Category Archives: WBAI

Democracy Leaves Pacifica unless we Fight

Standard

Better read the 31!.  They make me sick.

31 Things About the New Bylaws Proposal

31 Things About the New Bylaws Proposal

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:January 26, 2020

It’s Up To You Now

 

Berkeley – On January 23, an Alameda County, California courtroom decided to allow 600 members to force their late-submitted anti-democratic bylaws proposal to a referendum vote immediately at the expense of Pacifica’s membership. The January 23 decision pauses the results of the last delegate election, which 6,085 members participated in. It delays the seating of national board reps selected by newly-elected delegates and keeps the outgoing national board unwillingly frozen into place for another seven weeks. Each Pacifica member faces a bill of approximately $1.50 each for what will be the third nationwide election in little more than a year. Ballots are expected to go out in mid-February.

This publication had previously suggested that Pacifica members would be well-advised to simply ignore these bylaws ballots should they receive them. But we are now changing that advice. On further review of this ill-advised proposal, we strongly recommend a loud and decisive “NO” vote. We will talk a bit about why below.

For those who want to climb into the weeds, (and pretty much everyone now has too), Pacifica in Exile has prepared a detailed guide called 31 Things About The New Bylaws Proposal. You can find it here. Please distribute widely.

Below we will highlight a few general points about the Pacifica Restructuring Project proposal that you should keep in mind.

1. The referendum the Court forced despite the lateness of the original proposal is NOT a referendum on the current bylaws, but on this specific proposal. This proposal was drafted in secret by less than a dozen people and never vetted beyond this tiny group before being foisted upon the network.  Acceptance would impose a permanently un-elected national board majority. The proponents generally argue on the basis that the current bylaws have problems, which is a position most would agree with. But instead of putting their proposal up for broad discussion as one possible alternative among many, they have short-circuited dialogue and proposed an ultimatum: their way or the highway. These are not the values a community-based membership organization should espouse.

2. The new bylaws proposal installs immediately, 6 particular people, who would compose a permanently un-elected majority on an 11-person board. Those 6 seats would be filled by other national board members into infinity and this group would be free to operate the Foundation more or less as they please, since they have an absolute majority and can establish the board quorum of 6 entirely by themselves. The installed directors require no consent for any board action d by the pro forma member-elected portion of the board (5 seats – 1 from each station signal area). In other words, in this model you get a vote, but it is only symbolic.

The original proposal, which was sent to 47,000 Pacifica members and signed on to by less than a thousand of us, named 6 individuals and 3 alternates. Of those 9 individuals, two have dropped out since the proposal was floated in September. Of the 7 remaining, only 2 have media experience. The most heavily represented constituency is civil rights lawyers, who compose 3 of the remaining 7. 2 are based in the San Francisco Bay Area, 2 in Texas (the smallest Pacifica signal area) and 2 in the Midwest, a region which does not have a Pacifica-owned station. None are located on the Eastern seaboard where Pacifica maintains WBAI-FM in New York and WPFW-FM in Washington DC. None of the 7 people asking you to install them has made a single public comment about what they will do if placed on the board of directors.

3. We encourage you to read the full 31 Things About the New Bylaws article. Here is a quick touch on a few of the salient changes:

* While your vote drops in value from 4 seats on the national board to 1 minority seat, the cost of that vote doubles to $50/yr from the current $25/year.

* There is no residency requirement for a sole elected station representative on the national board.

* Quorum drops to 5% for future changes to the bylaws including station license sales.

* Station unpaid and paid staff are prohibited on the national board. Pacifica affiliated stations no longer have seats for their representatives on the national board.

* While there are nominally 5 member-elected directors (1 from each station), they are not only a permanent minority, they are prohibited from serving as the board chair or board treasurer. Only the self-appointed directors can chair the board or serve as the treasurer.

* Conflict of interest rules for board members are loosened so that any claim that a director has a “personal interest” in a board decision can keep them from voting. This explicitly allows the prevention of directors from voting as happened with the exclusion of WBAI’s representatives from voting on the raid of their station. That action was thrown out by NY’s Supreme Court as “trumped-up” based on the current bylaws. It wouldn’t be in the future.

What Will Happen If These New Bylaws Are Adopted

It doesn’t take a crystal ball. ​After 7 weeks of bylaws election, then Pacifica will have to have 5 more elections, one at each station, to select a new sole station director. After that is all over, this new board will finally sit down and realize they have a loan principle payment of $3.2 million due in less than a year. The new board will panic, examine their assets, and immediately call yet another election seeking member permission to sell a station license. What else can they possibly do? What we are looking at is just another pathway to the unnecessary break-up of Pacifica. The people’s media assets, which are held in trust by the Pacifica Foundation, deserve better.

We know there are other answers. $1.9 million dollars was given to this organization in one calendar year in 2019 in windfall gifts. Loan obligations can be met, if we want them to be. Bylaws don’t replace the will to survive and putting the public interest first.

Vote to keep your membership rights and vote NO on the break-up bylaws. 

If you value being kept up to speed on Pacifica Radio news via this newsletter, you can make a little contribution to keep Pacifica in Exile publishing . Donations are

secure, but not tax-deductible”

More: No paid or unpaid staff on the board. Both paid employees and any member of the unpaid staff including hosts, producers and technical staff are prohibited from board service.
Price of a voting membership goes up from $25 per person to $50 per person per year. This is a bigger annual donation level to maintain basic voting rights and requires $100 a year from couples if both wish to vote.
Volunteer for membership goes up from 3 hours to 15 hours a year. People who pick up memberships by volunteering in the fund drive room or tabling at events would have to book 5 times as many hours each year
Location of the Pacifica Foundation national headquarters. They place the headquarters of the national foundation inside KPFA at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way when the national office has never been permanently lodged inside KPFA and is in the process of moving to Los Angeles right now. All vacancies filled by board. If an elected station director resigns, their successor will be picked by the board with a dominant preselected majority, so in the event of a resignation by a station-elected director, that signal area will have no member-elected representative for as many as three years until the next election

carradioPacifica

Balance of Power? or KPFA and Friends

Standard

When ‘National’ tried to take over KPFA, the communities filled the streets to take back their station. ‘This is ours, this is something we paid for, we believe in, and that we intend to keep,’ paraphrase of Alice Walker.  A balance of power with less power for National and more for the stations would be better.  KPFK, for one, and its building, was built by people in L.A., not National.  At-large PNB members is just a scheme to dis-power the local reps.
An excerpt that I’m speaking out against: “Also, as a guide to how we treat one another, the egalitarian principle is not to reward & punish given one’s endowment: just because some stations use Pacifica-owned buildings, not their buildings, isn’t justification for looking down on & disparaging WPFW & WBAI. It was a mere historical accident that at the beginning, Pacifica & KPFA constituted an identity, the one-and-the-same. A station’s financial performance may be criticised, but one must recognise that (1) some of its contracts may have been agreed, even negotiated, by the executive director &/or the National Board, & (2) the station manager (called in Pacificanese the general manager) isn’t appointed locally but by the executive director. Please don’t mistake the locus for the cause.”
https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/category/authoritarianism/

Richard Pryor had a show on WBAI

Standard

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Pryor
kpfirichardpryor3
I wanted to say a few words to encapsulate the career of Richard Pryor but there is way too much.
Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American comedian, actor, film director,social critic, satirist, writer, and MC.[19]….
Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities and profanity, as well as racial epithets. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time: …
Pryor’s body of work includes the concert movies and recordings: Richard Pryor: Live & Smokin’ (1971), That Nigger’s Crazy (1974),…Is It Something I Said? (1975), Bicentennial Nigger (1976), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979), Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982), and Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983). He also starred in numerous films as an actor, such as Superman III (1983), but was usually in comedies such as Silver Streak (1976), and occasionally in dramatic roles, such as Paul Schrader‘s film Blue Collar(1978). He collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder. Another frequent collaborator was actor/comedian/writer Paul Mooney….
Pryor won an Emmy Award (1973) and five Grammy Awards (1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1982). In 1974, he also won two American Academy of Humor awards and the Writers Guild of America Award. The first ever Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was presented to him in 1998. Pryor is listed at Number 1 on Comedy Central‘s list of all-time greatest stand-up comedians.[23]….
In 1969, Pryor moved to Berkeley, California, where he immersed himself in the counterculture and rubbed elbows with the likes of Huey P. Newton and Ishmael Reed. He signed with the comedy-oriented independent record label Laff Records in 1970, and in 1971 recorded his second album, Craps (After Hours). Two years later, the relatively unknown comedian appeared in the documentary Wattstax (1973), wherein he riffed on the tragic-comic absurdities of race relations in Watts and the nation. Not long afterward, Pryor sought a deal with a larger label, and after some time, signed with Stax Records.[when?][citation needed]….
When his third, breakthrough album, That Nigger’s Crazy (1974), was released, Laff, who claimed ownership of Pryor’s recording rights, almost succeeded in getting an injunction to prevent the album from being sold. ….That Nigger’s Crazy was a commercial and critical success; it was eventually certified Gold by the RIAA[when?] and won the Grammy Award for Best Comedic Recording at the 1975 Grammy Awards….
….Pryor returned to Reprise/Warner Bros. Records, which re-released That Nigger’s Crazy, immediately after …Is It Something I Said?, his first album with his new label. Like That Nigger’s Crazy, the album was a hit with both critics and fans; it was eventually certified Platinum by the RIAA[when?]and won the Grammy Award for Best Comedic Recording at the 1976 Grammy Awards…..
Pryor’s release Bicentennial Nigger (1976) continued his streak of success. It became his third consecutive Gold album, and he collected his third consecutive Grammy ….
The Richard Pryor Show premiered on NBC in 1977 but was canceled after only four episodes probably because television audiences did not respond well to his show’s controversial subject matter, and Pryor was unwilling to alter his material for network censors. During the short-lived series, he portrayed the first African-American President of the United States, spoofed the Star Wars cantina, took on gun violence, and in another skit, used costumes and visual distortion to appear nude.[35]…..
In 1983, Pryor signed a five-year contract with Columbia Pictures for US$40,000,000.[37] This resulted in the mainstreaming of Pryor’s onscreen persona and softer, more formulaic films like Superman III (1983), which earned Pryor $4,000,000; Brewster’s Millions (1985), Moving (1988), and See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989). The only film project from this period that recalled his rough roots was Pryor’s semi-autobiographic debut as a writer-director, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986), which was not a major success….
In 2002, a television documentary depicted Pryor’s life and career. Broadcast in the UK as part of the Channel 4 series Kings of Black Comedy, it was produced, directed and narrated by David Upshal and featured rare clips from Pryor’s 1960s stand-up appearances and movies such as Silver Streak (1976), Blue Collar (1978), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1978), and Stir Crazy (1980). Contributors included George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Whoopi Goldberg, Ice-T, Paul Mooney, Joan Rivers, and Lily Tomlin. The show tracked down the two cops who had rescued Pryor from his “freebasing incident”, former managers, and even school friends from Pryor’s home town of Peoria, Illinois. In the US, the show went out as part of the Heroes of Black Comedy series on Comedy Central, narrated by Don Cheadle.[citation needed]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Pryor
This is a shortening of all the praise of him on Wikipedia

Want a new station?

Standard

http://transom.org/2012/youre-on-the-air/

Nan Rubin may be able to help you.
She was part of a Strategic Process imposed on KPFK in 1986.  But Lorenzo Milam’s off-titled Sex in Broadcasting book was the handbook for getting on the air for many years.

You’re On the Air!

onair_FEATURED

My greatest personal satisfaction in a long public broadcasting career has come from building a radio station from scratch. Flipping the switch and filling that empty space on the radio dial with brand new sounds for the very first time — nothing can match it.

I’m close to social security age now, but signing my first station on the air in 1975 was one of the biggest thrills of my life.

Cover of Sex and Broadcasting

My first radio station was WAIF 88.3 FM in Cincinnati, one of a wave of community stations in Atlanta, Madison, Memphis, St. Louis, Tampa and elsewhere that hit the airwaves between 1970 and 1980 as part of the counter-culture and anti-Vietnam War era, guided in part by Lorenzo Milam and Jeremy Lansman’s irreverent station-building guide “Sex and Broadcasting.” We were licensed to Stepchild Radio of Cincinnati, Inc. and our bumper stickers read “Out of the Ordinary Radio.”

Building a radio station takes a serious commitment. First, you have to set-up a non-profit organization so you can legally apply for a broadcast license and also raise money. At the same time, you have to do a technical search to find an open frequency on the FM dial, plus locate a real physical place to put a transmitter and antenna. Then you are ready to fill out an FCC application requesting the frequency, and the FCC sits on it for months while they make sure everything meets their requirements.

In the meantime, you become a community organizer, holding a gazillion meetings to plan station operations, implement decision-making, devise programming schedules, scout out broadcasting equipment and studio locations, and ask people to give you money for a radio station that is just an idea and doesn’t exist yet. You are also holding your breath and hoping no other group has the same idea and applied for the same frequency.

…………

 

Article WBAI’s new team

Standard

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/democracy-duo-gonzalez-goodman-blast-new-wbai-team-article-1.376774

‘Democracy Now!’ duo, Gonzalez and Goodman, blast new WBAI team

Sunday, June 14, 2009, 9:17 PM
Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez.DABIN FOR NEWS

Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez.

Under normal circumstances,Amy Goodman and Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez say, they’d be happy their daily “Democracy Now” show has moved from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. on WBAI (99.5 FM).

But with WBAI having another of its periodic civil wars, they aren’t so sure.

Before the shift last week, co-hosts Goodman and Gonzalez sent a letter to acting general manager LaVarn Williamssaying that while the station has the right to air the program whenever it wishes, “This decision disturbs us deeply and we urge that it be reconsidered.”

Their concern, they say, involves the fact that moving “Democracy Now” is only one part of larger changes at WBAI, including the dismissal of station manager Anthony Riddle and program director Bernard White.

Critics of Riddle and White charged they had narrowed the station’s appeal, costing it listenership and revenue. White disputes those assertions, and his supporters have launched a campaign to “take back WBAI.”

Goodman and Gonzalez’s letter says firing White “lacked basic human consideration” and expresses concern that the new team is using “Democracy Now” as “a weapon against its opponents.” . . . .

Article Pacifica’s Andrew Leslie Phillips, veteran Program Dir. and iGM of WBAI and KPFA

Standard

 ~6 pages_

“Riding the waves at Pacifica radio, by Andrew Leslie Phillips 8/13

Andrew Leslie Phillips has written a short history of the Pacifica radio network, published below. He is interim general manager of Pacifica station KPFA in Berkeley, California.
Phillips is a native of Australia. He spent seven years in Papua New Guinea as a government patrol officer, radio journalist and filmmaker before coming to New York in 1975. He produced award-winning investigative radio documentaries on a wide range of environmental and political issues for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and for Pacifica station WBAI in New York City. He taught journalism, radio and “sound image” as an adjunct professor at New York University for 10 years.
The Pacifica foundation was founded in 1946 by poet and journalist Lewis Hill and a small group of pacifists, intellectuals and experienced radio people. They did not have the same political or economic philosophy but shared a vision which supported a peaceful world, social justice and creativity. ….
FM was a new, technology and Pacifica was backing the future, inventing an entirely new funding mechanism – the theory of listener sponsored radio. . . .
Equality of access to airtime has always been at the center of controversy at Pacifica and community radio everywhere. Most on-air people at Pacifica were not paid until the mid 1990’s. They volunteered and they made money to support the Foundation by pitching their programming on free-speech Pacifica radio. That was the deal. It was a tacit agreement – Pacifica provides opportunity and access whilst producers agreed to pitch and encourage on air pledges. By far the largest percentage of financial support for Pacifica still comes from listener donations.[2]. . . ”
http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2013/08/06/riding-the-waves-at-pacifica-radio-by-andrew-leslie-phillips/

?

?

September 16 2015

  • Andrew Leslie Phillips
    Andrew Leslie Phillips [in a negative mood]: “I know many who follow this page [https://www.facebook.com/groups/PacRadioSupporters/] are, have been or aspire to “run” Pacifica but most of you are not qualified and there are too many of you on overcrowded ineffectual boards. I know why this clumsy governance system was originally implemented but it has not worked. We all know that now. Pacifica as an institution was always a tenuous affair but never more so than now. There seems little point to the institution any longer. The audience is old and growing older, the programming in most cases, second rate. Most information Pacifica carries is available elsewhere. Pacifica has been nit-picked to death by competing factions. I believe there maybe a place for individual stations to strike out on their own but the governance structure stands in the way of that. I spent some great years at WBAI (1979-1993) and in those days WBAI and Pacifica meant something. We did ground breaking programming and produced many fine producers, a lot of whom can now be heard on NPR (since there was no future even then at Pacifica, for talented broadcasters so they moved on). Amy Goodman may have been the best “thing” to come out of Pacifica (and Amy was forced out by noxious WBAI management) and when Amy say’s “From Pacifica” in her DemNow intro she is not really saying it as it is because DemNow comes “from Pacifica” only because Michael Yoshida at KPFA ensures DemNow get on the satellite on time every day. During my tenure at KPFA (2011-2013) I came to like and respect many in that community. But I too was skewered by some who came to disagree with me and manipulated me out of my position with unfounded accusations and deception. Unfortunately Pacifica under its current charter breeds a kind of Machiavellian environment and John Proffitt is just another victim.”

On corporate underwriting, Ralph Engelman, Pacifica radio, WBAI, and on satirical cartoons

Standard

Ralph Engelman

Chair, Journalism DepartmentSenior Professor of Journalism & Communication StudiesFaculty Coordinator, George Polk Awards; Faculty Athletics Representative; Administrator, Theodore E. Kruglak Fellowship in International Reporting.
B.A., Earlham CollegeM.A., Washington UniversityPh.D., Washington University

Dr. Ralph Engelman is Senior Professor and Chair of Journalism & Communication Studies at LIU Brooklyn, where he has received the top awards given by LIU for scholarship and teaching: the Abraham Krasnoff Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement and the David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching.  He is faculty coordinator of LIU’s George Polk Awards.
He serves as journalism consultant and member of the academic advisory board for the Archive of American Television, a digital history project of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. In this capacity he has conducted long-form interviews with Morley Safer, Sidney Lumet and Geraldo Rivera, among others.  Since 1980, he has been a participant in the Summer Fulbright Institute on the Civilization of the United States, Multinational Institute of American Studies, New York University.

Dr. Engelman is a former member of the board of directors of the Pacifica Foundation, which operates five community radio stations.  He is also a former moderator of  Reporter Roundtable, BCAT, carried on Time Warner, Cablevision and RCN in the New York metropolitan area.  [Pacifica does not operate the 5 stations and 180 affiliates, it owns the licenses and the stations even when they were built by the local stations-SCJ]

Professor Engelman is the author of  “Friendlyvision: Fred Friendly and the Rise and Fall of Television Journalism,” with an Introduction by Morley Safer (NY: Columbia University Press, 2009) and  “Public Radio and Television in America: A Political History” (Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1996).  His “The Origins of Public Access Cable Television,” Journalism Monographs (No. 123, October 1990), has been translated into Japanese and Portuguese.

https://books.google.com/books?id=_NVyAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=ralph+Engelman+pacifica+radio+wbai&source=bl&ots=3qo58T59iH&sig=UYbMeXNAQttdJHxLPUFWNTtytK4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rYiUU8ywAdbKsQSJ_4DgBw#v=onepage&q=ralph%20Engelman%20pacifica%20radio%20wbai&f=false

Ralph Engelman

LET ME QUICKLY INTRODUCE OUR PANELISTS. TOMORROW, GARRY TRUDEAU WILL RECEIVE THE GEORGE POLK CAREER AWARD. HIS COMIC STRIP HAS ATTAINED THE STATUS OF A GREAT AMERICAN INSTITUTION. FOUR 45 YEARS, HE HAS SPARED NO PUBLIC FIGURE OR ILL-CONCEIVED POLICY IN A UNIQUE SATIRIC APPROACH TO POLITICAL COMMENTARY. HE STANDS ALONGSIDE SUCH LEGENDARY CARTOONIST SUCH AS OUR NEXT PANELIST, JEWELED PFEIFER –JULES FEIFFER. JULES

http://www.c-span.org/video/?324923-1/discussion-role-satire

WBAI & KPFK’s economist Richard Wolff also had an event

Standard

“Capitalists in the 1970s realized they no longer needed to pay high wages to American, European and Japanese workers, when they could simply relocate their centers to countries with no wage regulations” -Professor and Economist Richard Wolf

 Richard Wolf discusses the history of capitalist resistance from Germany to Greece for KPFK audience members. http://ow.ly/i/8BWOj

kpfkrichardwolff2
Paraphrase of R. Wolff: We had serfs controlled by their feudal land/lords.
We had slaves controlled by their “owners”.
Now we have wage slaves controlled by their employers, who can fire them without cause any time, see ‘At Will Labor force’.