KPFA exceeds funding goals, but isn’t out of the woods yet

bannerKPFA’s staff report the station beat its Summer Fund Drive goal by a tidy $10,000. (If you didn’t get a chance to give, you can still do so online). But with Pacifica’s financial problems intensifying, KPFA’s budget could be threatened.

KPFA’s fundraising success over the past year is partly a result of former manager Andrew Phillips‘ decision to buck Pacifica and put former Morning Show staff Brian Edwards-Tiekert and Laura Prives back to work in the mornings, producing UpFront, along with KPFK’s Sonali Kolhatkar. UpFront has consistently been the station’s biggest fundraiser since the first day of its existence. According to an analysis by KPFA staff, the total pledged during fund drives increased by $220,000 in the 12 months following the introduction of UpFront — all without adding a single day of fundraising.

The better fundraising means KPFA’s Local Station Board (LSB) was able to approve a budget for next year that starts to roll back cuts begun in 2010. The LSB-approved budget restores some funding to KPFA’s Apprenticeship Program, sets aside money for the professional development of KPFA’s unpaid staff, and invests in long-term off-air fundraising strategies, so that the station can shorten its fund drives. The budget passed last Saturday’s LSB with an overwhelming, cross-factional majority — but one KPFA board member voted against it.

Who could that be? The sole vote against approving KPFA’s budget was from Tracy Rosenberg, who also happens to be Pacifica’s treasurer and is at the heart of the network’s mismanagement. KPFA’s budget still needs approval by the Pacifica National Board. Rosenberg and some of her allies participated in a boycott of the LSB’s last budget meeting in an attempt to deny the LSB a quorum.

ACTION ALERT: Sign this petition supporting KPFA’s budget

Last year, under similar circumstances, Rosenberg unilaterally made changes to KPFA’s budget in her role as network treasurer AFTER local board approval. “We can’t let that happen this year,” said Local Station Board member Jack Kurzweil. “KPFA is not the network’s piggy bank. Our listeners give money to keep our local station strong.”

IF YOU AGREE, PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION to the Pacifica National Board demanding that Pacifica respect local control and approve KPFA’s budget in the form adopted by our KPFA Local Station Board — with funding increases for the Apprenticeship Program intact. SHARE the petition with friends, and ask them to circulate it. Together, we can protect KPFA.

If you’d like to listen to the audio of August 10 Local Station Board meeting where the KPFA’s budget was discussed and voted on, you can find it here: part 1 (public comment, manager’s report); part 2 (budget discussion)

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