LETTERS

Please post COPIES of all email sent to Summer Reese (summer@pacifica.org), John Hughes, Bobby Hill, the LSB etc. Speak truth to power and let everyone know it! IMPORTANT, IF YOU HAD TROUBLE SENDING TO SUMMER, CHECK THAT YOU WROTE THE EMAIL CORRECTLY. WE HAD A TYPO IN THE ADDRESS ON THE HOME PAGE THAT IS NOW FIXED.  EVERYONE, IT DOESN’T HURT TO RE-SEND, ESPECIALLY IF YOU CHECK YOUR SENT FILE AND SEE THE TYPO. ALSO COPY TO PNB@Pacifica.org

TO RESPOND TO A PARTICULAR POST, CLICK ON “REPLY”  AT THE LOWER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THAT POST. TO MAKE A NEW POST, SCROLL TO THE VERY BOTTOM AND WRITE/PASTE IN THE BOX THAT SAYS “LEAVE A REPLY.”

108 comments on “LETTERS

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    • What I want to know is why do you give phone numbers to people to call and then when you call the numbers the get rude? I am talking about a number that I got on lone 301 6814327. I called this bumber she got mad! So why have phone numbers with people who have no info DO NOT CALL THIS NUMBER A RUDE :ADY WITH NO INFORMATION WILL YELL YOU TO HO TO THIS SITE! I GOT HER NIMBER FTOM A DAILY E_MAIL CALLED BALTIMORE ACTIVIST UPDATE

  4. E-mail to Summer Reese, MON 2-18-2013, 2:33 a.m.
    cc: PNB@Pacifica.org

    Ms. Summer Reese
    Interim Executive Director
    The Pacifica Foundation

    Dear Ms. Reese:

    Yesterday I pledged Thirty-five Dollars ($35.00) to WPFW, albeit under protest, to help kick start the winter fundraising campaign. I did so after noting that several of my favorite music programs were restored to their original time slots.

    This was very good news, indeed.

    There are still, however, a couple of glaring omissions on the station’s week-end roster. I await the return of “The ‘Bama Hour,” featuring Chris DeProperty. Given the fine track record of WPFW in celebrating this uniquely American music, and given the paucity of the same on our public airwaves in general, why can’t the station restore this show? With an experienced, subject-matter expert like Chris available as a resource, what exactly is the problem? I suggest you assign her a new, two-hour time slot, and let her offer us, once again, her rich buffet of traditional and new blues music. A decision to do so, along with restoring the Brazilian music programming, would make this supporter deliriously happy.

    What say you?

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

  5. Many of you probably listened this morning (Friday, February 15) to our newly-elected LSB chair Yves Point-du-Jour host the Friday morning LSB program. The moment the program began at 9:00 and I heard Yves’ wonderful voice come up, I cheered out loud. In the ongoing struggle to save our station, this morning’s program and the open and forthright manner with which Yves conducted the program by opening the airwaves to WPFW listeners to discuss and comment about the situation and crisis at the station, the upcoming fund drive, the struggle vs. John Hughes, etc., and the relocation was both historic and rfefreshing. The response by listeners was very heartening and there was unanimous support for Yves, for the fund drive, and for keeping our station on the air.

    For the first time, the WPFW listeners at-large were informed about the backroom move by General Manager John Hughes and the Pacifica National Board to sign a deal with Clear Channel Broadcasting to move from Washington, DC to a building in Silver Spring, MD owned by Clear Channel. Starr Bowie, I, and several other listeners called in and spoke about what Clear Channel is and why the proposed move to a Clear Channel-owned property is a totally wrongheaded and dangerous program for our station, given the explicitly right-wing and devouring mode of Clear Channel Broadcasting since its founding in 1972 and was long close to the family of George H.W. Bush and Geroge W. Bush. Just recently in November 2012, Clear Channel was purchased for $26.7 billion by Mitt Romney’s infamous Bain Capital financial empire.

    As I stated on the air and as those of you who attended the February 13 LSB meeting will know, I authored and distributed a brief four-page analysis of the history, nature and practices of Clear Channel Broadcasting entitled “Should Jazz and Justice WPFW move under Clear Channel Broadcasting’s roof?”. Its lineup of controversial talk show hosts includes Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, George Noory, Michael Savage, and Donald Trump.

    Clear Channel Broadcasting owns over 900 radio stations and 37 television stations nationwide, as well as ownership and/or syndication of hundreds of radio stations in dozens of countries around the entire globe. With profits as of November 2012 in the billions of dollars. In addition to its vast radio and television interests, Clear Channel also owns extremely lucrative operations in theater ticket sales, billboards (over 775,000 nationwide), marketing of over 500 professional football players, and much more.

    For anyone wishing to read this brief study, I will be happy to share it with you. Just send me an e-mail at: louw7@ive.com with the subject line “Clear Channel” and I will send it to you individually. Further, if Concerned Members and Supporters of WPFW wishes to post this study on this website in full text, I will be glad to provide it. To contact me by phone, call 202-362-1718.

    • Hi Lou I think your email is @live louw7@live.com

      I had no idea until this morning that the monster Clear Channel was this close to taking over WPFW and that Pacifica and John Hughes and their supporters are behind it. How can anyone support John Hughes now. We thought it might be so. I’m still shocked. Clear Channel is the biggest destroyer of creativity and independent thought. The Koch Brothers of media. I now understand that I will have to pledge again. How can we get rid of Hughes. I hate giving money while he is selling WPFW out. But we must not let Clear Channel take over.

      Starr mentioned a website about survival radio but I can’t find it. I hope she will post here. People have been fighting Clear Channel for years. We MUST do it now. John Hughes and Pacifica deserve no respect.

      • Nan – It is even worse than what I laid out in my earlier posting. I am continually shocked and disturbed by the secrecy and evasion that are the new and worsening hallmark of John Hughes’ style of operation at the station and his open hostility to any normal way of dealing with the hardworking and underpaid staff of the station – who indeed are the hereos and sheros who actually keep the station on the air day in and day out.

        If you would like to receive the full text of the piece I wrote about Clear Channel Broadcasting, Inc. and the ominous threat it represents to our station, lease drop me a line at my e-mail (louw7@live.com) and I will be glad to send it to you. Or also you can call me at 202-362-1718.

        – Louis Wolf

    • Hi Lou, thanks for sending me the research. I wish you would post some selected paragraphs on here. I don’t know if people understand how serious this is. You could put some paragraphs on other feeds too. Clear Channel is circling the wagons around WPFW. Now I understand why the “rental” people said we would have to keep John Hughes as GM in order to rent there. Another dirty trick of Clear Channel and unheard of. If we did rent from them, they should have no say in the business of WPFW. But that is NOT their plan.

      I’m waiting for the programmer that takes this issue face on. I would prefer to make a good donation at that time.

      I suggest that people write to Lou louw7@live.com and ask for his research paper. It is about 10 pages long. We now know who is controlling Hughes. But Clear Channel is concerned because they are becoming known and people are saying no to them. The speed with which they are taking over radio and media has slowed. We must stop them from adding our station to their riches or from blocking the truth in Washington, D.C.

    • Following up on my message posted here on February 15 at 12:30 p.m., please allow me to inform readers that I now have completed (a) an updated and footnoted version of my original historical piece about Clear Channel and (b) a somewhat briefer “bulletized” version of the above piece about the history and practices of Clear Channel Broadcasting. The latter is tailored for those who may not have time or interest to read the longer version.

      So, if any readers would like to receive either or both of these via e-mail or postal mail, please feel free to contact me via louw7@live.com or 202-362-1718.

      – Louis Wolf

  6. Well eight days after Roe V Wade day community comment did a sterling interview with Sunsarah Taylor ,Abortion Rights Activist and RCP supporter. Thanks. Only nexy year and next month we need recorded carts about supporting abortion rights. Pcaifica Needs an official statement saying they support abortion rights as a network.

  7. Well after a long fight on this site and on others WPFW and Democracy Now! did shows about Roe V Wade day. They were not as much as the stuff around the elections or MLK day. This shows that some peopl just don’t see the link between abortion rights and human rights. I will continue to push for this in March or INTERNATIONAL women’s herstory month. So for a while you won’t have my typo/missspelled post! But don’t worry there’s more from me soon! YOUR SILENCE HAS NOT MADE ME SHUT UP!

  8. I have received no response to my emails to John Hughes, Summer Reese, Pacifica Board or my voicemail to Summer Reese. Has anyone had any direct responses from any of them? I plan to discontinue my monthly pledge as of next month if I don’t hear from one of them with a plan to put the people back in charge of WPFW.

  9. Well the Prez haz beensworn in amid a swirl of putrid nationalism and nationalistic chauvinism. It was like a rainbow Nuremburg rally. And Democracy Now! Pacifica and WPFW are gulping the Democratic Party Kool-Ade by the bucket full. No word about Roe V Wade! No word about the DemocRATic party’s wars at home and abroad. And no words here only silence! WAKE UP PEOPLE ans smell the fascism!

    • Well no one has the humanity to stand up for the reproductive rights of women. Let’s see what happens on the 22nd when you are quiet and the Christian Nazis march on DC

    • It’s JAN.22nd NOTHING HAS BEEN SAID ON WPFW OR ANY OTHER PACIFICA STATIONS ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT THIS DAY IS! DEMOCRACY NOW IS SILENT! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! SPEAK UP! ABORTION RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!

      • LOOK IF NO ON SPEAKS UP I AM GOING TO ASSUME EVERY ONE IS ANTI-CHOICE! AND THAT WOULD BE SICK! SPEAK UP PEOPLE! THE HOUR’S GETTING LATE! DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE MISCARRAGE POLICE ARE KNOCKING ON YOUR DOORS!

  10. Well it’s been a whole day and there hasn’t been a serious statement about any of mine! What is it people? Are abortion rights so odd you are scared? There are no “outside” issues in the struggle for justice! SPEAK UP. This DOES CONCERN STATION POLICY! WPFW says it speaks for 100% of the 99%. Women’s abortion rights are part of the rights of the 99%. I’m loging off for the weekend! I hoe someone with a sence of REAL justice speaks up! Remember the Nazis investigated every case of an aryan mother with a miscarage while the sent the Jews to the death camps! SPEAK UP!

  11. Four days to the 22nd and no one says anything serious about Roe V Wade day! Democracy Now does a five hour infomercial about that politician being inaugrated! They do five minutes about Roe V Wade! Only Katia Stitt said anything about this lack of coverage! Kudos to Kita! Shame shame shame to WPFW and all of you who are silent!

  12. E-mail of WED 1-16-2013 to Summer Reese w/copy to John Hughes

    Dear Ms. Reese,

    I no longer expect to receive a personal reply to my e-correspondence to you about WPFW-89.3 FM, based on your considerable involvement there as the Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation. I trust you continue to monitor events, take listener views into account, and develop plans and measures which will put an end to the present turmoil at the station.

    In the meantime, I am writing to raise, once more, a topic I previously brought to your attention. Please restore Chris DeProperty’s “The ‘Bama Hour” — with its superb blues programming, latest blues news, and featuring of the music of local artists to the air.

    Yesterday at 12 noon, I felt lucky and privileged to have experienced Chris’s talents once more, when she substituted on “Don’t Forget About the Blues.” Her ability to celebrate, present to others, and make us love the great legacy of American blues warrants a second look and listen by you and the present managers of the station.

    I ask you to please bring back “The ‘Bama Hour” and, if you can, give Chris DeProperty the opportunity to make it bigger, bolder, and badder than ever! I, along with many other listeners, will be waiting.

    With best wishes for a better new year for WPFW-89.3 FM, I am,

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

  13. With less than 7 days to Jan 22nd WPFW/Pacifica/and Democracy Now! are not speaking out in favor of abortion rights! Listen you can not break all the chains of oppression but one! The attack against abortion rights is an attack against all women! It’s complex. You oppose U $ imperialism in the Mid-East and you oppose the Islamists who beleave in honor killing and burka wearing. When a Black church is fire bomed you stand against the Klan. When that Black preacher takes a stand against Gay Marrage by quoting the Bible -you stand against that reaction quoting the section of the Bible that talks about the children of Ham. When a Jewish temple has a swastica spray painted on it you take a stand against Nazis. When the Rabbi makes slanderous statements against Palestenians you take a stand against Zionism. When who ever takes a stand against abortion rights does so you stand against them- no matter what the do in other parts of their lives. Didn’t Martin Luther King take a stand against the Vietnam War when all the other Black preachers were silent? So speak out now! Abortion rights are human rights!

    • Alan,
      This site was intended to address the management crises. Why try and side track with these other issues. This is not the forum. If PFW isn’t meeting your expectations, then change the dial.

      • This is a management crisis! Managment is not doing something! This is not a side track! This is right on the road! I think you don’t like what I say and you are not addressing my points. Get serious! WPFW is supposed to be speaking truth to power! I have a right to speak up! Enough of that love it or leave it hogwash! That’s what rightwingers say when we stand against the war! Don’t like it TOUGH TOE NAILS!

      • When the issues are jazz and justice there are no “side issues” Take your love or leave it attitude and stick it where the sun don’t shine!

  14. NAN
    You are wrong! Abortion rights are human rights! The powers that be ARE trying every day to restrict this right! Do you support Gay Rights? Do you support Civil Rights? Are you against explotation in all forms? Then you should be PRO-ABORTION! IT’s that simple! WPFW/Pacifica and Democracy Now! were founded on the idea of human rights. You don’t have to be pro-abortion to support a WOMAN’S right to SAFE LEGAL and A NO HASSLE ABORTION! TO EVEN QUESTION WHY WPFW/PACIFICA/AND DEMOCRACY NOW are NOT PRO-ABORTION is giving in to the right wing!

    • There is a large segment of the listenership that believes sincerely in human rights, justice, environmentalism and ecology, conscientious lifestyle and also is anti-abortion. By the way, filling a comment with capital letters looks like a bunch of shouting and ranting.

      • There is a large segment of the listenership that is wrong if they are pro justice and anti-abortion! Judge not by my typing but by what I say! There is nothing wrong with using capital letters to make a point. Anyone that can equate a fetus that can not live outside a woman witha person is wrong! It’s just that simple! If the problem with an unwanted pregnancy is caught in time a fetus is smaller than this……

  15. About Nan’s letter of the 16th – – –

    We call ourselves “progressives.” Some of us even have the impudence, the sheer effrontery, to claim the mantles of “peacebuilder” and “nonviolent,” as well.

    I suppose it has to do with how much violence and suffering we are willing to impose on others; what price we’re willing to see others pay for what we want; how serious we are about bringing compassion and justice into the world, and not just retribution and reprisal.

    Is this not what we are about?

    Charles Stevenson
    Editor, Geotrees.Com

  16. Copy of E-mail sent to Summer, PNB & WPFW SB

    Suggestions for Program Change:
    my suggestions are base on these two premises –
    1- Music smooths the restless soul and helps keep it calm while driving in rush hour traffic.
    2- Archival Information and news of the world excites and distracts us as we drive, taking us away from being alert to traffic conditions and what we are doing.

    I would suggest that drive time music replace archival information and that such information be used by programmers to enhance the topics they choose for their shows. Most programmers select themes for their shows and can easily accommodate relevant historical or topic segments to educate or stimulate the listener That way the information is in context with planed themes rather than coming as a surprise to the listener. Archival material can be best assimilated in the evenings when the subconscious is more receptive to programming and the body is less active.
    Having jazz available in the late evenings and early mornings is no help to listeners who need their sleep and can best enjoy their music live during those hours at the many venues here in DC.
    WPFW was created to educate and share this American Classical Music with the world and unlike other Pacifica stations cannot be expected to raise sustainable funding from a nation that not only has low priority for art but is also resistant to black music until it bridges the cross-over barrier.

  17. Why is it that on the 40th Anaversery of Roe V Wade there is no coments by WPFW. Lasat year they had special carts for M L K day and Labor day and verey wishy washy carts for International Womens Day and May Day (Yes they were wishy washy “socialists” didn’t create these hollidays COMMUNISTS! did so give them respect don’t pinken up these grest days!)

    • At this time I would like to clear my good name. It seems that Joanie Eisenberg and a woman who calls herself “Dr” Sunnyatta Amen have claimed I hounded “Dr” Amen off the airwaves of WPFW. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I did was raise questions as to the logic of “Dr”Amen’s theorys and to ask a simple question. What school did “Dr”Amen graduate from? Yes where did “Dr” Amen go to school to become a Doctor? I also had the nerve to call the guests this “Dr” had on her show. These were public phone numbers that were for people to call. So how is that hounding people?
      I have done this with all the medical shows and all but Dr Null have found no problem in answering this question. Dr Watkins the EX-SURGON was bothered. Why? Joannie Eisenberg said she didin’t care where “Dr” Amen Graduated from! (The Manchurian Candidate syndrone. “The kindest most gentelist person I have ever known”) I raised questions about Brother Bey’s medical knowledge. He said consuming oilve oil was the same as consuming fuel oil. I raised questions about the medical advice he was getting and giving out. His friends felt this was a personal attack. All I wanted was facts.
      When I questioned some of “Dr” Amens guests I was slandered. One guest said he could “Reverse the polarity of molicules” to make medcines stronger. When I asked his receptionist for proof that he was a medical doctor she said he was not. Upon further questioning she told me to get off the phone or she would “pimp slap” me Another one of “Dr” Amens guests said you could live on a 500 callorie a day diet!
      When I simply asked for disclaimers at the biginning middle and end of each medical show this request was ignored.
      When I suggested that Dr. Nulls food thank you gifts come with a waver that people must sign to make sure the station wasn’t held liable foor wrong doing, some one said that no one ever had any problem. Just because no one has had a problem doesn’t mean no one will! WPFW is a radio station not a health foo9d store!
      And lastly WPFW is comercial free. Why did Brother Bey promote the wares at the Blue Nile on his show. The owner of the Blue Nile is the husband of “Dr” Amen. Why is it that Dr Watkins Dr. Null and “Dr” Amen used a lot of their shows for info-mercials?
      FOR ASKING THESE AND OTHER QUESTIONS I WAS BANNED FROM WPFW

    • With a week or so to go before Roe V Wade day W P F W is quiet. Sure it’s the same week as M L K day and some politicans big infomercial day. M L K died so that we could live his struggle against injustice in all forms. Thousands of women, doctors and other abortion died either directly or indrectly so that wome could have abortion rights! Why is WPFW so damned quiet? Where are the carts saying how the right to abortion saved women’s lives? Where are the carts! There ought to be carts! Start playing these carts! Women aren’t Incubators! Fetuses aren’t children! Abortion is not murder! WPFW IS BEING TOO QUIET ABORTION PROVIDERS ARE PART OF THE 99%

      • What’s up with WPFW and Democracy NOW? Seven days and counting and nothing to mark the anniversary of Roe V Wade ? What is this silence? Martin Lither King fought against injustice. When you take away abortion rights THIS is injustice! Abortion providers are part of the 99%. Abortion rights are human rights! WHY IS EVERYBODY SO QUIET? ARE WE GOING TO LET THOSE REACTIONARIES SCARE US? SPEAK UP! DEMAND WPFW TAKE AN PRO-ABORTION STAND! FETUSES ARE NOT CHILDREN! WOMEN ARE NOT INCUBATORS! ABORTION IS NOT MURDER!
        I don’t give a hoot about what the Bible or the Koran say! That’s just myth! LIfe does not start with sex! SPEAK UP PRO-ABORTION/PRO CHOICE PEOPLE! NOW IS THE TIME! DON’T BE A SLAVE TO THE BIBLE OR THE KORAN

      • I sure hope WPFW and/or Democracy Now don’t get into abortion rights. It is like religion and would be a ridiculous waste of energy. The powers that be are not going to end the right. It is used to gavalnize their base and raise a lot of money. If they suddenly didn’t have that “issue” they would have to come up with a real platform, which they don’t have. To me it is a privacy issue. If that fight started on WPFW I would just change the channel.

      • WHAT’S UP LISTENERS? WHY IS NO ONE SPEAKING UP FOR THE SILENCE ABOUT THE SILENCE OF WPFW AND DEMOCRACY NOW! AROUND THE CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF LEGAL ABORTION RIGHTS? COME ON! SPEAKE UP! ABORTION RIGHTS ARE CIVIL RIGHTS! SPEAK UP DEMAND WPFW AND DEMOCRACY NOW DO SPECIALS AROUND ROE V WADE! DEMAND SPECIAL CARTS AROUND HOW GOOD ABORTION IS FOR ALL WOMEN! ABORTION PROVIDERS ARE PART OF THE 99% I HAVE SAID THINGS IN OTHER POSTS THAT DISSED ORTHADOX RELLIGION! WHY? THESE “GREAT FAITHS” ARE ANTI SCIENTIFIC AND ANTI-ABORTION! I WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE THESE POSTS UNTIL OTHER PEOPLE STAND UP AND DEFEND THIS POSITION! FETUSES ARE NOT CHILDREN! WOMEN ARE NOT INCUBATORS! ABORTION IS NOT MURDER! NOT THE CHURCH OR THE TEMPLE OR THE MOSQUE OR THE STATE! WOMEN WILL DECIDE THEIR FATE!

    • Hello, Alan –

      Perhaps one of the reasons that the station doesn’t comment more on Roe v. Wade is simply that there is no real consensus amongst progressives on one side of the lfe vs. choice issue, or another. I know of individual WPFW people on this side or that, but no official party line. Which is all to the good, since it creates a space for continuing examination of the issues.

      One thing the station could do is to foster a civil, respectful dialogue amongst the various sides, so that we can establish some common ground for resolving the very difficult questions involving human life and freedom in all of its manifestations. (Of course, the station could begin by restoring civility and rational discourse AMONGST ITS OWN PEOPLE… ^_^ )

      We need to acknowledge that not all progressives are pro-“choice,” and that some pro-life people have more than a fifth grade education. . . If we can move towards honest, dispassionate and civil examination of the issues, the station will be doing well.

      Would that help?

      In peace,
      Charles Stevenson

      • HOGWASH Abortion Rights are human rights no if’s ands or but’s! Some people who call themselves anti-abortion are also anti women! It’s that simple! There is no respectful debate around Gay Marrage! It’s a himan right it’s just that simple! WPFW PACIFICA and DEMOCRACY NOW! need to be pro -Abortion! Anything else is giving in to the right wing! OUTLAWING ABORTION WAS AND IS A NAZI THING! NO RESPECTFULL CONVERSATIONS WITH FASCISTS OR THER PHONY ALLIES WHO CALL THEMSELVES PROGRESSIVES!!
        NEXT!

  18. Hello John,

    I wanted to give you my viewpoint, for what it’s worth, on the tinderbox at WPFW. I knew your job was going to be a challenge but I had high expectations of improvements other than what has transpired.

    The grid change and everything else that’s going on with management, should never have been done by 1 person, at a community sponsored station.

    The LSB’s failure to evaluate your performance and take steps to act on the results, empowered and helped pave the way to this incident.

    What’s also remarkable is that after this disruption all you could offer were apologies and statistics. If it were me, I’d make some restorations and resign before I was fired.

    I’d like to comment on some statements in the City Paper article:

    1. The comment about “all the markings of an agent provocateur to destabilize the station…” is so profound, possibly because of our “overlords” in Berkley, but more likely because I’ve always believed that this little 50K watt station blows a loud whistle! Of course wrongdoers never want to be discovered. So in their agenda, to dumb down society it would be logical to shut down PFW (and pacifica as a whole) in it’s current form. I’m observing it unfold in the form of people being in positions where they can cause confusion and disfunction.
    But, with no qualifications or vetting required to run for the LSB, along with low membership involvement, you get a mash-up of people with different backgrounds and unknown agenda’s. (Looks a little like the U.S. political landscape). Changes needed!

    2. The “a lot of programming…falls somewhere between charmingly scrappy and borderline-unprofessional” comment is one way of looking at a style which makes the station separate and apart from it’s commercialized neighbors on the dial. It’s real work by real people! It’s not a place where you have to wear a voice and a personality that isn’t genuine. The professionalism comes with training, which hasn’t been forthcoming.

    3. “Everyone agrees that PFW has to change.” This exclamation needs to be specific before implementing anything. Why the program evaluation process hasn’t been implemented is a mystery to me.

    4. “Hugh’s…solution is running a station…more like a business-which means…crafting a less jarring programming schedule that he hopes will bring a bigger audience and fill the station’s coffers with more donations”.
    I disagree that a patchwork of programming doesn’t work. For the 23+ years I’ve listened to PFW, the “patchwork” programming is what kept the station from being dull and easy to anticipate. Many PFW listeners, like myself, view the world with a wide lens. We hunger for this multiplicity of information! So, it’s not problematic to go, for example, from Jazz to Democracy Now’s world news to local issues to environmental to human rights to African issues to blues to Pan African issues and history to Jazz to Health back to Jazz back to world news for those who missed it earlier, to local issues then to Jazz, Soul or World music.
    It’s the injections of music that prevent information overload. The music and lyrics remind us that we’re still human and spiritual beings who’s experiences in this short life, are told by the music.

    5. I do concur with the need to operate using sound business principles. So, let’s start marketing to the next generation of listeners, newcomers to the area and to people whom we’ve missed contacting for the last 35 years. While also partnering with organizations and writing grants for fund raising, reinvesting in operations, reducing expenses and fully utilizing the talents of paid and unpaid staff.

    6. The statement about wanting to attract a younger audience and changing demographic.

    With this influx of new residents to the area, some who’ve never personally had contact with people who don’t look like them, others who’ve never heard a dialogue that wasn’t from a mainstream source, the station has an opportunity to build cultural bridges by continuing to report on local, historical and political affairs as well as offer a variety of music which they hadn’t been exposed to before.

    Daring to be different by blowing the whistles that are ignored by others. This is crucial during this time in world history, when democracy and human rights are being commoditized. People are looking for the truth, instead of the same ole stuff! In the final analysis we learn that despite physical differences, we have more in common than not.

    Sincerely,
    Tony Leon
    Volunteer/Member/Supporter of Jazz & Justice

  19. [Sent 26-DEC-12 @ approx 1045 hrs w/ cc: to Jordan, Reese, Hughes]

    Greetings Mr. Bernard! Even though the internet challenges persist, I just wanted to let you know that I heard you and your Auntie on the broadcast yesterday from Torrie’s @ Wilson’s Restaurant as I was driving in that area. My point in sharing this is that one of my passengers is from Trinidad and his Auntie also lives in Toronto. As we drove down 9th Street to reach Florida Avenue, he commented positively on Roach Brown’s event and that it is the difference that is needed in our community. It sparked further conversation with my other passengers, also from the Caribbean (one of whom is from Haiti), about having a radio station that was grassroots-oriented and reached out to the Caribbean community. I did not have the heart to advise of the current challenges at WPFW re: the Haitian and Brasilian communities. I thought it best that they find out on their own.

    /s/

    K R Taylor, Jr.
    Active Listener and Financial Supporter in 2012

  20. Dear Mr. Hughes:

    I am writing to express my extreme distress over the recent programming changes. I am most deeply disturbed by the removal of the morning jazz strip. For me, that programming provided an offering not available anywhere else. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had my radio set to come on every morning at 6am, consciously choosing to avoid all talk of drone strikes, murdered children, political unrest, foreclosures and melting ice caps until Democracy Now! at 8 am. Those two hours of music set the tenor of my days, the morning programmers became like family, and all of my financial support has been in appreciation of that deeply treasured programming. I am a long-time contributor to WPFW. In addition to being a sustaining member, I contribute to every fund drive, often multiple times, to support the programmers I love. I am struggling with the decision of whether to continue that support.

    While I appreciate what you are attempting with “Morning Brew,” there are many other stations, with far greater resources, that provide news programming in the morning. Were I to choose to listen to news before 8am, I would tune into NPR’s Morning Edition (WAMU). With the new programming schedule, you have now duplicated what already exists and eliminated a significant part of what, to me, made WPFW unique and irreplaceable.

    I am not opposed to change and have remained a loyal WPFW supporter through many programming changes over the past 25+ years. I recognize that WPFW needs to increase its listener base in order to be sustainable and I understand that you want to attract a younger demographic to the station. I do not, however, believe that dramatically altering the jazz/public affairs balance, diminishing WPFW’s community focus with acquired programming (more duplication), or implementing a near wholesale removal of recognized jazz aficionados from the airwaves will accomplish this.

    In addition to serving its listeners, WPFW has historically supported musicians, both established and up-and-coming. Slashing music programming will severely limit the opportunity to expose listeners, young and old, to music not found on mainstream radio, and not easily uncovered on Internet radio. Further, those same listeners will not receive the music education that has been a hallmark of WPFW’s service to the community. Today, I have literally months of music on my computer, much of which I only know of through listening to WPFW. The few selections Morning Brew is able to include in between news segments hardly fill this gap.

    I took a quick survey of my music collection for artists I was introduced to by WPFW, but have never heard on mainstream radio. My favorites this week include Omar Sosa, Judith Sephuma, Dwight Tribble, Richard Bona, Lester Bowie, Ali Farka Toure, Toshi Reagon, Lorez Alexandria, Don Pullen, Eddie Harris, Carmen Lundy and Rene Marie. There are many, many others – some now deceased. With WPW’s past jazz programming, it was assured that their music would live on and that new listeners and younger audiences would continue to be exposed to it. That now appears to be in jeopardy.

    Washington, DC does not need another NPR and the Pacifica network does not need a KPFK on the East Coast. I urge you to stay true to WPFW’s very special mission.

    Beverly Hill

  21. Hi Summer,

    I just wanted to express my feeling about one of my favorite shows on WPHF being cancelled. I’ve been listening to WPFW for over 20 years. I’ve been a member for at least 15 of those years. My connection goes back to Jerry “The Bama” Washington himself. As a DC based blues musician. Jerry was the first person anywhere to play my music on the radio. In fact it was so long ago that I remember sending him cassette tapes to play. I’ve always support the station because they support me, other local as well as national musicians, and help to keep this music alive.

    Over the years I’ve gotten to know all of the on-air DJs since the days of The Bama, donated CDs to be used as premiums during fund drives and volunteered the band to help support the station. As a listener, I know I’m not alone. Just about every local gig we play someone comes up to tell me that they have either heard about the show or heard our songs on WPFW. It is a very tight knit blues community and they listen!

    This past Saturday I was in the car at about 11:30 and said to my wife that this was the first time I can remember not putting 89.3 on in the morning starting around 11am. I ask that you please reconsider the decision removing The ‘Bama Hour from the Saturday lineup. My contact info is below if you have any questions or would like more info.

    Thanks for listening to my comments. I appreciate it.

    Mike

    Michael “Jr” Tash
    The Bad Influence Band

    • 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.

  22. I am a long-time listener, supporter and volunteer.

    I listen mostly because of the music. That’s really what it’s about for me. And the knowledge the programmers convey about the music and the musicians. I liken listening to WPFW as getting an advanced degree or at the very least a certificate in real-jazz history. And so it should be marketed that way – not just on the air, but in print media and at appropriate events – nationally and through social media.

    I want John Hughes and everyone responsible for the current “changes” removed. I don’t want to ask or negotiate or petition or work with any of these people. I want them all removed ASAP. There is nothing like a free reign to reveal one’s heart and mind. John Hughs’ heart and mind is not a “good fit”, as they say in the corp world, for WPFW’s Jazz and Justice message.

    About news. I prefer it to take a back seat to the music. Although I was at the town hall last night and heard a Hatian man say that is where the Hatian community gets thier news about Hati. So I guess that is useful and important and I support that b/c I do support giving voice to communites with limited access

    About news. However, I do not want to turn on PFW to hear about drone attacks, or attacks in places that I can do nothing about. If non-local news is aired, I wish it to be to designed to inspire, such as the Lufstansia strikes: success stories. While my heart goes out to people in Palestine and other places where there is incredible injustice, I personally find it disempowering and overwhelming.

    I’d like to pursue the gentleman’s suggestion at really developing a Washington-bureau type news program, that focuses on what congress is doing, what people can really do to affect that process, and that focuses on DC Council activies, maybe the weather and traffic. Although really, if I need to know the weather I can go to the weather channel or a million other places.

    News. What’s going on with Occupy DC? I suspect a dialog w that group would be mutually beneficial and introduce young folks to PFW.

    I would like news programs that have topical focus and that get regular coverage. Not 7 random factoids thrown together. One programer focuses exclusively on the incarcerated and the formerly incarcerated. Other programs like that would be helpful. Pick a topic- food, farmers markets, GMO and health issues then interview folks involved in variours organizations that focus on that topic. Show people there’s movement in these areas, success stories, ways to get involved. Do a Stop the War on Drugs program: report on Washington State and Colorado legalizing marij. interview people from organizations working on this, lawyers, LEAP, other countries experiences, groups like celebrities for legalizaion, economic analysis on the topic, recent documentaries. Make it a weekly program. Do a DC school program: focus on kids, training, organizations that help kids, interview folks from those organizations.

    But whatever you do, show John Hughs and Co the door. And I hope the wonderful music programers of PFW will be home for Christmas. And by home, I mean back on the air.

    Thank you.

  23. And the hypocrisy of the station is galling. Like many others, during the last pledge drive, I identified specific programs I wanted my money to support. Half these programs have now been eliminated, but the station has the nerve now to ask potential donors to support their favorite remaining programs so they will stay on the air. Just like two months ago????

    And there seems to be a trend to adulterate the content of the remaining jazz programs by lowering the level of jazz so it will appeal to a wider audience — but at the same time decreasing its appeal to those of us who have been listening because we hear music that can’t be heard elsewhere.

  24. Dear Ms. Reese and Mr. Hughes:

    As vigilant as I’ve been in always promoting WPFW to my family and friends, in volunteering, and in making pledges of support, I must be as vigilant in standing up for the programming that has made WPFW a jewel in the crown of the District of Columbia.

    In brief, I am confused.

    – What led station managers to be so secretive and deceptive in their decision making? Why has this station of conscience succumbed to such shady and manipulative management?

    – What kept management from respecting and marketing to the listeners who are 55 and older? Other organizations do it successfully. Is it incompetence or disinterest? Is the WPFW audience not management’s kind of people?

    – This week more than ever before, I have turned the radio dial to the left, looking for what I know I’m going to get on NPR, while missing what I’d come to expect on MY station, WPFW. I also listened to a few hours of non-commercial classical, to Pandora, and to Comcast OnDemand’s jazz channel — desperate for WPFW. The new non-local talk shows on WPFW are simply overkill. Is this what management intended — driving listeners away?

    – How will the station mend the acrimony it has engendered among station programmers and among the listeners? You will not be institution builders; your legacy will be that of having destroyed the heart of this powerful institution.

    – You must be just.

  25. Dear Summer,

    I am a native Washingtonian and long time member of the WPFW station and I send this protest email to state, for the record, that I do not agree with the recent loss of 30 hours of local programming at WPFW. I also do not support the lack of transparency in the way that local changes were made and announced. I am supportive of local programs such as Tom Porter’s Jazz and Justice talk show, the Ruckus Caucus on Tuesday evenings, the Brother Ah Jazz show, the Literary hour on Thursday mornings, the Brazilian show on Sunday evening and the Night Wolf show on Fridays at 7 p.m. I am not in support of the addition of nationally syndicated shows such as the Jean Hochenberry show, the Tell Me More show by Michelle Martin and canned pacifica recordings. I do understand that change is an important part of making a radio station vibrant and responsive to the diverse community in the Washington Metro Area but I do not support the lack of investment of local programmers and the recent changes in the local programs at WPFW . I am a member of the WPFW family and I have put my ballot for the LSB election in the mail. Please let me know what action you will take to address the current crisis at WPFW. I look forward to your reply.

    Sincerely,

    • I don’t know what action the management plans to take that’s any different from that which they’ve already taken! Nor do I know what any other listeners or programmers intend to do. I will simply not contribute time or funds to the station until the Hughes regime is gone, and I urge others to do the same – and state it publicly on this blog.

      We’re in yet another pledge drive, a perfect time to let our vote of no confidence be concrete, public, and undeniable. Let’s make the lines entirely clear. The time for waiting is over. Someone has to show leadership and responsibility, and it might as well be those who’ve kept the station alive.

      Charlie Stevenson
      Northern Virginia

  26. email sent to LSB:

    Greetings, Luzette.

    I did not intend for my reply to be to one member of the body; it was for all board members, or at least all of those LSB members who have the intention of acting expediently regarding the urgent matters before it. Thank you for passing on my comment(s).

    As I stated at the Wednesday, December 5, 2012 LSB meeting, the “charter” for WPFW is awarded to the LSB, and as such the LSB has ultimate responsibility for the current crisis and for the timely and ethical resolution of all outstanding matters prior to a seating of a new board. It would be an unconscionable derelict of duty for any members of the board to intentionally (or even unintentionally) stall addressing crucial matters during their tenures and, thereby leave this mess for another board (which may have only a 1-year term) to resolve.

    I speak on behalf of many members of the community who intend to see these matters through to the end. I have been listening to this station since it came on the air during my grade school years; and I have been a financial supporter since the time I was a graduate student in my early twenties, and continuing through my years as an academic professional, a mother, and now a small business owner. Like others in the community, I am well aware of the far-reaching value of WPFW for our local and global communities. We, the listening supporters, expect more from the community members we elect, and we intend to hold all of your feet to the fire, in peace and love.

    Thank you.

  27. The bottom line why I feel Mr. John Huges should be removed is because of the following reason/s:

    He utterly disrespected and took us for granted by making such major program changes and carrying them out the way he did and then expects us to just keep quiet and open our Wallets whenever the station comes calling on us to financially support it to stay on air!

    Mr. John Hughes is in direct violation of Article 7 of the Pacifica Bylaws, hence not deserving to hold and keep the position of General Management of WPFW Radio Station.

    http://bedsidereadings.com/

  28. I have been a financially contributing member of WPFW, because of various programs the station brings to us.

    As a financially contributing member, the least I expected was:

    #1. To be informed officially well ahead of time by the management on air, about the changes that they were planning to make and the reasons as to why those changes were necessary.

    #2. In addition, I expected to hear the methodology that was being used in determining which programs had to be removed and those that had to stay.

    #3. Last, but not least, I hoped that we the people, the donors who are the backbone of the station, would have been asked in one form or another to weigh in.

    Therefore, since none of the above were done, I feel that WPFW management does not value any of the family listeners in regards to which programs we enjoy and like keeping on air.

    However, having said the above, the bottom line why I feel Mr. John Huges should be removed is because of the following reason/s:

    He utterly disrespected and took us for granted by making such major program changes and carrying them out the way he did and then expects us to just keep quiet and open our Wallets whenever the station comes calling on us to financially support it to stay on air!

    Mr. John Hughes is in direct violation of Article 7 of the Pacifica Bylaws, hence not deserving to hold and keep the position of General Management of WPFW Radio Station.

  29. I’m a member of WPFW’s listening audience and I want you to know that I won’t support the station if it begins to suppress genuine radical programming in order to promote the same old liberal nonsense which enjoys funding from the same old capitalist sources. In this latter category I place professional enragés like Amy Goodman who make a living off disaster capitalism, and anything picked up from NPR.

    I certainly don’t send in my membership dollars to pay for NPR content!

    Please support local, independent, radical voices; in Washington DC that means supporting people of color who have kept the lights on and the donations rolling in for decades.

    Thank you.

  30. Mr Hughes~I need to thank you for widening my horizons. In my search for music in the morning, I have discovered the Baltimore Blend, a balanced mix of jazz, news, and weather and traffic reports, on a local radio station. In fact, if I wanted to listen to The Tavis Smiley Show–which I don’t–this station carries it as well. Why would WPFW spend much-needed funds on a program that listeners can access elsewhere? How shortsighted! Keep the programming that isn’t duplicated on any other station. Bring back the morning and evening drive-time jazz shows, along with their regular programmers. Retain the qualities that make WPFW a truly unique institution in this community.

    Sincerely,

    Linda Brown

  31. I just listened to an amalgamted community comment and I continue to be angered by what I “do not” hear from John Hughes. The “Manager’s Mailbox” is a perfect opportunity for him to convey updates to us. Instead, he hides information. I have never heard him speak to any communication he has received in his “mailbox.” I really wanted to hear John Hughes answer the question about his background and he digressed, as usual, and did not fully answer the question. I did not hear him make a logical connection between the goal/mission of the station and the new schedule changes. What I did hear was a lot of talk about journalism. Summer Reese said she invisioned more “public affairs monday-friday.” We have quite knowledgeable journalist right here in the area and currently at the station and don’t need a west coast feed. I am a long time listener/supporter/sustaining member and I do not want to hear more talk. As an avid radio listener, I know where to get more “public affairs.” I miss my mid-day jazz. I do not want to hear chatter all day long.

  32. NB: This letter was drafted at the onset of the recent program changes (during the week of November 25, 2012), prior to the back peddling on the part of management as it scrambled to respond to community outrage. Subsequently, one or two of the following observations may no longer speak to the entirety of WPFW’s immediate presentation. Nevertheless, the principles behind each of the insights and recommendations noted below still stand.

    Greetings Mr. Hughes,

    I am writing to offer up three reflections for your consideration:

    1) Change and adversity are natural assurances. Who we are as we go through those opportunities for growth illuminate the developmental state of our beings. As such, it is disheartening for an institution with the mission and vision of progressive collaboration and creative innovation to behave as a “child who does not play well with others.” Rather than perpetuating a balkanistic, segregative paradigm, WPFW could have been a communications and activist pioneer by modeling collaboration and teaming. The absence of this profound path of promise from programming deliberations indicates a lack of seriousness on the part of management. Rather than take off “2K Nation,” why not team it with the Go-Go segment? Rather than remove Brother Ah, why not incorporate him into the “Soul of Jazz”? Rather than syndicate Tavis Smiley twice (especially given that he has not had one African American on his program throughout the past 10 months), why not have him co-host with Tom Porter and/or Jared Ball and/or Netfa/Ryme or have Tom Porter, Jared Ball, & Netfa/Ryme on during the same horizontal time slot (same time, different days)? Rather than remove “In Our Voices” and the globally historic “Sophie’s Parlor,” why not team them with Margaret Prescod’s “Sojourner’s Truth”? (FYI: We’ve been through syndications before. WPFW functions as a stepping stone, and these personalities “keep stepping,” right on off the air, leaving holes in WPFW’s schedule.)

    2) To you and all remaining voices at WPFW, PLEASE, do not continue to attempt to speak for me!! A 47 year-old Washingtonian, I have been listening to WPFW since it came onto the air; I was raised on it, as is/was my daughter. Furthermore, I have continued to be a long-time financial supporter (even during 2 periods of unemployment!!). Throughout all of these years, NO ONE EVER has surveyed me to gain insight into my interests, choices, thoughts, needs, preferences, concerns, or suggestions in relation to the station’s programming, direction, etc. Much of what you and your representatives are saying in my name is polemical to my reality. Not to mention the fact that the proposed changes are at odds with the station’s mission and vision, as well as at odds with the values and interests of the suddenly highly-prized, so-called “new” (i.e., gentrification) population that, truth be told, is transient: here today, gone tomorrow, eager to relocate elsewhere once they settle down to raise children (post-3rd grade). Do not forget, the next housing wave is predicted to be another city-to-[cooperative-farm-]outskirts exodus. So who is your real financial base? By the way, you may be pursuing a pipe dream. As has been noted by those whose tenures at WPFW long precede yours, these highly-prized (i.e., European American) listeners historically have chosen to send donations to California rather than invest in their local WPFW, a majority non-white station.
    3) My daughter is waiting for an explanation for the programmatic changes that have removed from her life people she has come to respect as extended-family elders–some of whom she has met face-to-face and some of whom she only has bonded with via the airwaves. Be advised: she will dismiss any explanation that in any way insults the depth of her intelligence. As a direct result of the conversations she and I have had over the years in response to what we hear on WPFW, my daughter has matured, in years as well as in reasoning and problem solving. Without WPFW, her alternative is a plethora of channels with the same type of nasty-mouthed music and nasty-mouthed personalities whose next word cannot be predicted. I guess we could just play cds. Yet where is the learning in that?? Furthermore, what lessons are you and others in management teaching the generation that in the near future will be charged with making decisions that directly impact you in your senior years? It is a natural law that eventually we must reap what we have sown. It, therefore, behooves all of us to be upstanding while we still have the power to stand.

    Thank you for your time and attention. Your timely reply is appreciated. No reply will suggest that this letter has not been read and has not been given serious consideration.

    Peace & Light,
    Victoria Whaley

  33. Ms. Reese and Pacifica National Board,

    I am a longtime WPFW listener. I have contributed twice annually for the past 12 years. A few weeks ago I turned on PFW and the first thing I heard was one of the programmers crying on the radio saying that it was her last day. I had no clue major changes were underway — I listen to the station every day. For a week I listened to DJs attempt to be professional on the air while discretely implying what appeared to be chaos behind the scenes.

    I am very unhappy with the changes and the process station management has taken.

    I support the mission of PFW and realize that it faces challenges and that organizational creativity is important for it’s survival.

    However it is the last jazz station in DC. As a long time resident I know the strength of the jazz community in DC. It is obvious to me, and many others that the DC area can successfully support a jazz station. Not to simplify it, but it is a matter of providing strong leadership and innovative management. Period.

    I won’t provide a dime of support to the station until station management demonstrates such vision and leadership.

    Thanks for your attention to this matter.

    Jon Lickerman

  34. Sent to Hughes; Reese with cc: PNB and LSB on 05-DEC-12 @ approximately 2200 hrs.

    Dear Mr. Hughes and Ms. Summer:

    First, I echo many of the comments of “no confidence, dismay, outrage and indignation” made by the many writers of e-mails to you. I remain firm in my position that the displaced programmers be restored to the programming grid and that Mr. Hughes be removed as General Manager, should he not tender his resignation. However, my comments now pertain to the current programming grid.

    The Morning Brew program does not work for me at all. It is a mistake to mix the public affairs news segment with the music segment as a “morning show”. I would rather that the programmers have a two hour time slot and then have the Morning Brew segment for an hour time slot. After three days of listening, I hear a Morning Brew of “bad tasting snake oil” that does nothing for my listening pleasure. I do not need more time to give the Morning Brew a chance in its current format. Separate the music programming from the news programming.

    I will reiterate that it is fiscally and financially irresponsible to pay for syndicated programs. I do not want to hear programming from other Pacifica affiliate stations. As enlightening and interesting as such programming may be, an interested WPFW listener can hear it via the internet. My physical radio dial is set to 89.3 FM, but I have several radio and music websites bookmarked on my PC and laptop to hear what I want when I want to hear it.

    It makes no sense to me that “Letters and Politics” is being broadcasted twice within a two hour time slot. The second airing of that program could be used for the displaced local programming. It also makes no sense to have Democracy Now rebroadcasted in the late afternoon having been aired live in the morning now. It really is about keeping WPFW a Greater Washington Metropolitan “community” radio station.

    I do understand that change is inevitable for many reasons and I will concede that some of the programming has been poorly produced. But, I made the commitment to support WPFW even more so in 2008 because I didn’t want to lose what was unique to my hometown of Washington, DC. I redistributed my charitable contributions so that WPFW became a principal recipient of my financial support beginning in 2009.

    I listened to WPFW during the day by carrying my personal laptop with me when I worked in Baltimore for three years and while on official travel in various parts of the contiguous 48 United States (my Federal agency does not allow internet streaming of most radio, TV and social media on our government issued laptop). Of particular note was the broadcast of the murder of Troy Anthony Davis, which occurred while on assignment in Kansas City, MO. Without my personal laptop, I would not have been part of the that tragic and heinous event. My point is that WPFW is that important to me to incur the additional expense data usage to consistently listen to programming that is important to me.

    Finally, there are specific programmers and their shows that appear to have been either “lynched” out of existence or “exiled” into a new time slot. It reeks of a capricious and personal vendetta by Mr. Hughes. I will not abandon my community radio station in outrage because I do not agree with your actions Mr. Hughes. My continued financial support makes you accountable to me.

    Respectfully,

    /s/
    K R Taylor, Jr.
    Listener/Active Supporter

  35. To whom it may concern: I am a WPFW member and supporter. I HATE HATE HATE the new grid. Talk, talk, talk all day long! (Except the Blues) And not even interesting talk! Just talk! The only positive thing about the new grid is that Bobby Hill’s crazy, avant garde, acid jazz nonsense is gone. But I’d even tolerate that to hear some jazz in the daytime like before! I wake up to boring TALK! What happened to Drive Time Jazz? Morning or Evening? This GM, John Hughes, needs to go!!! If these are the kinds of decisions he makes, he must go! Who thought talk radio from 6am to 7pm was a good idea?!?!?

    • to healing spring: I feel you….this is poor, thin gruel all day long…morning brew indeed, like McDonald’s instead of soul food; i’m sick in the heart; this new stuff has this cheap magazine-y feel to it like NPR, just random user friendly bits to entertain, little geo quizzes sandwiched inbetween some other trivialized bits from war zones to keep us “informed” are you kidding

      Brother Ah played “War” from the planets by Holzst; then the Ashanti war music, then that squealing saxophone stuff he said came out of total pain, oh yes

      could we get some truth? has it fallen in the street? peace, peace where there is no peace

      candy, thank you for your post

  36. Here is the email I sent to John Hughes and Summer Reese:

    I am a WPFW monthly donor and longtime listener. I’ve been on several shows through the years including Sophie’s Parlor and Sheila Alexander Reid’s show and have called into Community Comment. I am shocked and appalled at the recent changes at the station. These changes and how they were implemented disrespects the audience, the programmers, the donors, and the entire community.

    Where has all the music programming gone? If WPFW is syndicating programs from places like NPR, you are broadcasting programs underwritten by corporations. You are planning to broadcast nationally syndicated programming that people can already find on the internet and other stations, so why do they need WPFW? With these changes, where is the jazz and where is the justice? Where is the community in community radio?

    I understand the need to make programming changes. But as a community radio station, these are best done in a transparent process with programmers, the LSB, the listeners and donors. If you had developed a process where all could have input, you’d have a radio station that we would all still want to listen to and support.

    Unless the current schedule is returned and the general manager resigns or is removed, I will withdraw my monthly donation. It pains me not to honor my pledge, but what is happening at the station is not what I signed up for. I’ll be happy to pledge again if WPFW returns to jazz and justice community radio.

    • My second email to John Hughes and Summer Reese:

      This is my second email (I also left a voicemail for Summer) regarding the outrageous conditions at WPFW:
      – staff at 1/2 to 3/4 pay
      – an updated grid that has removed a lot of jazz programming and other longstanding programs without input of all stakeholders
      – the treatment of long-time programmers
      – switch to national syndicated programs that I can hear elsewhere
      – violation of bylaws
      – the shocking financial situation as a move looms large
      – general disregard for staff, listeners, LSB, programmers, donors.

      I consider all this a violation of the mission of WPFW.

      In addition to my monthly donation, I made a conditional pledge yesterday. My monthly donation will also become conditional as of February 2012 if the original grid is not returned, a process set up for community input on any proposed changes to the line-up for OUR community radio station, and the resignation or termination of you Mr. Hughes. I generally only support local organizations and there are a number of deserving local organizations that I can support in WPFS’s stead.

      I listened most of the day yesterday and was heartened to hear many other conditional pledges which demonstrate member unhappiness with the direction. Mr. Hughes has lost the support of many listeneners, donors, staff, and programmers. Please respect the will of the people and turn this situation around before it is too late.

      I would like to receive a response to my concerns and a description of the direction of WPFW so I can evaluate whether I will continue my pledge.

  37. The local programmers have been doing a fantastic job, as have the imported Pacifica programmers. How about an exchange program: we import 1 or 2 Pacifica affiliate shows, & we EXPORT 1 or 2 WPFW-Pacifica shows? (At this point, it would have to be the result of [re]construction/expansion. A great opportunity for regenerative healing. Collaboration would ease the burden & make for a more interesting mix to share locally and abroad. Equity & mutual respect & support within & across the concentric circles of our family.) Is it possible to get Josephine Reid back in the empty Fri 10am slot? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an Asian program at some time! The real “news” is we learn from listening to each other. Can we continue to get Haitian news & info via Caribbeana? And Brazilian news & info via Latino Media Collective or Caribbeana? Rather than continue to air “From the Vault” segments many of us have heard & enjoyed many times in the past, can we air “interim” programming that speaks to some of our current gaps/losses? Can trusted staff/evicted programmers occupy these “foreclosed real estate locations”? Whose station? Our station! See you tonight @ 6pm. Peace & blessings.

  38. The updated schedule has been posted. Thanks to all of the programmers & others who are trying to make the best lemonade. However, right now, it resembles a Repub-Demo compromise of entrenched camps–local versus syndicated. Some time slots don’t make sense in terms of continuity. Others express outdated notions of multiculturalism. Some significant segments of our community remain unrepresented (youth–people are still calling me to find out what’s happening with them–Haitians, Brazilians, Muslims, binders of/”bound” women, alternative health practitioners–not just a monopoly by Gary Null). They all have been pushed back from the dinner table just to make room for out-sourced, syndicated programming with corporate sponsorship. A “guess who’s coming to dinner.” Who’s demanding that we continue to move forward with so much syndication? And who’s paying for it? (And why are bogus listeners calling in to demand that WPFW imitate WAMU & get rid of the so-called “out-dated, elephant-dancing music called Jazz”? !! Clearly, they’re not going down without further fighting.) At least 1 slot is blank, if you can believe that! Some programmers repeat instead of sharing space with displaced programmers (personal time conflicts?). Co-hosting/teaming/cooperatives/collectives could have been a more harmonious way of expanding the pie rations w/o knifing someone at the family dinner. Some teaming appears to be evolving.
    Further collaborative efforts could help smooth out some of the rough nature of the currently proposed schedule grid. For example, incorporating 2K Nation into the Go-Go segment or having it share/”take away” a portion of this slot. Or having 2K share a slot with an adult mentor like Keanna Faircloth. Or having Tom Cole & Miyuki each give a little (30 mins.) & all the Sunday adults shifting their chairs over a smidgen time-wise so that 2K children can get an hour in the early evening on Sunday. (Or are we not cultivating the next generations of listeners, supporters, programmers, & administrators??) Will Askia Muhammad’s “Morning Brew” be able to incorporate some of the investigative reporting that went into “Voices w/Vision,” or will “V w/ V” take the blank Friday morning slot? After decades” in the kitchen,” does “Sophie” have to “take it outside” and fight her sister & brother, “her man” (Tom Porter), or even her own children for a place at the table? No. Some of the outside people will have to give up their multiple chairs. (See the book “Teaching Economics As If People Mattered”). It would have made more sense to keep Margaret Prescod (“Sojourner Truth”); but, of course, the intelligent, progressive, non-corporate sister was the only outside voice shown the door. (Now, help me understand how her program was announced on the website as starting this week, it’s airing daily, but it does not appear in the website grid? Does management not listen to its own programming & realize that she has a slot in the grid??!! Really?)
    We need to stand firm on some principles. They (management, outside, politicizing vultures, & their human shields) cannot think we’ll settle for stone soup as they serve us a kinder, gentler gentrification. We need to continue to say, “No,” to a sequel to “The Hunger Games” in which those allocated the least get to fight each other for space rather than the voices of the corporate empire participating in a re-distribution of resources–in this case, air time and the funding necessary to support investigative reporting by locally-based entities. Without local programming, information on all levels looses relevance as events elusively get positioned behind an obscuring veil of contextual chaos, as if events just randomly & spontaneously occur.
    Magazine-typed informational programming is not news. Except to those who get their information from corporate entities, talk shows, and celebrity magazines. “The Take Away,” “Tell Me More,” and at times even “Letters and Politics” add very little to our “being informed.” Who says that 200 elderly white men who attended Harvard between 1939 & 1944 are the measure of “happiness” or that “if we had a billion dollars, we’d buy unicorns and trips to space” (“The Take Away”)? Who says “‘Black Thursday’ isn’t bad for everyone” or that it’s common for “women [to] fire back at working dads” (“Tell Me More”)? And who says ethnically-defining phenotypes (the shapes of noses & lips, hair textures, skin pigmentations, etc.) are unrelated to inherited genetics (“Letters & Politics”)? Furthermore, Tavis Smiley hasn’t had an African American on in 10 months. The longer he’s in bed with empirical corporations, the more impaired his vision seems to get. And those of us who’ve been around academics for a few decades know very well the mixed nature of Cornell West. This is what we’re getting in exchange for divesting in members of our own community?! Their ice, the ice of corporate-backed syndication, is not colder than ours!! Whose station? Our station! See you Wed @ 6pm!!

  39. Kanlonji,

    It is alleged that the stations on the West coast do not wish to have any of our programs but we must accept their productions.. This sounds like apartheid all over again.

    • FYI – MyNDTALK with Dr. Pamela Brewer has been on PACIFICA’S national grid – and remains so now – for several years. Although as far as we know, none of the sister stations carry the program – there are affiliate stations who have elected to carry this program which remains off the grid at WPFW.

  40. As though the instant info of program change was not insult enough, tonight 4 Dec,2012, Pacifica is having a fund raiser for KPFK on our station. this is not only an insult to our listners, it is a confirmation of the take over of WPFW by the national board. My attempts to reach the station proved that this is a take over -the phone rang at the 0893 number for over 1/2 hour and 0999 only offered the usual after hour recording with message taking.

    • I am a long standing listener, volunteer, supporter, having first made it a daily all day on station since 1978. It has been my understanding all this time that our mission statement required that programming on WPFW be principally a mix of jazz, Third World music, news and public affairs and that, Jazz, a major American art form which grows from the African-American experience, will be the major music programming. WPFW will act as archivist, educator, and entertainer on behalf of this under served national cultural resource.
      It seems that every four years or so Pacifica attempts to impose a talk format on this station and delegate jazz to a lower level of priority. This may no longer be “Chocolate City” and jazz may not yet be the money magnet it one day will become, but it is our commitment and should occupy the prime time if we are to expand the appreciation of this art form.
      WPFW has attracted the most knowledgeable, dedicated, serious collectors and connoisseurs in each genera of this music and allowed them to share their music with the general public and our youth – what an education!
      What a respite from this world of “wars and rumors of wars” – what a spiritual support for peace and love supreme.
      I have been impressed by the information and history made available from Pacifica files and look forward to being exposed to more selective presentations mixed into the schedule.
      But, not while I am driving to work or home in hostile traffic when what I need is the soothing non-distracting peace of mind that jazz brings.
      I will again gladly offer my increased sponsorship on a continuous level when programming is scheduled to return to a jazz format that mirrors our mandate.
      The other stipulation in my return relates to the removal of your newly appointed Station Manager, John Hughes, who has turned out to be the crudest, cold-natured, ill mannered, arrogant manager ever to run WPFW.
      The manner I which he conducted his notice to programers displayed either total disrespect for staff and listeners or his intention to take the station off the air waves – or maybe both, either way – he must be removed.
      I only know that I, as a listener/volunteer was insulted by finding out (after the fact) that my listening habits had been abruptly changed – unilaterally by one person.
      That’s irresponsible, trifling, arrogant -unworthy of my support.
      I will gladly return support to this my favorite station when the station has fulfilled those two tasks.
      Sincerely,
      Kalonji Tor Olusegun
      (pka) Vincent Roy Godwin

  41. As a long-time listener, I am writing to protest the recent programming changes at WPFW and to demand that the following steps be taken:

    1) Restore the locally-produced programming; and,

    2) Remove John Hughes immediately from his position as manager of the station.

    Not only are the changes in programming ill-considered–some of the most popular and useful programs to our communities have been silenced–but it appears that their replacements are in violation of Pacifica’s mission statement, e.g., John Hockenberry’s program, “The Takeaway.” This program is co-sponsored with the WGBH, the NPR Boston outlet, and the N.Y. Times, the prominent war-mongering corporate engine. The program website features links to several NY Times articles daily; moreover, Mr. Hockenberry has won Peabody and Emmy awards for his reporting for such mainstream commercial stations as NBC and ABC. He was an ABC correspondent in Jersualem for two years during a highpoint in the repression of the Palestinians. He has clearly been well-vetted by corporate interests.

    The changes imposed suddenly and arbitrarily by Mr. Hughes make no sense. If the station is suffering financially, as alleged, the last thing one would do is rip out a host of beloved programs in a callous manner that offends both the programmers and their audiences. (Josephine Reed’s show, “On the Margin,” had been on-air for 15 years, and yet only after her last show was she told that it had been her last). Moreover, one would never take such drastic and action 5 days before the important end-of-year fundraising session was to begin. The common practice at media stations is to prepare the audience ahead of time for the changes out of respect for their attachement to the program and out of a common sense need to build support for replacement programs.

    In addition, the “acquired” programming clearly adds to WPFW’s overhead, when such funds could be used to develop younger programmers (as was brought out on Jerad Ball’s program last Friday) as well as to hire a station research assistant and to sponsor skills improvement workshops where seasoned programmers could help others. If programs are weak in audience support, there should be codified steps, such as consultations and attendance at skills workshops, peer evaluations, etc., to help those programmers improve. Many unions demand that people be given assistance in gaining skills rather than sanctioning terminations that help no one and demoralize everyone. In this regard and in its tolerating the underpayment of staff, Pacifica seems woefully at odds with its mission to champion justice for all.

    Both the programmers and the audience have been violated, with potential long-term consequences for the community’s belief in Pacifica’s good will and its trustworthiness in terms of mission fulfillment. Indeed, there has been speculation that the degrading of the programming content and the crass manner in which it has been effected were deliberate measures to alienate support for the station, so that the license would be freed up sometime soon for its value in the millions. One wonders. Starr Bowie

  42. Hi Ms. Reese,

    I am a decades-long WPFW listener and longtime supporter.

    I am dismayed that some of the most informative and entertaining shows were cancelled and by how some of the programmers were informed that their shows were cancelled. As you know, these programmers volunteer their time and efforts to support the station’s mission that the financial contributors also support. The non-mainstream research and music on WPFW are unparalled and irreplaceable and are more valuable to our community than any syndicated programming that can be accessed elsewhere.

    On Friday, November 30, 2012, I was appalled to hear Nkenge Toure and Cleveland Spears (aka Bobby Rox) speak of last minute cancellation notifications. Nkenge’s “In Our Voices” show topics and guests offered a contemporary and historical context of revolutionary women who demonstrated the importance of providing a voice for the voiceless. Bobby Rox’s “Fantastic Fridays” included an array of non-mainstream music, interviews with local and national artists and entrepreneurs, and live broadcasts from a locally-owned, community-based restaurant. After serving the station for many years, they both deserved respectful, timely notifications that would have allowed them to properly prepare for their exits from WPFW.

    I was outraged to learn that “Jazz and Justice”, hosted by Tom Porter, “Voices with Vision”, hosted by Ryme Katkhouda, Netfa Freeman, and Naji Mujahid of the DC Radio Coop, and “Konbit Lakay”, hosted by Yves D’Ayiti, were also removed from the WPFW roster. Tom Porter provided powerful political commentary and jazz education. His Gil Scott Heron memorial, including interviews with Heron’s colleagues, is unforgettable. The DC Radio Coop offered a unique mix of music, international news, and live coverage of oppressed people, including political prisoners. Their seminal Black August programming was so phenomenal that Bay Area callers commented that it surpassed any Black Panther Party tribute broadcasted by Pacifica’s San Francisco WPFK station. For two decades, Yves D’Ayiti’s show enjoyed a wide audience throughout the Haitian diaspora because it provided Haitian news from Haiti in English and Kreyol in addition to various genres of Haitian music.

    The WPFW programmers’ dedication and commitment is unquestionable. The WPFW audience deserves a logical explanation about the decision making process regarding the station’s programming. I request the immediate removal of John Hughes as his decisions and the implementation of them are clearly not aligned with the WPFW community’s vision.

    Respectfully,
    Vicki Bleus
    Bowie, MD

  43. Dear Summer,

    It was a pleasure to meet with you and for us all to get together to discuss the state of WPFW. After speaking with you, I am reassured about the future of Pacifica and hopeful for WPFW. Your openness and candor is refreshing. You exude confidence and have the qualifications to thrive in the job – you are impressive.

    The incompetence of John Hughes has resulted in a public relations disaster. It will result in a decrease in our bottom line, which will reduce our ability to contribute our share to Pacifica.

    JH instituted programming changes to the WPFW grid without notifying the listeners in a timely fashion or explaining the rationale of his choices. Our audience is vested, emotionally and financially. The listeners are now revolting, demanding cessation of their sustaining memberships and saying they will not support the station in the future. The audience feels disrespected and discounted.

    Though JH announced at the October LSB meeting that there were to be programming changes, he did not complete the grid till Thanksgiving and he did not inform the individual programmers till last week – some did not receive the information until after they had broadcasted their last show. Others were told minutes prior to going on air. John Hughes determined the changes to the new grid without collaborating with the PD, LSB, programmers or listeners. This is one of many actions the current GM has undertaken that does not bode well for the station’s future. JH inability to display successful leadership has put the station at risk. The following are examples of how GH mismanages;

    FCC License – WPFW has been in violation of FCC regulations. Every station is required by law to monitor and log transmitter functions every two hours. We have been unable to do so for several months. JH puts our license in jeopardy. This is the second time in the last year we have gone months without reporting.

    Fiscal – JH is incapable of raising funds for the station.
    • JH has not developed major donors
    • Under JH leadership each fund drive misses its financial goals by a larger and larger amounts.
    • JH has changed the grid purchasing programs to replace free programming. The syndicated programs are underwritten by Monsanto, Lockhead Martin and Walmart, companies that are not in sync with the WPFW mission.
    • Despite meager finances, JH has hired consultants rather than harnessing the talents of the volunteers
    • Though staff is at ¾ salary, JH maintains a part time HR person and hired a volunteer coordinator before bringing working staff to full time.
    Managerial Style – JH treats programmers like chattel
    • Executed a grid change without proper notification of staff or audience.
    • He schedules a fund drive one week after a grid change.
    • Since JH arrival fund drives are conducted almost every 2 months.
    • Refuses to meet with programmers on a monthly basis.
    • Refuses to be transparent.
    • Does not follow through on requests by staffs or programmers.
    • Has gone through three IPDs in less than two years – They can’t all be wrong.
    • JH doesn’t accept responsibility for his choices or his errors.
    • JH goes on the air and diminishes the office of GM because he is ineffectual and lacks dignity on the airwaves.
    • JH requested Bob Daughtry to fire Yves and cancel his show because he didn’t like that Yves spoke in Creole – cultural discrimination, making WPFW vulnerable to another lawsuit.

    These are a few examples of how JH’s leadership leaves much to be desired. JH puts WPFW in legal and financial risk. There needs to be a move, somewhere to move to and monies to underwrite the move. WPFW cannot survive much longer under the stewardship of JH.

    Please read comments on the WPFW Facebook page. Please talk to the LSB members you know and trust in DC. A debacle is unraveling – an unnecessary travesty.

    Miyuki

  44. December 3, 2012

    TO: Summer Reese, Executive Director, Pacifica Radio
    FR: Chandra Y. Washington
    RE: Restore WPFW Programming

    As a longtime listener and supporter of WPFW Radio, I am shocked and appalled to learn the exemplary programming is being severely altered; mainly, that practically ALL music programming is being removed from the weekly roster.

    Though I am a former 30-year Wash., D.C. resident currently living in my hometown of Austin, TX, I am still an avid listener and supporter; often “doting” on its superior jazz and community affairs programming to my Central Texas colleagues, where such programming has sadly never been realized.

    I write to demand the original programming be restored, and the General Manager John Hughes be removed. It appears the current management is not only out-of-touch with community the station serves, but also inept in fostering and implementing innovative alternatives to keep the station fiscally sound and running smoothly. The station is not “tanking” because of the programming, as they suggest; rather, it is MANAGEMENT.

    Most sincerely,
    Chandra Y. Washington

  45. Dear Ms. Summer,

    I am a loyal listener and supporter of WPFW, but I will not be listening or supporting this station any longer if the programs that were recently canceled are not reinstated and if John Hughes is not removed from his current position. WPFW is a community supported station and the COMMUNITY does not support the changes that have been made nor the way that these changes have been made. There have been complaints against the current GM, John Hughes, yet adequate action has not taken place to address the issues. There has been a significant breach of due process in the letting go of many WPFW programs, and there have been many other problems with the GM not keeping to the mission and purpose of WPFW.

    I am a listener because of the music programs…they are what drew me into becoming a loyal listener and they are the programs that led to me listening to the talk radio programs as well. The talk programs were the voice of the community and John Hughes’ changes have taken away that voice. He has tried to silence the community that WPFW represents!!! But we will not be silent! We will not support these changes! And we demand that Pacifica do it’s part in making sure that Justice is served at WPFW and John Hughes is removed!!!

    Pacifica needs to do it’s job! It needs to remain public radio, not because it’s free to the public, but because it is community radio, where community voices are heard and expressed, where the voice of the public, THE PEOPLE are heard!!!!

    Sincerely,
    Keena Chew

  46. Ms. Summer Reese,

    It appears there has been a plan in the making for some time to dismantle the major voices of the station. I just can’t imagine removing the major personalities, voices and minds that draw the community and drive the intelegencia that our people desire. I’m struck by the confidence of the purveyors of this plan to execute a sweeping removal of bodies with disregard to the lost of donations that keep the broadcast alive.

    Does this mean there is a backup source of funds to keep an on going $300K per month business alive? If so, does this mean some kind of hidden sponsorship lurking in the background? Or…do they plan to take a drastic budget cut to rebuild another crew that will follow another addenda that answers to the interest of another source?

    In either case, I can only speculate Pacifica has been trying to get a handle on WPFW for some time. There seems it has always been some effort to slow the momentum of WPFW’s success of being some what autonomous of the parent organization. Having a successful, intelligent black business, who’s mission is to serve the black community, in whole or in part, in the eyes and ethos of the white intelegencia seems not work well for a variety of reasons.

    Lastly, I suspect there was some revenge associated to this assassination of WPFW programs.

    Again, I can only speculate through observations of the station over the years.
    For quite some time Gary Null’s show was scheduled 4 and sometimes 5 days a week. But, a couple of years ago, his show was cut one day at a time from the schedule. When the first cut occurred, he fussed publicly through his radio broadcast. His rampaging consumed the one hour show just before the show was removed. He sounded like a spoiled kid. Anyone could tell his ego was hurt, saying he had the longest continually running health radio broadcast in the world. In so many words, he said, he was going to get even.

    Well, after a 2 year absence, the show returns to the air at WPFW. At first it was just one day a week. Now I think, its all week. Now, of course, some shows were cut without notice to the public. Sort of what happen this week. All Gary could say, was that the new manager has a since of vision. Hmmm.

    I’m wishing there is some room for mediation, compromise or the like that can be convened as soon as possible, that will demonstrate there is good faith towards the community that has invested financially and through volunteering time to the station and the national organization.

    Please prove my speculations are in error.

    WPFW Member
    Berlin Dean

    • This is a copy of an e-mail I received from an irate ‘PFW member. With her permission,, I am posting on this site. Thank you for your interest, Jane.

      To summer@pacifica.com, john_hughes@wpfw.org
      From: Jane Stelck (jstelck83@gmail.com)
      Sent: Tue 12/04/12 12:58 AM
      To: summer@pacifica.com
      Cc: john_hughes@wpfw.org

      This message is here because your junk email filter is set to exclusive.
      Wait, it’s safe!
      I am writing to express my outrage and dismay at the sudden, unaccounced changes at WPFW. I listen to morning and evening drive-time jazz every day and I had to pull my car to the curb when I tuned in on Wednesday morning and listened to Katea Stitt in tears. Jazz and justice. Where is it now? We do not need more morning news programs. We need what this station has always said it stands for. Jazz and justice.
      In addition to my disappointment (an understatement), I am appalled by the undemocratic manner in which these “changes” were effected
      John Hughes needs to go and the peoples’ programmers must be reinstated.
      Yes, I am one of the “baby-boomer” listeners. Don’t write me off. Give me a reason to help more. I was under the impression, perhaps mistaken, that pfw’s mission was, in part, to bring jazz to all the people and to spread the message of this wonderful music. If you, instead, want to pander to whatever you think is popular now or transform PFW into another PBS, you will lose your listener support.
      I fully understand the need for money and support and a new home for pfw. But importing PBS programs, historically supported by big corporate money, will not provide a safe haven for pfw. Tavis Smiley? I can’t believe you are going to import programs from PBS. Have you thought or given consideration to underwriting from the community — small businesses, green businesses, progressive businesses. Surely, that is more in concert with the station’s mission.
      You will lose valuable support and listeners by your actions. I am as sad as I am angry. You need to listen to your audience! Please reconsider these terrible decisions you (or John Hughes?) have made.
      We who believe in freedom will not rest. We will not go away.

      Jane E. Stelck
      Arlington, VA

  47. TO: Summer Reese, iED Pacifica Foundation
    CC: Public
    FROM: Jane Gatewood, listener-member WPFW-LSB
    SUBJECT: WPFW LSB Evaluation of General Manager
    DATE: December 2, 2012

    Summer:

    On September 18, 2012, the WPFW-LSB’s work to complete an evaluation of our General Manager was brought to a grinding stop because one of our committee members issued an alarm that there had been a Breach of Confidence, and therefore the process was tainted.

    While this was, in my opinion, a false alarm, issued by a member with an agenda of his own, we heard through the chair of our Management Assessment and Search (MAS) Committee that you had ordered a halt to our process until you received guidance from General Council.

    On September 28, 2012, I sent you an urgent appeal – asking that you arrange for Pacifica’s HR consultant to distribute and tabulate the survey that our committee had developed to gather inputs to assist the LSB in completion of its evaluation. While our committee worked very diligently to craft a process that was truly objective, I also asked that our HR consultant provide us with input as needed to ensure that the survey and our process would meet the standards of best practices.

    To this day, I have not received any response to my appeal. Through our MAS Committee Chair, we have heard repeated messages that you expected to hear back from General Council “any day”.

    Summer – I think you know that WPFW is now in crisis because this urgent task has been left untended.

    Over the past week, many of our board members have reached out to our chair, Tony Norman, to insist that the GM evaluation be on the agenda for our 12/12 meeting. While there can be no doubt that any further delay in this task would be gross negligence on the part of our board, thus far, Mr. Norman has not responded to our appeals. Based on past practice, I fear that he may cite the need to receive your guidance before we can discuss this subject.

    Therefore, I am appealing to you publicly to communicate directly with our board on or before December 10, 2012, with one simple piece of information:

    Do you and/or our General Council have any special instructions to our board, with regards to our bylaws-mandated duty of evaluating our General Manager?

    Sincerely,
    Jane Gatewood, Listener-Representative
    WPFW Local Station Board

  48. December 2, 2012

    Dear Ms. Reese:

    As a listener and supporter of WPFW, I was stunned and upset to learn this weekend of radical changes to the programming schedule that are being instituted tomorrow, with no notice to the listening community or to the volunteer programmers. As the Acting Executive Director at the Pacifica Foundation, I am asking you to take all measures in your power to ensure that these changes are reconsidered and reversed. The diverse programming at WPFW makes a unique and irreplaceable cultural contribution to the Washington, D.C. community and beyond. Pacifica’s mission statement indicates that one of the Foundation’s primary goals for radio broadcasting operations is to “encourage and provide outlets for the creative skills and energies of the community” – nothing that could epitomize such “creative skills and energies” more than the rich tapestry of music programming that is put together by the long roster of dedicated and expert community volunteers at WPFW. If the heart of this community radio station is allowed to be eviscerated in such cavalier fashion, I think it will reflect as poorly on Pacifica as it does on WPFW management. Please take action to prevent this from happening.

    I am attaching below the message I wrote station management this evening expressing my specific concerns in greater detail.

    Sincerely,

    Kathleen A. Wilson
    Washington, D.C.

    December 2, 2012

    Dear Mr. Hughes and Mr. Hill: I am a WPFW listener and supporter, and am writing to express my deep disappointment and concern over the recently announced programming changes – in particular, the cancellation of many specialized music shows that reflect the diverse mosaic of the Washington, D.C. community. I understand that the station has been facing financial difficulties. I understand that change is sometimes necessary, even when it is difficult. What I do not understand in this situation is why changes of this magnitude would be made so suddenly, without notice to and discussion with listening community. And I am particularly troubled that the volunteer programmers who have given so much of their time and talent to the station were themselves only given several days’ notice of this news. I am asking you to reconsider this decision, and engage in a more open dialogue with listening community about audience priorities, the financial situation of the station, and options for addressing that need.

    I listen toWPFW primarily on Sundays, beginning with G-Strings and ending with Sounds of Brasil. I was therefore extremely unhappy to learn about the changes to the Latin Flavor Stream, including the shortening of my absolute favorite program – Latin Flavor Classics with Jim Beyer – and the outright cancellation of Sounds of Brasil. However, I can honestly say that I am equally, if not more concerned about the cancellation of a wide variety of programs that I have listened to only rarely, but which are part of the rich array of unique offerings that have been the hallmark of WPFW’s programming for so long. The reason I began providing financial support toWPFW – funds that would have otherwise been directed to WAMU – was precisely to support this diversity in programming. If additional member support is what is needed to continue this programming, I am personally willing to increase my support through becoming a sustaining, rather than annual, member of the station. Given the calls I have heard on the air this weekend, I believe many listeners would join me in that pledge. I also believe that many listeners would be interested in brainstorming about potential additional funding sources. However, I am not interested in providing continued support to yet another station that is abandoning local and diverse cultural programming in favor of syndicated talk shows. I ask again that you reconsider this decision, and immediately reinstate the cancelled programs, while undertaking a more robust dialogue with the community that has supported WPFW. I believe both the listeners and the volunteer programmers deserve that respect.

    Sincerely,

    Kathleen A. Wilson
    Washington, DC

    • Dear Pacifica Board Members: I am sharing below a copy of a brief message that I recently sent to Summer Reese, along with my more specific message to WPFW management, to ensure that the Board as a whole is aware of the urgent concerns being raised by WPFW supporters and listeners in response to the sudden and radical programming changes instituted with virtually no notice this week. I realize that the Board is currently seized with many matters; however, I implore to please give some some of your time and immediate attention to the crisis situation that has rapidly developed at WPFW — a true community radio station that that plays a unique cultural role in the Washington DC area.

      Best regards — Kathleen A. Wilson, Washington, D.C.

  49. (In response to a letter from volunteer coordinator Vinnie Jack, soliciting support for the next pledge drive)

    Good afternoon, Vinnie –

    Thank you for your ‘mails concerning changes at the station, and its need for support in the forthcoming pledge drive. Unfortunately, it is not possible for Geotreees to support either the station or the drive under the present circumstances.

    I don’t know all the details about “the changes,” but I’ve seen enough to feel that it has been conducted in a thoroughly dishonorable and unprofessional manner – indeed, in a manner that suggests that there is no real substance behind it. If there were real legs to stand on, you’d show the, and we’d see them. But you didn’t, and we don’t. I’m reminded of the classic putsches of Stalin’s Soviet Union, or of President Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.”

    If someone over there thinks they can justify this behavior in terms of the station’s or the community’s good, then let them try. Geotrees is open to any attempts they may care to make, and will share them verbatim with the community. Click on the “Apples ‘n Oranges Intercultural Cafe” link on “the Tree’s” home page for details how.

    My personal commitment to the station’s wellbeing is to maintain my basic membership, and thus my voting rights, while not making further financial contributions until the present regime has been swept away. Nor will I help recruit for the membership drive, or participate in it myself. I will also encourage others to take this path.

    Let’s look forward to a time when WPFW regains its integrity and its value; a time when we can all work together in good faith and good will; to a time when the larger public, along with its loyal staff and volunteers, can once again have confidence in it, and when we can invite new people to check us out without gagging. And let’s do what is necessary to make that possible.

    Sincerely,

    Charlie Stevenson
    http://www.geotrees.com/

  50. Mr. Hughes and Ms. Reese:

    I am writing to express my disappointment and dismay with the changes that have been made to the WPFW programming.

    I have lived in Washington DC for ten years, and for years I wrote off radio in DC and regarded DC’s radio landscape as a desert. I had moved to DC from Georgia and I actively missed a college radio station from my hometown that played African, Latin, World and Jazz music throughout the week.

    Then, one day, I came across Jim Byers’ Classic Edition. I began tuning in more often after hearing Jim’s program and loving it. That was more than two years ago.

    Today, I listen to WPFW throughout the week, and I always listen Sunday evenings to the six hour Latin segment. I love the fact their is a Brazilian program. I also like to listen to American Songbook and I pull up the archives of the African extensions and world music shows weekly.

    I am deeply disappointed by the programming shifts that have been apparently engineered to attract younger listeners. I am reminded of what WETA 90.9 FM tried to do a few years ago when they shifted from what the public knew and loved (24 hour western classical) to 24 hour news and talk. The membership and public revolted and WETA quietly restored the 24 hour classical programming.

    I am a young professional in my early 30s and I don’t want to hear syndicated NPR shows on WPFW. I don’t want to hear more talk. I want to continue hearing the unique, amazing and original programming that I enjoy every week, with the rich, diverse music that I can’t hear anywhere else on the public airwaves in DC.

    I was not aware of the financial pressures facing the station, and I would suspect a large number of listeners were also not aware. I’ll be less inclined to give should these programming changes stick. Some of these radio shows on WPFW are so good I think they could be syndicated and bring in more revenue!

    Please revisit the programming changes and engage the public on this, and rethink this idea that younger people are going to appreciate less diversity and originality in programming.

    Grant

  51. Hi, Summer,

    I am very sorry to hear of the programming changes that you and management have made–and without any notice to boot! Not all PFW listeners are older than 55–plenty of us who are younger are really going to miss the diversity of programs and our favorite air personalities. I agree with those who have posted on the Save WPFW blog–I think John Hughes needs to go and the format changes revisited to reflect the majority of listeners’ preferences. I’m afraid I won’t be sending you any donations until your decision has been reversed.

    Dee Starr

  52. Sent to Ms. Reese, Mr. Hill, and Mr. Hughes this evening.

    Dear Ms. Reese,

    My wife and I have been contributing members and avid listeners of WPFW but will likely discontinue our future support in light of the recent changes and the manner in which they were carried out. We are extremely disappointed with the recent programming cuts and hope that this course can be reversed. The diversity of the musical offerings provided by local volunteers with deep roots in our community and profound knowledge of their subjects is what set WPFW apart from everything else on the radio. The programs that were cut were a tremendous source of pride, information, and joy to listeners of the rich musical traditions, history, and ethnic diversity of OUR city. I for one will especially miss Sounds of Brazil, six hours of the Latin Flavor, the full Saturday lineup including the Blues Hour, and the hip hop programming during the week. Importing syndicated programming from NPR and Pacifica national signals the death knell for LOCAL radio as we knew it. Both jazz and justice have lost a local, homegrown institution. I sincerely hope that the programmers who had their programs cut will find a vehicle for sharing their passion for music with us somehow, if PFW won’t provide it. I will find them there and support them there, and leave you to fulfilling your corporate mandates.

    John Nidiry

  53. E-mail of 12-02-2012, 8:29 p.m.

    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.

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

  54. The problems with WPFW are self-inflicted in my opinion. For years I notice the following:
    1. Ever increasing set of fund raisers, indicating decreasing solvency of the station (yet no outreach to audience) resembling tv preachers always needing funds.
    2. Too many DJs treat the music as secondary and see the station as their microphone to talk endlessly about anything. I call this disrespect for the music/program. They often talk over the music. Perhaps they are convinced listeners are about their comments instead of music.
    3. An uncritical presentation of “news” and commentary only appealing to a narrow and narrowing segment of political opinion. Often the station is a platform to false and outrageous claims.

    Has anyone done a focused and impartial study of the reasons they are loosing audience? Good place to start.

  55. Dear Ms. Reese,

    I am writing to express my outrage at the programming changes I am only now learning about at WPFW. How dare you change MY station! In my mind, WPFW is jazz. It is DC’s only jazz station, to the best of my knowledge, and provides a function to the DC-Baltimore area that no other station does. A reduction in jazz broadcasting at WPFW is simply unforgivable. For the record, I have been a contributing member of WPFW for over 15 years, because I enjoy its (former) spirit and dedication to jazz and justice. I want the jazz programming restored to WPFW in toto, and I want Mr. John Hughes removed post haste. It saddens me to write this letter, as I have always regarded WPFW and Pacifica as one of the last bastions of justice and equality in the US. This unilateral and defacto change in WPFW’s programming is an outrage to everything I hold dear about WPFW and Pacifica. As a consequence of these changes and reduction in jazz broadcasting, I plan to withhold my yearly contribution, which I normally send the station at this time each year. What on earth were Mr. Hughes and Pacifica thinking in making this outlandish change to WPFW’s programming!?

    M. Robert Belas, Ph.D.

  56. Mrs. Reese,

    Im a proud supporter of WPFW and have shared this station with friends and family all over the world. I love everything about the original programming but unfortunately with the impending changes I will not listen to this station and will encourage others to do the same.

    please reestablish drivetime jazz… its my peace within the dreadful compute of DC

    respectfully, jonathan

  57. Subject: NO! – RETURN wpfw LOCAL BROADCASTING
    To: summer@pacifica.org
    Cc: hill_bobby@wpfw.org, hughes_john@wpfw.org, wpfw.lsb@gmail.com,

    Hello Ms. Reese,

    In brief:
    1) RETURN our WPFW LOCAL BROADCASTING CONTENT; the “grid” before Mr. Hughes recent changes

    2) Remove Mr. John Hughes from WPFW — he has clearly Failed our community

    I have been a regular financial supporter of both WPFW and Pacifica. I am
    SUSPENDING any Future Financial Contributions to WPFW and Pacifica, until the
    above two problems are corrected.

    Looking constructively ahead, I ask for TRANSPARENCY to be improved, so future
    problems like this can be evaded before reaching crisis point. I also want to
    make clear that our community already has several outlets for nationally
    syndicated content _which is tainted by corporate sponsorship_.

    WPFW has fulfilled a unique and special role in our community, providing a
    voice to many under-represented in the community. Please do not take this
    away, especially without community involvement. Please Stop Hurting OUR
    Community. Do NOT Take OUR Local Programming off our airwaves.

    Pacifica purports to report “Democracy Now” — this community demands Real
    Democracy, which WILL involve the community in future direction of our
    station.

    I look forward to resuming my financial contributions to a wonderful community
    station.

    very upset,
    donfede

  58. I am a daily listener and regular supporter of the WPFW that I know and love. With the decisions that are being made by John Hughes, it looks as though that may change. I do not wish to listen to corporate programming. I want to know what is happening in MY community. I want listen to QUALITY progammers who play QUALITY music. Without such people as Askia Mohammed, Katea Stitt, Willard Jenkins, Chris DeProperty, Lady Mer and Vaughn Martin etc. you are left with a giant void. I will show my support of the station through my vote and hope that in the near future, will be able to continue to show my support through my pledge. Don’t let this station suffer a corporate takeover.

  59. Hi

    I’m a member/supporter of WPFW and very upset about programming changes just announced which are to take effect Monday.

    It is totally wrong and inappropriate for a Pacifica station to run programming from another network which is supported by war industries and transgenic technology corporations.

    WPFW has had amazing programming done by local talent who have first-hand knowledge and expertise. That should continue.

    For the best interests of the station, WPFW should stay with local programming (and Democracy Now!).

    General Manager John Hughes should be removed at once. The station loses money and listeners each month he remains.

    Thank you for your attention to this vitally important matter.

    Deborah Wagner

  60. Ms. Summer,
    I have been a member of WPFW for the last 15 years and am very disappointed to learn that the current GM John Hughes is eliminating several of the current programs I have supported throughout the years , effective December 3,2012. Please STOP him! A very concerned member, Mrs.Winslow

  61. Here is another e-mail to which a response is outstanding

    WPFW Program Changes Update‏

    11/30/12

    Luzette King

    luzette_king@hotmail.com

    To wpfw_lsb@googlegroups.com, marcelvreid@yahoo.com, tonynorman@peoplepc.com, youri44@hotmail.com, summer@pacifica.org, pnb@pacifica.org, stitt_katea@wpfw.org

    Dear Summer,

    Since I am unable to reach you either by telephone or e-mail and because of the questions that our listeners are asking at any chance they get on our airwaves here in DC, we owe them the courtesy of some answers. It is important to know too that your name has been coming up as the one who has issued instructions for the changes that have caused havoc among key stakeholders of at our station and without notice or consultation with those most likely to be affected. This at a time of an imminent move and another pledge drive. Listeners, some of whom have been with us for as long as the station been on the air, have threatened to withdraw their support.

    When I called you some days ago, you admitted that you knew about the changes between Monday and Friday but that you knew nothing about the weekend changes. I understand too that we at ‘PFW will be carrying programs from other stations and am wondering whether any of our programs are worth carrying at other stations.. My question would be and if you did, on what basis did you instruct changes to the Saturday program and in particular Caribbeana without due warning never mind consultation? On what basis did you decide that our Caribbean and Jazz shows be put to the dark hours of the night? By the way, are you aware of the allegation that none of Pacifica’s stations on the West coast wants to carry any of WPFW or WBAI produced programs? If so, are you a part of creating or maintaining an apartheid system in our programming in Pacifica? These are serious allegations which must be addressed sooner rather than later!!

    Another point that needs to be drawn to the attention of the wider community is that our station is on the verge of being cited for Unfair Labour Practice. I understand that this is because neither you nor John will cooperate with the union. Are we about to compete with Walmart particularly since we have on air a Walmart-sponsored Tavis Smiley twice a week during prime time? We can hardly contend with another lawsuit let alone one that would sully our image in the labour movement. This is time for urgent action, Summer, and for which you may need to seek guidance and counsel from the PNB and Pacifica’s general counsel.

    Further, I am concerned that you do not seem to be aware that John Hughes has basically told us to go to Hell with our evaluation? Are you aware of this and if so, what has been your course of action when your advice was sought? Can you confirm, too, that your predecessor, Arlene Englehart renewed John Hughes contract without and while the WPFW LSB was preparing to conduct an evaluation as prescribed by our bylaws?

    I look forward to your response and am asking too that you think about addressing us at our special meeting that is scheduled for December 12, 2012.

    Luzette

  62. Here is a copy of an e-mail that I sent to iED Summer Reese who has not yet responded… This is in addition to a telephone call.

    From: luzette_king@hotmail.com
    To: summer@pacifica.org
    Subject: How Much Do You Know?
    Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:17:01 +0000

    Hello Summer!

    I tried reaching you this morning but to no avail. Anyhow, I need to let you know that your name has been coming up as the one who has issued instructions for these changes and without notice to anyone. When I called you yesterday, you admitted that you knew about the changes between Monday and Friday but not about the weekend. I understand too that we at ‘PFW will be carrying programs from other stations and am wondering whether any of our programs are worth carrying at other stations.. My question would be and if you did, on what basis did you instruct changes to the Saturday program and in particular Caribbeana without due warning? On what basis did you decide that our Caribbean and Jazz shows be put to the dark hours of the night? Further, I am concerned that you do not seem to be aware that John Hughes has basically told us to go to Hell with our evaluation? Are you aware and if so, what has been your course of action when your advice was sought?

    I look forward to your response.

    Luzette

  63. My response to a notice that there will be program committee meeting on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. I hope to see all at that meeting. I am also demanding the John Hughes attendance is mandatory!

    From: luzette_king@hotmail.com
    To: wpfw_lsb@googlegroups.com
    CC: Some e-mail addresses have been removed for obvious reasons
    Subject: RE: [WPFW-LSB] (no subject)
    Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 15:15:37 +0000

    I am not sure what it is we are going to get from this meeting on Wednesday 6. Are we taking note of the calls we have been getting on the air. To my mind, such a change that is causing havoc among our key stakeholders on the eve of a major change i.e. change location coupled with impending union action against us for breach of federal labor relations law do not bode well for our station. I am afraid that anything short of a meeting to discuss our confidence in the management of our station is just as insensitive as John Hughes appears to be at this time both to our listeners and union member staff..

    Further, why is this e-mail contained to wpfw LSB. This meeting should be an open meeting and I shall be making mention of it during my stint on air this evening.. Enough of covering BS!!

    Luzette

  64. Below is a copy of an e-mail that reflects my initial reaction to the news about the changes. Contrary to John Hughes claim and as a current member of the Local Station Board, I cannot recollect any meeting where these changes were discussed.

    From: luzette_king@hotmail.com
    To: summer@pacifica.org; wpfw.lsb@gmail.com
    CC: pnb@pacifica.org; wpfw_lsb@googlegroups.com; hughes_john@wpfw.org; hill_bobby@wpfw.org
    Subject: Urgent Action Required
    Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 02:49:17 +0000

    Dear All,

    Just had a call from an ardent ‘PFW listener supporter asking me “What is going on?” In fact, this was the same question another person asked me last week and said the shows no longer depict any professionalism.. . I have tried to ask the Interim Program Director and the General Manager the same question but have not been able to reach either by telephone. Granted, I only left a message today!!

    Anyhow, I have been a staunch advocate for changes in our programming and have gone on record as saying that we should start from scratch for each show.. What I did not expect is anyone one, especially Von Martin to be given 4 days notice that this Saturday is his last and that Caribbeana will be replaced by Decipher. My question would be for what purpose is John Hughes and Bobby Hill messing with the weekend program that the entire DC knows that that is the hall mark of this station. If you wish to prove me wrong or right just go to the Post Office on 18th Street and ask them.

    Further for the two stints that Bobby Hill has been our program director he has a name for ‘messing’ up the grids and chasing listeners away…. Above all, he was not successful at getting the job through a comprehensive recruitment process and despite this is able to come in for a third time and change shows with little rhyme or reason that makes sense.. Most worrying is the gradual getting rid of the Caribbean programs. I believe the only Haitian show is about to be changed as well but up to the time of writing the programmer Yves has not been informed.

    This is all demonstrative of the secret order that has developed at our station since John Hughes appointment as general manager. To date the LSB is none the wiser about whether we have a place to go. Instead, we are just blanked under the guise of confidentiality. This is the same general manager who has as much as told us the LSB to get lost with our evaluation as mandated by the bylaws and to date, I as a member of the Management and Search Committee have no idea how or whether this matter is being resolved.

    I am, therefore, calling on this LSB, PNB and ED to come to the rescue of this station before too late….. We will simply lose more listeners than we gain with this kind of management of secrecy and ad hoc program changes that makes sense only to Bobby Hill, John Hughes and the few who stand to benefit….

    I look forward to a response from the Chair of the LSB Tony Norman and the interim Executive Director Summer Reese about the program changes and the matter of the GM evaluation.

    Luzette

  65. Email to WPFW management, Sunday, Dec 2. 12:45 am

    Subject:
    WPFW Programming Change
    From:
    Werner Wothke
    Date:
    12/2/2012 12:45 AM
    To:
    summer@pacifica.org
    CC:
    hill_bobby@wpfw.org, hughes_john@wpfw.org

    Dear Summer Reese,

    My wife and I are member of WPFW and have volunteered in pledge drives during the past two years. We are avid fans of Latin Flavor, and we also like Saturday’s programs on Haitian music and culture as they existed until today.

    We are sure that you are aware by now that John Hughes’ programming change is a big mistake. You failed to get the listening public’s buy-in into the modified schedule up-front, so now you’ve managed to totally alienate your most engaged and supportive listeners with this coupe d’etat.

    We demand that you reinstate all six hours of the Sunday night’s Latin Flavor program and all four hours of Saturday night’s Haitian programming. The least you could do is offer to move Sounds of Brazil, Carribeana and/or Konbit Lakay to other nights.

    We know that our membership is only one little brick in the thick walls of the WPFW castle, but if we are unhappy with the future programming, you will loose our brick as well as others.

    Werner and Maria Wothke


    Werner Wothke, 3412 15th ST N, Arlington, VA 22201,
    U.S.A., cell: 202-379-8023, email: wewo@smallwaters.com

    Werner Wothke

  66. Sent on Sunday, 02-DEC-12 at approximately 0047 hrs with cc: Summer Reese

    Dear Mr. Hughes:

    You were copied on the e-mail I sent to Ms. Reese re: the dire situation at WPFW. In that I stand in support of having the programming schedule grid restored as well as your termination as General Manager, it is not from an emotional bloodletting point of view. Simply stated, the management style and decisions that you have made are painfully reminiscent to what occurred in many Federal departments and agencies during the Reagan Administration. The underlying purpose under that administration was to “change” the model of how government conducts business. Governments are not corporations whereby “We, the people” are in service to those corporations. Rather, government is “We, the people” in service to “We, the people”.

    Your management style and decisions do not reflect why I financially support WPFW. As stated in my e-mail to Ms. Reese, I will not be held financially hostage in my support of WPFW. Nor will I stand “mum” to the lynching of several legacy programmers and staffers. I understand all too well that there have been long-standing challenges at WPFW, including the financial viability of the station. However, the decision to purchase syndicated programming is financial and socioeconomic genocide (not to mention WPFW being within 29 days of homelessness). WPFW is not a combat trooper so wounded in battle which can then be medically retrofitted with limbs and organs. WPFW is a community radio station that comprises the community and a people who will not be treated as 2nd class listeners.

    Respectfully,

    /s/
    K R Taylor, Jr.
    Listener/Supporter

  67. Sent on Sunday, 02-DEC-12 @ approximately 0017 hrs with cc: John Hughes

    Dear Ms. Reese:

    As a listener/supporter of several years, be advised that I stand in support of the program schedule grid at 01-DEC-12 being restored and that the purchased syndicated programming not be aired. Further, I stand in support of the removal of John Hughes as the General Manager.

    It is imperative to understand that my financial support to WPFW will not be held hostage to a nefarious and subterfuge “agenda” by Pacifica. What has occurred over the past week at WPFW, has not only been undemocratic but has been tantamount to the systematic lynching of the legacy voices/programmers that speak on behalf of a voiceless humanity in the Greater Washington Metropolitan area and a distinct under-served society within this same demographic area and community. I will not enslave my hearing pleasure and my alternative news and information sources to programming that I can get from other sources. Further, my financial support over the past five years was done in order to resuscitate and strengthen my community radio station.

    I refuse to allow WPFW, as I know it, to be assassinated nor will I accept what has occurred as “change” for the better. It is genocide of a voice in my community as only can be done these United States of Am-E-Rica.

    Respectfully,

    /s/
    K R Taylor, Jr.
    Listener/Supporter

  68. E-mail of SAT 12-01-2012, 1:25 p.m.

    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.

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

    • “An ounce of action is worth ten tons of talk.” – Warren Pearce, editor, “The Warren Pearce Report”

      Last night was a sad and moving evening for me – I listened to Yves’ last currently scheduled show, and reflected on the great service and value he’s brought to the local Haitian communities, and to the rest of us, for so long. It was a personal time, too, because it was he, his show, and his great Kompa music that brought me to WPFW in the first place. Before Yves, I heard most of Von Martin’s show – another wonderful interlude. And I reflected on the great times when we could hear Charlie Dee on a conventional human schedule.

      All have been great examples of what has made this station great. What a tragic loss – AND FOR WHAT? WHAT?

      I’ve just updated the Geotrees.Com home and Apples ‘n Oranges Intercultural Café pages to bring our efforts to a wider outside audience. Geotrees has also begun a proactive e-mail campaign to keep our larger regional communities, and some not so regional, informed and involved. Go to “the Tree’s” home page and click the Café’s link, first thing you’ll see, for details. Your comments are, of course, welcome.

      And there is concrete ACTION we can take, especially with the looming pledge drive. We can keep our basic memberships current, so that we can vote and help give the place an IV drip for basic life support. But I for one will not support the station under its current regime in any other way. I WILL NOT SUPPORT THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS, NOR WILL I INVITE OTHERS TO DO SO.

      If all of us called in during the drive to NOT pledge, to flood the station and go on the record with our protest in the teeth of the management’s vapid cheerleading and “business as usual” messages, we could get concrete results. Let’s pull the plug on this – Let’s get SERIOUS – which means bringing CONCRETE CONSEQUENCES to the table.

      Charlie Stevenson
      Editor, Geotrees.Com
      and the OurWPFW Message Group

    • I am greatly dismayed at the news of dismissing some of the best radio hosts in town and anywhere- Vaughn Martin and Brother Ah’s shows, are two of my favorites that are so inspired and give so much to the community The healing inspiration and knowledge of Brother Ah must continue. Vaughn Martin Martin has the best voice I have ever heard and his program is timeless, culturally rich, and unique. There is so much education that I would not have if not for him and Brother Ah. Most of all, these two significantly and substantially support the community and are an integral part of it. I have supported WPFW over the years for the likes of these and never had any say about such decisions. THIS IS SO UNLIKE the WPFW that I know. I don’t know the full list of those proposed dismissals, but I know that these two are community treasures who have volunteered their time for endless years and have made countless contributions. Their contributions are part of the city’s heritage that should not be dismissed.

      This must not happen. It would be an outrage.

      • Well it’s been a whole day and there hasn’t been a serious statement about any of mine! What is it people? Are abortion rights so odd you are scared? There are no “outside” issues in the struggle for justice! SPEAK UP. This DOES CONCERN STATION POLICY! WPFW says it speaks for 100% of the 99%. Women’s abortion rights are part of the rights of the 99%. I’m loging off for the weekend! I hoe someone with a sence of REAL justice speaks up! Remember the Nazis investigated every case of an aryan mother with a miscarage while the sent the Jews to the death camps! SPEAK UP!

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