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DAILY REPORTS and Documents | iPNB Berkeley meeting info
KPFK general manager report

Presented at the iPNB meeting in Berkeley June 21 - 23, 2002

June 2002 KPFK Board Report - Roy Hurst Interim GM (outgoing)

Dear Pacifica Board of Directors:

As you know, over the last several months, KPFK has gone through a great deal of change. In a short period of time, the station lost several key staff members, has had two interim GM's, and has been involved in an extensive, elaborate search for a permanent GM. In the meantime though, we've made concerted steps towards keeping KPFK vibrant and relevant to listeners. We've initiated several outreach projects designed to connect the station more fully with the various communities of Southern California. We've waded through a litany of on-air programming problems (due to the fall-out of the Pacifica crisis) and come up with what we believe are short-term creative solutions. On May 24th we wrapped up a grueling, but very successful spring fund drive despite the fact that our transmitter had us broadcasting at only one-quarter power.

In short it's been a very busy and politically charged time. However, I'm happy to report that through it all, we've gone through a certain level of perestroika here at KPFK. Our doors are more open these days, and the KPFK staff is on much better terms with many of those constituencies with whom we were once at odds.

The following is a slightly more detail assessment of KPFK:


KPFK'S spring fund drive ran May 14th through the 24th. Within that period we broke the record for a ten-day spring drive, raising $512,000. The previous record set last year was $425.000. At the end of our tenth day we extended the Drive an additional 24 hours and proceeded to brake the one-day record for spring fundraising by raising more than $108,000. All told, after web pledges and a few late entrees the spring KPFK fund drive raised $627,181.

Total pledges: 7339
Total new: 3202
Total credit cards: 4774
Total dollars pledged: $627,181.50

We also had 43 web pledges during the fund drive period, for a total of $3,895.

There are several reasons for our success. All of the media attention (although mostly negative) has actually made more listeners curious about the station. And there are those who have come back to pledging after several years in exile. But, of course, that isn't the whole story. The most recent radical changes in our network have left us to deal with the loss of some key on-air personalities, producers, and volunteers; people who, over the years, have raised the bulk of the moneys contributed to the station. More than two months before the drive we set in motion a creative plan to make up for those losses. The ideas employed are probably too detailed to list here; but they have much to do with messaging, guest hosting, special programming, live events, etc. We are very proud of the results. We think that our ingenuity made the difference between $425,000 (the old record set last year) and $627.00 raised this year.


You all know that KPFK has just completed a long search for a new General Manager. Needless to say, that task was huge, especially given the degree of political heat the station has been under. Those involved with KPFK set out to re-evaluate the way a GM is chosen at Pacifica, and came up with a new democratic structure that gives members of various constituencies a place on a panel that would select the top candidates for the GM post. Of course, before the final panel could be selected, a great deal of mistrust and political jousting took place. But once the structure was set, those on the committee worked more or less in harmony, and came up with the best three candidates from more than forty applicants. Thus, we have Eva Georgia!


Still there is much to do where human resources are concerned. Several more people must be hired soon, including: a Program Director, a Development Director and a News Director. Departments must be re-organized and more on air-talent needs to be found. A training program needs to be developed and more volunteers have to be brought into the fold.


Finally, after being long over-due, our transmitter project is very close to being completed. As I am writing this report, our engineers are up on Mount Wilson taking the final steps towards the completion of our tower. The latest report suggests that somewhere around June 19th we will be at full power. 112 thousand watts!

We can't wait for the opportunity to expose more listeners to the Pacifica Mission!


KPFK staff, with help from the Local Advisory Board, is in the process of developing a series of constructs designed to give the various communities of Southern California input into the issues we cover over the airwaves.

  • We are developing various constituency based "Collectives" who will work with existing programs and volunteers to get their issues out to the widest possible audience and thereby enhance our airwaves over-all.
  • We are beginning the process of constructing a Program Council consisting of various representatives from in and around the station who will help to evaluate existing programs and proposals for new programs.
Meantime, KPFK's presence has been felt all over the city. We have sponsored and co-sponsored several events in the last few months and are working to do more outreach in the months to come. Some of those events are:
  • Whole Earth Festival - a celebration of Earth Day, April 20th - 21st
  • Art Speaks 2002: Not In Our Name, a concert against the war, May 12th
  • Greg Palast Speaking Event - June 12th
  • "The Exonerated" - A stage play about the Death Penalty - June 9th
  • Sol Festival a multi-cultural celebration of human rights - June 22nd
  • Skirball Cultural Center Concert Series - July through August
  • The State of the World 2002 - simulcast live event - Sept 8th
  • The KPFK Dove Gallery - A web based outlet for the best unknown visual artist around LA - coming this summer.
Finally folks, in my capacity as outgoing interim GM; I'd like to say a few things about the outlook for the future of this Pacifica station.

With all of the change that has taken place; and all the change still to come; and with all of the constituencies involved, one thing has become abundantly clear: All sides of this political struggle have, in the final analysis, added something positive to the re-emergence of this vital station. In other words, without the various arguments thrown in the pot we would not have enough information to consider in our attempts to re-make our station.

I like to think during my tenure as interim GM. I have presided over a pluralistic or secular atmosphere where everyone who is genuinely concerned has been heard and respected; where ideas have been implemented so long as they are intended to advance the station as whole. I have gone with the belief that there is enough room for all progressives at KPFK. I look forward to seeing that ideal developed into creative, comprehensive, listenable (Pacifica Mission) radio for years to come.


Roy Hurst
Interim GM (outgoing)

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