Letter of No Confidence in KPFK General Manager
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[NOTE TO KPFK STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS: If possible, please identify yourself and your position at the station in your signature of this letter. If you can specify supporting evidence in your comment, please do so.]
We, the undersigned express in the strongest possible terms, our lack of confidence in the KPFK General Manager.
From the time she arrived at KPFK she has shown herself to be unprofessional, incompetent at overseeing programming and fundraising, and disrespectful of legal contracts and requirements. She has created a hostile workplace and engaged in dishonesty. This is not surprising, given her lack of experience and qualifications in managing a radio station.
We urge Pacifica to immediately demand the General Manager's resignation for the following reasons:
Numerous Legal Violations Impacting Staff:
· She blatantly violated the SAG-AFTRA union contract by announcing lay offs and pay cuts without union approval and in violation of the contract. The pay cuts were announced less than 2 weeks before they took effect.
· She informed paid staff that they could apply for CA Work sharing on Aug 17 but then revealed that she did not actually turn in the paperwork until Aug 24. When she turned it in, it was missing two signatures. This has left the staff ineligible for financial compensation to deal with the drastic cuts and caused serious financial hardship. It has also exposed her dishonesty.
· She sent a sensitive document containing paid staff social security numbers to a mass email, jeopardizing staff's personal privacy and opening us to identity theft. In response she made an inadequate offer to pay for the cost of staff changing their social security numbers and 1 hour of paid work time.
· She has targeted one of KPFK's popular morning drive-time programs, Uprising, refusing to accept the host's work schedule and thereby violating KPFK's contract with Free Speech TV. That contract, which was hard-won and the result of months of collaboration and tens of thousands of dollars of listener donations, was then terminated by FSTV, a big loss for KPFK. She has also decided to remove the Uprising host from the airwaves 2-3 days a week despite having original radio programming offered up on half time.
Poor Fundraising Oversight:
· She has overseen three fund drives during her short tenure, demonstrating repeatedly her overreliance on on-air funddrives that are killing our audience. Predictably the first two funddrives in particular were very poorly managed and raised record low amounts of money per day. Most of the high fundraising hours are by paid programmers whose hours she has cut.
· After laying off the position of paid volunteer coordinator and promising that her new "volunteer community outreach coordinator," would fill the phone room with a lot of phone answerers, the phone room was mostly empty. The already-overworked staff had to come in and answer calls and significant funds were lost due to missed calls.
· After cutting staff to half time, she has announced a new fund drive, 4 weeks after a 5-week fund drive with no plan for off-air fundraising other than vague promises of a grant application and the acquisition of a loan.
Disastrous Programming Decisions:
· On her first day on the job, she oversaw taped content that violated numerous FCC obscenity rules and exposed the station to potential debilitating fines.
· Against the vehement advice of many staff, she aired a controversial program called Afrikan Mental Liberation Weekend by a host known for anti-Semitic and homophobic views. The taped program, which she assured staff would be vetted, featured blatantly homophobic guests and content, leading to negative publicity for KPFK in the media.
· She has removed a drive time host from the airwaves 2-3 days a week despite the show's staff offering to create 5 radio shows a week on half-time pay (this became possible after FSTV ended the TV show).
· She has no experience in radio management, and yet is deeply involved in programming decisions that should be handled by the program director that the station already pays for.
Callous Treatment of Staff:
· She has not fulfilled her legal obligations to pay staff their pension funds or seniority back-pay, both of which severely overdue. At a time when most staff is hurting financially because of the pay cuts, this could help people feed families.
· She has created a hostile workplace with several staff members at various times witnessing her angry, profanity-laced outbursts. As the general manager she is expected to carry herself with professionalism but this appears to be yet another missing skill.
We believe the KPFK General Manager is a liability to KPFK and will lead the station to bankruptcy and/or numerous lawsuits until KPFK is no more.
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