WBAI Pacifica - A coach who loses the

A coach who loses the . . . would be fired
but Pacifica management . . .

by Steve Brown
WBAI / Pacifica Radio
July 25, 2016

A coach who loses the last game of the World Series because he kept his best pitcher on the bench would be fired. But Pacifica management is losing its last battle with bankruptcy by keeping its own best pitcher on the bench – and off its airwaves. So why hasn’t anyone been fired?

Today, at 9am – not his regular time, and with no advance notice to the audience that he would be on the air -- Gary Null phoned into WBAI and raised $10,000 for WBAI in just one hour (actually, only about 18 minutes were specifically devoted to pitching). That program will be replayed several times a day, and could generate as much as $150,000 a week for WBAI. And that is just for a single premium. Gary says that he has a dozen more, each of which will be offered on PBS-TV, later in the year, at five to ten times the pledge amount asked by WBAI. If WBAI keeps using Gary Null to fundraise, it could increase its pledges for this drive by several hundred thousand dollars. This is several hundred thousand dollars that WBAI would not otherwise have.

Why isn’t Gary Null doing the same at our other four stations? Pacifica could earn $1 million or more extra revenue in a single fund drive – immediately. Enough to meet payroll (which I understand we could not meet last week). And enough to pay for our upcoming election and for our audit (the submission of which could bring Pacifica another $900,000-$1 million in CPB funding – funding that Pacifica management has forfeited for the last three years running because of failure to submit an audit).

So why isn’t Gary Null raising these huge amounts at Pacifica’s other stations? Well, he used to do exactly that, for over 30 years. In fact, used to generate up to 50% of WPFW’s and KPFK’s fund drive pledges. While Gary Null was fundraising, those stations never failed to meet their fundraising targets. Once he stopped, those stations were no longer able to meet their fundraising targets.

The reason Gary Null no longer fundraises for WPFW and KPFK is something I will not go into here, other than to say that the reasons reflect badly on the honesty and integrity of both those station’s managers, as well as on the management of the Pacifica Foundation.

But mistakes can be corrected. All it would take is a phone call from Executive Director Lydia Brazon to each of our station managers. She could say to them: “Put Gary Null on the air during your fund drives. Now.” If any GMs refused, she could fire them for insubordination. (And stupidity.)

Of course, Lydia always had the option of doing this – an option that could have made Pacifica solvent and vigorous by adding millions of dollars a year to its revenues. But like a modern Bartleby, she preferred not to. Which immediately prompts the question of why. Why would an Executive Director, who is supposed to promote Pacifica’s well being, refuse to utilize – indeed, to welcome! – such an easy, pain-free, proven way to of doing exactly that?

One answer might be that the Executive Director is not interested in promoting Pacifica’s well being. That, instead, the Executive Director – together with a group of insiders, including Pacifica’s Corporate Counsel, Dan Siegel, and several board members -- have been deliberately conspiring to force Pacifica into bankruptcy for the last three years.

Why would they want to do that?

Because once bankruptcy is declared, Pacifica’s bylaws (which make it virtually impossible to sell our stations) would be suspended. At that point, in accordance with the publicly stated intent of Corporate Counsel Siegel, three of our stations (namely, WBAI, KPFT and WPFW) could then be sold off. The estimated $100 million sale proceeds would then (as Dan Siegel has proposed) be divided up between the two remaining stations (that is, Dan Siegel’s and Lydia Brazon’s stations), which would be under their total control. Pacifica’s licenses would then be scooped up by the shadow “KPFA Foundation,” which Siegel created 3 years ago, precisely for the purpose of acquiring Pacifica’s licenses under that scenario.

Of course, another answer might be … well, I can’t think of another possible answer. Can you?

Let us hope that the upcoming Pacifica election (its ballots are supposed to be mailed on August 15) will rid us of the Benedict Arnolds who seized control of Pacifica’s Board of Directors three years ago, and have maintained that control by the simple (albeit illegal) tactic of canceling the previous election and voting to extend their own terms of office. Two lawsuits are pending against this illegal board, in addition to the California Attorney General’s investigation into charges of deliberate mismanagement and criminal fraud against the board and the Executive Director and Corporate Counsel.

If you can spare a few dollar to help fund these lawsuits (brought by 8 former Pacifica directors including myself), you can donate to CUPP (Clean Up Pacifica Project) online at www.cleanuppacifica.org. All contributions, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Stephen M Brown
Director, Pacifica National Board

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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.