Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Morning After at Pacifica National Headquarters

A Morning After

May 14, 2014 at 4:51am
Berkeley-A day after issuance of a 3-week temporary restraining order, a fairly remarkable meeting happened at the Pacifica national headquarters on May 13, 2014.

With about seven "occupiers" in residence, and after the departure of executive director Reese in the AM in deference to the court order, the three staffers brave enough to come into work eventually met with purported chair Margy Wilkinson. The three women, who according to their own reports, have experienced severe harassment during the 7 week occupation, with community members present and bearing witness, laid into Wilkinson about their distress about the rehire of former chief financial officer Raul Salvador after 5 workplace complaints were filed, and talked in detail about KPFA's obstruction of their work towards the completion of the audit, as well as their concerns about retaliation from the board majority. An eyewitness who didn't want to be identified, reported "I think all three of the women who came in were in tears at one point or another at the very idea that she would force them to work under Raul Salvador again. When Margy asked about the audit, the staff also let her know in no uncertain terms that KPFA is the problem. Margy tried to say she wasn't going to talk to them about it, but they didn't let her evade the issue with all of us there. It explains a lot of why Summer felt she needed to go in there to protect her staff, and to protect the organization."

The upshot is that the national headquarters closed early at 2:00pm Pacific and there are apparently more meetings scheduled tomorrow. Workers, occupiers and rogue board members all have left the building for the day.

A FAQ about the events of the last 90 days can be found here.

An open letter signed by hundreds of the network's staffers and supporters objecting to the breach of Reese's contract can be found here.

The court decision, if upheld on June 3rd, may also clear the way for "organizational darwinism" (as the decision to partition the network was described by attorney Dan Siegel) to prevail as the California stations may be poised to throw the weaker East Coast and Texas stations overboard by either withholding financial support or selling off the weaker units to endow the stronger ones, as some board members have publicly recommended.

The deadline for Texas station KPFT to apply for its 5th consecutive low-power waiver from the Federal Communications Commission while delaying re-licensing until it solves the transmitter problems, is May 27th, or 14 days from today.

A satirical look at the chaos at the radio stations and what the future holds amid rumors of a network breakup by the Twit Wits comedy troupe (produced by noted theatrical producer George Coates) can be found here.

KPFA's Community Advisory Board announced more town hall meetings:

One on May 17th at the Marcus Garvey building at 1485 8th Street in West Oakland

One at EastSide Arts Alliance at 2277 International Boulevard in Fruitvale on June 21st.


Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica's storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases including the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin's incendiary performances on WBAI. Pacifica Foundation Radio operates noncommercial radio stations in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and syndicates content to over 180 affiliates. It invented listener-supported radio.


  1. Court order is Law. You have to obey it. Organizational Darwinism or not, they ARE the board majority. Salvatore was removed by the Reese faction under the pretext of failing tome personnel inventory that is used in psychological research, and not as an employee evaluation tool, not to mention that nobody in the Reese faction, or on the BAI board is a licensed psychologist, who can properly administer psychological assessment tools. KPFA is not the problem, they have the best programming, as far as I am concerned. Why don't you post the Judge's Court Order, and then we can discuss Summer Reese board minority's ethics and morals or lack thereof.

  2. Thank you. I respect your integrity.