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KPFK and Pacifica- woes unrelenting...

by KPFK loyalist still Sunday, Apr. 19, 2015 at 4:20 PM

We in LA all wish  to report or hear or write better news of improvements, less begging for more and more monies on air, less internal confusion and conflicts, and financial stability and ethics.....but ... not yet, or if ever possible is unknown...

This is another repost from ONLY found on-line revealing reports on KPFK 
and many KPFK stakeholders still wonder why there is or has been no local authentic unslanted website or reporting to be found. For more before and after this one, please visit this site to just read about all Pacifica doings, that seem to be reporting factual and no-where-else-seen information.

and many KPFK stakeholders still wonder why there is or has been no local authentic unslanted website or reporting to be found. For more before and after this one, please visit this site to just read about all Pacifica doings, that seem to be reporting factual and no-where-else-seen information.
- - - - - - - - -

"We in LA seem to live in an informational-desert and factual-dought. And what appears on the KPFK website is almost all self-serving-image and more pleas for more money, continually. Sad. See it. Comment here or
find more shared community information to reveal to all others who have also given up on spending earnings and harsh aggressive voices and  
no-local-transparency of Our Station - at least we thought it was - long ago.

[parts that are less LA - KPFK relevant have been excluded in these excerpts but can be found in entire article at URL listed below]


[parts that are less LA - KPFK relevant have been excluded in these excerpts but can be found in entire article at URL listed below]

"Within a day, not having gotten the memo, KPFK-Los Angeles’s interim GM Zuberi Fields announced a one week emergency April fund drive because the LA station, the financial powerhouse of the network for the past 5 years, “was faced with the possibility of having to shut down as it faces $300,000 in outstanding debt”. 

This was followed a week earlier by a memo to KPFK members apologizing for not sending premium gifts. The station has been beseiged with 30+  chargeback/cancellations from disgruntled members every month, per their bank statements.

[iGM] Fields added in a supplementary email to staff:  “Some board members are supporting corporate underwriting and/or selling off of some of the (Eastern) stations, but we fervently hope to avoid these plans.” 

Fields did not specify which board members were supporting selling off some of the Eastern stations or where he received this information, but his statement is contradictory to those of board majority members who continue to categorically deny in public that there has even been a flicker of discussion about selling stations.

The premise of the KPFK emergency fund drive was to try to sign up monthly sustaining members (a la WBAI’s BAI buddy program). KPFK appears to have had some success doing that, but  sustainer money ($10-20/month) does not come in all at once, so KPFK will end up with less than a 1/3 of its “outstanding debt” resolved, which was the nominal cause of the emergency fund drive. 

The reason for the latest financial crisis in LA might stem from the information in this report from the second call center service hired (after Tea-Party-connected Comnet was sent packing). Telerep’s report for the disappointing February fund drive shows them answering about 4,500 out of 5,800 calls during the drive. 

Both California stations continue to report severe membership dives, with KPFA dropping from 18,200 members in the summer of 2012 to 15,700 by the summer of 2014 (a loss of 15%) and KPFK dropping at a similar rate over the past two years.

The mismatch was not only rhetorical. The CFO accidentally sent a financial statement to the finance committee on April 14th that had network services payments (transfers between divisions) double-counted. For FY 2013.

The year that just got audited and supposedly has closed books. Both Salvador and auditor Armanino are still refusing board member requests for a list of accounts payable and accrued expenses after review indicated that expenses had been double-recorded in multiple fiscal years.

Last fall, Pacifica’s board majority played fast and loose with FCC rules on 3rd party fundraising, soliciting on-air pledges for health organization Partners in Health for an Ebola clinic in West Africa. 

The fundraising effort, which was initiated at KPFK on the Sojourner Truth show and repeated in several LA time slots as well as NY’s WBAI and DC’s WPFW, raised about $70,000 for Partners in Health. Pledgers were motivated by promises that 50 cents of each dollar pledged to Pacifica stations would be sent to Africa to fight Ebola via Partners in Health. The fundraising effort was initiated without first obtaining a waiver from the FCC.

Now the NY Times has reported that Partners In Health’s ebola effort was deeply troubled with international health officials describing “a pattern of safety lapses”. The Port Loko clinic was closed after two clinicians came down with Ebola (one American and one Sierra Leonean) and 17 PIH staffers were medically evacuated. Medevac evacuations from the Ebola hot zone back to the US are estimated to cost $75,000 each. 

The Sierra Leone government quarantined 2.5 million people in Western Sierra Leone for three days March 27-29 in an emergency lockdown shortly after the PIH workers were evacuated. NY Times reporter Sherri Fink used the PIH infections and evacuations as an example of the treatment discrepancies for foreign and African medical workers throughout the Ebola epidemic.

At the time, many Pacifica listeners were befuddled by the radio network choosing to support the virgin Ebola relief efforts of a group that had never worked in Africa before, rather than supporting veteran field medics Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). The independent initiative from one programmer received limited, if any, vetting from management or the local and national boards, who were not informed prior to the decision to raise and then donate the Ebola funds.        

Pacifica finally has a new executive director, after a year with none. The choice is former KUHF CEO John Proffitt, an NPR veteran who led the University of Houston’s radio station for 26 years. Proffitt was not the first choice of the board’s majority faction who did not support his candidacy and instead offered the job to labor writer Bill Fletcher Jr, who declined. 

When the board majority was told to offer the position to the 2nd most highly ranked candidate, Proffiitt in January, they balked and refused, instead insisting that the entire board redo its selection process, in hopes of securing majority support for another candidate. After a two month delay, they proved unable to do that and have reluctantly gone ahead and offered the job to Proffitt, who accepted.

Proffitt’s first big decision will be the selection of a new permanent general manager for LA station KPFK, which has not had permanent management since January of 2014. A pool of five or six candidates selected by the Los Angeles local station board will be made available for him to interview shortly after he begins the job on May 11th.

This story is still developing, but Los Angeles’ KPFK is dealing with a hate speech issue after the Latino community was up in arms over some of the station’s evening Spanish language programs, which were accused of slandering rape and molestation victims and defending a guest who has been accused of sexual predation. 

The programs are in the process of being translated from Spanish for review. Board majority member Rodrigo Argueta, who the KPFK staff attempted to recall from the national boad in 2014 before being stopped by attorney Alan Yee, hosted one of the programs that caused the uproar. Here’s a sampling of listener comments posted to the KPFK website:

Joel Garcia     15  April : I am extremely disappointed that Insurgencia Femenina (mind you a space for women) was used as a platform by Rodrigo Argueta to not only slander the names of long standing community organizers and at the same time minimize and berate a survivor of child molestation who called in to confirm she was molested by the man they spend two hours (Voces de Libertad/ & Insurgencia Femenina) defending. What kind of sensationalist unbiased slanderous programming is being allowed to be programmed at KPFK. We demand the immediate removal of Rodrigo Argueta from further programming. All this during Sexual Assault Awareness Month – what a damn shame. -joel

Casondra Mojica-Ramirez  15  April :   Shame on Voces de Libertad and Insurgencia Feminina for allowing Rodrigo and Cuco to spread their propaganda and rhetoric regarding a RAPE AND SEXUAL MOLESTATION VICTIM who called in last night! Shame on those two men for defending a known Sexual Predator and shame on them for re-victimizing the women who have came forward with these allegations. Patriarchy is alive and well! KPFK is an awesome amazing much needed service to our greater community. I would love to see Cuco and Rodrigo removed from your station, their words and tones are inexcusable.

The PNB will finally hold an in-person meeting, 16 months after the last one, in Los Angeles from June 12-15. No location has been disclosed.   

.....KPFK’s local station board was slated to discuss a similiar motion from their local governance committee, but since the meeting audio is not yet posted, the outcome of the discussion is unknown.

 Here is the motion: Motion from Governance (passed December 15, 2014, 3-1-1) “Whereas strip programming on KPFK occupies most of the drive time (peak) programming, the LSB and station management shall replace these strip programs with non-strip programs in order to open up the airwaves to many other voices and analyses. This shall be implemented within 60 days”.      "  
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