Category Archives: News/Updates

Top 10 Reasons to Vote Yes

From NDP’s May 31, 2021 email:

Top 10 Reasons to Vote Yes

1. Pacifica staff you know and respect are voting Yes to change the Pacifica bylaws so we can save KPFA, KPFK, KPFT, WPFW, and WBAI.

Aileen Alfandary
Aileen Alfandary, KPFA News Director (also heard on KPFK): “The current bylaws structure has encouraged dismal mismanagement which threatens the continued existence of the nation’s only progressive radio network.”

Sonali Kolhatkar
Sonali Kolhatkar, Host of Rising Up with Sonali, heard on KPFK, KPFT, and KPFA: “I’ve been shocked year after year watching the local and national boards hamper the workings of stations, undermine worker rights, and generally stand in the way of the Pacifica network thriving.”

Egberto Willies
Egberto Willies, KPFT Host of Politics Done Right: “I am absolutely sure that everyone on both sides of the by-laws debate loves the Pacifica Network and what is best for it. I did not make up my mind to support the new by-laws until just recently, when I finally understood why the current dynamics were untenable. Insanity, doing the same thing and expecting a different result, will ensure Pacifica continues its death spiral. Direct democracy is an antidote to factions as we are learning now with our own national politics.”

Ian Masters
Ian Masters, KPFK Host of Background Briefing: “The Pacifica Foundation is run by a dysfunctional Board incapable of raising funds and in denial of its looming debt. Please do your part and sign the New Day Pacifica bylaws petition.”

2. Listeners want a solid professional radio network: well-run, without constant desperate fund drives and the fear of being shut down and sold off – with great progressive shows and music reflecting Pacifica’s diversity.

3. Current bylaws have led to organizational crisis and impending financial disaster.

4. New Day Transition Officers named in the new bylaws love and are devoted to saving Pacifica. They have stellar progressive activist bios and strong financial backgrounds. With a newly elected functional New Day Pacifica Board, Pacifica can finally hire a stable, long-term Executive Director with media management experience to return Pacifica to financial and organization health. They are neither corporatists, capitalists, dictators, or fascists as name-called in the Vote No literature.
5. Pacifica’s dysfunctional national board has burned through 17 Executive Directors in 18 years, leaving the Foundation essentially leadership for 18 years.

6. Vote Yes so we can save and strengthen all five stations, including WBAI and WPFW.

7. Pacifica has failed every financial audit since 2013. Independent auditors have encouraged Pacifica to consider bylaws revisions “to simplify and encourage more productive meetings… The Foundation and its several stations would benefit from changes designed to achieve a more productive governance process.”

8. Pacifica has forfeited over $7 million in federal grant money since 2013 due to organizational dysfunction. Pacifica was finally totally kicked out of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant program last year for not paying back a requested $137,000 overpayment that was 7 years overdue.

9. Pacifica does not have the reserves to pay the $3.2 million loan payment, now due October 2022. This tipping point for the financial cratering of the Foundation has luckily been put off 18 months, but without massive amounts of fundraising from progressive funders and celebrities and doubling our membership, Pacifica may not survive. The $2 million in Covid grant money went to payroll and other long-overdue debts, NOT toward the $3.2 million loan.

10. Reinvigorated, democratically elected Local Station Boards will actively support their stations with fundraising, community feedback on the station’s programming, and all-hands-on-deck efforts to help double the station’s membership. LSBs will “work with station management to ensure that station programming fulfills the purposes of the Foundation and its response to the diverse needs of the listeners (demographic) and communities (geographic) served by the station.” (NDP bylaws)

Questions about Pacifica losing federal funding, failing audits, having no reserves for upcoming $3.2M loan payment, Pacifica’s lack of stable staff leadership?

Pacifica is in trouble, and desperately needs your help. Dysfunctional bylaws have made it impossible for Pacifica’s National Board, though well-intentioned, to function. The network’s financial decline and debt burden have worsened to a crisis point over the last ten years. The board, tangled up in unworkable bylaws, is unable to stabilize the situation or turn things around. This puts the future of an invaluable, irreplaceable progressive asset in grave peril.

Pacifica has forfeited millions of dollars in federal funding since 2013.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting stopped funding Pacifica in 2012 after Pacifica refused to pay back a $137,000 overpayment uncovered by a regular CPB audit. Pacifica only paid back the $137,000 last year after CPB announced it was dropping Pacifica from its grant program. Pacifica was way too late to be reinstated to the grant program; Pacifica now has to start over from the beginning with a totally new application to re-enter the CPB grant program (and Pacifica does NOT currently meet CPB’s minimum qualifications). See CPB’s May 22, 2020 letter to Pacifica.

The Pacifica Board has forfeited over seven million dollars in CPB grant funding since 2012. This annual million dollars was divided among the five stations to help pay expenses and fund new programs.

Pacifica has failed every financial audit since 2015.

Auditors since 2015 have said they have “substantial doubt about the organization’s ability to continue as a going concern”. That’s the language Auditors use to say an organization is in extremely bad shape. Review Pacifica’s audits.

Pacifica has no reserves to pay a $3.2 million dollar loan payment. Despite the FJC lender’s written offer in October to extend the $3.2 million loan payoff one year, the National Board apparently still hasn’t nailed down a formal extension of the loan due April 2 2021. The National Board has known for at least two years that it would not be able to put aside $3.2 million, and that loan default meant losing station buildings at KPFA, KPFK and/or KPFT. While New Day Pacifica is very hopeful that Pacifica will be able to get an extension from the lender based on FJC’s October offer to Pacifica, the fact that the Pacifica Board still hasn’t nailed down the details reflects the profound dysfunction generated by Pacifica’s current governance structure and bylaws. (At their February 25 meeting the National Board was still discussing whether or not they should ask the lender for an extension. We understand that since that time the Board has decided to ask for a loan extension.)

Pacifica’s Executive Directors are constantly changing, with 17 EDs both permanent and interim in 18 years. This means there has been no stable leadership at Pacifica in 18 years.

One of the National Board’s central roles is to hire and support an Executive Director with media management experience to run the network, fundraise and supervise the stations. The National Board has chased out or fired every experienced ED they have hired during this time because the Board micromanages ED decisions. As a result, the ED position has largely been filled by current or former National Board members (sometimes paid, sometimes volunteer)in long-term “interim” positions. None of these Interim Executive Directors have had media management experience.

More on Differences between the PRP and NDP Bylaws Proposals

The New Day Pacifica (NDP) bylaws proposal is completely different than last year’s losing PRP proposal.

Differences include the role of the Local Station Boards, whether or not to have staff on the National Board, and whether or not the majority of the National Board would be elected listeners and staff (New Day) or appointed experts (PRP).

Role of the Local Station Board: Last year’s PRP Bylaws would have eliminated the Local Station Board structure. New Day Pacifica refocuses the duties of the LSBs on community outreach, fundraising and supporting the stations rather than counterproductive micromanagement.

Whether or not staff represented on the Pacifica National Board: PRP eliminated staff representation on the National Board. With New Day, staff for the first time will directly elect their National Board directors.

Composition of the majority of the new National Board: With PRP the majority of the National Board would be appointed experts, not elected listeners and staff. With New Day, the majority of the 15-member National Board will continue to be elected listeners and staff, with three appointed experts.)

For more information, see the Detailed Description of the NDP Bylaws.

Also see more about the relationship between the March 2020 (PRP) Bylaws and the New Day Pacifica version

Updates On Pacifica Member Election For Critically-Needed NDP Bylaws

Details have been finalized regarding when various steps happen in the New Day Pacifica (NDP) Bylaws election/referendum process. These are pursuant to an agreement between Pacifica and NDP:

  • March 8 to April 7: on-air announcements three times daily at each station describing the main elements of the NDP proposal, the election date and the April 7 voter eligibility deadline.
  • April 7 to May 17: The Pacifica National Board and the five Local Station Boards/Delegates will separately discuss and decide whether or not to recommend a YES vote on the New Day Pacifica bylaws. We expect the National Board to recommend a No Vote, continuing the PNB majority’s on-going resistance to big changes in governance at Pacifica. We expect some but not all of the Local Station Boards to recommend a YES vote on the changes.
  • June 7: Ballots sent out.
  • July 7: Ballots due back.

See the official Pacifica Bylaws election page for updates and more information.

KPFK Victory: Popular KPFK General Manager Anyel Fields Still at the Helm!

Due to overwhelming support from you, Pacifica listeners and staff for Anyel, Ian, Sonali and the KPFK staff, the KPFK Station Board voted on January 10 to NOT recommend Anyel’s termination. Hundreds of KPFK listeners and staff wrote support emails to the local and national boards and signed up to speak at local and national board meetings in support of Anyel and the staff. Thanks also to the KPFA and KPFT listeners and staff who wrote emails and spoke. This is a big victory for KPFK and Pacifica! Your involvement made the difference!

Update on KPFK financial shortfall

KPFK is still facing a huge financial shortfall this year due to a severe drop in listener donations during the Covid pandemic. Many listeners have lost their jobs or had their hours cut, or still face financial uncertainty and cannot donate right now. It’s critical for those of us who have been able to work from home or whose income was not affected by the pandemic to donate more than usual to support the listeners who just can’t donate right now.

Nearly $500,000 in cuts have been made at KPFK over the last several months to address the shortfall, but now it’s up to us the listeners to step in and make an extraordinary donation so KPFK can stabilize, rebuild, and avoid further cuts.

Right now is the most important moment in KPFK history to make an extraordinary donation if you can.

How You Can Help KPFK Keep The Lights On

  1. Help fund a challenge grant today! Make your donation here. (for the pledge message write “for a challenge grant.”) Your donations will be used for challenge grants in the upcoming fund drive: whatever you give now will be doubled during the fund drive! Any amount you can give counts, but if you can donate $250, $500 or more it would make a big difference. Our goal is to raise $12,500 by February 1. (If you are from another station, you can help fundraise for your station!)
  2. Get one friend to become a KPFK member. Tell them what KPFK means to you and what some of the programs they will enjoy are, and that the basic membership is just $25/year. They can go to KPFK.org and hit the DONATE button to become a member. Growing KPFK’s membership ensures the future survival of KPFK. (Note: if you are from another station, get one friend to join your station!)

P.S. If you are able to give a major gift to KPFK at this critical time, please contact Anyel Fields at Anyel@KPFK.org.

New Day Pacifica includes thousands of concerned Pacifica staff, listeners and board members whose mission is to keep all five Pacifica stations from crashing out of existence in 2021. We are proud to support Anyel and the KPFK staff as part of that effort. We plan on making big changes to Pacifica’s governance by passing a bylaws referendum this May/June so we can help stabilize finances, strengthen programming, and increase listenership and membership at each of the five stations.