Pacifica

  • John Riley - Staff Candidate (Please Rank #1)

    jr273 (at) outfm.org

    WBAI is in a most perilous period. Repeated delay in premium delivery through the decades has contributed to ever-lengthening pledge drives with diminishing returns. I want to be part of helping guide the station through to safety.

    I've been a producer with Out-FM, the progressive LGBTQ show, and Health Action since 2002, and a staff rep on the Local Station Board for over three years.

    When I joined the board in 2013, I hoped some disagreements would be worked through, but found that the dominant group insisted on both micromanaging and blocking progress. Conflict persisted, problems remained unsolved. Many progressives looked on in horror -- looked away -- and finally, in significant numbers, tuned away.

    But another board group – the minority until recently-- has tried to meet by-laws-mandated responsibilities, including annual evaluation of the General Manager, not actually done for this GM since his hire in 2010. A motion by a minority finally got through in late 2014 creating a GM Evaluation Committee of which I became chair; results of detailed surveys of staff and LSB, interviews of department heads, and the GM's self-evaluation have already been submitted to the LSB. If re-elected, I'll push the board to do timely annual evaluations of the GM and the Program Director.

    Since January when the 2015 Local Station Board election results created a 12-12 tie, the former majority has boycotted every monthly meeting. They allege bylaws violations in the earlier  replacement of a term-limited member -- a claim rejected by the Pacifica National Board.

    This LSB "quorum attack" by half of the board’s 24 members is paired with a local lawsuit by some of them, including multi-millionaire junk mail marketer, Steve Brown, over the board seating. Their California allies have also sued Pacifica over board composition. These lawsuits drain WBAI’s and Pacifica’s already depleted coffers, diverting money desperately needed for things like annual audits, key to restoring our CPB grant and fulfilling premiums.

    This abdication of care by the former board majority -- including several staff representatives -- has brought the station to its current desperate state.

    I will work to remove LSB members who evade their duties for extended periods. We need a functional LSB with members who show up, willing to work.

    On another point, selling or swapping our frequency is the last thing we should do. WBAI’s legendary progressive programming has benefitted from our strong signal with a wide reach. That location should  never be sacrificed for short-term economic expediency.

    Some board members are now working with management to implement a "pay as you go" plan to jumpstart off-air fundraising. As capacity expands, we need to use tried-and-true methods like annual fundraising award dinners. But mechanical financial fixes are not enough - we also need good relationships with the communities we are intended to serve.

    I urge you to also vote for Vajra Kilgour, who has a solid track record of board service, standing up for producers' interests and for keeping BAI alive.

    I welcome your ideas.

     

  • Lawsuit Charging Targeting & Improper Removal of Directors by 2017 Pacifica Natl. Bd.

    For petition by plaintiffs (three Pacifica National Board directors, Sharon Brown (KPFK-L.A.), Efia Nwangaza (affiliate station- Greenville, SC), Adriana Casenave (KPFT-Houston), see attachment.