Thursday, February 28, 2019

Is it cricket?

The Arts & Pacifica & Crickets
A proposal was offered at the Pacifica National Board Programming Committee Meeting, Tuesday 26 February 2019.

~ 'indigopirate'

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Is Mo' Maxie Less?

Maxie Fails to Grasp, Fails to Grasp that He Fails to Grasp Absent Thought, Insight, or Ideas

Settles for a few Weasley & Condescending Insults of Affiliates Director

In the past I've pointed out that Maxie III's aptitudes and skill sets are those of a low-level apparatchik – a 'tool' in management argot.

Minimal management competence in other words.

In Monday's PNB Strategic Planning Committee Meeting, the latter portion dealing with Ursula Ruedenberg and the Pacifica Affiliates Program, I came to the realization that I'd been wrong. That I'd seriously overestimated the man's competence, as opposed to his enthusiasm for buzzword and his mindless rote embrace of 'best practices', which in his usage simply means mindless commonplace thinking.

The audio [above link] here is fairly lengthy, I'm afraid, but it makes clear that Maxie is incapable of grasping a simple management situation and addressing it. That task should take, I'd say, no more than five or ten minutes. A number of simple, clear, and likely effective approaches are immediately apparent.

Though they aren't to Maxie, Pacifica's Executive Director.

Here's the story: Ursula Ruedenberg has built and directed what is widely seen as a successful Affiliates Program for Pacifica. Pacifica frequently points to the Affiliates Program as successful and of real importance. She has done so with meager financial means and marginal support in many respects.

Of late, nearing retirement considerations and accompanying questions as to succession, she's raised the need for the Affiliates Program being a separate unit.

It's clear that the Affiliates Program, as an operation, is a small, low-cost, flexible and adaptive operation which has an impact benefitting Pacifica far far more than its relatively modest financial dimensions.

Maxie literally can't grasp this, clear though it is, obvious though it is.

Can't think of any approach other than his little tool kit of standardized 'best practice' approaches.

As they aren't readily applicable here, he has nothing to offer but a few kind and ultimately dismissive words.

Ms Ruedenberg is rightly frustrated and even more rightly offended.

She clearly has a very clear grasp of what works in her operation, and which has resulted in a very successful operation.

Maxie simply doesn't get it, can't hear it, can't comprehend it, and dismisses her while denying that he's dismissing her.


This is an uploadible PDF file that duplicates Kim's comment.

Mimi's arias—they're flat

WBAI today: Hypocrisy, mindless propaganda and shameless marketing.

I received the following note this afternoon, February 26, from an obviously concerned Pacifica
devotee who does not wish to be named [We have a number of Pacifica insiders who contribute to this blog anonymously].  I know very well what this person is talking about—Mimi Rosenberg continues to be an embarrassment and I find her ongoing presence on WBAI’s air inexcusable—it is this sort of failure to take essential action that gives me decreasing hope for the station’s resurrection in the current PD’s hands.

Meaning well, as I believe Linda Perry does, is not enough—the entire program content and those who throw it on the air must come under professional scrutiny. One serious mistake is, as I see it, to put in charge people who have past affiliation or friendship with the producers and hosts.

I hope this note kicks off a serious discussion of WBAI’s programming, which is something the many useless boards and committees seem loath to do. —Chris

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