Pacifica’s D.C. station in dire financial straits, says interim executive director

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Pacifica station WPFW in Washington, D.C., is in “a pretty critical financial situation,” according to Summer Reese, interim executive director of the network.

Reese discussed the state of WPFW during a July 25 Pacifica board conference call. Responding to a board member’s question about a WPFW on-air fund drive planned for in September, she said: “The concern there is, frankly, that you don’t have enough money to get through until September.”

WPFW has fallen into a “perpetual” state of on-air fund drives, Reese said. “It’s not giving listeners much of a break.”

Reese told the board she was following up with WPFW staff about which of the station’s bills must be paid most urgently. Neither the D.C. station nor WBAI in New York have paid for board election costs from last year, she said. Reese still expects the other Pacifica stations, which are better off financially, to repay the national office for election costs it covered on behalf of stations.

In Los Angeles, Pacifica’s KPFK could face legal action from a company it used for its local elections, said Brenda Medina, a national board member representing the station. The company is awaiting overdue payments.

Meanwhile, Pacifica and a union representing workers at the network’s WBAI in New York have been negotiating layoffs that could cut as much as three-fourths of the station’s staff.

Audio of the board meeting is here.

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