July 28, 1999
At a meeting tonight of over 60 persons, Save Our Station (SOS) adopted a resolution supporting all broadcasters who, now or in the future, put themselves on the line to bring to us, the listeners, information regarding the current crisis at the Pacifica network and its associated stations.
If you or any other broadcaster is threatened with removal or other sanctions as a result of breaking the gag rule, the SOS phone tree will be activated and there will be an immediate response beginning with, but not limited to, an appearance en masse of free speech supporters outside the station.
With you in struggle,
SOS (Save Our Station)
NEWS FROM KPFK LOS ANGELES
As most of you know, more than 10,000 people demonstrated in Berkeley last Saturday to call for major changes at Pacifica Radio. Locally, the next meeting of the Pacifica Accountability Committee will be Thursday, August 5, at 7:00 PM. That will be at the Peace Center, 8124 West Third St., Los Angeles.
The next meeting of the KPFK Advisory Board will be Saturday, August 7, at 11:00 AM, at the Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Ave., Culver City. The agenda will include the consideration of a public statement on Pacifica and the outrages going on at KPFA.
Our next demonstration will be on Monday, August 9, from 4:00 - 7:00 PM, at KPFK, 3729 Cahuenga Blvd. West, North Hollywood. Some of the money which Pacifica management is using to hire armed "security guards," high-priced spin doctors and even higher-priced lawyers to defend the indefensible comes from KPFK subscribers. A gag rule keeps this from being properly reported on KPFK.
Check out pacfolio.org
NEWS FROM KPFT HOUSTON
Houston Town Hall Meeting on the Pacifica Crisis
August 14, 1999, 7pm
First Unitarian Universalist Churc
5200 Fannin @ Southmore
contact Lee Loe for more info!
Let's bring everyone out! We don't want a "New Deal", we want a "New Deck"!
A True Voice of Occupied Pacifica
This Gun's For Hire
By Richard Connelly
You're a liberal national organization that needs to abandon all its free-speech principles and shut down a historic radio station you own in California. Who you gonna call to do the dirty work? Your local hatchet man in Houston, of course.
The Pacifica Foundation apparently grew tired in July of a months-long battle with staffers at KPFA, its Berkeley station, over the direction and content of the operation.
KPFA staffers and volunteers were resisting the national board's efforts to broaden the station's listener base. Depending on whom you believe, the dispute involved (according to station supporters) abandoning 50 years of giving a voice to the oppressed in order to play sappy mainstream music; or (according to those backing the national board) removing the station's head from its pot-addled hippie ass and dumping shows heard only by the host's 14 best friends in order to reach a wider audience, raise more funds and survive.
The board decided to take over the station. Trouble was, according to sources, they couldn't find any lackey willing to do the dirty work. Until they asked the general manager of Houston's Pacifica station, KPFT.
KPFT's Garland Ganter went to Berkeley and threw out the current staff - tossing one reporter who was in the middle of a live broadcast on the troubles - and padlocked the doors, triggering a series of demonstrations outside the station. He brought a fellow Houston employee with him, and they played taped shows for two weeks until the national board backed down July 28 and let the old crew back in.
Pacifica fans and employees here in Houston aren't surprised that Ganter was the man. KPFT is one of only five Pacifica-owned stations (besides Berkeley, the others are in New York, L.A. and Washington), and it has led the way in what critics see as the dumbing-down and mainstreaming of the once-radical media outlet.
In Ganter's dozen or so years here, KPFT's news operation has been axed, along with several local talk shows and ethnic music programs. A recent afternoon drive-time found the station playing Chris Isaak, Ziggy Marley and Radney Foster, which is dangerously close to VH-1 territory. Fund-raising and listenership are up, though. (Ganter did not return phone calls.) Ganter's role in the KPFA fiasco has drawn some protests here, but nothing like KPFA news co-direct or Aileen Alfandary had hoped for during the height of the incident.
"We certainly hope the progressive community in Houston will make known that they don't appreciate paying Garland Ganter's salary to shut down KPFA," Alfandary said as the lockout was on.
She shouldn't have gotten her hopes up, said one current KPFT staffer: "The reason there were no real big local protests is that they've lost all those people. No one gives a shit about the station anymore. It doesn't stand for anything. It's just music."
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