Crisis At WPFW



56 comments on “Crisis At WPFW

  1. I agree with Ann V , Chuck Lebherz ,and many other listeners, WPFM FM is the only decent radio station that exist. Please do not take this radio station away.

    • You can say that again! Yesterday on Africa Now! They had this union hack who gave this absurd advice to those struggling against the system. He said and this is an exact quote “Play the hand you are dealt with”. Can you think of a cruder way of telling slaves to submit. Only jesus could have been worse when he said “Slaves obey your master”

  2. I am outraged that the corporate jackals and millionaire warmongers of Pacifica have silenced me and my colleagues after years of faithful service to WPFW. This is the sort of genocidal disrespect and racial insensitivity I would expect from, say, George W. Bush.

    • Yeah is that so? Who had Lyndon Larouche and the Black Zionist Cripto fascistis Ancient Order of Hebrew Israilites as guest on his show. You became a flunky long before they booted yoy off the show!

      • Dr. Ambrose I. Lane, Sr. is no longer on this planet. May that Great Teacher rest in peace.

    • Is that so! Listen Ambrose YOU had Lyndon LaRouche as a guest on your show! You gave him all the time he needed to do an “infomercial”. All the call in people were his followers! You gave out the interview as a thank you gift! You had those Black Neo-Zionists with that cripto nazi group the Ancient order of Heberw Isralites as special guest. These people are the lowest of Borgeois Nationalists. Yet you calld them “Brothers” Now you piss and moan!

      • Mr. Barysh, as S.M. Robinson pointed out, are you aware that Mr. Ambrose Lane Sr. made his transition a little while ago?

    • I have my doubts about how good a teacher Mr. Lane was when he used his show to give a supportive role to the Laroche Fascists, The Cripto Fascists of that New Hebrew Isralite Sect, and the wackadoodles who claim 911 was an inside job and there were no air planes used in the attack. Let him rest in peace

  3. Dr. Pamela Brewer’s MYNDTALK show MUST be restored! WPFW is lucky to have someone like her on the air. I heard her show this morning and while it was GREAT pre-recorded, it would be even GREATER if she was there. I’m sure she has prevented many a suicide, homicide and other ‘cides’. I thought she was safe from the changes since y’all were going to a more talk format. If WPFW isn’t careful they will have to PAY for her show (and others) when it’s/they’re in SYNDICATION. Don’t you know that what WPFW has other stations would love to have?

    • Myndtalk is a radio show unique in its construction and implementaton. The show is built around the brilliance, insight and groundedness of its host, Pamela Brewer. When I listen to MyNDTALK, I can relax into the knowledge that nothing that is asserted is not grounded in insight, common sense and respect. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to contrast the work of Dr. Brewer with the work of Dr. Phil (a person I call Dr. Philistine who is so crass, so unatuned, so predisposed to project his own model of humanity onto others that it is revolting.) Dr. Brewr’s approach is compassionate, attuned, and centered on the understanding of the person in their lives and circumstances and promotes healing from the inside out. With respect to Mr. Hughes: His cavilier and destructive orientation to management has destroyed in short order the work of a lifetime for many of the programers. ( I watched the town hall videos) There fragile nature of the creative community receives no respect, no acknoweldgement from this destrucive force.

  4. The poem I wrote last night as John Hughes spouted his propaganda . . . .

    Looking at the numbers, not seeing the people
    Smooth tongue and head
    Serenading the unaware to bed
    The same con that co-opted the 99
    Tries to do the same this time
    No creative approach to tend the (on-air) garden planted
    From the soil you ripped the people’s heart
    Working your corporate art
    Family is an epithet from your lips
    Listen to this:
    You won’t go down with the ship, cause you will be thrown overboard
    To the sounds of Bird, Trane, Ella and the rest
    Remember these jazz refrains cause like Macondo history will not remember your name
    We will gather our will and creativity to remain the conscience of Banneker City
    We will nurture listeners who have not lost an ear for what’s real
    Hughes thought he laid the death blow, but we the people are healed
    The sleeping giant is awake, feel the earthquake


    • Would someone please discuss what happened at the meeting at Howard University last night. You wrote a poem about it so what’s up? What about the rally beforehand? I too am devasted, disappointed, disgusted with what is happening with our “community radio”. I still want so badly to believe that we can recover our music and programmers.

  5. Today I was shocked at 4PM when the program opened with giggling and laughter of “the Ravi Shankar show from WBAI.” I didn’t know if WPFW had been “hijacked” by pranksters similar to the Kate Middleton/nurse story. Ravi Shakar died the day before.
    Pacifica sent over the segment for the 4PM show, shortly before it aired. Well maybe WPFW has been hijacked by Pacifica and I don’t like it.
    This is a perfect example of “canned” the problems of nationalize programming vs. community radio that works in real time and is sensitive to the community’s needs.
    As a former member and volunteer, keep me posted. Even if PFW can’t be saved, I envision a “Phoenix Rising” somewhere, somehow.

  6. Hi all

    I miss WPFW! Many years ago, my husband stumbled across The Bama Hour, and we listened every Saturday. Jerry played many of our favorites.

    I’m such a cynic, I just can’t believe what the corporate media tell me, so Democracy Now! is a can’t-do-without. But my golly, the range and depth of the other programming! I’ve loved getting up with Askia, Katea, and Lady Myrr. Nightwolf and Robyn’s Place anchored my weekends. Miyuki is another favorite. The evening drive jazz shows have been super. The blues . . . Eco Shock . . . Brother Hodari . . . Jared Ball . . . I’ve enjoyed listening to 2KNation to hear what young folks were thinking (I’m old).

    My favorite of all the local programming has been Tom Porter. Such a wealth of knowledge, such a treasure trove of music.

    I’m devastated. I can’t believe anyone with knowledge of the DC metro area could sack so much. Truly exceptional local programmers are out or moved to times when their audiences cannot give the attentive listening they deserve.

    And what are these replaced by? Syndicated programming that the station has to pay for? I’ve been answering the pledge lines enough to make a good guess that PFW can’t afford them. For cryin out loud, pay the staff first!

    And this is a Pacifica station. I’ve been a pacifist all my life. It really offends me to think that the station I choose to listen to is supporting the war industries, the transgenic seed corporations, the multinationals that profit from exploiting foreign workers in unsafe and inhumane conditions.

    I can’t support this. One of these days, I’ll call in a protest pledge, but I won’t pay it until the programming is restored and Mr Hughes is gone.

    I’m sorry I’ll miss the meeting tonight. It takes me over two hours each way to get downtown, and I rarely can do evening activities (also, my service dog is still having a medical issue). (It would be really helpful to me if important meetings could be broadcast, or repeated in Maryland and NoVa locations . . .)

    Keep up the important work, everybody, occupy the station!


  7. WPFW offers the finest music on radio. I love so many of the music hosts, but Sunday is my day to just groove with Tom Cole and Miyuki Williams. There is NO other radio venue in the area. This is not just about preserving jazz and blues but turning people onto new music, as Tom Cole does on G Strings and Larry Applebaum does — and many others. I cannot believe syndicated programming (btw, how much does that cost?) is under consideration. WPFW is blessed with fantastic music lovers willing to give their time to share music with everyone within reach of the station — whether you contribute or not (which you should!). Live on WPFW!


    Jazz Decimated; Corporate-Sponsored Talk Shows Brought In

    ***JAZZ DECIMATED*****
    As of December 3, at least 35 hours of jazz has been eliminated from WPFW’s program grid. This includes:

    15 HOURS of weekday morning jazz GONE!—formerly 5am to 8am daily, three hours per day 15 hours per week. Gone from the airwaves: Askia Muhammad’s soulful Tuesday morning jazz program, which aired for 33 years and 8 months.

    KATEA STITT’s positive and precious Wednesday program–Katea, daughter of jazz icon Sonny Stitt, is no longer on PFW’s airwaves. She’s been with us since she was 19 years old.

    Also gone is Lady Myrr, formerly Friday morning, jazz and musical treasure for the past 25 years.

    10 HOURS of weekday mid-day jazz–GONE!–formerly
    1-3pm daily, two hours per day, 10 hours per week. Gone from the airwaves totally: the powerful Tom Porter–the epitome of real jazz & justice programming, who mixed beautiful music with cutting edge political discussion; Sophies Parlor—the longest running women’s music program in the US, a collective on the airwaves of pfw since 1977.

    10 hours of drive time evening jazz–GONE!–formerly 4-6pm weekdays, two hours per day, 10 hours/week, including Rick Williams (correct?) and Hassan.

    Also hit hard: the popular Sunday night LATIN FLAVOR (jazz as well), cut in half from 6 hours to 3 hours. Brazilian music show, “Sounds of Brazil”, eliminated.

    The Decipher Hip Hop Strip (formerly weekday evenings, 10-11pm–torn apart, some moved to Saturday.


    To make room for at least four new nationally syndicated talk shows that are airing (totaling at least 20-25 hours), WPFW has removed numerous locally produced shows.

    Removed shows include:
    –Josephine Reed’s highly respected ON THE MARGIN literary program.
    –Dr. Pamela Brewer’s popular MYNDTALK, which has aired for 17 years.
    –Jean Yves Point-Du-jour’s Saturday show serving the Hatain community for the past 26 years.

    –The youth focused 2KNation is also gone.

    –Esther Iverem, popular “Community Comment” host, was also removed from her slot, despite the fact that hosts are still needed for the new 9 a.m. “Community Watch and Comment” hour. Earlier this year, Friday “Community Comment” host, Riley Abbott was abruptly booted from his timeslot with no notice when John Hughes commandeered took that hour for his deadly “Manager’s Mailbox” program (in drivetime!)

    Several of the new nationally syndicated programs are produced through support from corporate THUGS: This includes

    The Tavis Smiley show–backed by WALMART!

    The Takeaway with John Hockenberry, underwritten with funding from LOCKHEED MARTIN

    Also featured on the new grid are NPR shows, such as Michel Martin’s “TELL ME MORE,” currently heard on local NPR affiliates in our region.

    In addition, to add insult to injury, WPFW WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR MANY OF THESE SYNDICATED SHOWS. The amount of money LISTENERS will be paying for these syndicated talk shows has not been disclosed.

    But clearly, with PFW’s small paid staff being threatened with lay-offs, having been denied their full salaries and being grossly underpaid, clearly the notion of PAYING for these nationally syndicated corporate-sponsored programming is an outrage.

    While other talk programs remain, their audiences
    have been disrupted through time changes, such as
    Jay Winter Nightwolf’s THE NIGHTWOLF SHOW, moved from
    Fridays 7pm to Fridays 1pm. Nightwolf’s program relies on a production team; this change from evening to daytime will make doing the show close to impossible for the team.


    These sweeping programming changes were made with
    NO INPUT from WPFW’s paid rank and file staff.
    NO INPUT from the 100+ volunteer programmers.
    NO INPUT from the 24-member LSB Local Station Board.
    (note: the listener’s pay $40,000 per year to elect this body, under the guise of promoting democracy at our radio station.

    Furthermore, the manner in which long-time programmers were removed or told of changes mirrors the most callous and disrespectful of corporate practices. Programmers were told they were no longer needed with very little time to prepare, sometimes finding out a few moments before there show began, and in some instances after there last show aired!

    It should be noted that there is NO EVALUATION PROCESS for any program!!! Programmers are not afforded the opportunity to improve, not given the support to strengthen their skills, not even given any feedback about how they are doing. It’s just “off with their heads”–not needed anymore.

    It should also be noted that there has been NO ATTEMPT to get coordinated input on potential program changes from paid staff, volunteers or the LSB. Many might have agreed some changes were needed. But there was no effort to conduct a discussion of how this might be done. THERE HAS ALSO BEEN NO ATTEMPT or even discussion of how to MARKET and PROMOTE our on-air programming. WE HAVE DONE NO off-air PROMOTION, and little on-air promotion, in a long, long time.


    In case you missed the many recent shows that have been discussing what has taken place, check them out on the archives. Suggested listening as of 12/3includes:
    11/28: Katea’s last show, 5am to 8am.
    11/30 Jared Ball’s show, 10am to 11am,
    11/30 Askia’s last “Spectrum Today,” 6-7pm.
    11/30 Nightwolf, 7-8pm.
    12/1 Yves Point-Du-Jour, 10-12pm
    12/2 Miyuki Williams “Sunday Kind of Love,” noon to 2pm.
    12/2 Jim Byers “Latin Flavor,” 6-8pm;
    12/3 Joni Eisenberg HEAL DC, 11am to noon
    12/3 Brother Ah’s new time slot, 7-10pm


    WPFW listeners have been speaking truth to power,
    and as a result, some of the cuts have been
    reversed. These include the return of Brother Ah
    (now Mondays 7-10pm), Voices with Vision (now Tues
    10am), Dr Theodore Watkins (now Wed 10am), Nkenge
    Toure (now Thurs 10am), and Von Martin (reclaiming
    Sat 7pm). Still, the struggle must continue to restore programming.


    –From Joni Eisenberg

    • You owe me a serious apology! You claim with no proof that I “hounded” a woman who calls herself “Dr” Sunnyatta Amen away from the station! That’s a bold faced lie! All I did was ask her what school did she graduate from that gave her the diploma to call herself “Dr” her web site damnded sure does not say where she earned her doctorate from. And as for saying I knew where her child went to school. Keep telling that lie and you will know where my lawyer works! I told some one that my friend Kenny Carrol said his daughter and “Doctor” Amen’s daughter went to the same school. And he agreed with me that her backgroung was mighty shakey. He was not sure she was a real doctor. Neither is
      I know you are ticked off because I questioned the wisdom of Brother Bey and the doctors who might have had a hand in his death-Sorry but I have a right to question both Brother Bey and his doctor inspie of thier other good deeds. They ain’t saints

  9. An Urgent Appeal
    To the Pacifica National Board
    August 20, 2012

    As a longtime member of the Pacifica family, and as someone who has served in every capacity within the network from volunteer news reporter to deputy executive director of the network, I’m extremely troubled by what I’m witnessing at my home station, WPFW, under the management of John Hughes.

    His completely ineffectual management is exacerbated by the fact that some members of our local station board have sought to so protect and prop up Mr. Hughes in the position that they have refused to evaluate him during the 19 months of his tenure, even in the face of documented criticism from roughly 80 percent of the programmers. A ‘Letter of No Confidence’ in Hughes’s management was initially delivered to him in November of 2011, signed by close to 80 out of 120 programmers at WPFW. An attempt to resolve the matter with two paid, unbiased professional mediators of statue failed because Hughes chose not to mediate in ‘good faith’. The mediation was paid for in full by a loyal major donor to WPFW who’s intention was to see the crisis worked out amicably for the good of the station.

    It is for these reasons that I, several thoroughly dismayed programmers, LSB members, staff and high profile community leaders are issuing this urgent appeal to the PNB to intervene immediately in the matter of John Hughes’s tenure. Failing to evaluate John Hughes after 19 months into his tenure is a flagrant violation of the bylaws we fought so hard to establish and must be immediately remedied by the PNB. According to the bylaws Article 7 Section 3C, the General Manager is to be evaluated annually, which means the MASC committee of the LSB, now under the chair of Marcel Reid, has repeatedly and consistently ignored or deliberately violated the bylaws throughout his tenure. She is currently engaging in efforts to convince Hughes to sign an agreement not to sue the network for her negligence or remiss performance.

    This utter disregard for the bylaws by the LSB’s MASC committee’s chair has put the network at potential legal risk and has harmed this station tremendously by keeping it under the non performing management of John Hughes.

    · John Hughes has failed to finalize a deal to relocate the station in the face of an impending deadline of December 2012.

    · John Hughes has failed to raise $450k plus needed to relocate the station and build out the new site in order to function smoothly in the new location.

    · John Hughes has failed to meet the majority of his pledge drive goals during his entire 19 months in that position despite hosting an inordinate amount of consecutive pledge drives and leaving the station with a ballooning deficit.

    · John Hughes appears incapable of developing a sound budget, let alone one that is balanced as per required in the GM job description. The LSB Treasurer and the entire Local Station Board were unable to endorse his most recent budget due to a lack of coherency and the failure of Hughes to provide salary and benefit information to the LSB Treasurer, information treasurers from GMs at every other station in the network are privy to. One budget submitted by Hughes even lacked a line item for the relocation expenses.

    · John Hughes has alienated a significant portion of the paid and unpaid staff (programmers) with whom it’s critical that he develop a friendly, respectful and symbiotic relationship in order to manage effectively.
    · John Hughes has been embroiled in a hostile, combative, non-forthcoming relationship with the non-managerial sector of the paid staff. AFTRA officials are on the brink of filing an unfair labor practices lawsuit against the network as Hughes and Arlene Englehardt have consistently refused to cooperate with AFTRA’s numerous requests for documentation. Presently, Pacifica is in violation of the union contract. ( see attached email from Pat O’Donnell, Executive Director of SAG-AFTRA)

    · It is likely that John Hughes has violated labor practices in his firing of two interim program directors within a span of 19 months, subjecting the station to the possibility of lawsuits. Surely, these looming legal matters further burden the already financially distressed station. In addition, such turnover has greatly impacted the quality of broadcasting and morale at the station.

    · John Hughes has failed to cultivate any new major donors to the WPFW donor circle and has been unable to utilize our established donors effectively. John Hughes refused to accept a check for thousands of dollars raised by the volunteer programmers through a legitimate community fundraiser despite numerous attempts by the on air programmers to aid the station.

    · In his increasingly insecure position, Hughes has reinforced the suspicion that his politics are not progressive and that he does not grasp the important principles of freedom of speech on which Pacifica was founded. So he is sorely lacking in the perspective needed to oversee the lone progressive broadcast outlet in the nation’s capital.

    In short, the rogue actions of the chair of the MASC committee of the LSB has created an untenable
    situation for WPFW by refusing to evaluate John Hughes in accordance with the networks’ bylaws. An
    ad hoc committee comprised of programmers, LSB members, staff, community leaders and activists are
    urging the PNB to remedy this situation by either refusing to renew the contract of John Hughes upon its’
    expiration or relieving him of his position immediately based on his failure to perform as per his job

    The problems created by John Hughes are not insurmountable and there is a vibrant community of
    longtime WPFW listeners loyal to Pacifica who are upstanding citizens in the D.C. area, across
    racial and class lines who are eager to help restore the station to its’ progressive roots in the context
    of 2012. John has thwarted the process by locking the community out and operating under a shroud of
    secrecy. This committee is willing to work with the PNB to facilitate a smooth transition to the hiring of
    an interim General Manager and ultimately a permanent GM. We look forward to an expeditious response
    from you within the week to further discuss this matter.

    Verna Avery-Brown
    Former Deputy Executive Director of Pacifica
    Producer/Host of ‘What’s At Stake’

    Katea Stitt
    AFTRA Union – Shop Steward
    Music and Cultural Affairs Coordinator – WPFW Radio
    Producer/Host ‘Freedom Sounds’

    Esther Iverem
    Producer/Host of Wednesday “Community Comment”
    And “What’s At Stake,”
    Board Member, Black Artists of D.C.

    Tom Porter
    LSB Member
    Host of Midday Jazz- ‘Jazz and Justice

    J. Winter Nightwolf
    Original host of ‘The Nightwolf Show’

    Verone Iriate
    Producer of ‘The Nightwolf Show’

  10. I am very disheartened with the changes that are occuring at WPFW and outraged after reading that the majority of the programmers have been at odds with the general manager for some time now. I am a member and have tried to support WPFW regardless of my income status at the time. I don’t like the new proposed line up of talk shows especially when they are not local speakers. Democracy Now and Tom Porter, Askia Muhammed et al are enough for me. I want my music back!!!!!! It appears that an autocrat decided to make these decisions , maybe he needs to go as well as the incompetent Bobby Hill. During pledge drives there was always talk of the 8% of listeners who support and the 92% who listen but don’t pledge; that has come to haunt us now. I will withold my pledge money ( however meager that may be) until they reinstate our local programmers . Wpfw is as vital to me as breathing.

  11. Please keep the public aware of what measures are being taken to get the programmers back on the air. As a contributing member of WPFW I am ready to march, call in to rectify this injustice, etc.

  12. With love & respect, . . . why has the Blues component (with the exception of Yolanda, etc.) been reduced to liberal new-comers who do not demonstrate enough respect to do adequate basic research prior to interviewing a guest who has been invited to speak on a topic that is historically-specific? I am UNWILLING to continue to be sick & tired! The lack of deep historical, cultural context is the primary reason I stopped listening to the” Blues Plate Special,” etc., long ago.

  13. Follow up to Sat a.m. meeting:
    1) Our demands should be more specific and far-reaching/forward-thinking–ex., return to progressive, community-based programming that reflects the specific mission & vision of WPFW & the immediate removal of administrators & other representatives whose philosophies, actions, and agendas are at odds or in conflict with WPFW’s mission, vision, & well-established progressive direction (i.e., John Hughes, recently-hired HR employee, et. al.).
    2) What is preventing [last week’s] programmers from occupying the air waves, broadcast studios, etc.? Meaning, appearing to produce their regular shows & thus co-airing with local scab programmers & blocking the airing of unauthorized, syndicated scab producers (or co-airing with these programmers as well. What better way to let them know they’ve walked into a land mind & might want to back away quietly?)
    3) Have engineers been asked to stage internal protests along side the [struck, as opposed to striking] programmers? (struck from inside by management instead of choosing to strike from outside; it goes both ways & actions should reflect this fact)
    4) Have remaining programmers been asked to stage internal protests during the upcoming drive: sticking to their programming & not interrupting it to ask for money; leaving it to Tiffany, et. al. to do that work?
    5) Has Rev Hagglar (or someone else) offered the use of a room or 2 on his complex for temp relocation of WPFW?
    6) Who is organizing the daily protests outside the station & Eatonsville?
    7) Who is willing to fund the printing of a professional mobile canvas business sign to post on the station’s current, temp, next locations. No one in the station’s neighborhood should remain unaware of its existence.
    8) Who is writing an article to correct the recent article that linked the programming changes to budgetary problems? With no reports in 3 years, there is no evidence that funding has not increased & been redirected.
    9) Who is drafting a survey designed to solicit programmatic concerns & suggestions to be distributed to current & former listeners & via what mechanism(s)? (In the future, surveys should be included with ballots & if necessary 2 envelopes.)
    10) Can we get a page on this site that enables supporters to communicate suggestions that are not replies to article posts?
    11) When & where is the next strategy meeting?
    *The Light & Love of Peace to All*


    United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
    Indigenous Peoples

    Media plays vital role in empowering indigenous rights. International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

    Article 16
    1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.

    2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring full freedom of expression, should encourage privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity.

  15. Under the leadership of WPFW general manager John Hughes: WPFW Has Betrayed the American Indian and the Indigenous Peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
    After thoughtful meditation and prayer and after conferring with American Indian tribal elders, teachers, journalists, lawyers, doctors, medicine people, peace makers and warriors, I have decided to seek relief from the American Judicial System by filing for an injunction no later than Friday of this week, requesting a stop in the institution of changing the program grid and restoring to the way it was prior to the new changes.
    It is apparent to me that WPFW’s General Manager John Hughes along with interim program director Bobby Hill has decided that the only American Indian voice on FM radio out of Washington, D. C. must become ineffective in speaking for the American Indian. I have been the only voice for Native America on FM radio in the history of FM in the nation’s capital.
    Additionally, Dr. Pamela Brewer, a fellow programmer who has never denied her Native heritage, has been removed from the WPFW program grid by John Hughes. Dr. Brewer is a veteran psychoanalyst who has helped a multitude of people through her many dedicated years of broadcasting on WPFW.
    This injunction is being filed on behalf of the American Indian, the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere and the many listeners and financial supporters who have given their hard earned money to WPFW in the name of “American Indians’ Truths – The Nightwolf Show – The Most Dangerous and Enlightening Show on Radio.”
    The Nightwolf Show premiered on Sunday evenings from 8 – 9 PM 12 years ago. A few years ago, interim program director Bobby Hill arbitrarily moved The Nightwolf Show from its original Sunday timeslot to Friday nights from 7 – 8 PM. This was done after Hill informed me that I had the highest ratings of any other show in that timeslot on WPFW.
    Just last week I called to talk to Hill about another station matter when Hill informed me that my program would again be moved, this time to Friday afternoon from 1 – 2 PM. This is a time when the more than 1 million listeners in the broadcast area and over the world wide web would not be available to hear the Nightwolf program. I strongly feel that the Native American population is being punished through John Hughes’ action solely because I have often questioned Hughes’ autocratic management style and his lack of transparency, shrouding WPFW’s operations in secrecy.
    It appears that anyone who has opposed general manager John Hughes has been removed from the WPFW program grid or placed in a ridiculous timeslot thus not allowing regular listeners the opportunity to hear their favorite programs.
    Anyone interested in assisting me with this legal process that I am putting forth can contact me by e-mail at
    For more information about these sinister issues brought to WPFW by general manager John Hughes go to the following website:
    Thank you for allowing me to reveal some of the destructive efforts that WPFW general manager John Hughes has brought to your community radio station.

  16. E-mail of 12-02-2012, 8:29 PM

    Dear Ms. Reese:

    Over the week-end, I have learned of, and borne witness to, the anguish caused by recent programming changes at WPFW-FM. I am now writing to ask what you feel has been gained by these decisions, and the manner in which they were apparently carried out?

    From my vantage point, admittedly on the outside looking in, a majority of programmers have been alienated, the rest appear to be silent and fearful, your listening audience is in an uproar, and people are calling for the head of the general manager, John Hughes. All of this is occurring against a backdrop of financial chaos, as the station teeters on the brink of its own “fiscal cliff”. In addition to the foregoing, WPFW seems to be making a shift toward increased syndicated, rather than local, programming.

    Among the casualties of this dysfunctional state of affairs is yet another program, one which is important to me and to many other listeners. It is hard enough to stomach the reduction in time slots devoted to Caribbean music and news, and the cancellation of the Haitian program. The decision to eliminate all of the Brazilian music programming, under the able stewardship of Tony Regusters and ZeZe, is simply incomprehensible.

    Perhaps as an academic with a background in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, I take for granted that the world’s 5th most populous country, with upwards of 195 million people, and a rich cultural heritage, deserves its spot on your roster. How can WPFW management simply dismiss Brazilian music? Its unique contributions to jazz and world beat have made it the “lingua franca” tying Brazil to Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Africa. This music is universally performed and admired. Do you really think you can simply make it disappear without many of us in the community taking notice?

    Please abandon this ill-considered course of action, and return Brazilian music programming to the air. To do otherwise is unwise and unacceptable.

    / s /
    D. Cassandra Fletcher, Ph.D.

  17. Help! I misplaced my ballot weeks ago, not realizing that this election would be so important. Does anyone know how can I can get a ballot in time to have it count?


    • If you made a donation to the station of $25 or more between September 13, 2011 and September 13, 2012; or volunteered three [3] hours or more during this time period, you are eligible to vote in the 2012 WPFW Local Station Board Election.

      If you meet this membership requirement and have not received your ballot, please call the Election Help Desk toll free at 1-866-720-4357 to request a replacement ballot – TODAY!

      As soon as you receive your ballot, please review all of the candidate information, make your selections, and promptly mail your ballot back in the envelope provided, to ensure that we reach our Quorum requirement.

  18. E-mail of SAT 12-01-2012, 1:25 pm

    Dear Mr. Hughes,

    I don’t sit on the Board of Directors, and I don’t get to many of your special events. I am, however, a member of the WPFW – 89.3 FM family and, as such, am a financial contributor, and an attentive listener to your programs.

    I was therefore alarmed and disheartened to hear Chris DeProperty’s farewell to her listeners on her program this morning. In utter disbelief, I immediately called the station to see if I had heard correctly. Upon having had this fact verified, I determined to write to you in order to ask for:

    1. the reason for this decision,
    2. the reversal of this decision, and
    3. the reinstatement of Chris DeProperty and “The Bama Hour” to your schedule.

    For Pete’s sake, it was only one hour of the blues. More importantly, it was one, power-packed hour of the best blues programming ever! Chris’s flavor is unlike your weekday blues show, or your southern blues show. She has consistently played quality old school and new school blues music, and has kept listeners up-to-date on blues performances in the Washington metropolitan area.

    Nowhere else, but on “The Bama Hour,” have blues fans been able to hear John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and Bessie Smith, alongside of Ruth Brown, Keb Mo, Koko Taylor, and Bonnie Raitt. She also proved capable of seamlessly stepping into The Gator’s shoes, and helped keep his program alive, after he took ill.

    The depth of Chris DeProperty’s knowledge, the breadth of her music collection, and her obvious love for the artists, the fans, and yes, the station, should not be punished but rewarded. Additionally, given the general absence of the blues on mainstream radio, and the paucity of the blues on WPFW, instead of eliminating this program, consider giving Chris another hour. We need more, not less, of this unique branch of American roots music. After all, don’t the blues underlie and inform jazz and the struggle for justice?

    Please reconsider this decision. I believe it is unfair, shortsighted, and wrongheaded. What are you thinking over there in management at WPFW? Please let me know.

    / s /
    D. Cassandra Fletcher, Ph.D.

  19. WPFW community listeners/supporters/programmers meetings tomorrow are as follows:

    9 AM – 11 AM – Bus Boys and Poets located at 5 & K St., N. E.
    Washington D. C.

    6 PM – 8 PM and beyond if necessary – Plymouth Congregational Church located at North
    Capitol & Riggs Road, N. E.

    If you have a grievance or something to say about how the destructive changes made by WPFW General Manager John Hughes to the WPFW on air program schedule. These changes if they are allowed to forward will alienate the majority of decicated WPFW listeners and supporters. Remember, WPFW is the very last listener supported community radio station in America of its magnitude. The apparent aim of John Hughes is to put WPFW into a commericail mode of operation. Pre-recorded music programs, pre-recorded talk shows and content that is not conducive to the needs of WE THE PEOPLE. A large group of the most appreciated and beloved broadcasters are being fired after many years of service to the community. Don’t allow this to happen to “YOUR RADIO STATION” – WPFW 89.3 FM. Please come out and stand with us and let your voices be heard tomorrow evening at 6 PM at Plymouth Congregational Church. Thank you to the visionary world community activists Rev. Graylon Hagler.

  20. I’ve broadcasted on WPFW for 12 years. “American Indians’ Truths – The Nightwolf Show – The Most Dangerous and Enlightening Show on Radio.”

    Brief history if you may:

    We started on Sunday nights from 8 – 9 PM. The 12 years have been more turmoil than peace when engaging management. A few year ago Interim Program Director Bobby Hill came to me with an Arbitron rating in hand. In that time lot we had more listeners than any other program on WPFW at that time. The following week Hill informed me that he was moving The Nightwolf Show to Friday evenings from 7 – 8PM. I protested to no avail. He had no explantion.

    From that first Friday broadcast The Nightwolf became an instant success. Maybe it was his intention to kill my show. I did not work. Shortly after that I filed a Civil Rights complaint with Pacifica against Hill. To no avail. GM manager Ron Pinchback stuck it in his desk drawer and did not move on it. A few weeks later Pinchback and I engaged in another conversation where he told me that “I can get me another Indian.” Shortly after that Pinchback was fired for a lack of competnce.

    Almost two years ago, present GM John Hughes was brought in to manage WPFW. That has been on disaster after another. Very recently Hughes has made drastic changes to the programming grid which included the firing of many of the most popular shows on WPFW. These are the shows that has raised large amounts of money for WPFW with talk and music hosts that have been with WPFW for many years. Some started with the station 33 years ago with the founding of WPFW.

    The Nightwolf Show is the only voice for “Indian Country” with many many accolades and awards, local, national and internation. 2011 The Nightwolf Show was selected as the most popular indigenous broadcast in the Western Hemisphere. The Maryland Governors Volunteer Service Award just to mention a couple of these awards.

    I was informed 4 days ago that The Nightwolf Show was being moved again to Friday afternoons from 1 – 2 PM. It is my opinion that this move has a two part meaning.

    1. Reprisal coming from Bobby Hill for the discrimination complaint lodged against him that never reached Pacifica at the hands of former GM Ron Pinchback.

    2. Reprisal coming from present GM John Hughes because I dared to take issues on a number of concerns in a programmers meeting that took place a little over 1 year ago.

    This is step that has been impletemented by GM Hughes and IPD Hill to set The Nightwolf Show up for failure.

    There are (3) important meetings that the listening public and financial supporters are encourage to attend and voice your disdain, disagreement and unsettling effects for the removal and changed time slots of many the most vital and important shows on WPFW paid for by its listeners and supporters.

    a. 9 – 11 AM – Bus Boys and Poets Restuarant located on K St., N. W.
    b. 11 AM – 1 PM at WPFW located at 2390 Champlain St., N. W. 2nd FLoor in the
    City Paper Building. (Adams Morgan)
    c. 6 – 8 PM – Listeners and Supporter meeting hosted by Jay Winter Nightwolf at Plymouth
    Church of Christ at the corner of North Capitol and Missouri Ave, N. W. See you there.

    • Sir! You have time and location but no dates indicated for the important meetings you have advised. I don’t want to leave anything to chance, respectfully, please advise the day as well as the date so that it is clear to me. Thank you in advance.

  21. the letter i just sent to radio pacifica:


    i *used to be* a long time financial supporter of wpfw. several years ago, programming started taking a dive – w/the moving of african, latin, caribbean music from prime time slots to obscure hours.

    the final straw for me was playing rap/hip-hop in prime time hours. while i understand the desire to appeal to a younger audience, that type of “music” would be a prime candidate for the more obscure hours, imo, as the folks listening to this would be more likely to be up in the middle of the night. so, i stopped donating money to wpfw, and while i still listen, i don’t listen nearly as much. and, while i appreciate progressive news and current events, i can only take so much; i want my music! and, while i also understand the need for fund raising, there has to be other ways to do it, besides having on-air fund raisers what seems like every two weeks.

    now, in the past day or so, there has been a complete upending of the station’s programming. and from what i have read on the wpfw website, it does not bode well for music; w/more news/talk shows being mentioned as being added to the program.

    but, most important, regardless of what the programming changes are, the way the changes were made are totally outrageous – programmers not being informed until the day of their last show, or even *after* their last show?!?

    you guys are really killing this station – and especially, w/this john hughes freak – what’s up w/that? why is he still around? over 80% of the programmers asked you to make him gone OVER A YEAR AGO!!! he’s worse than worthless – if he were only worthless, he wouldn’t be so actively damaging to the station. what happened to fund-raising outside of on-air fund drives? there used to be only 2 on-air fund drives per year, then it went to 3; now it’s even more than that!?! i simply don’t turn my radio on to wpfw now, for weeks at a time.

    i am hoping that changes will be made to (mis)management, and to programming that will encourage me to once again be a financial contributor to pacifica and the station of wpfw.


    doug s.

  22. I share your concerns. I would like for anyone who has an answer to please tell me 1) where I can obtain a copy of the station’s by-laws; 2) where I can obtain public information on the current general manager, how he was chosen, and to whom he reports; 3) whether there are any publicly led meetings about this problem?

    I heard Katea crying too, and so was I. We cannot afford to just vent and feel bad. Please share any information about already scheduled meetings if any, so that if there are none we can plan plan the same.

  23. I have been a long-time supporter and am a sustaining member. Besides the despotic actions of the manager, I am interested in the succinct details of what the programmers’ issues are–a simple list would be appreciated. I woke to Katea’s crying yesterday morning and was upset and angry. And I simply can not get along without Tom Porter’s informative show. Shall I withdraw my monetary support? What’s the best thing to do if you are physically unable to be an active volunteer or “occupy” the station? Does the reporter who was dismissed by Askia Muhammad have anything to do with this situation? I did read his explanation and want to know how this fits in the picture. Who would be the manager that fits with the vision, goals and objectives of the station — in the opinion of the majority of programmers. I hope that this is not an attack on diversity at WPFW.

  24. Yes, this is all very distressing, but not insurmountable. I worked at CCHD when the ACORN crisis hit the fan. This right-wing attack shakes up organizations, but we recovered. We de-funded some great ACORN sponsored projects, were able to preserve other anti-poverty projects, and put safeguards in place to continue the mission (i.e., to fund community organizing and economic development approaches to combat poverty). Sustaining the mission was critical then and now!

    We can and MUST organize our resources to save WPFW, OUR jazz & justice community radio. Attending the next LSB meeting is one step. Securing a temporary home is another. Figuring out our assets is important. So is developing a plan. But, mostly we need to act on what WPFW has taught us over the years. Together each of us can do something to help. Occupy!

    • I concur…for the record, I plan on making my voice heard in writing and in person. As posted under the LSB topic, “…I have not been wounded, I have been slain.” However, this is only the beginning…“we the people” and “I, a Man who stands on Principal, will not FALL at anything or this crisis.” I will be about “action” to be heard and to affect change for “We, the people” as well as for myself.

  25. I understand the need for executive decisions, but secrecy? No. I too want to know where is the money going and relocation shld be priority. It doesn’t seem to be. I have ideas about rotating shows, but to tell programmers the day of that it’ll be their last show, w/o sufficient reason is unacceptable. Further, why is Bobby Hill interim Program Director. He was interim, then Wiley replaced him, now it’s Bobby’s turn. Finally, this nonsense cycle every 5 yrs or so. What will it take for stability –a bd comprised of Kateas, Toms, Vernas, Askias, an opening up to new faces/voices, & ppl who sincerely love & commit to this station. I say, break from Pacifica, whom I’m told is behind these massive, over-night changes; it’s importing West Coast programs to replace some of ours. I have ideas on that too, which I want to share if approved for the Community Advis. Bd.

  26. I still don’t understand why Katea’s last show was this morning. I’ve read all the info on your site, but it doesn’t explain that. Was she fired by John Hughes? Is she quitting in protest? Please let us know so we can better direct our support.

  27. Greetings.
    1) May we have a list of programmers who did not sign the letter of no confidence (in case I miss someone by using the out-dated show schedule)?
    2) Rather than start my own supporters’ petition to present to Pacifica, can we get a sign-on campaign going via this site? (Otherwise, I will start one, but it will not possibly be as far-reaching.)
    3) May we have a posting of where to find our displaced programmers, etc.?
    **Thank you so much for all of your energy & devotion. May you receive so much more light & love & sustenance. “The struggle continues.” Peace & blessings this solstice & always.

  28. It’s been an emotional past 2 days. Why are we just now hearing about this when it is seemingly too late to do anything about it?

  29. I don’t know what is going on but when several LONGTIME personalities are on the air crying or on the verge of tears because they are just finding out before their show that it’s their last then something is WRONG!

  30. Why are all the really good hosts leaving? First Tom Porter and now Katea Stitt.

    I agree with the person who said something has to really change. I vote for KATEA & TOM, NOT this guy john hughes.



  31. Don’t let this happen to the ONLY decent radio in DC. We don’t need another station with canned music, commercials, and bad personalitiesl.

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