Pacifica radio, America’s most dysfunctional and embarrassing noncommercial media organization, has dismissed Grace Aaron as Chair of the Pacifica National Board (PNB) and is considering a proposal to replace the organization’s entire system of governance.
In what appears to be a takeover attempt, a faction of the PNB, led by former interim Executive Director Bill Crosier, reportedly held a “no confidence vote” regarding Allen at a private meeting held on September 5, 2019.
Then Crosier and his associates posted a petition online [link] that demands that the PNB to hold a membership vote to approve their proposed plans.
Crosier and his associates say big changes are needed:
“The current Bylaws…have resulted in governance that struggles to function."
"Meanwhile, listenership, membership, and donations have declined."
The debt is strangling the Foundation and our stations.”
The proposed By-Laws would change the way Pacifica makes decisions and handles its day-to-day operations. The changes Crosier and his associates are pushing include:
• Dismiss the current members of the PNB.
• Dissolve the local station boards at the five Pacifica stations. Then, create community Advisory Boards at each station.
• Following the transition period, the PNB will be composed of 11 Directors – 6 At-Large Directors, and 5 Station-Representative Directors. This reduces the size of the Board from 22 Directors to 11.
According to a post on the blog Pacifica Radio Watch [link], the PNB will have a series of meetings this evening (Thursday 9/19) to select a new Board Chair and decide on a “notice date” for Pacifica members to vote on the proposed By-Laws.
A “CIVIL WAR” FED BT DEBT, INCOMPETENCE & TURF PROTECTION
The situation within Pacifica is dire. The organization still does not have a plan to repay a $3.2 million loan that was used, in part, to settle a court judgment involving years of past due rent owed to the Empire State Building where WBAI’s transmitter was until recently.
According to a report dated September 11, 2019, by Paul Martin, treasurer of WBAI and a member of Pacifica’s National Finance Committee, interest payments of $70,000 per quarter begin in December.
There is growing resentment as a result of WBAI’s growing debt. The other four stations have grown tired of subsidizing WBAI at the expense of their own shops. Martin’s report says WBAI currently has $5,000 in the bank and owes $587,722.
Martin’s report provides a sign of how bad things are regarding payment of the loan:
“…the loan details may frighten some people because of the default language. Pacifica is not close to being in compliance.
There likely is unilateral agreement with this statement from Crosier’s petition:
“Today, [Pacifica is] facing mounting debt on account of hard decisions not taken years ago, and because of declining listenership, Pacifica will sink below the waves if it does not make a major course correction in its structure and leadership.”