1999 redoux?

A faction  of the Pacifica Foundation National Board illegally shutdown the New York Pacifica station WBAI on Monday October 7, 2019. They improperly  ordered Pacifica engineers  and staff to rip out the computers, shutdown the WBAI website and turn the broadcast station into a repeater station. They also improperly set up a consulting company called “Pacifica Across America” with KPFA manager Quincy  McCoy as a consultant to determine programming. 

This is the corporatization of KPFA and Pacifica.  It took place during a national election at all Pacifica stations and a national  fundraising campaign, and has already cost Pacifica and KPFA tens of thousands of dollars.  This action also violated the AFTRA-SAG union contract by giving no notice of the terminations and closure of the station, although required under the contract.  A majority of the Pacifica National Board have now overturned these actions, but those who  took this action must be held accountable. 

Additionally at KPFA, this rogue faction is seeking to remove Pacifica KPFA Board representative Tom Voorhees from the KPFA board at a secret meeting on October 26, 2019 to support their faction and coup at WBAI.  We must PACK the meeting and speak out against the coup.

Press Conference At KPFA LSB Meeting
Saturday October 19,  2019 10:00 AM
South Berkeley Senior Citizens Center
2939 Ellis St, Berkeley, CA 94703

Meeting starts at 11:00 AM

Closing of WBAI ???!

The Rescue-Pacifica candidates vigorously condemn the shutdown of KPFA’s sister station WBAI in New York City. On October 7, there was an attempt by Pacifica’s interim Executive Director (“iED”) to close the station and terminate all WBAI staff. This surprise attack took place in the middle of WBAI’s fall fund drive, as well as the voting period for the Local Station Board elections. It is completely at odds with what democratic, transparent and responsible governance should look like, and contrary to Pacifica’s original grassroots mission. Fortunately, a New York judge issued a stay to prevent iED John Vernile from dismissing the WBAI workers and interfering with the station’s operations, pending a hearing to be held on October 18th.

For long-time KPFA supporters, the attack on WBAI should bring back unhappy memories of the 1999 takeover attempt at KPFA. The cast of characters is different this time, but the objective appears to be the same – to replace local community-based hosts with shows piped-in from elsewhere, and perhaps to eventually sell the station’s valuable broadcast frequency.

The attack on WBAI is the latest in a series of recent undemocratic actions to happen recently at the network. A group calling itself “Restructure Pacifica” has been circulating a petition to replace the present Bylaws with a system that would eliminate listener-elected Local Station Boards. There is also an attempt underway to remove KPFA board member Tom Voorhees from the Pacifica National Board, despite Tom’s unmatched knowledge of radio.

The Rescue-Pacifica candidates for the KPFA Local Station Board believe that KPFA and its sister stations should uphold the values of democracy, transparency, and community-based decision making. We oppose undemocratic power grabs, including the attempt to close WBAI.