Berkeley- The news coming out of KPFK in Los Angeles is muddled and episodic, but Pacifica in Exile will try to relay what information is available.
GM Radford, responding to last night’s revelation of a proposed station shut down on October 1st, sent out a chirpy “go team” type to station staff this morning, detailing that the station would go into a “no-premiums-at-all” minidrive on September 24th that would continue until they raised $30,000 and then they would stop the fund drive and re-start it on October 5th with the goal of $750,000, $175,000 more than the station raised in the 5-week fund drive that concluded on August 21st. Radford instructed each programmer to pitch “four times an hour” during the mini-drive.
The station’s financial condition is increasingly opaque. During the September 10th staff meeting, Radford told staff the station had $73,000 in the bank, although she qualified it to say she had no idea what checks were outstanding against that amount. On Monday, September 14th, Radford told staff there was $1,200 in the station’s bank account. This report caused concern for the three staff members the station laid off effective September 15th, but immediate trips to Bank of America the next day with final paychecks resulted in those checks, which were for considerably more than $1,200, clearing the station’s operating account.
A new KPFK business manager brought in from Accountemps with some fanfare earlier in the month, quit after one week of employment, stating the job requirements were impossible.
A fourth layoff has occurred at KPFK with board operator Jose Benavides terminated on September 16th, although he was not on the layoff list Radford provided on August 13th. Benavides is or was a staff candidate for the station’s local station board in the delayed elections. He is the third staff candidate to be terminated (of a total of 11). An employee meeting with Radford in her office reported seeing “exit paperwork” for IT director Jonathan Alexander sitting on Radford’s desk, who would be the 4th staff candidate terminated.
Among their other problems, KPFK employees blew up when Radford circulated on the staff email list the entire 10 page document sent by the Employment Development Department when they denied Pacifica’s worksharing application. The other 7 pages of the document contained the social security numbers of 21 employees. Pacifica has had several incidences of management releasing employee’s personally identifying information. Radford apologized and said she would give any employee an hour off with pay to “go change their social security number”.
At KPFA in Berkeley, where the fall fund drive began on September 15th, the station is replaying old fund drive Uprising shows in the 8:00 am slot. Kolhatkar’s ghost is raising pretty good money for Wilkinson’s station, while Kolhatkar herself pursues labor grievances after being cut to half-time and terminated by Free Speech TV.