Why are CWA and the "left" trying to take down KPFA?

This question, asked several years ago, is relevant today

by Carol Spooner
November 23, 2010

Dear Friends of KPFA and Pacifica,

I'd like to know: Why are the Communications Workers of America (KPFA's staff union) and many of the mainstream "left" in the Bay Area trying to take down KPFA and Pacifica Radio?

It is blindingly obvious to anyone who reviews Pacifica's financial reports that KPFA and Pacifica will be in bankruptcy court soon if KPFA's expenses are not brought into line with its income. The union knows this. The outcome of a Pacifica bankruptcy could very likely be sale of broadcast licenses to commercial stations and/or Christian radio.

So, why are they recklessly fighting absolutely necessary layoffs?

Pacifica is the ONLY radio network in the country distributing progressive radio programs to over 100 community and college radio stations across the country. See the Pacifica Affiliate Station Map here.

Do CWA and the Bay Area's mainstream left-liberals want to take that down? Air America went bankrupt, in case we forget. These are precarious times. Or do we in the Bay Area really not care whether the rest of the country can hear alternative progressive news, information and analysis programs?

KPFA is precious to our community. Do they want to kill it in order to temporarily "save" a couple of program hosts for a few months until the bankruptcy court takes over?

Yes, I miss The Morning Show. But, since the union staff has refused to continue the program without Brian and Aimee, maybe some of the unpaid staff will be willing to do it. In the meantime, I like the programs I'm hearing from KPFK in LA. They're doing a good job covering issues we all care about, too.

So what's going on here? Where are the responsible voices out there to say, "Yes, layoffs are necessary. Some program(s) will have to be cut and we'll all just have to work harder to raise money for KPFA so that the station and Pacifica can get back on their feet again."

I'm shocked, really, at the recklessness of it all -- and I'm beginning to wonder why are CWA and the mainstream "left" drinking this cool-aid?


Carol Spooner
KPFA Local Board Member, April 2000-April 2005
Pacifica National Board Member, Jan 2001-Jan 2005
Founder & Lead Plaintiff, "Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board" and lead plaintiff in "the listeners lawsuit", 1999-2001

Click here to view 10 Years of KPFA Finances - from audited financial statements

and, presented as a GRAPH, the same data:
10 Years of KPFA Finances GRAPH

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Updates, reports & essays about KPFA & Pacifica Foundation Radio at

KPFA 94.1 FM is one of five stations of the Pacifica radio network which are located in major cities across the country. The other stations are WBAI 99.5 in New York, WPFW 89.3 in Washington DC, KPFT 90.1 in Houston, and KPFK 90.7 in Los Angeles. There are also about 160 affiliate stations.


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