Friday, January 26, 2018


The moon over the Empire State Building
We’ve been going through the mountains of comments about Pacifica’s grim financial situation and speculation about what Interim Executive Director Tom Livingston will do or can do to bring the organization into solvency.

Folks in Pacifica generate way too much verbiage. Their arguing is a huge waste of time. To understand what is really going look at the money and facts.

Pacifica’s situation is grim. Earlier this week, former Interim Executive Director Bill Crosier wrote a farewell memo to all Pacifica employees and volunteers summarizing the current station of affairs. Here are things Crosier mentioned:

Tom Livingston
• The actual amount of money Pacifica owes to the Empire State Building is around $2.6 million. With every tick-of-the-clock they owe more money. The current monthly rent is $65,000. This might sound like it is overpriced but it isn’t.  The physical reach of a transmission at full power is an absolute bargain.

• Pacifica also owes almost $1 million in unpaid pension funds.

• Pacifica will soon need a second loan of $3 to $3.5 million to cover other pressing debts.

• Pacifica may still be looking at bankruptcy, either by choice (Chapter 11) or by force (Chapter 7).


Pacifica needs to think bigger and leverage their strengths. Pacifica owns five stations in the nation's biggest markets. Combine the stations into one national voice. Simulcast on all five stations and become a "super station." Generate national programming from one single source. 

Speak with one voice. Focus on being Pacifica 2.0 rather than living in the nutty past. Become a media voice that will reach millions of people rather than a sandbox for a little club of whiners.


Thanks to Michael Harrison of Talkers magazine for this story tip.

Holland Cooke & Fred Jacobs on RT America
Two well-known media consultants – Fred Jacobs and Holland Cooke – appeared on cable TV to  advocate inclusion of Boomers in programming and ad buys.

As you probably know, members of the Baby Boom Generation have fallen out of favor with big advertisers. Time buyers still want the 18 - 49 audience. Content is geared for younger demos.

Holland Cooke, a commercial talk radio consultant, also hosts The Big Picture, a weekly show on RT America, a cable channel funded by friends of the Russian government.

Cooke invited Jacobs to be on his show. The topic: The big financial impact of the Boomers. It had the musty vibe of an infomercial.

I decided to “test” the Cooke-Jacobs discussion with three friends of millennial age. I asked them to look at the video below and tell me their first thoughts. The “test-ees” were unanimous: Cooke and Jacobs are a couple of geezers!

The consultants were conveying their message to commercial radio programmers and ad-buyers. Their message might have had more impact in noncommercial public radio.

FACT: Noncommercial, public media, is not constrained by demands of reaching a bulk audience. Public media counts them one at a time. Support from someone who is 64 counts just as much as support from someone who is 41. This is an important part of noncommercial media’s advantage.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to see Pacifica sell their DC station to either WETA or WAMU and build on their Jazz programming.