Speak out against damaging cuts to KPFA

DISCLAIMER: This is not an official Pacifica Foundation website nor an official website of KPFA–we’re a slate that ran for KPFA’s Board (see bottom for detailed disclaimer)

SaveKPFA is cited as “easily the best slate” by Pacifica historian Matthew Lasar in his blog this week, after it swept 6 of 9 open seats on KPFA’s station board. But even as he sent his congratulations for SaveKPFA’s election victory, Lasar notes that the “great majority of Pacifica listener subscribers never vote in these races,” which have cost the organization millions of dollars.

Those dollars could better be used to support KPFA excellent radio programming, as the station grapples with fundraising shortfalls in this difficult economy. Station staff have released what they call a sustainable budget that would save over $250,000.

Even though KPFA management has already agreed to most of the proposals, support is not forthcoming at Pacifica National, or with some members of KPFA’s Local Station Board.  KPFAWorker.org reports that three members of the Pacifica national board are instead demanding that staff members who have opposed them be laid off, according to a misdirected email.

The list includes Morning Show staffers Aimee Allison, Brian Edwards-Tiekert, and Laura Prives, Against the Grain’s Sasha Lilley, and the News Department’s John Hamilton, Christopher Martinez, Max Pringle and Rose Ketabchi. All of these staff members have signed statements in opposition to the actions of the current board majority.

The cuts would reduce the Morning Show (which raises three times what it costs to produce) to one hour, and the Evening News (which is one of the few remaining sources of local and regional news) to half an hour. Against the Grain, which is among KPFA’s most popular public affairs shows, would end up severely understaffed.

Hundreds of supporters have written to the Pacifica National Board in support of the station’s staff and programming. A few are linked here.

SaveKPFA believes these cuts would harm the station and better solutions can be found. KPFA’s Equity Index gives some idea of how top-heavy the Pacifica structure is, and the economic conditions facing workers at the station.

KPFA listeners are invited to attend the station’s board meeting this Saturday, October 16, 11 AM as cuts to station staff and programming are considered. The meeting will take place at the North Berkeley Senior Center, which is located at 1901 Hearst Avenue (at Martin Luther King Jr. Way) in Berkeley, one block north of KPFA.

The newly-elected SaveKPFA board members will take office in less than two months and promise to find ways to build, rather than dismantle, the station. Together, we can find a way through these trying economic times and find ways to defend the democratic process at KPFA and throughout Pacifica in a less costly way. Please come and speak in support of positive solutions and against drastic actions by the outgoing station board.

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