The Pacifica Safety Net, a California non-profit organization, formed by Pacifica radio listeners, volunteers, and donors has launched a website and posted a video calling Pacifica board members self-serving and acting in a way that has compromised Pacifica’s mission.
The group has filed a lawsuit against Pacifica’s board directors alleging sued for malfeasance and mismanagement. They claim the board’s “lack of competent leadership has resulted in Pacifica’s significant loss of multiple sources of income, the imminent loss of its assets, and has left Pacifica radio in danger of insolvency. PSN’s launch today follows the bombshell announcement on Monday that Pacifica network directors were being.”
The Pacifica Radio Foundation has been around for 70 years. The Pacifica Safety Net group says today there are about 40,000 members of the network, compared to well over 120,000 prior to 2000.
KPFA Local Station Board Chair Christina Huggins said, “Pacifica is hemorrhaging resources, while airing programs on some stations filled with conspiracy theories, hate speech, snake oil and infomercials to raise money. We, and many others, have been trying for years to correct these issues but it has only gotten worse. The intervention of the California AG division of charitable trusts, or a court appointed receiver, appears to be the only way to remedy a situation that is rapidly spiraling out of control.”
“If we fail to reform Pacifica, we will lose this irreplaceable resource, with stations likely falling into the hands of expanding right wing or evangelical Christian radio networks,” said President of the board, Sherry Gendelman, in announcing formation of the PSN. “I call upon Pacifica members to rally together at this dangerous moment to protect the only progressive radio network we have in this country.”
Pacifica owns and manages five non-commercial FM radio stations in 5 of the top 10 radio markets. KPFA in the SF Bay area (founded in 1949); KPFK Los Angeles (1959); WBAI New York City (1960); KPFT Houston (1970); and WPFW in Washington, D.C. (1977) and an affiliate distribution network of 200+ stations.
Pacifica is currently supported by over 40,000 donors, over 65% of them California residents.