The campaign by KPFA listeners to recall Pacifica National Board treasurer Tracy Rosenberg has passed an important hurdle. KPFA management certified this week that recall petitions submitted by SaveKPFA activists contained more than enough signatures of KPFA subscribers.
The petitions included more than 800 signatures, and 462 were verified on the first pass as precise matches to KPFA’s subscriber database — more than the number needed for the recall to go forward. Subsequent matching accounting for name variations, address changes, and so forth brought the number of valid signatures up to 583, or 70% of the total submitted.
“We can’t wait any longer to recall Tracy,” said Pamela Drake, a member of KPFA’s Local Station Board. She added that next week marks the one year anniversary of Pacifica’s purge of KPFA’s popular Morning Show, which Rosenberg was instrumental in engineering.
Running the recall election is expected to cost about $10,000 for printing and postage — or about 50 cents per KPFA subscriber. In the year since Pacifica’s elimination of the Morning Show, the loss in pledges during morning drive time has averaged over $8,000 per weekday. “That means Rosenberg’s purges have cost KPFA hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Drake, “and more importantly, have deprived Bay Area listeners of consistent, hard-hitting morning programming.”
Recall ballots should arrive in listeners’ mailboxes next month. IMPORTANT: If you haven’t yet signed the listener petition demanding that Pacifica make sure the recall vote has impartial, third-party oversight, please do so now. |SIGN PETITION HERE
Fresno station KFCF has pulled two programs installed recently by KPFA’s interim management, TwitWit and The Week Starts Here. The programs, hosted by allies of Pacifica management, were put on the air despite an outcry from KPFA listeners who supported existing Sunday night arts programming. While KFCF rebroadcasts much of KPFA’s air, it is independently run by the Fresno Free College Foundation. KFCF’s Program Needs Assessment Committee recommended that the new shows be nixed, and the award-winning LA Theatre Works be returned to its regular slot.
Award for KPFA journalist
KPFA staffer Brian Edwards-Tiekert has won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists – Northern California.
SPJ must have seen something Pacifica didn’t — the award is for climate change reporting Edwards-Tiekert did after Pacifica laid him off, and before it was forced to reinstate him with back pay. (The Pacifica-installed management at KPFA is still refusing to return the Morning Show to air, so Brian is now reporting for the News Department).
KPFA interim general manager Andrew Philips and interim program director Carrie Core — both brought to KPFA without community input by Pacifica executive director Arlene Engelhardt — have presided over another calamitous fund drive. KPFA’s Summer Fund Drive came up about $44,000 short of its $300,000 goal, another indication of listener dissatisfaction with the removal of the Morning Show. | SEE BELOW FOR HOW YOU CAN HELP
During the just-completed Summer Drive, the Morning Mix replacement raised a meager $1500 on good days. On other days, it brought in only $650 an hour in pledges. Before it was canceled by Engelhardt, the KPFA Morning Show regularly averaged$5000 an hour in pledges during fund drives.
The last two KPFA fund drives were the worst planned in memory. “Planning usually starts at least 6 weeks out, but Phillips and Core only met with programming staff the Friday before the drive started,” one worker told SaveKPFA. “The managers then repeated programming that had failed to raise money, and even allocated several hours of air-time for Phillips’ own 30-year-old documentary that he produced in the early 1980s.”
Listeners appear to be voting with their donations and sending a clear message, one that is confirmed by Arbitron, the company which surveys radio listeners nationally. Recent data shows a drop in over 10% of KPFA’s audience — or 13,000 listeners — since the Morning Show was taken off the air.
So for all the talk of expanding KPFA’s audience, Pacifica and KPFA management have done just the opposite: they’ve presided over its contraction. But instead of taking responsibility for these decisions, Phillips told station workers “there may have to be staff cuts,” as he announced a meeting for staff and listeners this Tuesday, August 16 at 6pm in KPFA’s Performance Studio (1929 MLK Way, Berkeley).
WHAT YOU CAN DO: TAKE ACTION!
We must change KPFA’s destructive management before we lose our historic and beloved station. Here’s how you can help:
2) DEMAND the resignation of the managers who are destroying KPFA: Arlene Engelhardt (salary $90,000), Andrew Phillips (salary $70,000) and Carrie Core (salary $50,000). TOTAL: $210,000. This is the management team that has:
* refused $63,000 in listener pledges to restore the Morning Show
* spent $70,000 on anti-union consultants
* issued multiple gag orders against KPFA workers who have tried to inform listeners about developments at the station
* overseen 2 disastrous fund drives
* decreed programming changes that will cost over $500,000
* ignored listeners’ desires, and removed KPFA’s excellent programs to put their friends on the air, essentially “firing the listeners” and reducing KPFA’s audience
Why should listeners pay $210,000 dollars for these 3 managers’ salaries, when their incompetence is destroying KPFA? CLICK HERE TO SEND AN EMAIL to these 3 managers, with a cc to members of KPFA’s and Pacifica’s elected boards. Tell them that KPFA needs excellent programming, not wasteful bureaucrats.Use our sample letter or write your own, but please voice your outrage!