With shortfalls ongoing, Pacifica asks stations to boost income or cut costs

Amid a continuing financial crisis, the Pacifica Foundation is cutting costs at its five radio stations, a measure that could lead to significant layoffs throughout the network. Since the beginning of the year, Pacifica has imposed cuts at KPFA in Berkeley and at the Pacifica Radio Archives unit that will likely be effected primarily through layoffs unless new revenue can be raised. Pacifica's board also plans to cut costs at the network's other stations. Meanwhile, the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris is auditing the Foundation. Pacifica's board was notified about the audit Dec. Continue Reading

“Steve was my hero”: a remembrance of a radio rebel

Steve Post, legendary New York radio personality for more than 50 years, died Sunday. He was 70 years old. Steve was the acerbic host of Morning Music, heard on WNYC-FM for 25 years. Every morning Steve read his version of the news. When Mayor Ed Koch had a stroke, his doctors announced that he had “the brain of a 12-year-old.” Ever after Steve referred to His Honor as “him with the 12-year-old brain.”

Weather reports were called “the weather lies.” Steve delivered news of leaks from nuclear reactors, always ending with the line, “No significant amount of radiation was released,” whether in the wire copy or not, read absolutely straight with an incredulous voice. Continue Reading

Pacifica’s WBAI seeks new home for transmitter

With its current location atop the Empire State Building threatened, Pacifica's WBAI-FM in New York is looking to relocate its transmitter. In an FCC filing submitted Tuesday, Pacifica asked for permission to move its transmitter to the Condé Nast Building at 4 Times Square. Pacifica is also asking for a boost in power from 4,300 watts to 10,000 watts in order to maintain its current coverage area. In a June 19 report to Pacifica's board, interim Executive Director Bernard Duncan said the Empire State Building's management had returned two rent checks and that eviction from the location was imminent. Continue Reading

Judge in Pacifica suit affirms earlier decision against former executive director

An Alameda County, Calif., judge has upheld her previous ruling that the Pacifica Foundation's board of directors acted within its bounds when it fired Executive Director Summer Reese earlier this year. Judge Ioana Petrou made the ruling Monday, a day before both Reese and the board were to appear in court to argue the matter. In her opinion, Petrou wrote that based on her earlier ruling, the board would likely prevail and that reversing the decision would cause "great harm." Petrou gave Reese and her legal team until 5 p.m. Pacific time Monday to contest the ruling. A permanent injunction went into effect when the order was not challenged. Continue Reading

Damaged transmitter delays license renewal for Houston’s KPFT

Houston Pacifica station KPFT-FM is preparing to ask the FCC for a third extension on its license renewal, a delay resulting from transmitter damage caused by a lightning strike two years ago. The station, part of the financially troubled Pacifica network, has been struggling to raise funds to replace the transmitter. It has operated at half power since March 2012 and is pursuing its third Special Temporary Authority from the FCC. By failing to operate at full power for so long, the station puts itself at risk of  FCC fines. KPFT General Manager Duane Bradley said the internal divisions plaguing Pacifica aren’t helping. Continue Reading