An email from interim managers Andrew Phillips and Carrie Core announces the most extensive programming changes to the station in the last decade, including canceling the 9 AM broadcast of the station’s most popular program, Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.
There was no consultation with KPFA’s elected local board, or any other parts of KPFA’s community. Phillips and Core were appointed to their temporary jobs only a few months ago by Pacifica’s Arlene Engelhardt.
KPFAWorker.org describes the changes: “Management intends to move Flashpoints to 8am and Hard Knock Radio to 9am, while Against the Grain and Living Room would be moved to 11am and music moved to the noontime for an hour and a half. FSRN and Al Jazeera, which often duplicate coverage, would be put back-to-back at 4pm. And an unformulated program, which sounds a lot like the concept of the unpopular Morning Mix, would be on from 5-6pm with five rotating hosts.” MORE FROM KPFAWORKER.ORG | KPFA News report
“These ridiculous changes make no sense,” said Pamela Drake, a local KPFA board member. “And they will drive away thousands of listeners at a very difficult economic time. What listeners want is the return of the Morning Show.”
Before the changes were announced, KPFA staff had begun circulating this letter, calling for management to reinstate Aimee Allison, instead of continuing to spend listener dollars on anti-union lawyers.
Merrill Lynch underwriting Pacifica programs?
Other disturbing news surfaced today that Pacifica, which owns KPFA’s license, appears to have taken corporate underwriting from financial giant Merrill Lynch.
Activists at Pacifica-owned station WBAI in New York report that during the station’s April 21 Finance Committee meeting, its general manager admitted taking $10,000 from Merrill Lynch to fund a producer’s work on “hydro-fracking,” an environmentally-destructive method of extracting natural gas.
“No way does this happen without the approval of the CFO and PNB Treasurer,” said Debbie Speer, a long-time activist and KPFA listener via sister station KFCF in Fresno. “In my opinion, if they weren’t in the loop on this, they are incompetent. If they were, they are corrupt. Either way, they need to resign or be removed.”
KPFA’s interim GM Andrew Phillips has also said that he favors underwriting by businesses.
Judith Scherr, an unpaid staffer at KPFA, asked the question on many people’s minds: “Who are these people and what are they doing to my radio station?”
The Pacifica National Board is responsible for what happens at each of the 5 Pacifica stations, including KPFA. They hire and can fire the executive director, Arlene Engelhardt. Engelhardt herself hand-picked KPFA’s interim managers Andrew Phillips and Carrie Core, who are directly responsible for the programming changes.
Outraged? TAKE ACTION!
EMAIL the Pacifica National Board via this page. We’ll forward your mail to all 20 members of that board, as well as KPFA’s interim managers and local board members. We will not release your email address.
PHONE KPFA’s interim managers are at (510) 848-6767. The receptionist was laid off, so please dial these direct extensions: Andrew Phillips (ext 203) and Carrie Core (ext 209).