Monday, October 10, 2016


Let’s say you are a fan of composer Elliot Carter (1908 – 2012), the Pulitzer Prize winning architect of atonal and complex music.  Then you might be interested in having the master reel-to-reel tape of Carter being interviewed in 1960 on KPFA, Berkeley.  Recently you could by it for $31.89 on e-bay.

As Pacifica's turds circle the bowl, it appears staff and/or volunteers may be going rogue and are cashing in on Pacifica's valuable booty. This is part of the latest chapter in Pacific’s painful slide into oblivion.

The primary concern to many archivists, scholars and collectors is the fate of Pacifica’s audio archives.  The collection includes an estimated 60,000 reel-to-reel tapes, vinyl records and transcription discs. According to several sources, less than 25% of the analog catalogue has been digitized.

It is alleged (but not independently confirmed) that several dozen KPFA master tapes were listed on ebay because Pacifica failed to pay the rent on a storage unit in Rosemead, California. The owner of the storage company allegedly sold some the tapes to pay the past-due rent.

This does sound plausible but it also could be that the tapes “walked out the backdoor” as so often happens when a venture is failing. Before the ship goes under, there is a temptation to “liberate” things that might be of value.

Listings for Pacifica's master tapes have been deleted from ebay. However, lots of other items from Pacifica’s history are currently for sale on ebay.


Meanwhile, Pacifica’s interim Executive Director Lydia Brazon told Pacifica’s Board of Directors on October 6th that she hired an appraiser to tally the value of the assets of Pacifica’s LA station KPFK.  Brazon said similar appraisals are pending for other Pacifica properties.

Lydia Brazon

Brazon told the Board that the appraisals were necessary for the organization to obtain loans and grants. Of course, appraisals are also used for sale purposes and bankruptcy proceedings. Brazon tried to reassure the Board when she said:

 The point is, we must know the true value of our assets. Certainly NOT in order to sell them but rather to leverage them for credit lines, a mortgage or…to lease.

Pacifica’s hope appears to be that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) will put them back on the CPB dole. Brazon said $2.5 million of “…guaranteed funds from CPB” are due to Pacifica.  Before this can happen Pacifica must complete an audit of their FY 2014 finances. The reason the audit is not being completed is because apparently Pacifica hasn’t paid the auditors.


Blogger Chris Albertson [link] reports that "bathroom sabotage" has been occurring at KPFK, Los Angeles. Apparently disgruntled staff members are jamming the toilets with paper towels causing messy overflows.

Here is a memo KPFK’s GM Leslie Radford sent to the staff:

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