At 8 AM Friday morning on KPFA, interim managers Andrew Phillips and Carrie Core explained their “new” programming for the station. Both were installed by Pacifica executive director Arlene Englehardt, who removed the popular Morning Show, leading to an enormous outcry from listeners and a huge drop off in the station’s fundraising revenues.
Last month, Phillips stated that the Morning Mix, which had been hemorrhaging listeners after replacing the popular Morning Show in the 8am time slot, would come to an end. Listeners and staff, concerned about the gigantic fundraising shortfall caused by the removal of the Morning Show, asked that Phillips to heed the will of the station’s listeners and restore the Morning Show to the air at that time. Yet in a memo this week, Phillips stated that “things will stay as they are, with the only changes in the 8am slot where additional programmers will be joining some of the original Morning Mix crew.” It is projected that the removal of the Morning Show, which raised more money than any other local program, will cost the station $500,000 a year and lead to further layoffs.
Many listeners called in to let Phillips and Engelhardt know they were angry with the their refusal to return the Morning Show, such as Barrie Ann from Santa Rosa, who said: “The majority of listeners have made it clear they want the Morning Show back. Who are you programming for? Martians?” Here’s the link to the show.
At last Saturday’s meeting of KPFA’s board, astonishingly Phillips blamed staff and listeners for fundraising declines. Phillips attacked KPFA’s union and KPFAworker — which raised over $13,000 in pledges in support of the paid and unpaid staff at KPFA during the Spring Fund Drive — which he likened to a “Fifth Column” undermining the station from within. The Fifth Column was a term used to describe fascist supporters of Franco during the Spanish Civil War. | AUDIO CLIP of Phillips’ “report” HERE, while the full meeting recording is available HERE.