Friday, October 30, 2015

Exiles Newsletter 10-30-2015 - Tsk, tsk Miss Margy....


Berkeley-In last night's Pacifica National Board meeting, held in executive session, the national board voted to order KPFA to refund to the Pacifica Foundation, national office the proceeds of one of two large bequests deposited into KPFA's Mechanics Bank account by then-IED Margy Wilkinson. One of the checks (totaling at least $400,000) was donated to the Pacifica Foundation. In the spring of 2015, the "Hall Trust bequest" was characterized as a restricted gift to KPFA, but information derived from a directors inspection convinced the board of directors the gift was instead left to the Pacifica Foundation and misappropriated for the exclusive use of the Berkeley station. The funds were not deposited into the national Pacifica operating bank account where they belonged. 

The board's executive session report out can be read here.

With some fanfare, PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert and KPFA then "loaned" the Pacifica National Office small amounts of its own money to meet network expenses like the balance due to auditor Armanino. 

The national office has been in such desperate financial straits that employees like Affiliates Director Ursula Rudenberg have been informed they faced losing their health benefits as soon as November 1st. Permanent ED John Proffitt left the foundation's employ after less than five months.

The board's motion, which passed easily, was preceded by a vote to keep the discussion of the misappropriation of the Hall Trust bequest in closed session. The motion the board passed called for an accounting of how the money was spent by KPFA by November 4th, refunds of any outstanding amounts to the Pacifica National Office, establishment of a repayment plan for KPFA, and revision of 2016 divisional budgets for KPFA and the national office. The no votes on the motion included Willkinson and Edwards-Tiekert, WBAI rep Cerene Roberts, WPFW rep Peter Tucker and TX rep George Reiter. The reasons the non-KPFA three voted as they did are not available since the discussion occurred in closed session, but the board did release the vote tallies in their report-out from the closed session.

What the motion did not include was any censure or discipline, a change in the foundation treasurer position or an end to the consulting contract signed between then-CFO Raul Salvador and the Pacifica National Office in June of 2015.

In other news, the network's long-delayed board elections continue to move forward at a snail's pace with virtually none of the network's subscribers reporting the receipt of paper ballots which were sent out via 3rd class mail in the middle of the U.S. election when bulk mail services tend to be overwhelmed. The original mailing date was pushed back six weeks in August due to the inability to pay a $25,000 postal deposit. The national office likely would have been able to cover the postal election deposit in August had the Hall Trust funds not been hijacked.

At KPFK in Los Angeles, where 20+ union grievances will begin the SAG-AFTRA arbitration process next week. Background Briefing host Ian Masters, who has been one of the most outspoken staff members about the destructive impact of Wilkinson-appointed general manager Leslie Radford and about Pacifica's 13-year old democratic governance effort, released a puzzling set of election endorsements on his "Save KPFK" website. Masters, who takes great pride in his professional reporting and broadcasting skills, appears to have replaced knowledge about Pacifica's systems with uniformed high dudgeon. His candidate recommendations, which consist entirely of all-new candidates for KPFK's local station board, would result in the continuation of a Siegel/Brazon majority on the national board, the exact outcome he is trying to avoid. Pacifica's system allows local station board members with one year or more of local experience to stand for election to the national board. So if KPFK listeners were to follow Master's recommendations, KPFK's delegation to the national board would consist entirely of Radford's supporters from the Siegel/Brazon faction, as none of the people Masters endorses would be eligible until 2017. The system requires either the executive director or a majority of the Pacifica National Board to ratify a local board recommendation for a change in the GM position, which the current board majority and ED Lydia Brazon, a strong Radford supporter, would be unlikely to do. Pacifica in Exile readers concerned about the KPFK meltdown and their LA friends and acquaintances are instead encouraged to consider Pacifica In Exile's election recommendations, which would result in an actual change to the national board majority.

In Berkeley, Save KPFA (the Berkeley wing of the Siegel/Brazon faction) board candidate Hilmon Sorey withdrew his candidacy after Middle East Children's Alliance director Barbara Lubin wrote an open letter questioning his previous actions as board chair at the Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) in Oakland. Sorey revoked an exhibition and planned educational programs featuring Palestinian children's drawings and artwork from the Gaza Strip ater experiencing pressure from museum donors. The incident was nationally publicized at the time as an example of collaboration with censorship attempts by Zionist-identified funders and donors. Among other programs produced by Pacifica, Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, Flashpoints and the Electronic Intifada cover Palestinian liberation movements and are often targeted by donors and funders who would prefer more Israeli-positive coverage of the long-standing regional conflicts.

KPFK local station board member Kim Kaufman wrote KPFK and Pacifica: A Quiet Coup for the LA Progressive. You can read the article on their site or at Pacifica in Exile. Kaufman writes: "A private “shadow” corporation was recently uncovered as a method to privatize Pacifica for the benefit of a few rather than keep it as a public benefit for the many. It appears the Shock Doctrine approach to the finances is not an accident, a mere “factional” dispute—but rather a plan by some of the board majority to gain control of the licenses and assets of the Pacifica Foundation".

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at

For readers who may wish to do more, any donor to a California-based not for profit organization like Pacifica may file a complaint to the open file at the Registry of Charitable Trusts at the Office of the CA Attorney General. Pacifica's case number is CT011303. The form and instructions for filing may be downloaded here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A gift for people goin' nowhere....

For all those enlightening Morning Shows, here's a little priceless but expensive Thank You gift for Michael Golly-Gee Haskins.

Unsolicited enthusiasm for Uncle Sidney

Uncle Sidney has started his podcasts and I highly recommend that you listen. Each one offers further proof of Berthold Reimers' lunacy in dismissing Sidney Smith, not to mention the cowardly trumped up way in which he did it. Now, as Reimers and his cronies are about to get what they deserve, Sidney brilliantly demonstrates what the last laugh sounds like. This is the sort of intellectual level, wit and insight WBAI should be airing instead of all that racist propaganda from hateful ignoramuses whose inflated egos barely keep them afloat in a puddle of greed and venom.

Lend your ears to Sidney's wonderful podcasts HERE

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Null speaks his mind... partially.


This is fund drive time, but there isn't much traffic. These efforts become progressively disorganized as listeners abandon WBAI, income dribbles in like a leaky faucet, and premium deals are not honored. 

But they can only take the money and run for so long, for there comes a time when the jig is up and management stands naked, stripped of all credibility. I think that time is finally here, for real. Between the Pacifica West Coast demolition team and the local maggots, the house that Lew Hill built is coming down.

Of course, Gary Null has known this for a long time, but his adverse reaction has been sporadic. He clearly sees some personal advantage in keeping WBAI alive, so—rather than follow the listenership over the hill—he chooses to stay, huff and puff, threaten lawsuits, and weave into his own story sacrifices purportedly made by him over the years, He tells us that he has given over three million dollars to the station, not to mention years of unpaid work. Null does have a tendency to exaggerate beyond credulity his own success, but WBAI has undoubtedly benefitted from his involvement.

Now he admits that the station is dying at its own hands and that the Pacifica forces of greed and conceived need are prepared to lend a hand in the suicide. That is all true, but Null's motive remains in question as he outlines his proposal for a fix. 

You will hear him describe it on the attached segment, but if you listen with due scrutiny, you will also see that Mr. Null actually skirts two fundamental issues:

[1] the inferior and often dishonest programming. [2] the accelerating morph of an intellectual broad-based radio station into an inferior (by any standards) voice for black, racist propaganda.

These are two major factors contributing to the dwindling listenership. Sending everybody their overcharged, overpaid-for premiums ("gifts") is not going to bring the lost audience back, as Null implies. Those silly, often fraudulent "rewards" need to be eliminated altogether, as do the opportunistic pitchers who so desperately need to preserve what they have come to believe is their very own turf.

Most of the audience will never return, but—given time and funds—a new listenership could be built. The fact, however, is that WBAI has squandered its time and depleted its funds. A couple of weeks ago, Berthold Reimers told the Finance Committee that premiums had not been mailed, because the station didn't have the $160 postage fee. Yesterday, as you will hear, Gary Null said that over $700,000 was owed to the Empire State Building. This was one of the problems Reimers claimed to have solved. Now, though he at least serves up half truths,  Mr. Null is also fantasizing. 

That said, why should anyone donate money to keep alive mismanagement, hateful racist distortions of history, banal music, inarticulate propaganda, and narcissistic needs? If you can answer that, please do so.

Granted, there are some good programs on WBAI, but they form a small segment of the weekly schedule. In his assessment of the situation, Null conveniently omits or lumps into a trope the dark side that gradually turned integrity into moral bankruptcy.

As always, Null voices enthusiastically about his own accomplishments—real and imagined—and Reggie Harris (in the part of hopeless Haskins) doesn't miss a cue to nod in acceptance. Here is the lengthy clip in its entirety, sans three pitches by Reggie, which I removed.  

Click here to listen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Reimers' ad lib accounting.

Yesterday, Monday, October 19, 2015, the Finance Committee of Pacifica's National Board held a telephone meeting at which WBAI manager, Berthold Reimers was scheduled to report on the station's financial situation. The truth is that we probably know more about Judge Crater's fate than we do about WBAI's revenue and how it is spent.

This has been the case for several years, but never more so than under Reimers, who came to his position five years ago with a promise to straighten out a mess made by his predecessors, and a plan to double the station's income. Instead, he more than doubled the debt, scared off a very large percentage of the sponsoring listenership, brought the programming down to an even lower level, and almost saw it lose its transmitter.

That transmitter is currently playing a curious role as this long, drawn-out drama accelerates the curtain's drop. The attached audio reveals—perhaps inadvertently—what the real story is, but here is a pertinent brief exchange. You may recall that crony Mitchel Cohen (who replaced Frank Lefever as Apologist-in-Chief) attributed Reimers' invisibility to heavy negotiation regarding the ESB's monthly antenna rental fee. Month after month, that was the story we were asked to believe and there came a time when laurels seemed in order, for Reimers had talked the ESB rent down to a sixth of the asking price. Whatta guy!

Well, it would appear that the rent has not been reduced, only the monthly required payment—the rest, $43,000 is simply being accrued—giving the Empire State building full control over WBAI's destiny. That comes to $516,000 a year!! Certainly an important issue, which is why a member of the Finance Committee wanted to pursue it in greater detail. Reimers, forgetting that he had just recited the key figures, said that such a discussion ought to be held in "executive session." It's all too farcical for words.

Here is the full audio file of Reimers' appearance, as well as an abbreviated version for the less patient. When you have sampled enough of it, you might agree with observations made by our friend, 'indigopirate.'

"Hearing his intonation and delivery and presentation, it suddenly struck me… now bear in mind that I mean this literally, not simply as an insult:

He’s a data-entry clerk – a very poor one at that. How they came to hire a data-entry clerk – not a bookkeeper, not a business manager, not an accountant – I have no idea, but they hired a data-entry clerk to manage a radio station at the center of the FM dial in the New York market.

At this simple realization I was blinded and fell off my horse. I really can’t believe it. That’s what he is. I don’t know if he misrepresented his experience, or if he had been promoted above his level of experience and competence at his previous employer, but this is a data-entry clerk, trying to figure out how to make a budget and manage a radio station – and one with no real talent or promotability above the level of a simple data-entry clerk.

They’re paying a data-entry clerk $100,000 plus benefits to manage a radio station as a learning experience which he can’t handle – Quickbooks is all he can (barely) handle, and he’s so simple he thinks anything more sophisticated than Quickbooks is somehow inferior, since he can’t grasp it.

For this they’re paying him $100,000/yr plus benefits."

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Reimers' latest idiotic move...

A logical question posted by Steve Brown on the WBAI-LSB-Public list at 1:30 this morning (Sunday). Like everything else Reimers does, this one does not make sense... or does it? Was the GM in perpetual absentia upset by Gary Null's honest assessment of the station's current financial crisis or is he playing the Siegel game to clear WBAI off the board? Is there method to his madness? What do you think?


I just learned that Gary Null received an email today from WBAI GM Berthold Reimers telling him that his show will be pre-empted from the fund drive for all of next week. (No reason on explanation given.)

Since WBAI is dead broke, cannot meet its operating expenses, let alone even afford postage to mail out thousands of backlogged premiums – and given that Gary Null’s pitching has been responsible for raising as much as 50% or more of the station’s fund-drive revenue for the past several years – is pre-empting him from the fund drive sensible?

I meant that question rhetorically, since it does not seem sensible to me. In fact, I would call such a pre-emption extremely irresponsible, and I would strongly urge -- as a member of the LSB and the National Board – that the Executive Director request Berthold to retract his ill-advised pre-emption. I would also ask that Berthold provide the reasoning or calculation upon which he based his egregiously counter-intuitive decision.

Stephen M Brown
Director, Pacifica National Board

Member, WBAI Local Station Board
NOTE: According to R. Paul Martin, the current drive is averaging $9,500 per day, so far. That makes this decision all the more illogical. (CA)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Loans with 20% Interest: A Pacifica Exile newsletter

Loans With 20% Interest

Berkeley-In the wake of Pacifica's latest executive transition from permanent ED John Proffitt who resigned after 4 months, to Siegel/Brazon faction leader Lydia Brazon, information out of Pacifica's national office (which is supposedly on the block for mortgage according to Brazon, who had earlier shown the property to real estate brokers in 2014), has slowed to a trickle. Despite apocalyptic statements from controller Efren Llarinas at the last national board meeting about bills due at the end of September, it appears enough money was borrowed to clear paychecks and preserve employee health benefits. However Llarinas continues to sound the alarm, telling the finance committee: "It is really unpredictable if PNO can fund its own PNO employees' salaries this October 15 payroll " and "There is no assurance right now that PNO will be able to advance the November healthcare bills (approx. $65K) which are all due on Oct. 31". Meanwhile, the Pacifica Archive is desperately trying to collect money owed to it from stations, including "PRA Days" at LA and NY, premium billings from DC, and thousands owed from LA for the use of their bookkeeper after the last temporary KPFK bookkeeper was terminated for embezzling and the successor quit in less than a week.

Pacifica's finance committee is considering a proposal by controller Llarinas for a no-collateral loan of $300,000 with a 17-20% interest rate from an unspecified financing company. Pacifica's monthly expenses network-wide average about $990,000.

The increasingly desperate proposals for real estate mortgages and now quickie high interest loans indicate the extent expenses have outstripped listener-donated funds with no brakes put on by the rogue board majority that took control of the network in March of 2014. The board chair and ED from March of 2014 to May of 2015, Save KPFA's Margy Wilkinson, set up a nonprofit to capture broadcast licenses should Pacifica dissolve, file for bankruptcy or attempt to sell or transfer broadcast licenses.

Pacifica's audit for the year ending 9/30/2014, which was due to the State of California Registry of Charitable Trusts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting over 100 days ago, has still not been started due to financial disarray, making a mockery of earlier statements by ED Wilkinson, CFO Salvador and PNB treasurer Edwards-Tiekert that this audit would be a "snap", and the long delay in completing the FY 2013 audit was entirely caused by inherited accounting deficiencies. All three previous administrations completed annual financial audits by the time the rogue board majorities in 2014 and 2015 *started* the annual audit. Auditor Armanino has said they will terminate their relationship with Pacifica following the completion of the 2014 audit they have not yet started. 

A week into the new fiscal year, the national board has not reviewed a single divisional budget and the finance committee has only passed one: KPFA's, leaving the network bereft of any financial planning documents for the year now underway. This is the second consecutive year the vast majority of the 7 divisional budgets were prepared late and failed to be reviewed by the board of directors prior to the start of the fiscal year on October 1.

Pacifica's delayed board member elections, which will replace half the expired members while keeping the other half around for another year (if the network lasts that long), may possibly get underway soon with ballots being mailed to members in 4/5 signal areas (DC's elections were canceled). This publication's endorsements will be provided this upcoming weekend for all four signal areas electing staff and listener representatives.

After struggling and failing to come up with a $25,000 first-class mail postage deposit in August, Pacifica resolved to send ballots out using nonprofit bulk mail, so voters may get ballots anytime between October 15th and the end of the month. Candidate groups that send out accompanying mailers promoting their candidates have been distraught by Pacifica's seeming intent to mail the ballots before providing lists for outside mailings, which may prevent voters from getting supplementary information until voters have already voted. It may also place the foundation in violation of Corporations Code clause 6330, which provides 10 business days for responding to election mailing list requests from members.

KPFT treasurer Bill Crosier prepared this detailed spreadsheet on election costs with historical data, budget projections and actuals to date.Crosier guesstimates that personnel costs alone for the election supervisor and 5 local staffers may go as high as $100K and that the six week+ delay from August to October for the ballot mailing cost at least $15K in extended staffing costs.

After three long-term KPFK music hosts with 57 years of experience between them resigned on-air three consecutive days last week, Derek Rath, Betto Arcos and Yatrika Shah-Rais issued a joint statement on their decision. It can be found here.

In their statement they say "This joint decision has been the result of deep soul searching which has led to the conclusion that we have major ethical issues requesting money from listeners whose premiums do not get fulfilled and whose favorite programs get cut or are regularly interrupted or put on hiatus. Furthermore, we believe that Pacifica is no longer living up to its mission, and that power plays and internal politics are wreaking havoc with the station and have undermined quality programming".

As if that weren't enough, the LA station's email was completely out of order for most of last week, which had been shortly preceded by the phone system not accepting any incoming phone calls the week before. Station management communicated using gmail accounts set up at and and at least 4 days of email traffic to the server bounced back to senders.

KPFK news reporter Ernesto Arce posted on KPFK's Facebook page this evening that a planned KPFK news report on the state of KPFK was prevented from airing this evening at 6:45pm as the Pacifica Evening News had apparently planned. It has generally been the policy of the Pacifica Evening News produced at KPFA that they do not accept management interference in the airing of internal news about Pacfica, which they have done frequently over the years usually in defense of the Berkeley wing of the Siegel/Brazon faction. Arce reported:  "KPFK News: We were not able to air the report tonight, we're very sorry. KPFK management is expected to make a decision in the next few days on whether or not we can air the report. Thank you". 

All of the turmoil leading up the start of KPFK's fund drive probably contributed to the rocky start. As of 11pm on Thursday night, the station had raised $55,000 of a 2-day goal of $81,000. The station congratulated itself on social media, apparently expecting a much worse result. The posted picture of the fund drive room showed the GM herself, LSB secretary John Garry, the wife of LSB member Doug Barnett, and the station's volunteer receptionist answering phones. The daily average has been so far about the same as the daily average of KPFA's recently-completed fund drive, but is problematic for the LA station because it set its fundraising goal $210,000 higher. Also problematic for GM Radford is the highest grossing program of the fund drive (so far) Uprising with Sonali Kolhatkar, the program Radford just cut to two days a week.Uprising without Sonali suffered an 80% reduction in pledges the next day. Producer Christine Blosdale, generally acknowledged to be on Radford's list of most disliked employees, raised a third of Tuesdays entire proceeds in two hours with programs at noon and 5 o'clock bringing in a total of $8,000. 

Radford told programmers they were expected to book $1500/hour in pledges regardless of the time of day. Many programs missed Radford's bar, which was said to expose programs to removal from the air, including: both 6am airings of Democracy Now ($430, $1080), 2/3 airings of Mitch Jeserich's Letters and Politics ($510, $100), the Feminist Magazine ($50), the Pacifica Evening News ($370, $0), Uprising without Sonali ($920), The Broadcast ($870), Digital Village ($800) and all seven Spanish language programs: Informativo Pacifico ($725, $190), Voces de Libertad ($425), Insurgencia Feminina ($100), Supplemento Communitario ($410), Contragolpe ($125), Encuentros ($25) and Centro America Sin Censura ($35).

Pacfica is facing what has been described as a large quantity of employee grievances filed with the SAG-AFTRA bargaining unit in Los Angeles over work hour reductions, failure to pay seniority pay, failure to pay employer pension contributions and failure to submit 6 months of union dues withheld from employee paychecks. A petition detailing the union contract violations is accepting signatures here.

In Berkeley, a 17 day fund drive ended meeting the goal of $540,000. The $540,000 goal is the lowest fall fund drive goal KPFA has had in at least a decade by six figures and the net receipts from the drive will cover a mere 45 days of operating expenses at $275K-$300K a month. The station's budget plan for 2016 features five fund drives with goals in excess of $270,000, all approximately 60 days apart. The December "mini-drive" which begins exactly 59 days from today has a goal of $389,000. The proposed budget also calls for an unspecified $30,000 in "staff cuts" at KPFA early next year. The final membership numbers were released for the election yesterday at 16,304 and confirm that KPFA has lost 1,900 members since July of 2012, when the membership roster was at 18,200.

KPFA's new fund drive room "code of conduct" drew some exasperation on Facebook where former community advisory board member Judith Gips recounted coming in conflict with the happy talk policy when she asked what was going on at sister station KPFK: 
    • Judith Gips I asked in the phone room at the beginning of this most recent KPFA on air fund drive "does anyone know what is happening with KPFK and wheter they are staying on the air?" and got told/warned by one of the newer off-air coordinators that I'd violated the Code of Conduct by bringing up controversial subjects.
Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at pnb@pacifica.orgFor readers who may wish to do more, any donor to a California-based not for profit organization like Pacifica may file a complaint to the open file at the Registry of Charitable Trusts at the Office of the CA Attorney General. Pacifica's case number is CT011303. The form and instructions for filing may be downloaded here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

It's what you do with the power that counts...

Fifty years ago, as 1965  entered its last lap, we were busy looking ahead and preparing WBAI for the future. As a giant step in that direction, we sought and received permission to increase our power and install a new transmitter atop the Empire State Building. Their powerful antenna had undergone a major upgrade, allowing it to carry a multiple of radio signals, and we were among the first to sign up.

A major improvement was the extended coverage this gave us. Now people could tune us in on small transistor radios from locations that hitherto required, at the very least, a good outdoor antenna. We could also be heard in several in spots that previously had been dead, and we were equipped for stereo broadcasting. Lou Schweitzer had experimented with an early form of stereo transmission a few years back, when WBAI was a small room in the Sherry Netherland hotel, so he was delighted to hear me speak of this "dream" and volunteered to lend us the money we needed.

When your programming has the quality and uniqueness that characterized ours at that time, a powerful transmitter in an ideal location pays for itself. As we predicted, this move increased membership and was thus a sensible investment. 

The current mismanagement blames everything but their own ineptitude for the present crisis, including the cost of transmitter room rental and hook-up. True, we did not pay anything near the amount the ESB charges today, but when you scare off nearly your entire listening audience by stagnating at a sub-standard level of audio and content, and target one small segment of a single community within the listening area, the transmitting cost becomes relatively prohibitive. There are other factors in play here, but they have not been addressed in many years.

One of those factors is the lack of information program-ming and otherwise—shared with the audience. A monthly publication called the Folio was sent out to paid WBAI subscribers, giving them not only an extra incentive to send in their annual fee (it was $15 when I left), but also a thorough, detailed listing of our on-air offerings. A look at the Folio Notes for our January 17-February 13, 1966 issue (Click on image to enlarge it) reflects the pride with which we anticipated the switch to our new transmitter.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Down and down they go...

Dominos Topple: 
Third On-Air Resignation 
at KPFK In Three Days

Berkeley - On Wednesday, Yatrika Shah-Rais became the third veteran programmer to resign on-air at Los Angeles radio station KPFK. Shah-Rais, the former music director of the Cultural Center in Los Angeles, announced her departure one day after Betto Arcos announced the airing of his final show, and two days after Derek Rath resigned on-air, all three of them long term producers of the station's Global Village series. Former Doors drummer John Densmore called into KPFK during Arcos' final show. You can hear Shah-Rais' goodbye here. GM Radford is said to have tried to prevent the live on-air Global Village broadcast Wednesday morning.

An online petition containing a Letter of No Confidence in the new manager went online yesterday and collected 123 signatures on its first day. The letter cited legal, fundraising, programming and behavioral problems including work reductions not negotiated with the union, mishandling a worksharing application, releasing employee SS# numbers, losing a Free Speech TV contract, emptying fund drive rooms during pledge drives, obscenity and homophobia on air, withholding of seniority pay to employees and union dues to SAG-AFTRA, and profanity-laced outbursts towards staff. Most of these items have been described in previous editions of this publication.
Here are some of the comments from petition-signers:

Leah Knecht - Pasadena, CA
I hate what she is doing to the station, and employees.

Jeri Lopez - Toluca Lake, CA
I respect the rights and opinions of the staff and voters of this liberal rights for all station. I stand with them and their first-hand observations of the ineffective actions of the General Manager of KPFK.

Joe Tonan
I first gave to KPFK when in 1979. I am a long time supporter. However, the new management has taken the station to the edge of the cliff. Time to walk it back.

Dana Lubow - Monrovia, CA
I am signing because I am a long-time volunteer for Canto sin Fronteras and I am dismayed by the incessant fund drives. This has caused a marked loss of our listeners. Additionally, her lack of union solidarity and treatment of union contracts and union members makes me question her progressive values. I also question if she is the best choice for running this historic, long-lived station.

Ben White - Monrovia, CA
Life time listener and financial donator, since the '60s. I don't like what is happening to our station.

Maria LaBarrie - Temecula, CA
One of the main reasons I support KPFK is the music. Now that Betto & Derek are leaving, who else will leave. Something is wrong here that needs to be fixed.

Steve Hayes - Los Angeles, CA
It's heartbreaking to see this once-great, one-of-a-kind radio station being destroyed by incompetence and greed, and its best broadcasters being forced off the air. Every decision and statement made by Leslie Radford so far has been inept or dishonest or both. If KPFK is to be saved, Ms. Radford must go.

Chris Bennett - Los Angeles, CA
Pledging money to KPFK with Ms. Radford in the GM position is funding incompetence.

John Zuehlke - Sherman Oaks, CA
KPFK-FM, as the only radio station in the Los Angeles area that allows viewpoints that challenge the corporate hegemony to be broadcast, is too valuable a resource to lose. By placing unqualified and inept management into top management positions, the un-elected Pacifica National Board is jeopardizing KPFK’s future more effectively than even the most reactionary wings both the Democratic and Republicans Parties, and their multi-national backers, could ever have dreamed.

Marie Nubia-Feliciano - Irvine, CA
I'm signing because KPFK is a public good that should be protected from incompetence. My children deserve to have this radio station.

Gerri McNenny - Fullerton, CA
I'm concerned about the direction that KPFK and Pacifica are taking AND the poor management that has led to the loss of millions for KPFK.

Rick Banales - Diamond Bar, CA
I have been a volunteer at KPFK of and on for over 30 years, from when Mario Cassetta was a host. I have not volunteered for a while because the mismanagement of the station over the last few months is so evident that even with the best efforts of programmers, the air of a hostile work environment is palpable over the air.

William Reilly - Los Angeles, CA
Station Manager selection should be transparent and listeners should have the major input and be able to vote on the candidates. I will no longer financially support KPFK until Radford is replaced with a competent GM. 

Radford was appointed by Berkeley-based Margy Wilkinson on her last day as executive director.  Radford served on the local and national boards and was a crony of the Siegel/Brazon faction, replacing incoming executive director Lydia Brazon on the national board during the brief period Brazon was required to step down between consecutive board terms. Prior to taking the KPFK managerial job, she was an adjunct instructor in speech at some LA community colleges for the pasr decade and a half.

In Northern California, longstanding supporters of the Berkeley wing of the Siegel/Brazon faction appeared nonplussed at the Wilkinson-caused meltdown at KPFK. Long-time host Richard Wolinsky posted on Facebook that "he'd seen nothing to indicate  --- nothing --- that {Radford} had been anything other than a complete and total disaster for KPFK" and former KPFA news reporter John Hamilton posted on the petition site: "KPFK is too precious to be left in the hands of a manager so divisive and inexperienced. Let's clean the slate and walk KPFK bank from the brink".  It wasn't clear if Hamilton was revoking his former endorsement of Wilkinson and the other Save KPFA-affiliated board members by suggesting the cleaning of the slate.

KPFK has been overcome by angry donors calling to demand refunds for premiums never received. (With a brief respite when the phone system and email systems went down). As an example, this woman began inquiring about a late premium on May 22, saying she had pledged in February and had yet to receive her gift. By September, she was beside herself, sending this communication:

From: Maria XXX 
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 12:36 PM
Subject: RE: KPFK Refund Request

It’s been 7-months since my invoice has been outstanding.  My patience has reached its limit.  You didn’t even have the decency to respond to my email requesting my refund.  What kind of scam are you guys running?  I am a mother of 4 and work very hard on a daily basis to provide for my family.  I made a significant sacrifice to make a $365 dollar pledge.  I thought that we both would benefit from it.  Your pitch sold me on making this pledge; you would provide me with items that would benefit my children and me and my money would benefit your station.  I am requesting immediate reimbursement of my funds.

KPFK's financial meltdown is having serious implications throughout the network, where the LA station's formerly robust fundraising numbers helped with meeting expenses throughout the network. Statements were made at national governance meetings in the last two weeks about the significant difficulty of meeting station payrolls and paying for health benefits at the end of this month, but there has been no public statement to date as the end of the month passed.

The breaking events at KPFK have resulted in more frequent publication of Pacifica-in-Exile for the past few weeks. This publication will attempt if circumstances allow to do a more thorough financial review, as well as cover current news from all of the network's stations, as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience and concern about the welfare of KPFK. Should you be moved to do so, you can sign the KPFK No Confidence letter here.

The Progressive Commentary Hour once again discussed the state of Pacifica Radio on Tuesday. The program can be heard here.

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at
For readers who may wish to do more, any donor to a California-based not for profit organization like Pacifica may file a complaint to the open file at the Registry of Charitable Trusts at the Office of the CA Attorney General. Pacifica's case number is CT011303. The form and instructions for filing may be downloaded here.

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