Fun_People Archive
7 Apr
KPFA local board meeting

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon,  7 Apr 97 23:05:22 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: KPFA local board meeting

[Pacifica Radio is a major non-commercial radio network in the US (not to be  
confused with National Public Radio).  It has also been a major source of  
left-of-the--middle-of-the-road news reporting (neither NPR nor PBS qualify,  
both having moved firmly to the middle or even a little right of there).  I  
would hate to see Pacifica plundered for corporate profits...  -psl]

Forwarded-by: Jef Jaisun <>
Forwarded-by: Larry or Lynn Tunstall <>
Forwarded-by: Labor Committee on the Middle East <>

Take Back KPFA P.O. Box 13557, Berkeley, CA 94712
(510) 464-4629


On April 16 at 7 p.m., KPFA's Advisory Board will hold what may be one of
the most momentous meetings in the station's history.  Thanks to efforts of
Take Back KPFA, it will be held at the No. Berkeley Senior Center, at Hearst
and MLK, Jr. Way,  one block from the station,  in order to accommodate
listeners and subscribers who wish to attend and participate.  A major
turnout by all those concerned with saving KPFA is essential.

April 3, 1997

Dear KPFA Supporter:

KPFA and Pacifica Radio are heading into what appears to be the greatest
crisis in the station and the network's history.  We have learned from
follow-ups to a report published  in the San Francisco Examiner, March 17,
that the possibility, if not the likelihood, exists that Pacifica Executive
Director Pat Scott and the Pacifica Board will sell either KPFA or its New
York station, WBAI, to a wealthy privately-owned radio conglomerate.  This
news comes at the same time that KPFA Program Director Ginny Berson has
given her resignation and Station General Manager Marci Lockwood has applied
for the job as the director of  a major progressive Bay Area non-profit.

According to the Examiner's Bill Mann, offers have been made to Pacifica
for KPFA ($60 million) and WBAI, in New York ($90 million) by private
companies that covet their power and place on the FM spectrum.  Although
Scott says she has ruled out selling either of the stations, there appears
to be nothing in the law that would prohibit her from doing so short of a
court injunction.

The April 16 meeting was originally scheduled for March 12, but postponed
at the last minute, apparently in order for the local board to deal with
new and unprecedented orders from the Pacifica Board Executive Committee
which prohibit any member of the KPFA staff, volunteer or paid, from serving
on the board, excepting the general manager who now will be the sole voice
on the board representing  the station.

In addition, instead of the local board voting to send two of its members
-- already restricted since 1995 to non-staff members --  to sit on the
national board, it will now be able to select only one.  The second
"representative" will be chosen by the Pacifica hierarchy and serve as an
ex-officio member of the local board, but responsible only to the national
body.  These moves,  decided  without input from station staff, listeners,
or  local  boards, give more power to Pacifica Executive Director Pat Scott
and place Pacifica even further away  from any semblance of democratic
decision making.

An important agenda item at the April meeting will be Tomas Moran's report
to the board  on the results of  KPFA listeners forums which he facilitated
and which were ostensibly intended to provide station management with the
listeners' input on programming.  By April 16, however,  program changes
for April will already be in place;  it does not appear that the forums or
any other form of listener input played a part in management's decisions.

Since October '95, Pacifica has held all but a token hour of its
thrice-annual three-day board meetings in Executive Session.  This is
patently in violation of federal broadcasting law governing non-profits
receiving federal funds and prompted Take Back KPFA to file a formal
complaint with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) last July.
The CPB is a private body, funded and charged by Congress with distributing
public radio dollars and making sure that "open meeting" laws are enforced.
Thus far, they have failed to deter Pacifica although an inquiry by CPB is
still underway.  (The next Pacifica board meeting is scheduled for the Bay
Area in June.  If the site isn't changed it will its first meeting here
since February, 1995!)

Early last month Pat Scott hired  a "Communications Director" for Pacifica
-- Burt Glass --  who last year was doing a similar job for the Justice
Department's COPS program (Community Oriented Police Services).  On March
11, Glass issued a "confidential memorandum" to Pacifica station managers
providing the "correct" answers to questions that might be asked of them by
members of the media and listeners.

The very first question refers to  Pacifica's use of the American Consulting
Group (ACG), a major union-busting organization that was hired by Scott to
assist KPFK  in its contract negotiations with the union at that station,
and to assist Pacifica in writing a contract that would effectively decimate
the unions at KPFA and WBAI.  Scott canceled Pacifica's own contract with
ACG only after its existence had been made public. The recommended response
by Glass to accusations against the ACG?   "To our chagrin," he writes, "we
heard allegations that the firm had participated in some anti-union
activities in its its history. To this day, we have been unable to verify
these allegations."

Among the beneficiaries of  ACG's "anti-union activities" have been RJR
Nabisco, DuPont, Union Carbide, and Sony, whose names were publicized on
flyers passed out by Take Back KPFA at local board meetings and KPFA events
last year.  KPFA listeners  may also have heard Gabriel Hernandez from Local
2850 of the Hotel & Restaurant workers union explain to David Bacon on the
Morning Show and Dennis Bernstein on Flashpoints the tactics of fear and
intimidation used by ACG to block the union's campaign to organize the
largely Latina work force of the Lafayette Hotel in Lafayette.

Take Back KPFA has been fortunate to obtain a 10-minute promotional video
prepared by the ACG for prospective corporate clients.  The video shows ACG
to be not only anti-union; it is racist as well.  Shown in the video and
identified as potential "enemies" of ACG clients are the Rainbow Coalition,
Jessie Jackson and the SEIU's "Jobs for Justice" campaign.  We hope to be
able to show the video several times between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the lobby
of the senior center before the beginning of the board meeting.

We urge you to come and to bring as many KPFA listeners as you can to the
April 16 meeting, whether to speak during the public comment period or
simply to show by your presence that you share our concern for the future
of the station and for Pacifica.

We also ask those who can attend the meeting and those who can't to send a
contribution to Take Back KPFA to assist us in our ongoing efforts to return
Pacifica to its historic mission.  We anticipate that there will be
considerable expenses in preparing for Pacifica's June board meeting, as
well as for possible legal action beforehand.  Every dollar you can
contribute will help.



Bob Bergstresser
Jeffrey Blankfort
Sasha Futran
Maria Gilardin
Annie Hallat
John Klein
Marian Torres

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dear Take Back KPFA:

I want to help.  I have enclosed my contribution for __________.  I
also have the following services or skills that I can offer to Take
Back KPFA:


Name (Please Print)__________________________________________________

Mailing Address________________________________________
Zip Code___________________  Phone

Make out checks to Take Back KPFA , POB 13557, Berkeley, CA 94712

[Also see: &   -psl]

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