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A blast from the past: KPFA echoes at KBOO?

"Labor troubles" have been used to defang dissent on people's radio before...look for the phrase "sell the station."
Adapted and edited from Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KPFA

In 1999 the KPFA station in Berkeley, California, was forcefully taken over by a new, business-friendly Board at KPFA's governing Pacifica Foundation. Dennis Bernstein, the long-established host of the station's Flashpoints news magazine (which still broadcasts), defied the new Management's gag rule and was FORCIBLY REMOVED BY POLICE--while broadcasting live!-- for airing grievances on air over a labor and content dispute.[3][4][5] A broad cross section of protesters joined in direct action outside of the station[6][7][8][9][10] in a weeks-long lockout during which station management spent over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS
on security measures.[11] At one point, listeners created a separate fund to accept listener pledges that would be directed away from the Pacifica Foundation.[12] KPFA is still on the air today, despite the overwhelming expense of the takeover, largely due to that fundraising effort.

In 2007, KPFA derecognized its Unpaid Staff Organization. The staff claimed that Pacifica Radio had been MAKING THE NETWORK MORE CORPORATE-FRIENDLY, softening its voice of dissent, and attempting to get rid of some of the volunteers at the station. In 2008, a forcible removal by police of a KPFA volunteer highlighted the concerns between management and volunteer staff.[13] A member of the KPFA board suggested that it was problematic that there was no grievance procedure for unpaid staff at the station.[14]

In November 2010, the management of Pacifica LAID OFF MOST OF THE STAFF of the popular KPFA Morning Show. The union representing the paid staff of KPFA claims that the lay offs were done in violation of the union contract.[15] Pacifica management says the lay offs were financially necessary and done according to staff seniority.[16] Pacifica management replaced the hard-dissenting paid staff of the Morning Show with an all volunteer crew.[17]

^ Henry K. Lee (July 14, 1999). "KPFA Broadcaster Dragged Away From Studio: Police arrest supporters of program host". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
^ Charles Burress (July 15, 1999). "Battleground at KPFA -- Employees Locked Out: Hundreds of fans protest changes at Berkeley radio station". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
^ Charles Burress, Janine DeFao (July 16, 1999). "Legislators Step Into KPFA Clamor: Hearing demanded as protesters besiege Berkeley station a third night". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
^ Michael Taylor (July 17, 1999). "Berkeley Gets Radical Over KPFA Lockout: Anyone with a cause welcome to protest". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
^ Julie Chao (July 29, 1999). "KPFA's owners reopening station in "goodwill gesture': Pacifica Foundation to take 6-12 month management hiatus". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
^ Dan Fost (July 29, 1999). "Silenced KPFA Dissidents Put Out the Rallying Cry in Cyberspace: Back in the '60s, it was mimeographs -- today, you just log on". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
^ Jim Herron Zamora, Larry D. Hatfield and Julie Chao (July 30, 1999). "KPFA olive branch sparks mass confusion: Station tells workers to return, but protesters want offer in writing". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
Here's another report on the incident:

Berkeley Daily Planet
(Front Page Headline Story)
September 4-6, 1999

$500,000 for KPFA guards, PR

But crisis will not bankrupt Pacifica Foundation, [director] Chadwick says


Expenses from the crisis at KPFA, including armed guards and public relations, totaled about $500,000, said Pacifica Executive Director Lynn Chadwick, in a letter addressed Friday to Assemblymember Scott Wildman.

"Security for the station and transmitter cost over $390,000. Boarding up the windows and doors cost nearly $7,000. Support for public relations came to some $58,000," Chadwick wrote, noting at the end of the letter, "While these expenses are exceptional, they will not bankrupt KPFA nor (sic) Pacifica."

Wildman, a Glendale Democrat, chairs the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which had requested documentation of Pacifica's finances. Chadwick said these documents, with one exception, were enclosed in the letter.

The Daily Planet received a faxed copy of Chadwick's letter to Wildman late Friday and was unable to verify its authenticity with Chadwick. However, the source of the fax appears to be consistent with at least one other Pacifica news release received by the newspaper in the past month.

Reached at about 9:30 p.m., Assemblywoman Dion Aroner, D-Berkeley, said she had no knowledge of the letter or knowledge that the documents had been received by Wildman's office. Wildman's staff could not be reached for comment.

On Friday afternoon, Aroner aide Hans Hemann, apparently unaware of the letter, told the Daily Planet that a sergeant-at-arms would fly to Los Angeles Tuesday to pick up the documents from Pacifica. If the documents were not made available, the sergeant- at-arms would have the power to present Pacifica with subpoenas, which the Audit Committee had obtained Thursday from the Rules Committee.

There is still one document requested that Chadwick did not send. She said, however, that it would be available "shortly."

"Pacifica's agreement to provide these documents is in no way intended as a waiver of our objection to this entire proceeding," Chadwick wrote in her letter to Wildman. Pacifica officials have said previously that they believed the Audit Committee had no jurisdiction over nonprofit corporations.

Wildman said at an Aug. 20 hearing in Oakland that it was the committee's responsibility to ascertain whether a nonprofit corporation that benefits from a tax-exempt status serves the public benefit.

At the hearing, which Pacific representatives declined to attend, KPFA staff and board members said they feared Pacifica had misspent its funds and harmed the station by the expenses incurred during the height of the conflict between KPFA and Pacifica, which holds the license to KPFA.


In her letter, Chadwick placed the blame for the expenses squarely on staff and their supporters.

"It is ironic that those who caused Pacifica to have to spend these monies are the very ones who condemn these expenditures," Chadwick wrote. The expenses incurred were a result of "dangerous demonstrations organized by certain KPFA staff members, ex-staff members, and others," her letter said.

Elaborating on the need for security, Chadwick said that the police said they would not guard the station, so Pacifica had to engage guards for protection.

"Such expenses were clearly necessary and appropriate," she wrote.

Chadwick's letter addressed office expenses. Pacifica had to rent office space elsewhere because employees were unable to enter the offices on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, next to the station. Chadwick pointed to a demonstration Thursday which condemned her planned return to her office.

"As long as we feel that the safety of our staff is at risk, we must continue the wasted expense of additional office space,' she wrote.

Further, Chadwick condemned the KPFA supporters for "filing frivolous lawsuits and specious complaints" during the time Pacifica is trying to mediate with KPFA.

And Chadwick blasted the committee for not allowing the mediation process to go forward unimpeded and for "applying additional pressure through subpoenas and other actions from the legislature."

KPFA co-news director Mark Mericle, a union shop steward and member of the team that is mediating with Pacifica, said the $500,000 expense could be extremely hurtful if it was taken out of KPFA funds and not from the general Pacifica budget. The letter was unclear about which budget paid this expense.

Mericle bristled at Chadwick's attempt to blame KPFA for the expense of the security guards.

"There was a deliberate plan to shut down KPFA, remove the workers and SELL THE STATION weeks before the night of July 13," Mericle said. July 13 was the date Dennis Bernstein was put on leave and the station shut down.

Backing up his assertion, Mericle said that tapes Pacifica used when regular programming was taken off the air were sent to the station weeks before the shut down and sit-in at the station. And the unarmed security guards were replaced by armed guards weeks before the lockout, he said.


As for national office expenses, Mericle said, "Another little irony is that Chadwick wants to go back to that office without guards. It's pretty absurd."

Responding to Chadwick's complaint of a frivolous lawsuit, Mericle said the lawsuit challenging the board structure had been in the works even before the termination of the general manager March 31.

"It was filed by local (advisory) board members who believe there was a power grab and a violation of the corporation code of the state of California," he said.

A final point Mericle made, responding to Chadwick's desire to continue the mediation, is that he said the mediation team was told by a mediator that Pacifica had said it "wasn't getting anything out of mediation." They said they should be ready to mediate Tuesday, but "they weren't sure Pacifica would show up."

[subheads added--tm]

Berkeley Daily Planet
2076 University Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 841-5600

Letters to the Editor:
(All submissions must include a day-time telephone number where
the contributor can be reached. No anonymous or hand-written
letters will be accepted.)

From: "Mike Mage" < magem65@hotmail.com>
Subject: {FP} Security and PR expenses, preliminary estimate
Date sent: Fri, 03 Sep 1999 14:52:59 EDT

September 3, 1999

I have been reliably informed that following the preliminary look at the Pacifica books by the two board members plus the accountant, the preliminary estimate was that between $600,000 and $800,000 was spent on security and PR.


Sun, 08 Aug 1999 15:22:41 -0700
Wm Leslie Howard < wm@webwm.com>

Mary Berg was so emotional coming back on the air and taking calls of
support she did not mention these facts she had found: (I had a
conversation with her on the phone directly after her show re: Small
Claims Primer at  http://www.mfberry.com/h/court.htm , et.al.)

FACT: A-1 guards, the first agency to guard the station (1 guard per
shift, I believe) cost a total of $21,000. Confirmed. Pacifica has
charged KPFA $12,000. which has been paid to A-1. (I'm not sure by who,
the station or Pacifica this was probably paid by Pacifica up-front.)
A-1 is calling the station asking for the balance of $9,000.00. As far
as Mary knows, the business manager (who I believe is Meigan Devlin, is
directing A-1 back to Pacifica for collections.

PAID 1 JUNE. This is something the Pacifica Foundation was planning
before the 13 July broadcast of the press conference which resulted in
the stations plugged being pulled mid sentence and the arrest of 52
staff and community supporters.

FACT: We do not know if Pacifica got a break on IPSA guards -- up to 10
PER SHIFT. Their rates are: $630.00/ day per guard. For one day,
$6,300.00. For 25 days = $157,500.


In view of this, and considering that the KBOO executive director has already attempted to lock out all staff, please view this excerpt from an email the ED sent to all volunteers:

"Special Public Service Announcement

"On Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm Lynn Fitch, KBOO Station Navigator, will make a special announcement at the KBOO Community Radio station, at 20 SE 8th Ave in Portland.

"This 15 minute special announcement will interrupt regularly scheduled programming and be broadcast live, due to its significant nature and importance to the community, KBOO members, volunteers and hosts."

Why not tell us now, KBOO "Station Navigator" Lynn Fitch?

homepage: homepage: http://savekboo.org
phone: phone: 503-231-8032