On Tuesday, the KPFA Morning Show broadcast an unexpected forum on Pacifica Radio’s move to fire the show’s staff and pipe in programming from Los Angeles. Pacifica Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt and Chief Financial Officer LaVarn Williams were invited on, as well as long time Pacifica National Affairs Correspondent Larry Bensky and Pacifica historian Matthew Lasar. The staff of the program challenged the claims of Pacifica management and opened the lines to listeners. You can listen to the archive of that broadcast here, or watch a video clip here.
Hundreds of listeners and subscribers have flooded Engelhardt and the Pacifica National Board with emails demanding that they reverse the layoffs of Morning Show staff. “As a KPFA listener, subscriber, and voter for over ten years, I am disgusted with this decision,” writes Arcelia M. “Aimee and Brian have been the voices my family has woken up to every morning, and those of Andrea and Phillip before. Our family connection to them is a vital part of our getting going as our days unfold. Brian and Aimee have aided my ten-year-old in her learning and knowledge base beyond the classroom. When she heard the news this morning all she could say was: ‘what is happening with KPFA?’ So I ask too, what is happening with KPFA?”
“My husband and I have been sponsors for many years and donate hundreds of dollars a year to the station,” writes Karen S. “You are our primary charity. I feel that the way this move by the Pacifica Network was taken is not justified and would like to register my anger at this action. As another listener just mentioned, this is budgetary sabotage and I also feel that I, like the caller, have been laid off too.”
“We went through this 10 years ago and apparently Pacifica learned nothing from that experience,” writes Jorge M. “This is LISTENER-SPONSORED radio and you will see the majority of LISTENER-SPONSORS rise up and take you to task for this egregious attempt to undermine our LISTENER-SPONSORED radio station. See you on the picket lines.”
Several hundred listeners rallied outside of KPFA and Pacifica’s offices, holding signs stating “Why Kill the KPFA Morning Show?” and “Engelhard must resign.” | MORE: Daily Cal article
We’d like to thank all the many listeners who have let their voices be heard in opposing these cuts. The station belongs to you. You can continue to contact Pacifica’s Engelhardt by sending her a message. Her office number is (510) 849-2590, ext 208 and cell number is 510-402-9880.
We’ll post more listener mail as we’re able, so check back.