[Fwd: URGENT: Staff are being cleared from KPFA station, arrests are

Richard Cohen (rbc24@earthlink.net)
Wed, 14 Jul 1999 23:33:48 -0700 (PDT)

This is a radio station that has helped to advance independent
documentary film over the years... thought I would share the news about
the staff...Richard

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: URGENT: Staff are being cleared from KPFA station, arrests are
being made!
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 07:15:22 -0600
From: jvamiller@earthlink.net (jeneva miller)
To: rbc24@earthlink.net

>Reply-To: "savepacifica" <savepacifica@earthlink.net>
>From: "savepacifica" <avenier@venier.net>
>To: "savepacifica" <savepacifica@earthlink.net>
>Subject: URGENT: Staff are being cleared from KPFA station, arrests are
>being made!
>Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 23:22:40 -0500
>MIME-Version: 1.0
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>A critical moment is at hand.
>At this time (8:30 PM PDT, 7/13/87) guards are acting under orders of the
>Pacifica National Board to clear the KPFA building of protesters and ALL
>Mark Mericle was forcibly removed from the air earlier today, inspiring a
>protest demonstration, which at this time consists of 300+ demonstrators.
>The guards are now acting under orders of the
>Pacifica National Board to remove not only the protesters, but also ALL
>STAFF. Protesters and staff are being arrested and taken away. Let your
>voice be heard! Go to the station and protest the incredible acts of the
>board! Go and witness democracy disappearing from Pacifica ...
>As always, check http://www.savepacifica.net for the latest on the crisis.
>Earlier, Media Alliance received a copy of a disturbing e-mail, copied below
>(Note: Micheal Palmer is a real estate developer in Houston, and
>a member of the KPFT advisory board. He has been said to favor
>the sale of either KPFA or WBAI - both of which are "grandfathered"
>onto commercial frequencies and are worth about $60 million and
>$120 million respectively. The money would ostensibly be used to
>set up an endowment for Pacifica.
>KPFB, referred to in paragraph 2, is a low power transmitter in Berkeley,
>which reaches only the immediate Berkeley area. It was originally
>set up to simulcast KPFA's coverage to areas in North Berkeley which cannot
>receive KPFA clearly because of hills between the transmitter and that
>area. It broadcasts some original programming, including live coverage
>of Berkeley city council and school board meetings)
>>> From: Palmer, Micheal @ Houston Galleria,
>>> mpalmer@cbrichardellis.com
>>> To: 'Mary Francis Berry', ma@igc.org
>>> Hello Dr. Berry,
>>> I salute your fortitude in scheduling a news conference opportunity
>>> in the beloved Bay Area regarding one of the most pressing issues
>>> of our time............
>>> But seriously, I was under the impression there was support in the
>>> proper quarters, and a definite majority, for shutting down that unit
>>> and re-programming immediately. Has that changed? Is there
>>> consensus among the national staff that anything other than that is
>>> acceptable/bearable? I recall Cheryl saying that the national staff
>>> wanted to know with certitude that they supported 100% by the
>>> Board in whatever direction was taken; what direction is being
>>> taken?
>>> As an update for you and Lynn I spoke with the only radio broker I
>>> know last week and his research shows $750,000-$1.25m for
>>> KPFB. There would be a very "shallow pool" of buyers for a
>>> repeater signal such as this and it would be difficult to do a
>>> marketing effort quietly due to the shortage of buyers. So there is
>>> no profound latent value to that asset. The primary signal would
>>> lend itself to a quiet marketing scenario of discreet presentation to
>>> logical and qualified buyers. This is the best radio market in history
>>> and while public companies may see a dilutive effect from a sale
>>> (due to the approximate 12 month repositioning effort needed), they
>>> would still be aggressive for such a signal. Private media
>>> companies would be the most aggressive in terms of price, which
>>> he thinks could be in the $65-75m range depending on various
>>> aspects of a deal. It would be possible to acquire other signals in
>>> the area, possibly more than one, to re-establish operations, but it
>>> could take a few years to complete if we want to maximize
>>> proceeds from the initial license transfer, or leave only $10-20m in
>>> arbitrage gain when purchase(s) is complete. None of this reflects
>>> tax consequences. This broker, just like any other that would
>>> undertake such an effort, would need certain agreements in place
>>> prior to starting.
>>> Mary I think any such transfer we would ever consider requires
>>> significant analysis, not so much regarding a decision to go
>>> forward, but how to best undertake the effort and to deploy the
>>> resulting capital with the least amount of tax, legal and social
>>> disruption. I believe the Finance Committee will undertake a close
>>> review of the Audigraphics data provided recently to determine what
>>> it is costing us per listener, per subscriber, per market, per hour of
>>> programming...in order give the Executive Director and the General
>>> Managers benchmarks for improvement. Even with that data my
>>> feeling is that a more beneficial disposition would be of the New
>>> York signal as there is a smaller subscriber base without the long
>>> and emotional history as the Bay Area, far more associated value,
>>> a similarly dysfunctional staff though far less effective and an
>>> overall better opportunity to redefine Pacifica going forward. It is
>>> simply the more strategic asset.
>>> With this in mind I would encourage frank description of the
>>> realities of the media enviornment we operate in and of Pacifica's
>>> available resources to participate and have impact in the evolving
>>> media world. The Executive Committee, at a minimum, should have
>>> access to experts (whether from Wall Street, NPR/CPB, Microsoft
>>> or otherwise) to get a strong reality check (me included) about
>>> radio and Pacifica's position in it so that informed decisions can be
>>> made. My feeling is that we are experiencing a slow financial death
>>> which is having the normal emotional outbursts commensurate with
>>> such a disease. We will continually experience similar events, in
>>> fact we have been experiencing similar events over the past several
>>> years, primarily because we are not self supporting through
>>> subscriber contributions and have a self imposed constraint on
>>> asset redeployment that leaves us cash starved at a time when our
>>> industry is being propelled in new directions, each requiring capital
>>> outlays of consequence. We're boxed in at our own will. This board
>>> needs to be educated, quickly, and to take action that will be far
>>> more controversial that the KPFA situation. How can we get there?
>>> So, now I've exhaled more than I should, but you know where I'm
>>> at. Let's do something.
>>> MDP