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KPFA LAB meeting report

Unoffical Report for 3/13/02 KPFA LAB meeting
Sun Mar 17 23:13:38 2002

Unofficial Report on the 3/13/02 KPFA LAB meeting

Prior to the 3/13/02 LAB meeting, the Program Council convened informally to listen to listener comments and answer questions. This report does not include that part of the evening.

The synopsis below is an unofficial report from Gail Blasie.

Present: Diane, Joe, Stan, Gail, Curt, Ted, Mark, Mary, Susan, Andrea, Sherry, Carol, Lewis, David, Willie, Joy, Maria Absent: Fadi, Miguel, Khalil (his house burned down), Matt (had the flu.)

Mission Commission
There was much discussion about the Mission commission headed by Robbie Ossman. Robbie graciously attended our meeting and fielded many questions about the MC.

The interim Executive Director of Pacifica, Dan Coughlin, has asked Robbie Ossman to head a "Mission Commission (MC)." For those of you who don't know Robbie, he has been a dedicated member of the struggle and has done most of his work under the umbrella of Friends of Free Speech Radio (FFSR). FFSR was responsible for the Joan Baez/Dar Williams concert that raised the seed money for the 10,000 person march in Berkeley in 1999, and also raised most of the money for the LAB plaintiff suit, and the Director's suit. FFSR also funded the ads in the New York Times, and spearheaded the Lily Tomlin benefit in San Francisco. Robbie was very involved in the lawsuits and settlement negotiations, and is a well trusted ally.

Robbie will be setting up and coordinating six self-steering panels: one at each station and one nationally. The MC will establish panels of well respected progressive organizers and activists to work with the LABs, the iPNB, stations' staff, national staff and listeners to identify and address the issues facing Pacifica.

The panelists will be composed of people rooted in progressive social movements and people with long experience in community radio who can articulate their experience and views to the rest of us, and in doing so, help encourage, focus and inform a wider discussion and debate.

The purpose of the MC is not to advise about programming at its core. But it is more to look at what governing structures nationally and at each station best serve Pacifica's mission, and what program structuring best serves Pacifica's mission. The MC's recommendations are not the definitive or last word. The output of the MC is to enrich the discussions, debate and action at all levels of the debate.

There was much concern about celebrities being invited to be on the MC panels without listener input. However, Robbie assured us that the MC is to inform the debate at the listener level, the station level and on the national level, and not to be a decision making body.

If anyone has any ideas of who would be worthwhile to serve on the MC, email me at blaze@cal.net and I will forward it to Robbie.

2. Station Manager Report by Jim Bennett
If anyone knows of a venue at which the June iPNB meeting can be held in the Bay Area, that is handicapped accessible, contact the station.

Jim has been getting to the station at station at 5:30 a.m. cuz kpfa just resumed operating ku operating system, which is wonderful.

Jim stated that we need to make entire iPNB meeting available for broadcast so that individual stations can decide perhaps with not as much commentary.

There was discussion on how was it decided to not run the iPNB meeting on the Sunday of the March iPNB meeting in LA. Jim said the decision on how much Pacifica put up on the feed was based on input from various stations.

The week prior to the March iPNB meeting, KPFA said they would take all the Pacifica broadcast of the iPNB meeting minus the special International Women's Day programming. Larry was carrying the ball to get other stations to say what they wanted. He also cut carts for other stations, none of them responded. By the middle of the week prior to the March iPNB meeting there were indications that some of the stations wouldn't take any of the feed at all. KPFT didn't carry any of it. WBAI didn't return Larry's calls till Friday. There was a lack of commitment to give indication of what was best for all of the stations.

Jim spoke about how the iPNB needs a clear plan on how stations will be repaid for money stolen from listeners and how money that is being borrowed will be paid back by a certain time period. Need iPNB to verbalize what is being done in terms of the levy from the stations. Should they take 17% if they are cutting national programming and staff?

3. Bylaws Committee:

The iPNB set up a committee to rewrite Pacifica bylaws. It will be a national committee with subcommittees at each station. Each committee must have three LAB members, one iPNB member, staff and listeners. There will be working meetings. Next week, a set of issues will be distributed. The committees will come up with rough drafts, critiques, back and forth. The new Bylaws will spell out how LABs and the national board are elected as well as how governance of Pacifica is structured. Election bylaws must be approved by 3 of the 5 labs.

Comment from Nick Alexander: We need to take into account the role of race in the struggle.

3. Hiring permanent General Manager Process

Four of the five stations have interim GM's, including KPFA. The national board set up a recommended process of how to go about hiring permanent station general managers.

4. Curtis Gray was unanimously approved as the LAB rep to the Program Council.

5. Out of Town LAB meetings

We discussed whether to continue out of town LAB meetings. It was clarified that these LAB meetings are working meetings, and not town halls where we try to reach out to other communities. In essence, we are reaching out to the KPFA listening community.

The LAB agreed to meet in Sacramento in May for its May LAB meeting, and the meeting will take place on a weekend. Gail will survey the LAB by email and find a date that works the best for most people.

The meeting adjourned at 9:55.

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