From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: East Bay | Media Activism & Independent Media
KPFA Flashpoints Producers Speak-Out to Protest Attacks On Show 12/17/2009
by Labor Video Project
Friday Dec 18th, 2009 10:31 AM
On December 17, 2009, KPFA Flashpoints producers Nora Barrow-Friedman, Miguel Gavilan Molina and Dennis Bernstein gave a report in front of the Berkeley Pacifica station about the violation of the union contract and the efforts of management to eliminate the show.
KPFA Flashpoints Producers Speak-Out to Protest Attacks On Show 12/17/2009

KPFA Flashpoints Producers Speak-Out to Protest Attacks on show On December 17, 2009
Dozens of supporters of the KPFA-Pacifica show Flashpoints which is also carried around the
country went to the station to hear a report on the layoffs and attacks on the show by the KPFA
management. The station manager Lemlem Rijio had previously promised that there would be no
attacks on Flashpoints but the engineer was eliminated and a co-producer Nora Barrows-Friedman had
her hours reduced 50% or 20 hours a week. KPFA producers spoke in front of the station. At a meeting
after the speak-out, station assistant manager Amelia Gonzalez admitted that the management had
violated the union agreeement that layoffs must go by senority and was in "negotiation" with CWA 9415.
She also reported that the specific cutbacks had been personally approved by former interim executive
director Grace Aaron.
Produced by Labor Video Project
P.O. Box 720027 San Francisco, CA 94172 (415)282-1908

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Kim Rohrbach
Sunday Dec 20th, 2009 1:25 AM
This is what I received via e-mail in response to an e-mail urging against cutbacks to Flashpoints:

Letter from KPFA General Manager to Our Listening Community

December 15, 2009

Dear Friends and KPFA Family,

These are very hard times for our listeners, for the media, and for
non-profits around the country. The residents of Northern California
have been hit hard by the recession and so have we. In our recent fund
drives, our listeners have been supporting us consistently, but have
only been able to afford to give smaller donations, which has resulted
in a significant decline in our revenue. We have been mandated by our
parent organization, the Pacifica Foundation and the Pacifica National
Board, to make deep cuts to our budget. We have made all the cost
reductions we can from non-staff expenses, but we had no choice but to
eliminate a number of staff positions and cut the hours of many
others. Managers at the station, including myself, have also taken a
pay reduction.

Each department at the station – Programming, Operations, Development,
and Administration – is being cut by 20 percent. All public affairs
programs are being cut across the board and reductions have been made
to bring each show's cost into line with its income. All cuts have
been in compliance with the union contract of the paid staff,
Communication Workers of America. These cuts to KPFA staff have been
the most difficult thing I have had to do during my tenure as station

The good news is because of the generosity of our listeners, KPFA is
going to survive this difficult financial crisis. The bad news is in
order to survive KPFA will be continuing to cut cost across the board
over the next three to six months. These cuts will impact all
programs and operations at KPFA.

If you are able to give a little extra to KPFA this winter, it would
be much appreciated. We truly operate on a shoestring here and are
grateful to every donation. Thank you for your continued support of
KPFA and the work we do, going to where the silence is and reporting
on the stories that the mainstream media willfully ignores.


Lemlem Rijio
general manager
KPFA 94.1 FM
1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 848-6767 (ext. 203)
(510) 644-1699 Fax
gm [at]
by maggie kaigler
Sunday Dec 20th, 2009 4:56 AM
Or...Their Names Are Legion

I am sorry to see Flashpoints and The World of Music struggle, I always found these programs to be the light on the dial. Fighting the racist, sexist, ageist, machine of Lemlem Rijio, Sasha Lilley, and Aileen Alfandary, is no easy feat, don't forget what they did to Nadra Foster. First they went after the most vulnerable and now they are after you, too bad. General Manager Rijio is a tool of the oppressor, and the oppressor in this case, is entrenched KPFA management and its minions. It's time to stop the 'NPR-ization' of KPFA.

Present management is trying to use KPFA to further a corporate agenda of self centered power, ignorance and greed. Screw the community and Lewis Hills' miraculous vision of peace and service. My KPFA contributions are in an interest bearing account until the crisis in management is over. Aileen Alfandary, Lemlem Rijio and Sasha Lilley are stripping the station of its soul. They should be stripped of their authority. They have failed to effectively administrate the station, failed to adhere to the KPFA mission statement, neglected to act as a voice for the poor and disenfranchised and fallen short of all goals of community empowerment. Meanwhile, amid layoffs, program cuts and budget slashes, KPFA TREASURER, Brian Edwards-Tiekert jets off to Copenhagen on KPFA' s dime. Who made that decision? And how dare you?!

Maggie Kaigler -KPFA Volunteer Reporter 2005-08, KPFA Loyal Listener/Supporter since 1990
by Zachary RunningWolf
(zacharyrunningwolf [at] Friday Jan 15th, 2010 11:05 PM
This is nothing new as it is getting more light. Kpfa has more about Gaza than Berkeley the town that the station resides in. I'm in support of Flashpoints but we need to go into KPFA and take it back as a community leader it does not address local concerns (City of Berkeley of UC Berkeley). Flashpoints was one of only a few programs that would cover the tree-sit even though it was only a half mile from the station. Bay Native Circle SUCKS FIRE Janeen Antione