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Support KPFA and Pacifica

December 11, 2010

by Arlene Engelhardt, Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation

From KPFA’s 59,000-watt transmitter atop Grizzly Peak, KPFA’s provocative – sometimes even revolutionary – programs reach most of Northern and Central California. Spread the word: Millions of people should know about and use this powerful voice to liberate our communities. Listen in at 94.1FM and And support this great radio station. Don’t let it die!
I’m sure you share my fervent hope that the only radio network in the country, since Air America went bankrupt, bringing progressive programming not only to our five sister stations in New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles and the Bay Area, but also to more than 140 community and college radio stations across the country can be brought back to financial health again. KPFA and the Pacifica network are sorely needed in these times.

Unfortunately, KPFA and Pacifica have suffered greatly in the current recession. Since 2007, KPFA has lost more than $1.4 million and has used all the station reserves. Listener support has declined by almost 30 percent over the past five years from $4 million in 2005 to a low of $2.8 million in the fiscal year that just ended. Our Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding has also been cut, partly due to the decline in listener support.

This situation, coupled with losses at other Pacifica stations, puts the whole Pacifica network in serious financial peril. Emergency steps were necessary to prevent the financial collapse of the station and the network.

Two years ago layoffs were carried out across the entire Pacifica network – except at KPFA. The station continued to operate with minimal cuts, while depleting its million-dollar reserve fund. This year layoffs at KPFA could no longer be postponed when in September KPFA could not meet its payroll and we had to negotiate an emergency loan.

We were able to reduce the number of involuntary layoffs by offering employees incentives to voluntarily resign. Seven voluntary resignations cut our staff by the equivalent of four and three-quarter fulltime positions. Unfortunately those voluntary resignations were not sufficient to address the necessity for a balanced budget this year.

We have done our best to carry out the additional layoffs with due consideration to the need to fulfill KPFA’s programming mission and to comply with the union contract provisions to layoff according to seniority, coupled with skill, ability, knowledge and job performance. Thanks to the people who voluntarily resigned, we only had to lay off two people – the hosts of the Morning Show. However, a new one-hour locally produced Morning Show will return to the airwaves soon, bringing you local news, events and culture.

There are no reserves left anywhere in the Pacifica Network to help carry KPFA through. These are hard financial times for everyone.

We cannot do this without you. KPFA needs all of us — listeners, paid and unpaid staff, management and our board — to pull together to help KPFA and the network pull through this crisis. If you would like a summary of the financial situation, please email and she will send it to you.

The station cannot continue without your generous support. We have scheduled a fund drive Dec. 13 through 17. Kindly consider doubling your contribution to KPFA this year.

Thank you for your support all these years. We must keep the flagship listener-sponsored radio station, KPFA, on the air! Only you can make that possible!

Arlene Engelhardt can be reached at or (510) 849-2590, ext. 208. Make your donation now at

3 thoughts on “Support KPFA and Pacifica

  1. Ann_Garrison

    I just posted this to my Facebook page, where I've also been arguing against the Avalos Resolution which blames Pacifica management for the current crisis, but I've got a major complaint about Pacifica, a complaint that I've been voicing for 10 freakin' years, which is, "When will Pacifica adopt a modern radio/Web interface to reach an audience beyond its signal area and ephemeral broadcasts?"

    After 10 years, I really have no idea who to turn to with this question. National? The KPFA Local Station Board? KPFA management? The latter barely seems to exist, or if so, only in the person of Ahmad Anderson, who seems to have human resources rather than radio expertise.

    I honestly fear it's too late for Pacifica, that it can't survive now, because it has so squandered all the resources that should have gone into creating a contemporary radio/Web interface as other stations, including all the NPR stations, did.

    I keep hoping against hope, though.

  2. greg

    Arlene is an idiot, and totally unqualified to be running a radio network, and this item you posted is drivel.

    Yeah, right Ann, resources squandered, stupid decisions destroying the listenership. This is obvious to 999 out of 1000 bay area listeners. Current Pacifica leadership is destroying KPFA.

  3. Malaika H Kambon

    12 December 2010
    End of the 1st Y2K Decade


    You know, I find it hard to find sympathy for your plight when you persistently disrespect AFRIKAN people by:

    (1) Attacking our programming and/or resist our even having programming; you threw AFRIKAN LIBERATION Weekend produced by Dr. Person-Lynn in Los Angeles completely off the air, catering to the whims and caprices of white supremacists – and that programming brought in listeners and money in droves;

    (2) Physically and mentally assault our women, and constantly marginalize our work / time on the air and our labor…. Remember Nadra Foster? I could name other sistas that you've had either internal or external goons to brutalize. In fact, I used to work at KPFA – one of the unpaid 'staff' who was hired straight off the street. Only 15 people, predominantly white, were getting paid at that time, so I had to hustle up my own funding, despite the fact that I was a single parent working damn near 14-16 hour days there. I produced local, national, international news programming from scratch, specifically during the AFRIKAN Liberation struggles. I constantly interviewed Afrikan Liberation Freedom Fighters from ALL of the Afrikan countries involved, because most of them were students in this country at some point, learning valuable skills to take back to their countries after the war – if they lived… I produced two shows for nearly a decade and do you know what? NO tapes of my programming can be found anywhere in that station?

    (3) Every time I look around lately KPFA management is doing something asinine. Either you're trying to cancel solid progressive, revolutionary programming, or you're threatening someone's job, or you're trying to cut solid productive programming – and people are having to spend valuable time fighting against the banalities put out by the so-called 'listener sponsored progressive radio station that is sitting in the middle of a white enclave in Berkeley. Weird, don't you think?

    (4) Layoffs… correct me if I'm wrong: but when a show has established a solid economic base with a solid listenership, shouldn't it be the programs that stay? And whose producers DON'T get – ahem – laid off? [read: fired, asked/harassed to leave]

    And as to KPFA "…carry(ing) out the additional layoffs with due consideration to the need to fulfill KPFA’s programming mission and to comply with the union contract provisions to layoff according to seniority, coupled with skill, ability, knowledge and job performance."

    Bah humbug! May your noses collectively and individually fall off for telling such lies! Your mouths speak one thing, your actions another entirely! And what's worse, here you are bleating and whining for money, amongst the very people that you wrong all o the time…

    For the above stated reasons and many more, I try very hard to NOT listen to KPFA or any of its sister stations, except for rare exceptions and programs: Hard Knock Radio, Walter Turner's AFRIKA programming, Flashpoints – or when I can hear a good interview or I can find programming by, for, of people of color…

    Listening to anything else at that station would send me around a corner.

    Giving money would be worse.

    Malaika H. Kambon


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