FAIR NEWS RELEASE: July 16, 1999

Pacifica Leadership Should Step Down for Good of Network

As a media watch group supportive of independent voices in a media environment dominated by conglomerates, FAIR has watched in agony the deepening crisis at Pacifica (and KPFA). Over the years, FAIR had been sympathetic to national board efforts to professionalize the network and give it a stronger national identity. We believe such improvements could have been made within the context of a more accountable board structure. During the current crisis, we've closely monitored the conflict and all public pronouncements -- and we've consulted privately with many of the players, including employees, managers, local advisory board members and national board members. FAIR believes that the clearest path out of the crisis, the clearest path toward restoring Pacifica's credibility as an independent journalistic force, is for the leadership of the national board and the executive director to resign. We offer this conclusion with great sadness, in view of the talents and historic accomplishments of these individuals. In recent events at Pacifica, however, their persistently errant decisionmaking has polarized and escalated the crisis, and threatened the future of this unique media institution.

Contact: Steve Rendall SRendall@fair.org

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