a novice programmer breaking FCC on-air obscenity rules in the 5am to 6pm hour, an awkward interruption of the 8:00am program Uprising, and fund drive receipts of less than $250 total reported three and a half hours after the fund drive opened for pledges at 6:00am.

In other news, Berkeley station KPFA continues to suffer negative blowback from the May 6th censorship of Guns and Butter, a popular public affairs program. The ham-handed censorship, which is unusual at the free speech network, which has no record of program directors vetoing particular guests, provoked over 200 negative reviews and over 400 comments on the station's Facebook page. The comments have since been deleted by KPFA management.  The program's proposed subject of discussion, California's mandatory childhood vaccination bill, is controversial, but KPFA insists their censorship action has nothing to do with the vaccination issue itself, but was directed at WBAI host Gary Null, whose documentary on the vaccine controversy Silent Epidemic, interviews doctors with concerns about the current regimen of childhood vaccines and parents of children who may have suffered adverse effects.

KPFA's justification for the censorship meandered into the guest's views on things other than the subject matter of mandatory childhood vaccinations, and made some questionable claims regarding the network's use of paid premium gifts for donors. The claims were wrong enough to provoke a letter from Essential Publishing and Seven Stories Press rebutting program director Laura Prives' claims and caused national board member Steve Brown to suggest that Pacifica should formally retract the statement.

In discussing the matter on-line on the Facebook platform, several Save KPFA-affiliated local station board members showed a disturbing lack of knowledge about public media fundraising. Board member Mark Hernandez publicly advocated for DVD duplications of copyrighted work.

It costs $2 to make a copy of a DVD and that much if you do it wholesale with a case and printing on it.

And factional cohort Kate Gowen made the claim that filmmakers and authors donate their work for free to Pacifica to use as premiums, a comment proved largely untrue by the $115,000 in premium purchase costs accrued by the Berkeley station in the first six months of the current fiscal year

Plenty of authors featured during pledge drive donate copies of their books to support the station.

The next in-person meeting, the first in 15 months, is set for June 12-15 in Los Angeles, with the board meeting at the Aris and Carolyn Anangos Center, the building board chair Lydia Brazon manages for her employer, Aris Anagnos, who is a six-figure Pacifica creditor.  Pacifica has not yet announced the in-person meeting dates and location on pacifica.org.

CFO Raul Salvador gave less than two weeks notice on May 6th, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Salvador's tenure was marked by workplace complaints, a year-long delay in independent audits that cost Pacifica millions in public media funding, and an investigation launched by the California Registry of Charitable Trusts in December of 2014.  New ED John Proffitt announced at the last finance committee meeting that he will have to pay Salvador to "answer questions via telephone" and would be executing such an agreement. It was not disclosed how much Pacifica's members will be paying for Salvador's telephone availability.

Pacifica has not started the independent audit for the year ending 9-30-2014, ensuring that it will miss both Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding eligibility and the California State Integrity Act deadline of June 30, 2015 - 9 months after the end of the fiscal year.

Only 31 days ago, Pacifica's board executed a McCarthy-style purge when it threw LA listener rep Kim Kaufman off the board for financial whistleblowing. Kaufman, who sent a package of supplementary documents to California's Attorney General after noting several omissions in Pacifica's response to the initial document request, stated she engaged in an act of whistleblowing.

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

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Final resting place?

Viewed from across the street, the 3-story building on the right is 388 Atlantic Avenue, WBAI's most recent temporary location. They will tell you that this is the station's new permanent home, but when was the last time you believed anything they said? The stay at CCNY's WHCR was, they told us, to last one or two months. The honeymoon didn't last long and the eviction order came a couple of years later, as rent bills piled up in Berthold Reimers' circular file. All this time, the rest of WBAI was at the Atlantic Avenue address and here, too, the rent was in serious arrears, so the neighborhood talk now has it that WBAI has come to Brooklyn to die.

This is in many ways a convenient stop on the once proud station's nomadic death march—Just three doors down, non-Nullified herbs can be had at reasonable prices, and Reimers is rumored to be ready for enrollment at The Mathnasium, which is but two doors away and where math is taught at his level.

Of course, the big attraction these days is the much talked about new studio. Three years in the planning, this unique audio closet can accommodate a host and two guests if you remove the card table and some of the empty premium shipping boxes. They have just thrown in a clock and a turntable, which gives it a nice radio feel; a pair of working headphones has been promised, as well as a cough button. Insiders tell us that Chief Operations Manager Tony Ryan is seeking a patent on his innovative silent construction method, a noise muffler that avoids having to coordinate the hammering and sawing with the broadcast signal's natural drop-outs. "It was a waiting game," mused Theodiphus Geldwasser (not his real name), an octogenarian volunteer whose job it was to count the minutes between dropouts and give the signal to proceed. "I lost that assignment," he added, "but I'm grateful to Shaneekah for coming up with the wig idea." Mr. Geldwasser (they call him "Double Helix") has been donating his services to WBAI since 1970. "Oh boy," he says, "this was some station—we didn't even have to bring our own toilet paper."

It was another volunteer, Shaneeka Mgudu (not her real name), who actually "invented" the Ryan muffler, and it happened by pure accident when extraneous noises made listening to a John Henrik Clarke fantasy difficult. Her simple solution: wrap three vintage afro wigs around the head of Ryan's sledgehammer.  

As it stumbles toward the end of its long, twisted road, word has it that WBAI is quietly under investigation by higher powers. That is "the new Jim Crow," according to Michael Haskins, a consummate unprofessional who reigns over "Drive-Time in Dakar" (aka the Morning Show) and makes sure that it maintains its ebbing intellectual level. Nobody takes responsibility for having created a black radio station bereft of significance, but soiled fingers are pointed in every direction as the trampling sound of exiting supporters rumbles off into the distance. Meanwhile, the latest bandwagon to beckon the Mumianistas is revving up to head down Reparations Road and the "new uncle toms" are hopping on it like Addis Ababa commuters.

If anyone deserves reparations, it is probably the handful of good, honest host/producers who continued their good work despite the odds, and the listener supporter who paid undeserved salaries and kept WBAI on the air while an opportunistic management and his cling-ons steadily took it into the gutter. 

Like everything else at WBAI, nobody makes a sensible move until it's too late—if at all.