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Pacifica demanding $1 million from stations to fix network’s financial problems
by SaveKPFA
Sunday Jun 10th, 2012 10:40 PM
While KPFA’s fund drive came in a little low, the station’s overall budget remains relatively balanced. Not so with Pacifica, the corporation that owns KPFA as well as KPFK (Los Angeles), WPFW (Washington), WBAI (New York City) and KPFT (Houston). Pacifica treasurer Tracy Rosenberg told KPFA’s local board on June 2 that Pacifica is demanding $1 million from all member five stations to balance its budget, and that cuts will likely come as staff layoffs.
Rosenberg said KPFA would be responsible for a larger part of the cut since its budget is bigger than those of the other four stations.

“Pacifica is in crisis due to its own financial mismanagement,” said one board member. Each station already pays 19.5% of its income to Pacifica for “central services” such as accounting, insurance, and common programming expenses. Pacifica has granted a 50% discount in those fees to WBAI, which has been operating with a huge deficit and an expensive Wall Street lease for years.

Listeners and staff are asking why KPFA and the other stations should continue to foot the bill. At June’s LSB meeting, several local board members questioned why KPFA would be asked to lay off staff to come up with $300,000 for Pacifica. “What is Pacifica doing about looking at ways in which WBAI can seriously cut their costs?” asked board member Sasha Futran, adding: “WBAI is taking the network down, potentially.”

LISTEN to an exchange between Futran & Rosenberg (3-min audio)

In March, KPFA’s local treasurer and business manager reported serious problems with Pacifica’s taking more of KPFA’s money than it was owed — at that time, up to $154,000. MORE at: http://www.savekpfa.org/financial-statements-show-that-kpfa-is-still-owed-1-4-million-by-pacifica
The new UpFront program from 7-8 AM hosted by KPFA’s Brian Edwards-Tiekert and KPFK’s Sonali Kolhatkar brought in the highest number of pledges per hour during KPFA’s spring fund drive. Interim general manager Andrew Phillips admitted the decision to introduce the show was a “180- degree turn” for him and that “politics” had prevented him from acting sooner.

The new UpFront program from 7-8 AM hosted by KPFA’s Brian Edwards-Tiekert and KPFK’s Sonali Kolhatkar brought in the highest number of pledges per hour during KPFA’s spring fund drive, raising nearly $40,000 in just 7 days — an astonishingly good response to a new show rushed onto the air with virtually no advance publicity.

That helped KPFA’s drive finish up with nearly $690,000, about 7% short of its $740,000 goal. You can see a breakdown of pledges by program at http://www.SaveKPFA.org. UpFront‘s presence in the AM drive time also clearly pushed other slots to higher fund totals.

UpFront is an initiative of the KPFA News Department, which was given the green light by interim general manager Andrew Phillips, who admitted the decision was a “180- degree turn” for him and that “politics” had prevented him from acting sooner. Phillips told KPFA’s board on June 2 he’d received overwhelmingly positive comments about UpFront. He said the Morning Show was disbanded by Pacifica’s executive director Arlene Engelhardt in “a very abrupt, unconsultative manner,” as a result of which he heard “tremendous pain, anger, frustration, anguish from this community.”

LISTEN to Phillips (1-min audio)

More at: http://www.SaveKPFA.org
Just after the recent fund drive ended, KPFA’s interim general manager Andrew Phillips announced he’ll be leaving as of June 30. KPFA’s Local Station Board (LSB) had been interviewing candidates for the permanent general manager position, and passed this resolution a month objecting to Pacifica executive director Arlene Engelhardt‘s apparent refusal to do her part, under the bylaws, to finish that process.

The LSB had interviewed candidates and chosen a pool of 3 it found qualified. The bylaws require Engelhardt to hire a GM from that pool, but Engelhardt dragged the process out for months, then refused to make a choice.

KPFA board member Conn Hallinan, who headed the GM search committee, made a 5-minute report at last month’s LSB meeting, concluding that the rights of KPFA’s listeners and staff to run their station were being “eviscerated.”

KPFA’s local board chair Margy Wilkinson and vice chair Sasha Futran met with Engelhardt on June 5. Engelhardt told them she was not going to hire a permanent general manager from the LSB’s pool, but was instead looking for another interim GM to replace Phillips. She said she was talking to 4 people “suggested by media and communications professionals.” When Wilkinson and Futran pointed out to Engelhardt that this was the second time in her tenure that she was moving to appoint a manager without any consultation with KPFA’s local board or staff, she had no response.
by former Berkeley resident
Monday Jun 11th, 2012 1:59 AM
Pacifica Foundation is a non-profit foundation set up to run peace-oriented (hence pacifica) radio stations. They run on a shoe-string budget for an entity which owns stations in New York City, Washington DC, Houston, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area. To demand a little extra money from the stations is prudent. To have certain stations have a more staff than they they can afford is ridiculous.
by Stop Hate Pacifica Gang
Monday Jun 11th, 2012 3:07 AM
Pacifica is a non profit corporation, a charity, to which contributions are tax deductible. See


This is the same Margy Wilkinson who on this website promoted the use of Republican Party attorneys, Dhillon & Smith, to sue Pacifica on behalf of Tiekert, Mitch Jeseritch and Lewis Sawyer, which they did, over a staff election involving some 200 people, which could easily have been redone if there were any problems. Harmeet Dhillon is chair of the SF Republican Party and on the San Francisco ballotthis year, running for San Francisco office as well as for the Republican Central Committee.

We hope the staff layoffs are the termination of the paid news staff, as that is the big money drain; a half hour volunteer produced news show each day is enough. The latest post from Accountant on the above-cited link says it all at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/09/18715058.php#18715143:
Pacifica doesn't get any money from KPFA cutting expenses. They get the same percentage either way. KPFA gets money from cutting its expenses. Money to pay KPFA bills with, which total $3 million dollars every year - $1.85 million in staff salaries and benefits and $1.15 million in facilities, supplies and equipment.

READ THAT AGAIN: This poverty stricken charity has to pay $1.85 million in staff salaries. THAT IS UNCONSCIONABLE AND MUST END TODAY.
by Local Station Board Monitor
Monday Jun 11th, 2012 1:47 PM
As usual, the mis-named "savekpfa" bunch have presented selected narrative solely to further their narrow agenda, including, sadly formerly respected Con Hallinan's shameful presentation. If you listen to the station board meeting from the previous month, you will hear wide-ranging (including from so-called SaveKPFA members) validations of the assessment that the pool of candidates they sent to Engelhardt to choose KPFA's next general manager was not adequate, and if you listen to current manager Andrew Phillips' report from that month, you can also hear that he had already announced at that time that he would be leaving. Engelhardt/Pacifica needed to find someone who could do this nearly impossible job, dealing daily with the hostility, as the gentle Kate Tanaka says at this meeting, of vipers (i.e. SaveKPFA members) at the station. http://www.kpftx.org/archive.php#kpfa120505
by Accountant
Thursday Jun 14th, 2012 7:28 AM
Pacifica doesn't get any additional funds when KPFA cuts expenses. Pacifica gets the same 17% of listener revenues either way. (The archives gets 2.5% as well). KPFA keeps the money so it can bills and not run out of cash between fund drives. It might even be able to shorten the fund drives a bit if expenses go down.