KPFA lost two long-time programmers last month. Denny Smithson, who worked at the station for 47 years, much of it interviewing authors about their work, died November 1. KPFA’s website has this photo of Denny in the studio and a link to the obituary that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.
On November 29, Mary Berg, long-time host of the crack o’ dawn early music show, A Musical Offering, died. Former KPFA music director Charles Amirkhanian and morning host Bill Sokol write about her here. Both Mary and Denny will be greatly missed.
From economics professor Richard Wolff, to philosopher Cornel West portraying Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, KPFA has begun announcing its 2015 line-up of talks and events. Check ’em out.
And with Cuba in the news, the fascinating photo at right surfaced of KPFA’s own unsung hero Bob Baldock, who has produced KPFA events for over two decades. Learn more about Bob’s remarkable life in this 2011 interview he did with Sasha Lilley on KPFA’s Against the Grain.
After a year-long search for a program director initiated by KPFA’s elected Local Station Board, KPFA general managerQuincy McCoyhas announced he’s promoting long-time KPFA producerLaura Prives to the position
Prives began volunteering in KPFA’s News Department in 2003, on the day the US began bombing Iraq. Later, she moved to theMorning Show, where she worked her way up to executive producer. She helped launch two of KPFA’s most successful new programs: Letters and Politics with Mitch Jeserich, and UpFront withBrian Edwards-Tiekert. Currently, she’s working as a producer on both of those programs and Hard Knock Radio. Previously, she had worked as a DJ at KALX, and a researcher at the Federal Reserve.
“Laura has been one of KPFA’s unsung heroes for years,” said local board treasurer, Barbara Whipperman, a member of SaveKPFA. “Everyone she has worked with knows her incredible work ethic, sharp ear for good radio, and cool head under pressure — which is exactly what KPFA needs right now.”
According to an all-staff memo, Prives will assume her new duties on November 2. KPFA has been without a permanent program director for nearly 15 years.
“When we won elections for KPFA’s Local Station Board, we hoped to help bring competent, stable leadership to the station,” said Whipperman. KPFA completed the long-delayed hire of a general manager in June, when it hired Quincy McCoy.
Meanwhile, KPFA’s FALL FUND DRIVEis underway, raising desperately needed funds. This drive has an additional goal of “refreshing” KPFA by raising money to overhaul KPFA’s website and make it a better tool for distributing programs and raising money off-air. Please show your support now by pledging at www.kpfa.org.