KPFA listeners, along with unpaid and union staff, read some of the thousands of heartfelt emails that have poured in protesting the decimation of the KPFA Morning Show and the “voluntary” departure of seven workers of color. The readings by the assembled crowd, standing out in the rain in front of the station, were broadcast live throughout the noontime hour on KPFA’s Living Room (here’s the archived show), along with listener call ins. You can also hear a recording of all the letters that were read outside the station, many of which didn’t make it to the air.
Bob Baldock, KPFA’s long time Public Events Producer, read his own letter to to Pacifica Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt: “You have removed from KPFA a Morning Show team of hosts and producers that is unusually young, diverse, well educated, brilliant, overwhelmingly popular and clearly successful. Punto. Just consider that. You came recently from outside this listening area and far outside this northern California community of listeners and supporters. You barged in and insulted and injured a whole lot of folks you don’t know. This is not progressive. No sanctimonious rhetoric or confused motives can justify it. No blaming it on some dubiously contrived bureaucratic board can make it all right. It is not all right. Undo it. Put our excellent Morning Show team back to work. Do it before this station really does erode totally from lack of support, and you are left to live with the truly awful thing you have done.”
“By canceling the Morning Show you are not only taking away one of KPFA’s best show, but one of the main streams of revenue for the radio station,” wrote Fatima M. in her email Engelhardt. “In essence you have set up the eventual starvation and destruction of KPFA and you have no right to take away our show or our station.”