The (latest) battle of KPFA - Page 3

Fight over content, money erupts into recall campaign

Protesters march outside the Berekely radio station.

Instead, it is a show with rotating hosts Dennis Bernstein, Davey D Cook, JR Valrey, Andres Soto, Anita Johnson, Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff. The content and approach varies depending on the host.

Henry Norr, a listener and elected member of the Local Station Board, is pleased with the format, and thinks it might represent a good path for KPFA. "The station should be more community-oriented. We should have a diversity of voices, and lots of people on who aren't skilled or paid but represent progressive voices and active movements," said Norr. The new show has increased coverage of Richmond politics and has provided a forum for Valrey and Cook to talk about left-wing politics from an African-American perspective.

But cutting the Morning Show had its financial implications: The old format brought in significantly more donations than the Morning Mix. According to KPFA documents, donations have increased in other time slots that air more traditional-sounding journalism, including during Letters and Politics, Flashpoints, and the Evening News.

So the recall is about the Morning Show, but it's also about the future: Should KPFA seek to retain a traditional structure, with paid staff who can earn a decent living and focus on making news programs whose quality compares to that of more mainstream outlets? Or should the station solve its budget woes by relying on more community volunteers with more wide-ranging content?

And should the people who work at KPFA have the right to discuss the station's finances, policies and future openly, on the air, without fear of retaliation?

Rosenberg or not, those issues aren't going away.


Also from this author

  • Privatization of public housing

    Many residents feel they're moving from the frying pan of Housing Authority control into the fire of developer and nonprofit management

  • Homeless for the holidays

    Changing demographics in the Bayview complicate city efforts to open a shelter there

  • Betting on Graton

    Newest casino targeting Bay Area residents promises to share the wealth with workers and people of color