No Talking … Or Else

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At the June 29th PNB coordinating committee, the Siegel/Brazon faction cracked down on board members talking about the network’s growing financial crisis with the chief financial officer and determined that a secret executive session must be held immediately to prevent any more unsupervised talking about the financial emergency and discipline those involved for “bad behavior”. You can hear the scary unsupervised talking that ensued on June 26th here: Tracy-rosenberg – Pnb-special-meeting-on-finances-6262016

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Siegel/Brazon Faction Shuts Down Emergency Board Meeting

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Berkeley- In an apparent overdose on the Kool-Aid, volunteer executive director Lydia Brazon, board chair Tony Norman and PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert are trying to shut down an emergency board meeting scheduled for the evening of June 26th.

The meeting was called to address warnings from chief financial officer Sam Agarwal that the network will not be able to meet payroll and employee benefit obligations within weeks, pay for the financial audit or fund the election of its board members and has no plans to cope with the oncoming catastrophe. Continue reading Siegel/Brazon Faction Shuts Down Emergency Board Meeting

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The Kool-Aid We’re Drinking

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Berkeley- Troubles continue at Pacifica’s archives following the announcement of long-time director Brian De Shazor’s resignation. Boston PBS station WGBH wrote to say they were withdrawing the American Archive of Public Broadcasting National Digital Stewardship Residency from Pacifica and would be removing their resident from the archives. Continue reading The Kool-Aid We’re Drinking

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Erasing The History of Pacifica

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Berkeley- Pacifica Archives Director Brian De Shazor has announced his resignation from Pacifica Radio, effective June 30th. De Shazor’s resignation provoked a strongly worded rebuke to Pacifica from Dr. Josh Sheppard, director of the Radio Preservation Task Force at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Sheppard stated De Shazor’s resignation forced him to retract a Library of Congress offer to apply for grant funding to support the archives and would amount to several hundred thousand dollars in potential lost funds. Sheppard went further, stating the Library of Congress would change Pacifica’s status to that of an endangered archive and advised Pacifica management that “abandoning maintenance of the archive and the consequent degradation of these materials will effectively erase the history of Pacifica”. Sheppard’s full letter can be read here.  Pacifica had recently threatened significant cuts to archival preservation staffing.  Continue reading Erasing The History of Pacifica

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Los Angeles Arbitration

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Los Angeles Arbitration

Berkeley-A Los Angeles arbitrator has issued an interim decision in the conflict between labor union SAG-AFTRA and Pacifica Foundation. The arbitration began last fall after Margy Wilkinson appointed community college instructor Leslie Radford to be KPFK’s new general manager and Radford laid off two union staffers and cut the rest down to 50% pay. The interim decision affirmed the union on all counts and stated the labor union contract had been violated multiple times by Radford and Pacifica, including:

a. Not consulting with the union prior to implementing layoffs in violation of the bargaining agreement.

b. Layoffs of union staffers that were a violation of the bargaining agreement.

c. Involuntary pay cuts that were constructive layoffs and the denial of severance pay due to employees if they chose to leave KPFK’s employment in violation of the bargaining agreement.

ED’s Wilkinson, Proffitt and Brazon and GM Radford insisted attorney Dan Siegel had advised them they were not violating the SAG-AFTRA contract, but Siegel was unable to defend Pacifica against the union’s charges, which have now been upheld in independent arbitration.

Following the arbitrator’s interim decision, the parties will attempt to settle the remedies due to the workers and return to arbitration if they are unable to come to an agreement.

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Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica’s storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases including the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin’s incendiary performances on WBAI. Pacifica Foundation Radio operates noncommercial radio stations in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and syndicates content to over 180 affiliates. It invented listener-supported radio.

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