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KPFA staffers protest proposed layoffs at station

Bonnie Simmons

Bonnie Simmons (photo David Gans)

Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer Bonnie Simmons and other KPFA staff took some time on Thursday to protest the big layoffs KPFA’s owner, the Pacifica Foundation, has planned for the station.

The Berkleyside news service has a summary of the event and the issues, but basically Pacifica’s plan appears to be to pretty much let volunteers do the broadcasting. Long time KPFA literature host Richard Wolinsky thinks that’s a terrible idea, particularly a volunteer Morning Show.

The program “would be inconsistent and would often be unlistenable because of that inconsistency,” Wolinsky warns.

One or two hosts will find audiences; the rest won’t. A so-called unpaid collective handling an hour or more each morning would be an organizational nightmare; a competent individual would have to dedicate not only one early morning a week, but also time for coordination meetings with other hosts and many hours for preparation. How can that be handled with another full-time job? Thus, a live program would be limited to people with flexible hours or trust funds, or retirement income. A recorded program would sound stale. Listeners will be clamoring for their favorite hosts to be aired every day, which couldn’t happen without salaries.

Read the rest of Richard’s article here.

Supporters Join KPFA’s Union Workers and Unpaid Staff in a Rally Against Cuts from John Hamilton on Vimeo.

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5 Responses to KPFA staffers protest proposed layoffs at station

  1. Dissident KPFA Worker November 4, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    That last line you chose to quote, from Richard Wolinsky – where have we read this before?

    Ah yes, right here, page 193.

    “In reality, the Healthy Station Project’s philosophy bore a strong resemblance to David Giovannoni’s, with his emphasis on consistency and predictability.”

  2. Matthew Lasar November 4, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Wow! You’ve read my second book! Thanks! I should really promote it more often.

    Alas, given a choice between the Healthy Station Project and what looks to me to be coming to KPFA (the Lunatic Station Project), ask me something hard.

  3. John Anderson November 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    Count on John Hamilton to be in the thick of things. I know he’s working for KPFA now (after DN! and the project we founded together, WIN). Is he still shooting from rollerblades?

  4. KPFA worker November 5, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    If you call them Rollerblades, sir, he will take strong issue with you. . . They are in-line skates!

  5. KPFA slacker November 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    What do we want?


    When do we want it?



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