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Legendary KPFA Radio, 94.1 FM, in Berkeley has reportedly been placed at risk due to $1.8 million awarded in a summary judgment to Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (ESRT). The 6:00 p.m. KPFA Evening News on Dec. 28, 2017, reported that the Pacifica Foundation board members were deadlocked on a vote this evening to go into foreclosure or file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, due to over $2 million owed to ESRT in unpaid tower rent at the Empire State Building.
Pacifica invented public radio; since the beginning, Pacifica stations have been sponsored by listeners, with no corporate sponsorship or underwriting and thus no censorship. But the network faces many dire issues that its listeners need to know and that WBAI programmer Don Debar can knowledgeably talk about. Check out what Pacifica has not been telling its listener supporters ...
AB 1270, legislation that would increase transparency and media access to California’s notorious state prison system, is currently facing opposition in the Senate Appropriations Committee. CDCR is formally opposing the bill, citing cost as their main concern. There are two ways that you can help: Attend a Lobby Day on Aug. 9 or phone committee members from home before Aug. 13.
The fierce debate about competing visions for KPFA and Pacifica Radio continues, with the focus now on the attempt to recall Tracy Rosenberg from the KPFA Local Station Board and the Pacifica National Board and the competing campaigns to keep Tracy on the board. Mail your ballot in time for it to arrive at KPFA by Aug. 3.
Today, residents throughout the state celebrate as AB1270, a bill to lift the media access ban in California prisons, passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety in a 4-2 vote. Since 1996, media have been prohibited from choosing their interview subjects inside prisons, and nine versions of this bill have been vetoed by three different governors.
Kagame jails and kills people in Rwanda and is sending his agents to pursue people in Europe and here in the U.S. for the crime of simply saying that not only Tutsis but also Hutus died in 1994. One young man who is now under attack as a “bad” survivor is Claude Gatebuke.
I am writing to give clarity and to correct the misinformation that you have been hearing for the past three months from some of KPFA’s paid staff. John Hamilton has not been "laid off." Brian Edwards Tiekert bumped John to take back his job.
I ask all reading this letter to give generously to support the station. With your support, new programming changes and coverage of vital struggles in the U.S. and around the world will continue.
Pacifica Radio has announced that it will now carry news coverage from Al Jazeera English, which brings it for the first time to radio audiences in North America. Al Jazeera English is the award-winning 24-hour international news and current affairs channel and has become a world leader in the coverage of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.
Two years ago, Brian Edwards-Tiekert reported to the Pacifica National Board that staff layoffs were imperative at WBAI in NYC and KPFK in LA even though those laid off would push back. Today at KPFA, Brian is the one being laid off and pushing back.
The KPFA management plan was to remove Flashpoints from the 5 p.m. evening slot and replace it with a syndicated news program from an external source. To remove Hard Knock radio from the 4 p.m. evening slot and replace it with a syndicated Baltimore NPR program hosted by Michael Eric Dyson. Siding with management to advocate for unfair reductions that violate the basic seniority provisions in their own contract and endorsing slates in board elections is the kind of behavior that gives unions a bad name.
A group that had formerly called itself the Concerned Listeners, a faction in the community who are partisan supporters of the status quo controlling clique that runs KPFA and who oppose accountability and participation by “outsiders” in the station, is now calling itself Save KPFA.
The job of the media is to hold the powerful accountable. To avoid hypocrisy, the media itself must be held accountable as well. In the past few days, KPFA has broadcast at least twice a brief announcement recorded by the interim general manager scolding Bay View associate editor JR Valrey for a passing mention in one of his Block Reports of KPFA’s former interim program manager, Sasha Lilley. The Bay View respectfully questions its timing and refutes its contentions.
Throughout history, students have played a crucial role in furthering social change. During the Vietnam War, there was a nationwide youth rebellion in the U.S. against America’s imperialist war in Southeast Asia and the ensuing atrocities. On university campuses across America, from the University of California, Berkeley, to Columbia University, students organized sit-ins, teach-ins and rallies, printed flyers and occupied campus buildings to protest against the injustices occurring at home and abroad. These protests were not only a sign of moral outrage; they were also strategically designed to end the involvement of American universities in perpetuating the atrocities in Vietnam and other social ills.
I'm assuming the worst now: that the threat of bankruptcy by the Pacifica radio network is, at bottom, a ruse to shock and awe us into remaking Pacifica into a mainstream radio network.