Moving forward: new executive director for Pacifica

duncanWhen Pacifica National Board chair (and SaveKPFA activist) Margy Wilkinson assumed executive powers after the termination of Summer Reese, she promised listeners and staff that she didn’t want the job, wouldn’t accept pay, and would work to get a qualified professional in as soon as possible. This week, she delivered. Pacifica has announced that KPFK former station manager Bernard Duncan has been hired as interim executive director while a search in under way for a permanent replacement.

Duncan has extensive experience in radio and television broadcasting, including years in management positions, according to Pacifica’s website. “Bernard Duncan knows his way around this organization, cares about Pacifica’s Mission, and he’s worked everywhere from behind a microphone to inside the executive offices,” said Wilkinson. “What Pacifica needs right now is a skilled manager who can hit the ground running, and I’m very pleased Bernard’s taken us on.”

Progress: Pacifica going multimedia

Sonali Kolhatkar, a contributor to KPFA’s UpFront and host of Uprising at KPFK in Los Angeles, is fundraising for an ambitious new multimedia project that could have her following in the footsteps of Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman. She has secured a deal to distribute her program nationally via the satellite channel Free Speech TV. This will raise Pacifica’s profile in areas where its combined signals currently do not reach, and could create a multimedia production model for other stations in the network to follow.

uprisingCurrently, KPFK is running an online fundraising campaign for the money needed to install professional-quality video equipment, which will then be available to any KPFK programmers who want to make use of it. If successful, the campaign will turn KPFK’s studios into a multimedia production facility right in the middle of Los Angeles — a place with access to filmmakers, celebrities, and grassroots organizers on the cutting edge of struggles for immigrants’ rights and environmental justice. The best part of this online fundraising campaign is that it will not intrude on KPFK’s normal programming, like a pledge drive. The donation page is here. The campaign has already raised $5,000 online in its first few days — if you can, help out!

Meanwhile, KPFK’s Alan Minsky published this thought-provoking piece about how Pacifica can become the “media we need.”

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