Supervisor of Pacifica elections points to flaws in system

The elections supervisor for the boards of Pacifica’s five radio stations has recommended that the network revamp its process for selecting board members because the current system is “too costly, time consuming, factionalized and factionalizing.”

In a report on the latest round of elections, which concluded in January several months behind schedule, Pacifica National Elections Supervisor Terry Bouricius described numerous flaws in a process that’s been in effect for nearly a decade. Pacifica’s elections favor “ego-driven individuals,” he wrote, and bring in votes from roughly 10 percent of the total membership of the five stations. The small percentage of those who do vote are likely not representative of the whole. In addition, station staffers complain that on-air programming required for the elections is unpopular with listeners; stations must broadcast statements by local candidates and call-in shows featuring the candidates. The stations’ donor records are not adequately maintained to support the election process, Bouricius wrote.

Pacifica policy to keep enemies off boards draws ire

The Pacifica National Board passed a resolution barring individuals who have clashed with the network’s leadership from election to the boards of its five stations, a move that critics decried as a political witch hunt. The resolution, which passed Jan. 24 by a vote of 11–10, denies seats on Local Station Boards to three classes of people:

“Individuals whose actions have been declared by a court of law to be breaches of fiduciary duty, or breaches of the duty of loyalty or the duty of care;”
“Individuals who have been separated involuntarily from foundation employment for cause;” and
“Individuals who have been banned from station premises due to threatening behavior or creating an unsafe environment for others.”

Anyone denied candidacy for board service can appeal to the PNB. Such measures are common among other nonprofit boards, says Bill Crosier, vice chair of the PNB. “I can’t imagine any other nonprofit letting people in one of those categories be on their boards,” he says.

National Forum for Public Television Executives: Draft 3 recommendations

Third Draft Recommendations of Core Working Group, October 1997
In the process of founding the Forum, this was the Core Working Group’s final draft, released Oct. 14, 1997, before the Convention of Stations, Nov. 5, where the Forum was voted into existence. Our Goal
Our goal is to change the way station CEOs communicate, think and interact with one another on issues and opportunities that affect all licensees. Thus, our intent is to create a framework and process that enables public television senior executives to discuss and address critical opportunities and issues — and make collective decisions when necessary.

National Forum for Public Television Executives, Draft 2 recommendations

Second Draft Recommendations of Core Working Group, September 1997
In the process of creating the Forum, public TV’s Core Working Group circulated this draft to its Circle of Advisors on Sept. 5, 1997. After revisions, the group circulated a third draft, Oct. 13. To the Circle of Advisors:

We thank you for your thoughtful and timely feedback to our August 4th draft proposal and survey.

National Forum for Public Television Executives: Phase II of creation

Phase II: The Search for Paradigms
Five months before public TV stations voted the Forum into being, this paper was prepared by their facilitators, the consulting firm BMR Associates. Released June 17, 1997. I. Introduction
During Phase II of Countdown ’97, BMR Associates studied approximately 20 different organizations. The goal of the research was to discover whether other organizations  — similar in structure to public television — had established frameworks and processes that enabled them to make decisions and work together in a coordinated manner. In identifying organizations to explore, BMR focused on organizations that met the following criteria:

The organization consisted of autonomous units, locally owned and operated.

National Forum for Public Television Executives: Participants in formation

Dozens included the Core Working Group, the Circle of Advisors and consultants from BMR Associates. Countdown ’97 Core Working Group (CWG)
The Core Working Group, consisting of 13 public television station chief executives, developed plans for the ongoing CEO Forum created in 1997. For background on how the Core Working Group was selected, the goal of the project and other details see Questions and Answers about Countdown ’97. Carole Cartwright, WYCC, Chicago, IL
Bryce Combs, WMVS/WMVT, Milwaukee, WI
Trina Cutter, WNIT, Elkart, IN
Mark Erstling, WPSX, University Park, PA
Ginni Fox, Kentucky Educational Television, Lexington, KY
Dennis Haarsager, KWSU, Pullman, WA
Mike Hardgrove, KETC, St. Louis, MO
Al Jerome, KCET, Los Angeles, CA
Bill McCarter, WTTW, Chicago, IL
George Miles, Jr., WQED, Pittsburgh, PA
Jim Pagliarini, KNPB, Reno, NV
Al Pizzato, WSRE, Pensacola, FL
Mel Rogers, KOCE, Huntington Beach, CA

Circle of Advisors

The Circle of Advisors was a group of 38 individuals including 33 public TV licensee chief executives and five other public broadcasters who participated in discussion groups and reviewed document drafts.

National Forum for Public Television Executives, initial charter, 1997

This charter, which created the ongoing CEO Forum, was adopted in public TV’s Convention of Stations, Nov. 5, 1997. I. The Vision
Technology is bringing a sea change to the broadcasting industry, but nowhere more profoundly than in public television. Stations will be free to specialize where they now dabble; to excel where they now experiment. In the one-channel analog world, stations of necessity can excel mainly in one mission.

National Forum for Public Television Executives: The Case for Change, September 1997

This concise document, making the case for the Forum, was prepared by public TV’s Core Working Group and released in this revised form in September 1997, two months before the Forum was established. See also other Forum documents. 1. The community of PTV stations needs a new process and a framework to address key business opportunities and issues. a. We are faced today with the need to address important issues brought about by advancing technology and increased competition.