New Day Pacifica sent out an e-mail to its list today, Dec. 18, 2020, asking people to contact the KPFK LSB about saving the jobs of three critical KPFK staff. The three people are General Manager Anyel Fields, and two of the station’s journalists and most popular program hosts. Those programmers are Ian Masters (host of Background Briefing), and Sonali Kolhatkar (host of Rising Up with Sonali).
All three have been targeted for political reasons and because they have resisted the push for more infomercial-type shows during the stations’s ever-growing fund drives.
Update: thanks to the help from so many of you who sent e-mails, the firing of Anyel Fields has been averted.
The letter sent to the NDP list follows:
Subject: Listen to Sonali and Ian clips: Help Stop the Firing of Popular KPFK GM!
From: Sonali Kolhatkar and Ian Masters
Reply To: info@NewDayPacifica.org
Help Stop the Firing of Popular KPFK-LA General Manager Anyel Fields
As Sonali Kolhatkar said, “we are in a battle for the heart and soul of Pacifica…At stake is whether Pacifica represents the highest standards of journalistic integrity, or a mix of snake oil quackery and fake radicalism.” (Sonali’s Rising Up With Sonali is produced at KPFK and heard on KPFK, KPFA-Berkeley and KPFT-Houston five days a week)
Quoting Ian Masters: “With our steadfast Anyel gone, Sonali and I will be fired and off the air.” (Ian hosts Background Briefing on KPFK five days a week.)
Our goal: to encourage the LSB not to fire Anyel Fields, the KPFK General Manager this Sunday. After the public LSB meeting hears your Public Comment and ends at 2pm, the LSB will go into Closed Session and vote on whether or not to recommend Anyel’s termination.
All Pacifica stations will be affected if Anyel is fired. Listeners from ALL Pacifica stations are encouraged to support this effort because it will effect not only KPFK but the highest journalistic standards at all of the Pacifica stations.
What: Help Stop the Firing of KPFK General Manager Anyel Fields
Where: KPFK Local Station Board Zoom meeting Public Comments section
Date: Sunday, December 20, 2020
Time: 12:15 – 1:15 pm (we expect Public Comments some time between 12:15 and 1:15)
How: Please RSVP here to notify the LSB to add your name for Public Comment on Sunday.
If you have trouble joining the Zoom meeting or being heard, e-mail the LSB at LSBoard@kpfk.org and they can help you.
Please note: if your name is called during Public Comment, you can then decide whether or not to speak yourself or pass your time to the next speaker.
Zoom details: Zoom Link: (redacted)
Workers World Party and Pacifica Fightback
Workers World Party is a small political formation (small when compared to the Green Party or to Democratic Socialists of America). Over the last 15 years, associates of Workers World Party (WWP) have gotten elected to several seats on Pacifica’s Local Station Boards in NYC, LA and Houston. Currently there are also several associates of WWP on the 22-member Pacifica National Board. None of these individuals identify themselves as associated with Workers World Party. Instead they identify as part of the caucuses they helped organize at three Pacifica stations: Justice and Unity Coalition (JUC) at WBAI-NYC, Grassroots Community Radio Coalition (GCRC) at KPFK-Los Angeles and Stand4KPFT at KPFT-Houston. They also form the core of the Pacifica Fightback group that opposes the big changes to save Pacifica called for by New Day Pacifica bylaws.
New Day Pacifica wants to acknowledge that individually these associates of WWP may be involved in important organizing outside Pacifica. Our concerns come from problematic Pacifica-related organizing they are involved with, in this case encouraging the firing of KPFK’s GM because they want KPFK’s handful of full-time radio hosts like Ian and Sonali off the air.
Threats to KPFK staff from one WWP associate
WWP associate and KPFK Local Station Board Bella DeSoto recently threatened KPFK staff at a Pacifica Fightback public meeting, yet nothing has been done by Pacifica to ensure KPFK staff’s workplace safety. Watch to this shocking clip of DeSoto explain how to change programming at KPFK involving a “physical militia”. Her threats were witnessed by Pacifica National Board member Lawrence Reyes (another associate of WWP), who thanked her after her statement. If that YouTube link does not work for you or it’s taken down, here’s an audio recording of DeSoto’s comments.
We call on Pacifica’s Executive Director to immediately take steps to ensure KPFK staff’s workplace safety. (Note: before the video was recently posted on-line, DeSoto denied she made any threats and Pacifica took no action that we are aware of.)
April/May Bylaws Referendum; can you ask one friend to join Pacifica?
Can you make a personal commitment to convince one friend to join Pacifica by mid-February? This will directly help Pacifica survive, but the new member will also be able to vote YES in the April/May bylaws referendum so Pacifica can survive for future generations.
Reaching out to friends and family about how important Pacifica is to you is one important way you can support Pacifica. Tell them your favorite public affairs and music shows if they haven’t tuned in before.
And make sure to renew your own membership by mid-February to be eligible to vote in the referendum. Easiest to do this on-line with a credit card at KPFA.org, KPFK.org, KPFT.org, WBAI.org, WPFW.org. We recognize many listeners have been hit hard financially by the current recession and may not be able to renew.
Please join our squad of NDP phoners!
Help us make phone calls to New Day Pacifica supporters. It’s easy and fun and you end up connecting to others who care about Pacifica as much as you do. You can call when you want from home. 1-2 hours per week commitment requested if possible. Email us at info@NewDayPacifica.org if you can help.
For more information, email info@NewDayPacifica.org.
For NDP updates, check our website, www.NewDayPacifica.org.