Monthly Archives: April 2021

Repeater Station? We’ll hear KPFA over our KPFK 90.7 FM

  • Excerpt:
  • KPFK owes about $300,000 to the Pacifica National Office which imperils the entire Network. (According to the KPFK Business Manager in the KPFK Finance Committee meeting of Jan. 13, 2021 the exact amount is $294,632.) Pacifica owes its accounting firm over $200,000. If this firm stops work for us it could jeopardize our nonprofit status, delay our audits and violate the terms of our $3.2 million loan.

The Pacifica National Office no longer has reserves to cover KPFK shortfalls. According to Anita Sims, Pacifica interim Chief Financial Officer, funds will have to be taken from KPFA to cover them.

KPFK has a narrow window of time to maintain its independence. All efforts to improve KPFK income have either failed completely or been inadequate to make up for revenue declines.Repeater Stations will be run by the Biggest Fish in the pond. If action is not taken to reduce expenses immediately drastic measures very damaging to KPFK may take place. If KPFK can’t raise enough money to pay its expenses it may have to be shut down or its building sold.

Sharon Adams, KPFA Treasurer, has stated several times that any station that can’t pay its bills should have all of its staff laid off and be converted to a ‘repeater’ station. You can hear her saying this in the National Finance Committee meeting of Oct. 27, 2020.”

I Tried Not To Be Partisan,


Version 2, by Sue Cohen Johnson and others

On Fri, Apr 23, 2021 at 4:21 PM Sue Johnson <> wrote:
THE Lists and addresses and emails used to be sacrosanct to the stations; now, not only Pacifica National but New Day proponents have them and are using them to propagandize you for their agenda. There is a law providing for this in California, but they choose to use it against the existing workers/fighters.

‘California law says all members should be allowed to contact all other members.  Nobody is ever given the lists.  A mailing house that signs an agreement to keep the list confidential is used by a member or group to send out emails or snail mail to all members or to members of a particular station.  This is the law.  There’s nothing that can be done about it.  Court challenges protesting this have lost. 
Pacifica has to allow it because it’s in the Bylaws and has to pay for it.  It was proposed as a Bylaws Amendment to have the petition makers pay for the election but it failed, unfortunately..  But I think it will pass if it is proposed again, which doesn’t help now but would in the future. ‘

THEY all told us their plan to eliminate the station boards, and now they’re not telling us any differently. Their new by-laws provide for it. Their plan to have LSBs in the near term, doesn’t preclude their elimination in the future.
‘The New Day bylaws essentially get rid of the LSBs – they would only be able to do fund raising and membership drives.’ 

WE have 2 main problems: local and national board members and the ED did not come up through the ranks of the stations, and candidates for both boards and ED can’t reveal all about themselves on the air and on line. Villains reveal their prejudices and weaknesses in their own declarations, ‘hoist on their own petard’.
THEY want to hire an ED from outside Pacifica, That’s the opposite of what we should do. Up through the ranks.

THE reason we can never complete an audit is because KPFA always refuses to turn over their books to anyone including the auditors, under the same folks who are in New Day Pacifica. ‘Yes.’ 

THE last time we had National Development Director they wanted to directly fundraise from the stations listener-sponsors, and keep the money at National instead of the stations. With the money lies the power. They even wanted to have the local fundrive money go directly to them! ‘Yes.’ 
WHEN we had that Dev. Dir. We also had a National Program Director. All hiring and programming decisions at the National not the stations. ‘Yes.’ 

THE ED works free so she won’t have to be under scrutiny like an employee would.  ‘Yes.’ 

THERE ARE MANY ELITISTS among the endorsers and prospective National board members. ‘Yes.’

THE perennial treasurer of KPFA, its LSB and the Pacifica National Board, has even said, ‘When the Network vitally needs some money, ‘we’ have to take the money from somewhere in the network to pay that required money to protect the organization’. If KPFA or national want money, they just pass it back and forth without any process or due process. ‘Yes’. 
KPFA is in the hippie heaven/haven of the world. It was always lefty and the site of the Free Speech Movement of the 60’s. Those listeners take it for granted that they should support their lefty radio station. ‘Yes.’
Yes KPFA gives money to the rest of the network sometimes, doesn’t mean they are qualified to be the messiah of Pacifica. They are in a blue bubble and don’t pay enough attention to the rest of the country.

IT’S easy to balance the budget by laying off staff. ‘Yes.’  

PACIFICA RADIO ARCHIVES, it’s easy to bloom from small numbers when you don’t have digital and internet resources to count with, until you do have those resources. It’s a false comparison, apples and oranges.

FOR STRATEGIC PLAN, read Brainwashing Session. They are bunched together, separated from their workplaces, environmentally controlled, and the supposed leaders and supposed ‘experts’ have the charge to address and convince the workers.

THE new By-Laws at every point change the rules to eliminate any democracy, and their new process is almost impossible to revoke or make changes to. Please check the sites that narrate the differences between the old and new By-Laws. We will end up with only 7 hand-picked members of the National Board.

Existing By-Laws:

New Day By-Laws:

A Finance researcher of Pacifica

A Newsletter re KPFA, Pacifica

From “Cracking the Ike Age”, The Dolphin No.23, Aarhus University Press, Denmark
©1992 John Whiting May be quoted in part with credit as below:

Lewis Hill and the Origins of Listener-Sponsored Broadcasting in America 

By John Whiting


American radio programs of the thirties and forties are easy to get nostalgic about now that the issues they didn’t confront and the questions they didn’t ask are well behind us. They were intended to entertain or stimulate the listeners in such a way as to promote the sponsors’ products. To that end they tried to amuse, excite, even frighten the punters into a state of mind in which they would be susceptible to the Big Sell.

As the great radio maverick Henry Morgan explained, the air time on all the network stations was filled by a small number of announcer/actors whose ranks were extremely difficult to break into: “about thirty of them did ninety percent of the work”. (BUX p. vii) Morgan was himself one of this elite, having worked his way up quickly from page boy to full-time announcer by 1932 and by 1938 to his own comedy show on WOR, New York (which, at the age of seven, I half-listened to only because it occupied, on alternate days, the same time slot as Superman).

The “radio voice” was established early: it demanded a norm of intonation, inflection and voice projection which was as absolute in its rules as the BBC’s so-called “standard English”. Deep chest tones, bland assurance, total lack of hesitation or error were essential, so as to convey that ineffable, indispensable quality-Sincerity. This exaggerated diction also helped to compensate for the primitive equipment and the bad reception in “fringe” areas.

Lewis Hill, the founder of listener-sponsored broadcasting in America, described in 1951 one of the standard audition procedures, symptomatic of the principles and practices which had led him to seek an alternative to commercial radio:

“The test consists of three or four paragraphs minutely constructed to avoid conveying any meaning. The words are familiar and every sentence is grammatically sound, but the text is gibberish. The applicant is required to read this text in different voices, as though it meant different things: with solemnity and heavy sincerity, with lighthearted humor, and of course with ‘punch’. If the judges award him the job and tur . . . . “

Advice from a Listener/worker


Thanks for this: Sidney Smith”Change your formats upgrade the tech refine your world view to attract new generations of progressives. Become more effective by going back to the foundations of the network. That is be interesting inventive humorous inviting thoughtful. Humane to all points of view. Even with those we don’t agree with…this was a foundation of Pacifica which was lost from the 70’s on. We became a cult an already converted choir to be preached to. The main critical sense I get from people is that we talk of what’s wrong, but rarely of how to actually fix it. Fix it in a way open to all as opposed to the doctrinaire. Do this, and an audience a 21st century audience will come. Don’t, and be stuck with an shrinking listenership of the stubbornly convinced. I joined WBAI when I was 28. I left or was forcible retired during one of the cyclic purges for the usual reasons at 63. So I have some notion of how things are. Circular firing squads of varying kinds. Some better some worse, but all in that circle. Open up to this now not so new century. This with all of the complex changes it has wrought. Mind I know many former staff, and supporters have been saying this since at least the 90’s. For 30 years such simple suggestions have been ignored. So here you still are hanging by the skin of your teeth. There are other kinds of Listener Sponsored radio stations, and networks out there. They mostly thrive. Ask them why. Hint…they advance, and change with the times, and eras. They are open to new ways of doing business performing on the air, and just being…being in this era, and looking ahead. I know this first hand having been part of a few since retirement. I expect this will be ignored by the entrenched powers or ruling ideological cliques. Though perhaps some individuals working in these digital fields of grass might pause, and consider. Regardless good luck you all.”

Bob Fass at WBAI nights,

Sidney Smith
This two minute video I recorded in our Wall Street studios. This of Bob Fass doing his long time program Radio Unnamable during a fund raiser. We’re a non-commercial network founded by Pacifists in 1947.

My dear friend Bob Fass has passed away.
He was a fixture in New York radio for 50 years, and more. I was honored to work with him during my broadcast career. He was noted for his courage compassion wit, and unique humor. Also the man could be impossible sometimes. Which was added seasoning to the experience of knowing, and loving him. He was much respected by the arts, and political communities. Below a very short video I recorded of him on air. Bless him. ❤

Computer Age News

“This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg granted a rare, live, hourlong interview to a tech journalist, where he revealed the company’s plans for a slew of new audio products. Normally, such a scoopy, wide-ranging interview would be a coup for the media company that landed it. But in this case, there was no traditional media company: The interviewer was Casey Newton, who writes a Substack newsletter called Platformer, and the setting was a new Discord server that Newton and seven other independent writers have created called Sidechannel. A thousand people—paying subscribers to at least one of the newsletters—tuned in.

It was the latest milestone in Substack’s ascendance as a platform for high-profile journalism. The company’s rise, punctuated by a venture capital round that valued it at $650 million, has been fueled by an influx of well-known commentators formerly employed by major media outlets such as the New York Times, Vox, and BuzzFeed. Some are lured by the editorial freedom, others by the cash on offer, which for top writers can hit seven figures. Several outlets have lost their biggest names to Substack (though not always unhappily); Slate and New York recently lost their star advice columni . . . . “

Their Local Paper


Pacifica Radio: Let’s talk about the debt

April 17, 2021 Share

Welcome to KPFA. Station headquarters are located at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way in Berkeley. KPFA invented listener-sponsored radio – and listener-governed radio.

by Ann Garrison

In early June, listener subscribers and staff of the Pacifica Radio Network’s five nonprofit metropolitan stations, KPFA-Berkeley, KPFK-Los Angeles, KPFT-Houston, WBAI-New York City, and WPFW-Washington D.C., will receive ballots to vote on yet another new set of bylaws that would largely do away with its democratic governance structure. The first attempt to do this was resoundingly defeated at the end of March one year ago. This time ballots will go out during the first week of June, and most subscribers and staff will choose to vote online. The network also includes 200 smaller affiliate stations, whose staff and listener subscribers will not be included in this election, but who have two representatives on the Pacifica National Board. 

The first attempt to do this was resoundingly defeated at the end of March one year ago. This time ballots will go out during the first week of June, and most subscribers and staff will choose to vote online.

As a longtime Pacifica programmer and listener, I am as adamantly opposed to this new bylaws proposal as I was to the last – first and foremost because it would disenfranchise the two East Coast stations, WPFW-Washington, D.C., and WBAI-New York City, which have the largest Black audiences, and give disproportionate power to my own station, KPFA-Berkeley. Black Agenda Radio, hosted by Glen Ford and Margaret Kimberley, airs on both WBAI and WPFW but not on KPFT-Houston, KPFK-Los Angeles or KPFA-Berkeley, which is not to say I haven’t suggested airing it on KPFA.

My other reasons for opposing these bylaws is that they are fundamentally undemocratic and that they will lop off Pacifica programmers’ anti-imperialist wing. In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, Pacifica was a radical, antiwar, anti-imperialist network, perhaps most admired when WBAI sent the first American reporter to broadcast from North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Today, however, much of Pacifica has – like the rest of what now passes for the left – given way to identity politics, Democratic Party politics, Trump Derangement Syndrome and even national security state narratives. I wrote ab

I can’t help but refute New Day


It’s easy to balance the budget by laying off staff.

It’s easy to bloom from small numbers when you don’t have digital and internet resources to count with, until you do have those resources. It’s a false comparison, apples and oranges.

For Strategic Plan, read Brainwashing Session


They above day-sheet is unususal in that Sojourner Truth did not make $3,000, and neither did Background Briefing. This is from a 2015 FunDrive. Roy’s Something’s Happening did excellent for an overnight show. Now they want to lay him off. And they laid off Christine Blosdale, who made maybe 1/3 of total FunDrive money.

Why lay off staff at KPFK, KPFA keeps bragging that it’s the financial rock upon which the network stands? They have a flush staff. Last time I was allowed to look, they even employed someone with a developmental or other mental disability, to do small work in the Membership department. And their dept. head said about another membership task, “you can do it during your free time at work.” Yes the disabled should be respected, nothing against the disabled, we always hire them if they are capable, but at the cost of laying off essential personnel who are keeping the station from going under? Why lay off the news staff at KPFK? And money-making programmers? Don’t get me started!
Membership is the department that physically and digitally brings in the money! KPFA is in the hippie heaven of the world. It was always lefty and the site of the Free Speech Movement of the 60’s. Their listeners take it for granted that they should support their lefty radio station.

At KPFK-Please don’t let this happen: Roy of Hollywood, Something’s Happening: “National board meeting will meet Thursday night to discuss layoffs of Roy and Buzz and others. If you want to help write an email to and the national board at (a single email to both is OK). “

Roy gets a little pay as programmer and overnight staff/boardop. His show makes amazing money for an overnight show.

Yay us!


The Pirate Radio Broadcaster Who Occupied Alcatraz and Terrified the FBI

Over fifty years ago, John Trudell overcame tragedy to become the national voice for Native Americans—and a model for a new generation of activists.

Read when you’ve got time to spare.a smiling man speaking into a microphone

Trudell had one thing the FBI could not stop: his voice. Image by Michelle Vignes/Gamma-Rapho, via Getty Images

He sat at the same table each evening, sometimes with lighting and sometimes without, a cigarette often in hand, a guest always by his side. In the background, the sound of waves rolling against the rocks and the stuttering of a backup generator were constants. Then, with a crackly yet true radio connection, streaming through the wires from an unthinkable place — Alcatraz Island — he began speaking in a calm, determined voice. The nation was listening.

In the Pacifica Radio Archives, located in a modest brick building in North Hollywood, you can hear what hundreds of thousands of Americans heard on those evenings.File through the cassettes and you will find more than a dozen tapes labeled with a single word: Alcatraz. Each is followed by a date, anywhere from December 1969 to August 1970.

But these were not simply programs about Alcatraz, that island in the notoriously frigid San Francisco Bay that was home to a federal prison until it closed in 1963. Rather, they were broadcast from the former prison building itself, from a small cell without heat and only a lone generator for power rumbling in the background.

The show was called Radio Free Alcatraz , and it was hosted by John Trudell, a Santee Sioux Native American activist and broadcaster.

By the winter of 1969, Trudell could be found in that austere cell, speaking over the rush of waves in a composed Midwestern accent. And by 1973, he had become one of the FBI’s most feared activists, with a file that would eventually run longer than 1,000 pages.

Why would the FBI compose its longest dossier about a broadcaster speaking from a rocky island a mile offshore? What was Trudell saying that frightened them so much?

Trudell was advocating for Native American self-determination, explaining its moral and political importance to all Americans. On air, he often revealed the innumerable ways the government was violating Native American rights: obstructing fishing access in Washington State, setting unfair prices on tribal lands, removing Native American children from local schools. But he didn’t just reveal the cruel contradictions at the heart of American society. He imagined a future in which equality — between different American cultures, and between all people and the earth itself — would become a reality

And for the first time, non–Native American communities were listening. More than 100,000 people tuned in to Pacifica stations in California, Texas and New Yo . . .