Welcome to Pacifica in Exile


Pacifica in Exile is an independent publication that documents and records the activities of the Pacifica Radio Foundation, the founder of listener-sponsored noncommercial radio in the United States and the current license-holder for five public stations: KPFK in Los Angeles/Santa Barbara, WBAI in New York/New Jersey, WPFW in Washington DC, KPFT in Houston and KPFA in Berkeley/Oakland/San Francisco. Pacifica also distributes programs to 200+ affiliated stations and maintains a historical audio archive.

Pacifica in Exile tracks the democratic governance experiment that began in Pacifica Radio in 2002, when a three year rebellion by staffers and some listeners in the network’s signal areas resulted in an intervention by the California Attorney General and the replacement of the organization’s structure and board. Pacifica’s democratically elected boards are open to anyone who can convince 15 other members to sign in support of them, donate $25 a year and win a local election that uses an STV proportional voting system.

Pacifica has been struggling to keep up with massive changes in the media landscape with its boards composed of ordinary folks and has suffered a significant decline in financial support (more than 25% since 2007), managerial and executive instability, and local and national boards that have largely deteriorated into factional turf battles for control of program slots and the hiring/firing of personnel.

Pacifica in Exile draws upon significant hands-on experience with Pacifica, including paid and volunteer positions as well as governance experience to tell the tale starting from the board coup of March of 2014 to the current day. We include as much back-up documentation and organizational history as possible and verification of any statements included in the blog, if not provided in the text on the website, is available upon request to journalists or engaged listener-members of the radio stations.

Please note that Pacifica in Exile started this freestanding site in July of 2015, so earlier posts may contain links that no longer work. We will be slowly trying to reset all of those older links as we can, but the task is a vast one. All posts as of July 2015 will have functional links. All linked information is available on the site or our document and audio archives, so please write to us at pacificainexile@gmail.com with any requests for an updated link.

We’re very glad to have you here reading.  Community media is important to us and we want a strongly positive outcome for this internally and externally challenged organization. Your attention and involvement is key to that good outcome.

Pacifica in Exile is a labor of love, but we have costs for domain registration, hosting, audio and video storage and virtually endless time spent tracking developments. If you’d like to help, you can do so via the donation button or by sending a check. Due to the occasional legal threat from sectors of the Pacifica Foundation who are feeling transparency unfriendly, we ask you to email us at pacificainexile@gmail.com for the specific mailing instructions.

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DISCLAIMER: This is not an official Pacifica Foundation website nor an official website of any of the five Pacifica Radio Stations (KPFA Radio, KPFK Radio, KPFT Radio, WBAI Radio, WPFW Radio). Opinions and facts alleged on this site belong to the author(s) of the website only and should NOT be assumed to be true or to reflect the editorial stance or policy of the Pacifica Foundation, or any of the five Pacifica Radio Stations (KPFA Radio, KPFK Radio, KPFT Radio, WBAI Radio, WPFW Radio), or the opinions of its management, Pacifica National Board, station staff or other listener members.

62 thoughts on “Welcome to Pacifica in Exile”

  1. October 13, 2019

    But for KPFK’s Roy Tuckman (aka Roy of Hollywood) and his weekly “Program Guide” for his show “Something’s Happening” of OCTOBER 14-17, 2019 (!) and his efforts to keep his listeners aware of the MOST RECENT PLOT to undermine Pacifica (!), I WOULD NOT be aware of the CURRENT BATTLE going on at the National Board level about WBAI and reorganization of the Pacifica governance. I should hasten to add my thanks to Roy’s partner, Diane, for urging him to include relevant links in his recent “Program Guide.”

    For decades, I have been and I remain a listener sponsor of KPFK, yet without the information and links provided by Roy, I would not have known THAT I MUST RETURN TO “Pacifica In Exile.”

    I AM BACK! I AM OPPOSED TO THE PLOT known as the “Pacifica Restructuring Project” (PRP) hatched by Carol Spooner, John Vernile, Bill Crosier, Donald Goldmacher, Mansoor Sabbagh, Sherry Gendelman, Carole Travis, Susan da Silva, and Peter Franck.


    1. As I have dipped into the various plots and subterfuges going on at Pacifica over the years I am always struck by the unreality of the reporting. Things happen in some kind of complicated sequence and names fly by but there is rarely any hint of personal intentions or any reason for any of it. I read about conflicts that I never heard of before from months and years earlier as though they were contemporary. Accusations with no substance fly back and forth. None of it makes much sense as efforts by directed individuals – only mysterious cabals. When rival groups contend for votes, they all use the same language and are indistinguishable. It is like watching the Soviet Party Congress back in the day, from afar, without a playbook. Everyone claims to have Pacifica’s health, finances, democracy, programming and survival at heart. There must be differences but they are carefully hidden. So the recitation becomes spurious, useless and boring. I can’t waste time listening to what must be conflicts of substance that are purposely hidden from listeners with comparisons to dirty laundry. To hell with your secret, power seeking infighting. What a bore!
      Meanwhile I am disgusted with the contempt with which KPFA (my station) treats its listeners. They are merely machines for delivering up money six times a year. For the rest of the time, they are expected to shut up and just listen. Broadcasts are one-way, not conversation. I can hear you respond that listeners regularly call in. Yes, and every single second some staff person or programmer has his finger on the cutoff button. Although it is widely recognized that the listeners are bright, resourceful, experienced and insightful, none of that is allowed on the air. There should be an hour every week created by listeners for listeners. There should be recognition that the interests of listeners overlap; but do not coincide with the interests of staff. A radio station could be a powerful force for social organization but that role is blatantly squandered by KPFA because of its fear of listener participation.. There is no way for an interesting caller to be contacted by others, even were he or she to give permission. This is no accident. Certain staffers with god complexes (one with initials LB) are determined that listeners will never be given any respect on KPFA and seem to view them as fifth columnists. As if listeners could stir up any more shit than the PNB representatives do on their own.

      1. Spot on description of factionalism inside community radio. I am in Portland and here the action is at KBOO, not directly affiliated with Pacifica, though running more and more of their programming. From my close observations of the inner workings/politics of the station it is clear that certain staff members rein supreme, and yet answer to some force outside of the station. It was recently revealed as a programmer was playing a speech by Keven Barrett and some unnamed person called the station and was able to coerce the staff to pull the speech even with only 5 minutes left. The deep state has no interest in seeing the community building potential of community radio come to fruition. My assumption is that at Pacifica, the deep state loves the total paralysis and divisions between all of the factions. Probably the elite are happy to fund a dysfunctional community radio network indefinitely, as it prevents anything else from emerging.

  2. Has anyone considered a ‘white knight’ endgame? If Pacifica goes on the auction block we need funds to oubid whoever is behind this scam. Pacifica could be reorganised as a co-opt under the guidance of Richard Wolff with guarantees against this nonsence reoccuring.

    1. by co op do you mean a network without unionized employees?
      The union contract, at least at KPFA, is one of the biggest hurdles to democracy.

  3. What disgusts me are the incessant rebroadcasts of old programs on truncated daily shows. I do believe they have
    surpassed Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory and gaining on Gilligan. enough with Minsky’s Duck Dynasty joke and Christine
    introducing Massimo. I feel like calling in during pledge drives asking for the Mario Cassetta 3 LP pack of Mongolian throat music, IRA rebel songs and Swiss yodelers. Move the glue sniffer’s music on12 to 3 into those slots and give me back my Roy.

    1. I was going to suggest to Reimers in NYC that he just put Tony Bates on 24/7 and forget all about programming anything through all the drives. It is astonishing that for the first time in a zillion years of WBAI and also KPFK before it, that I have been driven to learning about what program options are possible at certain hours on NPR and WNYC–limited tho they are–and of course, going to some jazz and also WQXR for sometimes good music programming. I never left WBAI but now, Bates has broadened my listening (but how god-awful are the political programs!!!)

    1. I tried to enter an amount at the link for contributing, but it does not work. I, too , would just send in my very modest check as this is such a fantastic service you provide with Pacific in Exile!.
      My email is lukrasne@gmail.com.

  4. . . . Pacifica In Exile will be included as a needed information-source in my ongoing part-time volunteer role as a KPFT LSB at-large “delegate” listener-member, running for re-election this 2016 summer-autumn.
    . . . To some degree, I am a “moderate” opposed to others’ use of inflammatory language and name-calling as being unproductive and reactionary emotion, but appreciate the rumors of behind-the-scene manipulations. I will be “have my antennae out” and be watchful scientifically for evidence and patterns confirming any accusations — the chief limitation is there’s only 24 hours in a day to read, minus sleeping, eating, and all other necessary actions-for-life! Time is like Pacifica finances, it seems there’s always a deficit. With the polarity in the wealth spectrum, if just one humanitarian billionaire were to shrug off a couple-million $ (<0.2% of his/her wealth) as a no-strings donation, we could quibble over budget priorities and not outright survival, in an age of quantum-mechanics media.

    1. I say, take the idea seriously of contacting the humanitarian billionaire, and millionaires…. This is not beyond the realm of possibility. About ten or 20 should be contacted directly… then there would be a trust, to back up all member’s efforts.

  5. I don’t know but maybe it’s me. All of the information and candidates for the LSB Election has been taken down off of the Pacifica’s website. What’s going on?

    1. In theory they are checking the eligibility of the candidates and the sponsoring signatures they got. I agree that its taking a pretty long time….

  6. I am very interested in attending the People’s School of Broadcasting. Am I correct in thinking a new semester starts very soon? I am very very interested. How can I apply? I’ve left telephone messages and sent emails with this question and have gotten no response.

    1. I sent your email to KPFK. That’s all I can do Madeline. Hopefully they’ll get back to you this time.

  7. KPFK Game Plan:

    1. The current General Mgr. stays in place.

    2. Replace the “interim” Program Director with the organizer of the Peoples School of “Broadcasting” (PS”B”). (Not a bad idea btw to train people. But only as future members of the union, not potential union busters).

    3. Have attendees of the PS”B” replace KPFK paid staff, (i.e. producers, board operators, etc), working part-time or as volunteers. Thereby smashing the union and at the same time building a power base beholden to the GM and especially the new Program Director.

    If you oppose any of the above then you will be constantly attacked as an elitist, a racist and someone not connected to the “community.”

    If you think Safe Harbor is garbage (it is) and an insult to ones intelligence (it is), imagine programs like Safe Harbor 24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week!

    How to stop the above from happening?

    Get a new GM.
    If she goes, he goes.
    And have graduates from the the PS”B” work at KPFK as members of the union.

    1. 1. I am not sure if I signed up to get ROT out before.
      2. Has any lawyer working on this considered setting up an escrow fund where we could hold funds in escrow until we get the faction out of control
      And also if 5013c could out bid
      Seagal faction to keep Pacifica whole
      And honor Lew Hill

  8. Thank you for this newsletter. I have been a subscriber and listener for as long as I’ve been in the LA area. Could it have been 50 years? Since I’ve moved out of the listening area, behind some mountains, I had lost track of my subscription, since no request came for my donation. Clearly there are special interests who would like to steal our air waves. Please stand firm for listener control. We must be alive for another 50 years at least.

  9. it is almost inconceivable that there is some kind of ‘debate’ going on about the value of the ‘roy of hoilywood’ program’.
    i cannot think of a single broadcaster who has been ‘on the air’longer. his media longevity is testament to his selection of programming that has literally changed the lives of those who have listened. i have been a programmer and supporter of kpfk for almost 50 years…..and have witnessed the absurdities of pacifica policies over the decades. but the ‘cutting back’ of broadcast hours for roy is completely unacceptable. i urge pacifica/kpfk to restore roy’s hours immediately. i also suggest that roy might consider his broadcast ‘nome’ address in the years ahead. ‘sirius’ radio might find such an opportunity to hire a radio icon with an extraordinary following of devoted and appreciative listeners. as for me, i have been a generous contributor who has been responsible for the raising of thousands of dollars for pacifica. i shall hold future contributions in ‘trust’, until i am able to turn on kpfk at midnight for a broadcast experience that is irreplaceable.

    i shall suspend my donations

    1. Hear, hear, as they say in Parliament. I have been listening to Roy’s show since its inception, when I had just returned from 4 years in Paris, and it was the only sign of intelligent life in L.A., and sorely needed by me. My debt to his programming is incalculable.

      It would not be a stretch to say it was responsible for my start as a journalist many years layer, at opednews and elsewhere, once its.message had fully seeped in.

      I was about to renew my membership, but will postpone that until his show is restored to its historical hours.

      AND….WPFW and WBAI are taken off the auction block! What a disgrace to a grand institution.

      Shame, heaps, on the fifth columnists behind that perfidy.

    2. The shows that are on between 12.00 AM to 3:00 AM are redundant – more Saturday -Sunday early AM wasteland.
      “Sex-Tease”, “In Session” along with all the Rap and Regae and Hip-Hop is the same stuff that comes on during daytime programming .

      The use of profanity in these shows does nothing to make the
      “Safe Harbor” programming anything of use either – let alone share anything that’s new or unique.

      Roy of Hollywood did all of that.

      What is needed is classical music, perhaps more exploratory music experiences.

    3. It struck me tonight, as I came upon Roy’s appreciation of my article published 3 weeks ago at Opednews.com about Pacifica’s plight, that the hours truncated from his show from midnight to 3AM should be picked up elsewhere, until his broadcast can be restored in un-gerrymandered form. There is Sirius and a host of others now. Without his eminent presence being “evicted” from KPFK, that could constitute a workaround until sanity is restored at the beleaguered station.

      It’s shameful the assaults that are being staged upon it, and Roy and others, by parties that have less than the nobler purposes of Pacifica, at heart.

    4. Something’s Happening (Roy of Hollywood Program) is ALIVE, WELL, and BACK TO 6 HOURS (12:00 AM–6:00 AM).

  10. A Notice: My ongoing sustainer pledge amount was not taken from my bank account (in 2 separate amounts) for December 2015 donation. Usually the amount is taken around the 23rd of the month. Last month only one of my sustainer pledge amounts was taken; this month both were not taken. Are other sustainers experiencing this?
    Is it Monkey Business or a legitimate clerical error? If it is the former and many are experiencing this, it would be another way to weaken our beloved KPFK/Pacifica for the ultimate takedown. This is why I’m bringing your attention to it. Thank you.

    1. Same thing happens to me. I’m a sustainer but the money is not taken out of my account on a regular monthly basis.

  11. 12/6/2015 attempt to get ballot
    12/6/2015 requests for on-line ballot https://podio.com/webforms/13922596/952357:
    “You have successfully submitted a replacement ballot request. The National Election Supervisor will verify your membership and send ballot information as follows:

    If you requested a paper ballot, a new printed ballot will be sent via first-class mail the next business day after your membership is verified.

    If you requested voting credentials to vote online, an email will be sent to the email address you provided within 24-48 hours.”

    “The change you wanted was rejected.
    Maybe you tried to change something you didn’t have access to.”
    Oct. Attempt:
    “Thank you for signing up to vote in the 2015 Pacifica Local Station Board elections. You will receive an email confirmation in 15-20 minutes.” Never Received

    1. Hi Chris,

      Comments to the website are public. I will pass on your info and hopefully get this resolved. If you want to communicate privately, you can email pacificainexile@gmail.com. Thanks for making such an extraordinary effort to vote and I’m sorry you’ve been put through such a hassle.

    2. I tested the WBAI website by attempting to donate a few dollars.
      After entering my credit card information, I clicked what seemed to be a submit button. Nothing indicated that anything had happened. I didn’t hit submit a second time (some sites warn you could be charged twice). No charge ever appeared on my card.

  12. “Thank you for signing up to vote in the 2015 Pacifica Local Station Board elections. You will receive an email confirmation in 15-20 minutes.” Never Received
    Searching my email for senders:
    No messages match your search

    1. Hi Dennis,

      No they do not. KPFA airs 15 minutes a week of spanish language news as a feature of the Flashpoints daily news hour. It has a one hour public affairs show La Raza Chronicles on Tuesday nights at 7pm which is occasionally bilingual. And several music shows that feature music from Mexico, Central and South America. KPFA has not to date complied with the board mandate for five additional hours a week of public affairs programming exclusively in the spanish language.

  13. What we can do as listeners is VOTE – to put the “Save” KPFA,
    Siegel-Brazonites out of their slim but deadly majority!
    They are not eager to have this election, as they seem to be trying to prevent it by any means necessary – such as bankrupt it first.
    Rescue KPFA by voting for the 9 United for Community Radio UCR) candidates, and tell your friends. Go to radioucr.org for more information.

  14. Probably should prepare for the inevitable license auction and get your own groups together to try and win. I don’t see that here.

  15. Whatever hapt to the good old days of the late sixties and the seventies when there was lots of over-ripe fruit around the station and bikes and always here and there the really strange stranger lurking about or sleeping on the couch–and microphones left on for hours with broadcasters gossiping in the background but no one ever called in during the Alan Watts broadcast to let anyone know? “Them was the days!”

  16. Yes, please let everyone know how they may help.
    This is not the first time, and probably not the last, that certain interests have tried to destroy Pacifica.
    Let’s get together and repel the invaders once more.

  17. I’ve been a continuous subscriber since 1959.

    I’m appalled at the wanton disregard for the rules of order and
    the apparent attempt to take over this cherished institution for
    financial gain.

    Thanks for being a watch dog on this issue. At some point, please let us loyal subscribers know what we can do to help.


    Mike Singer

  18. Thanks to clear well-written reporting here, Tracy, this is the ONLY site i can find that even mentions our LA’s KPFK too, at times, and many a time a repost is put on LA’s independendent media site with appropriate sourcing included.

    The information that those in Berkeley area can learn from whomever that is near Pacifica, not just KPFA, is not available elsewhere.

    and How to expose this site and get more input from all the other ‘subscribers/payers/stakeholders’ in both sites ? there are other things happening behind closed doors [and minds] that need exposure and transparency, but where are they ? This might be a place for anyone else to list other sites for the rest of us to learn – go read – and review there and here too…

    to share the information, research, resources found, not hoard it or put it aside but let all those actually Interested also know more …why not ?

    it barely seems to happen — is there a disinterest in cooperative sharing in Pacifica mindset or what ?

    can you write about how/why this is, care to ? or not. whatever is the usual final words that signify our lack of input, lack of feedback, lack of any helpful controls or anything we want to Offer to help keep our stations alive and well – for all, not just a few.

  19. This site is good news, even if it brings the opposite, as it were. Let’s hope it soon will be able to report some sorely needed changes—one being the confirmation of last night’s rumor regarding Berhold Reimers’ long-awaited termination.

  20. Well this is a hopeful sign. I wish this page success in healing a once very worthy institution. I was an engineer at WBAI for near 33 years till the mass layoffs a few years ago. Despite that the place is forever in my heart.

  21. In the introduction above, calling Pacifica the “current” license-holder of the five stations sends a chill up the spine, implying just what the vultures want to insinuate. No, dammit, Pacifica is the license-holder of the five stations, period. We who believe in and support Pacifica’s mission must make sure Pacifica continues to be the license-holder and that it pursues that mission. [http://pacifica.org/about_mission.php]
    Thank you, Tracy!

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