July 13, 1999
” . . . Latest evidence of the Board’s bad faith comes in the form of an email, purportedly from Micheal Palmer, a real estate broker in Houston who is treasurer-elect on the governing board. The text of the memo follows. Palmer’s email to Pacifica national board chair Mary Frances Berry puts forward a plan to destroy grassroots opposition and raise money to pay for the voracious cash needs of the national superstructure by selling either KPFA, the network’s flagship station in the Bay Area, valued at around $70 million, or WBAI in New York, probably worth even more . . . .”
” . . . There are a couple puzzling features in the address panel of the email. Berry’s name middle name is incorrectly spelled, though Micheal is the proper spelling of Palmer’s first name. How can such an explosive memo be seeing the light of day instead of remaining locked in Mary Frances Berry’s safe? The truth is ironic and extraordinary. The IGC internet service provider did a trace and confirms that the email originated at Micheal Palmer’s email account. (Click here to read the IGC trace of the email’s origins.) But it was sent to the email address of Andrea Buffa, director of the San Francisco Media Alliance and one of the protesters on whom Pacifica manager Lynn Chadwick had conducted a citizen’s arrest for demonstrating outside the Pacifica national offices in Berkeley. Buffa was arraigned on July 13 directing the attention of the press to the text of the letter on CounterPunch’s website. (Click here to read press release from the Media Alliance.) It seems that Palmer in one of the most momentous Freudian slips in recent memory managed to direct his email to an active opponent of all the schemes being hatched by him and Berry. . . . “
” . . .
From: Palmer, Micheal @ Houston Galleria, firstname.lastname@example.org
To: ‘Mary Francis Berry’, email@example.com . . . “
From the email: ” . . . But seriously, I was under the impression there was support in the proper quarters, and a definite majority, for shutting down that unit and re-programming immediately. Has that changed? Is there consensus among the national staff that anything other than that is acceptable/bearable? I recall Cheryl saying that the national staff wanted to know with certitude that they supported 100% by the Board in whatever direction was taken; what direction is being taken?
As an update for you and Lynn I spoke with the only radio broker I know last week and his research shows $750,000-$1.25m for KPFB. There wo . . . “
” . . . This is the best radio market in history and while public companies may see a dilutive effect from a sale (due to the approximate 12 month repositioning effort needed), they would still be aggressive for such a signal. Private media companies would be the most aggressive in terms of price, which he thinks could be in the $65-75m range depen . . . “
” . . . the Finance Committee will undertake a close review of the Audigraphics data provided recently to determine what it is costing us per listener, per subscriber, per market, per hour of programming…in order give the Executive Director and the General Managers benchmarks for improvement. Even with that data my feeling is that a more beneficial disposition would be of the New York signal as there is a smaller subscriber base without the long and emotional history as the Bay Area, far more associated value, a similarly dysfunctional staff though far less effective and an overall better opportunity to redefine Pacifica going forward. It is simply the more strategic asset. . . .”
Then he wrote: ” . . . An afternoon panel discussion on the Pacifica crisis will be held Saturday, July 24 from 1-4 p.m. at the Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society, 9550 Haskell Avenue in North Hills. Panelists include former Pacifica board president Peter Franck, fired Pacifica national programmer Larry Bensky, KPFK local advisory board chair and litigant David Adelson , and long-time KPFK programmer Roy Tuckman. Dr. Helen Caldicott will also address the issues via a pre-taped presentation. . . . “
Please note, an email’s origin can be traced back.