Berkeley – Every January, according to Pacifica’s badly written bylaws, the Pacifica National Board resets itself. This leads to regular chaos and 2018 was no disappointment in that regard. So the business of financial recovery has gone on almost exclusively in closed sessions of the board. We will fill you in on all the craziness below, but in deference to the seriousness of the situation, we are going to cover a few things of more significance first.
Pacifica’s financial audits, the subject of so much suffering for so long, seemed to be within shooting distance of finally getting current in mid-2017, when the FY 2015 audit was completed in August in record time. But 7 months later, the FY 2016 audit, which needed to be done by June 2017 or as soon thereafter as possible, hasn’t gone anywhere. Pacifica in Exile readers will remember that an audit fundraiser was held in March of 2017 to raise funds to pay for the two back audits with great success. Pacifica remains under some pressure to get the FY 2016 audit done with an original deadline from the CA Attorney General of mid-February 2018. Pacifica’s first attempt to get an extension was rejected, and a second attempt is underway. The ability of all the stations to accept charitable donations would be at risk if Pacifica’s tax-exempt status were pulled, a possible consequence of failing to submit timely financial audits. Continue reading The Return of Self-Selected Boards or Control At Any Price
Berkeley – Clean-up work continues as the recovery of the network from the 2014 Siegel/Brazon coup enters its 7th month.
Financial statements through June 30, 2017 are available here. For the first time in recent history, the Pacifica Foundation is listed as “Current” status (rather then Delinquent status) at the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, after the fiscal year 2015 audit was completed prior to the deadline. The audit report, which is also available on the www.pacifica.org website, can be downloaded here. Continue reading Current For The First Time In A While
Berkeley – The Pacifica Foundation, which got into serious trouble with the State of California’s Registry of Charitable Trusts for delinquent audits and forfeited millions of dollars in Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding, has completed their 2015 audit in record time and before a deadline set by the state’s Attorney General. Continue reading Pacifica 2015 Audit Completed
Berkeley – Pacifica’s ticking bomb, the 15-year incredibly expensive WBAI transmitter lease at the Empire State Building, has been the center of attention, since the owners of the iconic NY skyscraper reneged on the supposed deal announced by then-IED Margy Wilkinson in December of 2014 to reduce monthly rent from $50,000/month rate to $12,000/mo and sued Pacifica for the balance of the unpaid rent for the 2014-2016 period. The deal, much to the distress of the then-PNB minority was described as “verbal”, and if it existed at all, has no legal enforceability in court. Due to traditionally bad Pacifica negotiating, this time by then-interim ED Ambrose Lane in 2005, Pacifica is locked into the lease until 2020, which was never economical, goes up by 9% per year and is currently set at 4 times the current market price for radio antenna/transmitter space in Manhattan. Continue reading The Empire Strikes Back Delayed
Berkeley-The Pacifica National Board met twice in the month of May, on May 11 and May 25. The meetings featured slow but steady progress intermixed with a not inconsiderable amount of disruption from the remnants of the Siegel/Brazon faction, who no longer hold a majority on the national board. Most of the board’s open sessions are point-of-order-athons, making them a frustrating listening experience for the network’s worried members. The independent board majority uses the Maestro Conference service, a popular conference call service, in order to maximize the efficiency of the meetings, but has used the service’s features sparingly and only after numerous warnings. Continue reading Today In Revisionist History
Berkeley-Pacifica’s national board, which met a whopping four times in the month of March, spent most of its open sessions suspended in the twilight zone, although some mild improvement was noticeable by the end of March. In a month that began for Pacifica with a smashingly successful one-day national fundraiser and ended with the timely submission of a stabilization plan to California’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, the board meetings were wildly out of touch, mostly focusing on the 2014-2016 Siegel/Brazon majority’s difficulties in adjusting to their current minority postion.
Since there is much good news to share, we don’t want to harp solely on board meeting disruptions. Pacifica members should review the stabilization plan submitted to the California Attorney General on March 30 and can read it here. As an addendum to the document, which focuses on returning to financial sustainability, reform of governance, and improving managerial performance; the following can be reported about Pacifica’s current status: Continue reading The Unmuted
March 13, 2017
For Immediate Release
Those Who Can
Berkeley-Pacifica’s one day national fundraiser on March 2 was a smashing success, raising over a quarter of a million dollars to fully fund both remaining delinquent audits (FY 2015 and FY 2016). Network members in NY, DC, LA and Houston pledged $82K on the phone, $54K via Mobile Cause pledge-by-text and fully used up an $86K match fund provided by the estate of Jim Krivo, a former WBAI programmer and supporter. In Berkeley, KPFA’s listeners didn’t hear the fundraiser due to the station’s own local fundraiser in progress, but a days worth of receipts will go to support the national effort. Pulled off only 19 days after the board changed executive directors and appointed Bill Crosier to the position, the effort ends three years of the network’s board of directors whining there was no money to pay for audits and clears the way for a return to legal compliance in 2017. Continue reading Those Who Can
Berkeley – A turbulent 21 months at KPFK in Los Angeles has come to an end with a change in the station’s general manager position made on February 27, effective immediately. Leslie Radford was hired in May of 2015 to be KPFK’s general manager by outgoing IED Margy Wilkinson on Wilkinson’s last day. The hire was against the wishes of incoming executive director John Proffitt, who was literally driving from Texas when Wilkinson made the hire. Proffitt had asked Wilkinson to allow him to interview the KPFK candidates, but she did not do so and hired Radford, a former Siegel/Brazon-affiliated national board member, to the KPFK job. Continue reading Sunshine In Los Angeles
Berkeley – A new Pacifica National Board will be seated (or at least attempt to be seated) on January 26. After directors elections were completed at all five Pacifica stations, the 2017 station reps are Alex Steinberg, Ken Laufer, Kathryn Davis and Cerene Roberts from NY, Nancy Sorden, Benito Diaz, Maskeelah Washington and Jim Brown from DC, Bill Crosier, Bob Mark, Rhonda Garner and Adriana Casenave from Houston, Grace Aaron, Jan Goodman, Jonathan Alexander and Sharon Brown from Los Angeles and Akio Tanaka, Andrea Turner, Bill Campisi and Sabrina Jacobs from Berkeley.
Two affiliate directors were elected last December in a process marred by the board majority’s refusal to seat three directors chosen by New York’s newly elected delegates on December 14. At the urging of the sole seated WBAI director Cerene Roberts, the PNB threw out the NY election for PNB representatives in December using the excuse that the directors election was not specifically noticed on the kpftx.org meeting page. Continue reading Maybe A New Start
Berkeley – The upcoming week features not one, but two, Pacifica National Board meetings on December 13 and December 15. The long-scheduled December 15th meeting is when the board will select two affiliate directors for 2017 from among 5 applicants, and a recently called special meeting was initiated by directors Cerene Roberts, Adriana Casenave and Janet Kobren for December 13. The reason for the sudden meeting on the 13th isn’t entirely clear with the meeting notice saying the meeting is about 2016 local board elections and the FY 2014 audit. The 2016 elections were certified as complete last Wednesday. A draft of the FY 2014 was distributed to Pacifica’s audit committee last Monday. Roberts, Casenave and Kobren have not indicated what motions, if any, they may be presenting for board for consideration. Continue reading Are Two Meetings Better Than One?