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.
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.
Michael Taylor believed in second chances — he was living proof that they come along. Before the early 1990s, the Los Angeles resident had been an addict, a dealer, eventually homeless. But one day he decided to turn his life around, and achieved the miracle — sobered up, straightened out and found his legitimate passions: community activism and radio. He became a reporter and later an occasional host of public affairs programming on Pacifica station KPFK. So he was a felt presence among Los Angeles’ South-Central community of leftists and grassroots organizers at the time of his cold-blooded murder over nothing more than a low-power radio transmitter, in April 1996.
Three men have been arrested and charged with the murder of Michael Taylor, a former Pacifica reporter who was attempting to start a micro-power radio station in Los Angeles. Police confirmed that the execution-style slaying in April was related to Taylor’s recent-months’ effort to launch and get backing for L.A. Liberation Radio. Los Angeles homicide detective Alex Moreno said he believes the young men shot Taylor because they wanted the transmitter kit Taylor and his colleagues had purchased for the unlicensed, underground station. According to news reports, the three men, Andrew Lancaster, 23, Shawn Alexander, 19, and Jornay Rodriguez, 20, were scheduled to enter pleas at a May 23 arraignment. Because the murder allegedly involved kidnapping and robbery, the men could face the death penalty.
Michael Taylor, a reporter for Pacifica station KPFK in Los Angeles, has been murdered. Friends believe the execution-style shooting may have been related to Taylor’s involvement in developing a micro-power radio station. Taylor’s body was found April 23 in a vacant lot near railroad tracks in south Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times. His hands were bound and he had been shot several times, reports say. A former homeless man who, according to a friend, had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, Taylor turned his life around after he entered KPFK’s 15-month apprentice program.