Consciousness in Washington D.C.

This is a copy of the online chat that Frank Ahrens of the Washington Post had with his audience on 2/8/00. He introduced his topic in his newspaper column and invited people to discuss it online. Of fifteen responses, only one person responded to the Pacifica subject. This fact is disturbing and further evidence of self imposed ignorance in the radio listening audience. Here is the pertinent segment:

Frank Ahrens: Greetings to everyone and thanks for joining in today. In today's column, I wrote about the mess at Pacifica Radio (heard locally on WPFW) and proposed a novel and, I hope, provocative solution to the problem. Please feel free to discuss.

Laurel, MD: Hi, Frank. This is your ham friend who doesn't get out that often. I used to do news for Pacifica's WBAI-FM in New York City in the 1980's, and there was office politics back then, as well as political purges - but never so nasty as today's stuff. They'd get rid of a station manager, but not the whole staff. But is was fun. We'd play music that no one would ever do, read stuff no one else would do, and cover subjects that NPR wouldn't dare touch because it would upset listeners.
You might note that if KPFA's frequency is worth a fortune in the Coast, WBAI's frequency in NYC, smack dab in the middle of the commercial band, is worth millions.
I can see selling off WBAI's frequency and Pacifica going low power. Or trying.

Frank Ahrens: Hi, Laurel. This is a really good posting. As to what Pacifica is going to do, that's anyone's guess. I got a call from a former staffer today wondering if my column was a presage to Pacifica accepting corporate money. There are elements within Pacifica that want to sell off the stations. There is active revolt in a lot of stations. They are crimped for money. And the Pacifica execs, folks like Lynn Chadwick, are good friends with NPR honchos like Kevin Klose, fueling the conspiracy theories that Pacifica simply wants to be folded into NPR. It's quite a cauldron of news.

Consciousness in Washington D.C. part II

For some reason I only got the first part of the on-line chat between the Washington Post's Frank Ahrens and listeners etc.

As it turns out, Larry Bensky from Berkeley and Carol Spooner from North Bay for KPFA (Santa Rosa, CA) wrote in on the Pacifica subject. You can read their comments at:

http://discuss.washingtonpost.com/zforum/00/ahrens000208.htm

Michael Costello
North Bay for KPFA