“The Confustion of Ian Masters”


“Many of Pacifica’s members received a letter from KPFK programmer Ian Masters, who hosts Background Briefing at Pacifica’s LA station. While the upcoming bylaws referendum redux will lead to many, many, many letters to the members filled with questionable, if not downright false assertions, and it would probably be tiresome to rebut them all, this particular one is so convoluted that it deserves a response. For anyone who doesn’t have it or doesn’t have it handy, we have placed a copy here for your reference.

Masters begins his screed with the “shocking news” that KPFK programmers have been told that a fund drive is coming up in May of 2021 and the station’s employees have been told they have to raise $650,000 in the May fund drive. This shouldn’t have been overly shocking since Masters has been a five day a week programmer at KPFK since 2009 (and a one day a week programmer since 1980) and KPFK always has a fund drive in May and that fund drive always has a goal between $500,000 and $750,000. Every single year. Along with similar fund drives that generally occur in February, August and October.

The goal of each fund drive is to raise all or most of the station’s expenses of around $240,000 a month or $720,000 a quarter. If that money isn’t raised during the fundraising marathon, then the station will not have enough money to pay its bills. That is the reality of listener-supported radio, and it has been for a very long time. It’s not very shocking at all.

Masters then goes on to state that something untoward has happened with the Paycheck Protection Program loans that were secured by the Pacifica Foundation to offset some of the financial pain caused by the pandemic. With the time spent making vague accusations of derring-do, Masters coul . . . “

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