Dear Gentle KPFA Supporter,
You likely delete the sky-is-falling Pacifica e-blasts as soon as you see them. It’s understandable, life is short and KPFA sounds just fine to you. Don’t count on that continuing much longer.
Are you prepared to wake up and no longer hear the likes of Brian Edward-Tiekert and Cat Brooks? What about the KPFA Evening News? How about losing Letters and Politics, Blues By The Bay, Hard Knock Radio, Kris Welsh or the KPFA public speaker events?
Though KPFA is part of the larger Pacifica Radio Foundation, what you hear on KPFA is increasingly not what is heard at the other Pacifica stations. Hate speech, fundraising infomercials hawking snake oil quack cures and alternative beauty treatments on LA’s KPFK and NY’s WBAI are driving away tens of thousands of listeners. There is increasing pressure from Pacifica Board officers to air these types of shows on KPFA.
Four out of five of Pacifica’s stations can’t pay their expenses leaving KPFA and the Pacifica Affiliate stations to shoulder the heavy burden. Pacifica currently has no financial reserves and is barely living week to week. California’s Franchise Tax Board has determined that Pacifica’s California tax-exempt status is “Delinquent” due to their failure to complete timely annual audits. Making matters worse, a $3.2 million loan, with all of Pacifica’s owned buildings used as collateral, is due in April with no money to pay it. This includes all contents, including all the tapes in the Pacifica Radio Archives.
How has this happened?
Pacifica’s national board governance is a disaster. Its members are dominated by fringe political operatives known as “factions” funded by 501c4’s controlled by millionaire snake oil program backers. Competent management is regularly forced out by the Pacifica board when they attempt to grow the network and keep it in regulatory compliance. Pacifica has gone through 16 CEOs in less than decade, hardly a recipe for success. Those same Board factions have recently targeted KPFA and KPFK’s General Managers for termination because they are standing in their way.
The increasingly frantic email missives you receive, paid for mostly by those dark-money 501c4’s, tell tales of alleged skullduggery. They accuse anyone who opposes them and who wants governance reform of being opposed to “democracy.” The emails you receive from these “champions of free speech” are the underhanded attempts of Board factions to mislead you into believing they are the protectors of Pacifica. We are here to tell you otherwise.
We have encountered many in the progressive community that dismiss the threats to KPFA, thinking it’s another boy who cried wolf. Others say that with the Internet and podcasting that Pacifica is irrelevant, and it should just go out of business. (If you’ve ever had the displeasure of listening to a Pacifica National Board meeting you might definitely choose the latter.)
As a regular listener to KPFA you know the power and utility of well-produced progressive radio. Nothing can replace the immediacy, intimacy, localism and reach of it. There has never been a greater need for KPFA and a healthy Progressive radio network as the Pacifica Foundation was chartered to be – radio where expansive and reasoned thoughts, unhindered by corporate or partisan political influence, provide the ideas and focus to bring about a better world. Recent events in our nation and shared planet have made this need especially clear.
What can you do to help?
We are asking you for a little time and assistance to save KPFA and Pacifica from oblivion. Please check out Peter Coyote’s video message and learn more at pacificasafetynet.org.
Here’s a few things you can do immediately.
1.Contact your CA state senator and assembly representative and ask them to call upon the California Attorney General to complete their investigation of Pacifica.
2. Make a tax-deductible donation today to support legal efforts to protect the stations.
3. In the upcoming vote this spring on the new by-laws changes, vote yes to create a viable governing structure.
We wish you and yours a safe and healthy 2021.
Pacifica Safety Net Volunteers
P.S. This just in. Just in case you thought everything we wrote above is phantasmagorical. The Pacifica Board last week forced the termination of KPFK’s program director and the two key fundraising staffers and appointed their inside “volunteer” program director. So much for democracy, transparency and common sense. KPFK is on the way to be the WBAI of the West, and another dysfunctional station threatening the viability of KPFA and Pacifica itself. We will have more detail on KPFK in our next newsletter.
NOTICE: This is not an official communication from the Pacifica Foundation, Inc., KPFA, KPFK, KPFT, WBAI, WPFW or any Pacifica affiliate station. Pacifica Safety Net has no affiliation with the Pacifica Foundation, Inc. The opinions expressed above do NOT reflect those of the Pacifica Foundation, its management, staff, National Board or listener members. Copyright © 2021 Pacifica Safety Net