Pacifica Radio Network Needs A New Day
By: Patricia Hoffman, Evelia Jones, Ali Lexa, Sheila McCoy, Nancy Niparko, Myla Reson, Will Ryan, Mansoor Sabbagh, and Harvey Wasserman
Ballots to restructure along professional/democratic lines from the New Day Pacifica movement began being distributed June 7, 2021.
If the Pacifica Network does not remake itself into something workable, its relevance and survival are doubtful.
With its treasured history and powerful broadcast signals in America’s biggest media markets, the Pacifica Network should be a core electronic flagship for America’s vital pro-democracy movements.
- FOE Pacifica has chased away all but a tiny, tenuous audience;
- It’s in a deep financial abyss;
- Its management, and many of its most crucial meetings, are profoundly dysfunctional;
- Its recent KPFK-Los Angeles fundraiser was a major disaster, portending even deeper disarray;
- For years FOE Pacifica has failed to produce a passable audit, costing the network millions;
- FOE Pacifica has no effective social networking presence.
- With notable exceptions, whatever meaningful, consistent content it can claim is thin and insecure;
- Its political effectiveness is virtually non-existent;
- It’s undermining its most popular broadcasters and vital staff, including Ian Masters, Sonali Kolhatkar, Roy of Hollywood and KPFK’s irreplaceable Jonathan Alexander;
- It pays a partisan lawyer who uses vicious personal attacks to sabotage internal reform;
- It uses autocratic corporate austerity to slash vital infrastructure, threatening daily operations;
- The current Pacifica structure is unreformed since 2000; many original drafters want it gone;
- KPFA-Berkeley’s elected board has voted (13-Yes 8-No) to adopt the New Day Pacifica by-laws, as has a majority (11-9) of the KPFT (Houston) board;
- Pacifica has burned through 17 national Executive Directors (Interim & Permanent) in 18 years which has brought extreme instability–negating both long-term planning and short-term competence;
- KPFK-Los Angeles has burned through station managers almost as fast as the network has gone through executive directors.
- KPFK currently has no program director or chief fundraiser and the General Manager is an interim placeholder;
- FOE Pacifica does not have a national program director, development director or social media coordinator;
- Infamously dysfunctional National and Local board meetings run 3-5 hours of excruciating rancor, accomplishing nothing;
- One FOE board member’s physical assaults and threats of a militia attack forced a toxic 3-hour/20-person censure meeting and prompted a pivotal KPFK staff mainstay (who has since quit) to advocate coming to the station armed for self-defense;
- KPFK’s fiscal crisis makes shutdowns possible, killing the station’s severely compromised credibility;
- FOE Pacifica equates dysfunctional chaos with “democracy,” insulting both the term and the lost listenership;
- FOE Pacifica’s defenders slander life-long social democracy activists as “corporate” and “Trump supporters” while gutting the network, increasing the possibility of a forced asset sale.
- New Day Pacifica has proposed a functional democracy merging competent, professional broadcasting with community-based programming and accountability.
- Without a new management/governance structure, this irreplaceable network may soon disappear. Starting June 7, please vote to bring Pacifica a New Day….or prepare for it to fade off into the sunset.
Originally published at https://www.laprogressive.com/pacifica-radio-network-needs-a-new-day