Local Station Board (LSB)

While the current programming crisis rests squarely in the lap of John Hughes, the inept and dysfunctional former Local Station Board–headed by Tony Norman and Pete Tucker–was complicit in failing to evaluate him and hold him accountable for his violations of the bylaws. The LSB is supposed to represent the community, not management!




23 comments on “Local Station Board (LSB)

  1. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog
    loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.

    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  2. TO: Elected WPFW LSB and PNB Delegate Representatives
    C/O Jean Yves Pont du Jour, LSB Chair
    Ola Cole Laryea, Secretary (As Secretary, PLEASE FORWARD TO BOARD MEMBERS)
    FROM: Suji Sutler, WPFW Listener-Supporter
    RE: Pending Pacifica Sublease With Clear Channel
    DATE: March 27, 2013

    Namaste and Good Morning WPFW Elected LSB and PNB Delegate Representatives:

    It is my understanding that Pacifica’s corporate status has been reinstated to “active”, as posted on the California Secretary of State’s website. Also, I am hearing rumors that the sublease agreement between Pacifica, Metro Network Communications, Inc. (Owned by Clear Channel) and the Owner/Landlord of the Metro Plaza space located in SIlver Spring, MD is a done deal. I hope this is not the case. As a long time listener-supporter of WPFW, I’d like to know whether this is true. If yes, I’d like to know the details and date of this deal, especially in light of the on-going community concerns and objections. If no, what is the status? I suspect other WPFW supporters want this information, as well. The community has a right to know-NOW!

    As our elected LSB/PNB Delegates, please investigate my inquiry, advocate and ensure transparency to this process and share the facts with the WPFW listener-supporter community, ASAP!

    Pursuant to the Pacifica Bylaws I expect the LSB Board and each of you in your elected position and capacity:

    To exercise all of its powers and duties with care, loyalty, diligence and sound business judgment consistent with the manner
    in which those terms are generally defined under applicable California law. (Title 7 LOCAL STATION BOARDS Section 3 (M) Specific Powers & Duties)

    Call a special LSB meeting and report out to the WPFW Community on the status of this negotiation and transaction.

    Thank You

    Suji Sutler
    WPFW listener-supporter

  3. Candidates supported by Concerned Members and Supporters of WPFW have been swept onto the WPFW Local Station Board with support from the community. See our complete story under BREAKING NEWS!

  4. In an effort to be constructive, last night during the community comment portion of the LSB meeting I provided the LSB with two draft resolutions for their consideration: one to initiate the process to fire John Hughes, the second to request rollback of the programming changes. I hope that they will be introduced and considered during the December 19 meeting.

    Here are the resolutions:


    Resolution LSB 2012-001
    Initiation of process to fire John Hughes

    The massive programming changes recently unleashed were not conducted in “a fair, collaborative and respectful manner” as mandated by Article 7, Section 3, paragraph G of the Pacifica Bylaws, and
    This conduct has further compromised the already-fragile fiscal integrity of the station; and
    While these actions were blatantly egregious, they are the culmination of a series of such actions;

    1. In accordance with Article 7, Section 3, paragraph D of the Pacifica Bylaws, the LSB hereby initiates a process to fire John Hughes as General Manager of WPFW.
    2. The Secretary is directed to notify the General Manager, the interim Executive Director, and the Secretary of the Pacifica National Board of this resolution and its approval by the WPFW LSB.

    Resolution LSB 2012-002
    Roll back programming changes

    The massive programming changes implemented in December 2012 were not developed in “a fair, collaborative and respectful manner” as mandated by Article 7, Section 3, paragraph G of the Pacifica Bylaws, and
    The programming changes were not implemented in a manner that reflects WPFW’s high regard for volunteers as specified in the WPFW Mission Statement; and
    The programming changes have been the subject of massive protests by listeners and volunteers;

    1. The LSB requests the staff to roll back the December 2012 programming changes as completely and as soon as possible.
    2. The LSB requests that all future programming changes be developed and implemented via processes that comply with the Pacifica Bylaws and the WPFW Mission Statement.
    3. The Secretary is directed to notify the General Manager, the Interim Program Director (if appointed), and the Interim Executive Director of this resolution and its approval by the WPFW LSB.



    Below is an excerpt taken directly from Article Seven (Sections 1-4) of the Bylaws of the Pacifica Foundation (With Revisions and Amendments as of January 20, 2012).

    Please carefully read the attached Sections of Article Seven of the Pacifica Bylaws to understand the role of the WPFW Local Station Board (LSB). Section 3 (A-M), in particular, clearly outlines the LSB’s powers, duties and responsibilities. The use of the word/language “shall” and “shall be” (I have bolded this term to draw attention) means that the action or duty is mandatory. It is an obligation of the Local Station Board. The responsibilities outlined in the Bylaws Is The LSB Job description! The reasons why we elect LSB members. They can’t choose whether or not to perform these obligations. If Local Station Board members, individually or as a Board do not follow through with these responsibilities, they have failed to comply with the Bylaws and carryout the work the listener supporters elected them to do. Period!

    Think about these powers, duties and responsibilities when you ask questions of and select the Local Station Board candidates YOU vote for.

    There shall be a standing committee of the Board of Directors for each Foundation radio station which shall be known as the Local Station Board (“LSB”). The powers, duties and responsibilities of the LSBs shall be those set forth in these Bylaws and such other powers, duties and responsibilities as the Board of Directors may from time to time delegate to them.

    Each LSB shall consist of the 24 Delegates elected by the Members for that radio station – 18 Listener- Sponsor Delegates and 6 Staff Delegates. (Four of the Delegates for each radio station shall also concurrently serve as Directors of the Foundation, as set provided in Section 3 of Article 5 of the Bylaws.)In addition, an “associate station,” if any, as that term is defined in Section 8 of this Article, may appoint one representative to the LSB of the radio station with which it is associated. Associate station representatives shall be voting members of the LSB; provided, however, that no associate station representative shall have the right to vote for the election or removal of any Foundation Director or Delegate nor may s/he be eligible for election by the Delegates to the office of Director. No LSB shall have more than a total of three (3) associate station representatives (and no more than one (1) from any one associate station) at any given time. The term of office of an associate station representative shall be three years, with a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms of service on an LSB.
    The station’s General Manager shall serve as a non-voting member of the station’s LSB.


    Each LSB, acting as a standing committee of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, shall have the following powers, duties and responsibilities related to its specific radio station, under the direction and supervision of the Foundation’s Board of Directors:

    A. To review and approve that station’s budget and make quarterly reports to the Foundation’s Board of Directors regarding the station’s budget, actual income and expenditures.

    B. To screen and select a pool of candidates for the position of General Manager of its respective radio station, from which pool of approved candidates the Executive Director shall hire the station’s General Manager.. The LSB may appoint a special sub-committee for this purpose.

    C. To prepare an annual written evaluation of the station’s General Manager.

    D. Both the Executive Director and/or an LSB may initiate the process to fire a station General Manager. However, to effectuate it, both the Executive Director and the LSB must agree to fire said General Man- ager. If the Executive Director and the LSB cannot agree, the decision to terminate or retain said General Manager shall be made by the Board of Directors.

    E. To screen and select a pool of candidates for the position of station Program Director, from which pool of approved candidates the station’s General Manager shall hire the station’s Program Director. The LSB may appoint a special sub-committee for this purpose.

    F. To prepare an annual written evaluation of the station’s Program Director.

    G. To work with station management to ensure that station programming fulfills the purposes of the Foundation and is responsive to the diverse needs of the listeners (demographic) and communities (geographic) served by the station, and that station policies and procedures for making programming decisions and for program evaluation are working in a fair, collaborative and respectful manner to provide quality program-ming.

    H. To conduct “Town Hall” style meetings at least twice a year, devoted to hearing listeners views, needs and concerns.

    I. To assist in station fundraising activities.

    J. To actively reach out to underrepresented communities to help the station serve a diversity of all races, creeds, colors and nations, classes, genders and sexual orientations, and ages and to help build collabora- tive relations with organizations working for similar purposes.

    K. To perform community needs assessments, or see to it that separate “Community Advisory Committees” are formed to do so.

    L. To ensure that the station works diligently towards the goal of diversity in staffing at all levels and maintenance of a discrimination-free atmosphere in the workplace.

    M. To exercise all of its powers and duties with care, loyalty, diligence and sound business judgment consistent with the manner in which those terms are generally defined under applicable California law.

    By resolution, the Foundation’s Board of Directors may delegate any other corporate powers it deems appropriate to an LSB with regard to that specific radio station. Any such power delegated to an LSB is subject to revocation at any time by the Board of Directors. Any and all actions, resolutions and policies taken or adopted by an LSB may be overridden by a majority vote of the Directors if said action, resolution or policy is found by the Board of Directors to be adverse to the mission and/or charitable or business purposes of the Foundation, to exceed the power or authority granted to said LSB or to be inconsistent with these Bylaws, the Articles or applicable laws and regulations.

  7. Pacifica Infiltrated by “Disgraceful” and “Dangerous” Right-Wing Agenda

    On a recent WPFW news and public affairs show, Marcel Reid, a member of the Pacifica National Board and the WPFW Local Station Board, was described as “disgraceful” for her role in the destruction of ACORN, the 40-year-old successful anti-poverty organization that was the target of a series of right-wing campaigns. Reid and others in conflict with the Pacifica Foundation’s mission, who have infiltrated both the foundation and stations, must be removed from their positions immediately. In addition, actions by Pacifica’s Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt—aligning Pacifica with Reid and reactionary organizations—are only the most recent that have harmed both WPFW and Pacifica as a whole. Engelhardt must also be removed.

    On the June 20, 2012 episode on “What’s at Stake,” a WPFW show produced and hosted by Verna-Avery Brown and Esther Iverem, Reid participated as president of the ACORN 8 whistleblowers group and, shockingly, as the “Whistleblower Liaison for the Pacifica Foundation.” Lifelong and respected progressive activists and other professionals said on the show, however, that Reid was not a whistleblower and that she and the ACORN 8 was, instead, part of the right-wing attack machine that destroyed ACORN and is still feeding off of its demise. The ongoing effort, referred to as “political necrophilia” by Bertha Lewis, former ACORN CEO, was highlighted most recently in the ACORN 8’s whistleblower conference in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill. Their conference, slickly packaged to co-opt progressive causes such as civil rights, featured familiar figures of the right-wing messaging machine, including correspondents for the right-wing magazine The Daily Caller and the ultra-right-wing Center for Immigrant Studies, which has focused on the disenfranchising of Latinos. Reid has also testified on Capitol Hill in support of an anti-ACORN report by the reactionary member of Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa of California.

    ACORN has been a longtime target of reactionary tactics for its advocacy on behalf of poor, low-income and middle-class families. This targeting was ramped up after ACORN registered 1.3 million voters ahead of the 2008 election of Barack Obama. On “What’s At Stake,” it was also revealed how Reid has appeared repeatedly on Fox News and with Glenn Beck to disparage ACORN. Beck, who is known for his racist tirades and was removed from Fox News last year, has even referred to Reid as his “Rosa Parks.”

    As concerned members, programmers and volunteers with Pacifica, we want to express alarm and disgust that Reid is on both a local and national board of Pacifica, that she has claimed the title of “whistleblower liaison” and that—in betrayal of the mission and purpose of the network—the Pacifica Foundation’s name and resources are being aligned with a reactionary organization such as the ACORN 8 and with its agenda and partners. Not only is the Pacifica Foundation’s logo and name featured prominently on the ACORN 8 website (www.ACORN8.com), Pacifica’s executive director Arlene Engelhardt traveled to D.C. to take part in the recent whistleblower conference and lent Pacifica’s name to the event.

    In accordance with Pacifica bylaws, which prohibit any board member from “exhibiting conduct that is adverse to the best interest of the Foundation” (Sections 9 D and E and Section 7), Reid and others in conflict with Pacifica’s mission, including Campbell Johnson, must be removed from their positions immediately. In addition, these actions by Engelhardt—aligning herself and Pacifica with reactionary organizations—further prove that she allows poor judgment, as well as personal alliances and vendettas, to put the network in jeopardy. In these politically and economically turbulent times, Pacifica needs progressive leadership that is bold and inspiring to its listeners, members and volunteers—the lifeblood of the network.

    At WPFW, Engelhardt has disrupted and ignored the local democratic processes and operations, precipitating perpetual crisis at the station. She has waged a personal campaign against our program director Bob Daughtry, who held the station together, both technically and in terms of production. After our former general manager, Grigsby Hubbard, refused to fire Daughtry, Englhardt fired Hubbard. Engelhardt then appointed the business manager, Robert West—someone with no record in station management or progressive politics—as interim general manager. Then West was instructed to fire Daughtry and did so. Daughtry’s firing in 2011 and the financial wreckage at the station precipitated a firestorm of protest and the formation of a WPFW Programmers Association. Though programmers were successful in having Daughtry reinstated as the interim program director, Engelhardt was successful, ultimately, in having Daughtry fired again through the permanent general manager she hired, John Hughes, who remains in that position today.

    Two years after Engelhardt first fired Daughtry, WPFW still has no permanent program director. Eighty percent of the programmers have signed a “letter of no confidence” in Hughes, who is leading the station into the abyss. With frequent and lengthy fund drives as Hughes’ primary idea for revenue, our listenership is weary and waning. Hughes’ irresponsible managerial and hiring decisions leave us with no staff engineer but, inexplicitly, with a paid “volunteer coordinator” and a paid “human resources director” for a staff of less than 10. With no full-time engineer, the station has experienced frequent and troubling technical crises. Most recently, the Emergency Alert System malfunctioned, putting our listening audience in danger during a weather emergency and destroying the quality of several shows over a period of more than eight hours. With a dearth of adequately trained board operators, there is often dead air or other technical glitches that make the station sound amateurish. Studio equipment—which in the larger scheme of things is inexpensive to replace—has deteriorated so much so that malfunctioning disc players and turntables have marred music shows. News and public affairs shows have not had adequate in-studio computer equipment or even an adequate supply of headphones.

    While Hughes and other managers draw handsome salaries, all of the union staff have worked at half- and, now, three-quarters pay and Hughes has resisted requests from the community to have management also shave part of their salaries to share the burden of cuts—and this inequity is occurring at a station whose motto is “jazz and justice.”

    Despite these woeful conditions, Engelhardt has never responded to the programmers’ letter of no confidence in Hughes. While she could travel to D.C. for a right-wing production on Capitol Hill, she refused to meet with or even participate in WPFW mediation talks, sending instead a highly paid union-busting lawyer, with the expectation that WPFW would pick up the tab. She and Hughes have staked out a position of managerial arrogance—more appropriate for a corporation than for a community-run radio station—in which it is articulated that management has no obligation to respond to our concerns or requests. Given the recent, protracted and expensive process recently completed by Pacifica, to ensure a democratically run radio station, it is unacceptable that the democratic process is failing us.

    Finally, Engelhardt interferes with the democratic operation of the WPFW Local Station Board through LSB members such as Marcel Reid, who has positioned herself as head of the LSB committee that is stalling on the long overdue evaluation of Hughes.

    We note with interest and concern that Engelhardt is apparently employing this same pattern of interference at Berkeley’s KPFA, where the Local Station Board (LSB) passed a resolution last month objecting to Engelhardt‘s apparent refusal to do her part, under the bylaws, to finish the process of hiring a general manager. According to SaveKPFA.org, the LSB had interviewed candidates and chosen a pool of three it found qualified. The bylaws require Engelhardt to hire a GM from that pool, but Engelhardt dragged the process out for months, then refused to make a choice. Engelhardt told board members she was not going to hire a permanent general manager from the LSB’s pool, but was instead looking for another interim GM. She said she was talking to four people “suggested by media and communications professionals.” It is alarming that Engelhardt’s quoted comments seem to dovetail with Reid’s comment in D.C. recently about her attempt to counsel Pacifica to avoid “bad hires.” Woe on us all if Engelhardt has been fully captured by Reid in this hiring process.

    Of course, this pattern of obfuscation at Pacifica takes us back to Reid’s actions at ACORN. Most of those being interviewed on “What’s At Stake” warned the Pacifica programmers, either on the air or off the air, to be careful of Reid’s agenda. They called her dangerous. John Atlas, a former public interest lawyer, founder of the New Jersey-based National Housing Institute and author of Seeds of Change, a history of ACORN, called Reid and the ACORN 8 “disgraceful.” Before it ended, this episode of “What’s At Stake” also began to explore what was a plan by Reid to transfer the financial resources of ACORN to a financial institution connected to one of her fellow so-called whistleblowers.

    We call on programmers, volunteers and members throughout the network to join us in calling for the removal of Reid, Engelhardt and others working in conflict with Pacifica’s mission. The survival and future of Pacifica—a lone progressive radio voice in a wilderness of right-wing noise—is what is at stake.

    Link for June 20 episode of “What’s At Stake”


    Scroll down to June 20 episode of “What’s At Stake”

    Link to article on SAVEKPFA


    Esther Iverem
    Verna Avery-Brown

    Co Signors:
    Tom Cole
    Muriel L. Cauthen
    Bob Daughtry
    Verona Iriate
    Willard Jenkins
    Jay Winter Nightwolf
    (And the Jay Winter Nightwolf production team:
    Don Walker
    Katherine Cromwell
    Asante Ali
    Marcellus Williams
    Ber An Pan)
    Tom Porter
    Katea Stitt
    Nkenge Toure

    • i am in complete agreement with this and would like to be included as a Co Signor. It would assist in demoncratizing the station, if LSB meetings were aired to that all listeners could be aware of the issues being dealt with by the Board, and call for the removal of Reid, Engelhardt and others working in conflict with Pacifica’s mission.

  8. My family noticed the right-wing takeover on May 10, 2012 during the “Freedom of Speech/Family and Law” show. My husband, a human-rights activist in Loudoun County, VA sent the email below to: Wylie Rollins, Askia Muhammad, Robert West and Tiffany Jordan. Finally, we have an explanation and we’ll do what we can to help take the station back. Please rest assured that the listening audience extends far and wide. We appreciate all the valuable volunteer time you’ve expended to build the station.

    Greetings to all,

    I have to say that I am shocked and very disappointed by this afternoon’s ‘Freedom of Speech’ show (according to the published schedule, although the host was calling it something else, like ‘Family and Law’). What I heard was a host and two guests all making repeated false, ignorant and prejudiced statements about an oppressed minority, and then when challenged on those statements dismissing callers under the banner of difference of opinion and “diversity.”

    Given the shallowness and propagandistic quality of the guests’ presentations and the refusal to engage in any substantive way the many factual challenges from callers, the show couldn’t have been any less of an “intelligent conversation,” as the host repeatedly called it. As a devoted listener and supporter since 1985 I can say this was without question the worst quality show I have ever heard on WPFW – and here I am talking strictly about the value and quality of the discussion, apart from the content itself.

    Regarding that content, I am a passionate defender of freedom of speech. I consistently oppose censorship and believe with all my heart that the appropriate response to offensive speech is more speech. However, there are a variety of venues on the airwaves for reactionary and prejudiced voices. I listen to WPFW because it is a venue for progressive and minority voices, and provides an alternative to reactionary ideas and the usual silencing of minorities by the media. I have never before heard a host claim an obligation on the part of WPFW to represent ALL viewpoints and treat them as equally legitimate. Your host actually had as a guest a representative of “Concerned Women for America,” an ultra far right organization which is on a watch list of hate groups maintained by the Southern Poverty Law Center. If I want to hear the sort of thing I heard this afternoon I can listen to Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, or any number of other anti-gay radio screamers.

    Unlike at least one of the callers, I am not writing this to withdraw my support from the station, as WPFW is far too important to me. I fervently hope that what I just heard was an aberration and that this particular host will not in the future be permitted to hijack the station to express his personal prejudices. I look forward to hearing some explanation of what happened. Someone might look into the no-longer-secret National Organization for Marriage documents revealing that organization’s race-baiting strategy to drive a wedge into the Democratic voter base in advance of the November election. The strategy was discussed on Tuesday’s Democracy Now ( http://www.democracynow.org/seo/2012/5/9/north_carolina_voters_approve_sweeping_amendment ). You may find the source of this afternoon’s debacle there. Between them, the host and guests hit every talking point in the strategy.


    David Weintraub

  9. WPFW is COMMUNITY RADIO, it can not be held to the standards of commercial radio! Yes, there is a need for higher quality production and if WPFW lived up to its stated mission of being an educator those programmers and producers who needed it would get training. The greater need is for a development team focused on building the stations’ revenue outside of fund drives. What’s also needed is visionary leadership, connected to the DMV that can tap the wide variety of skills talents and resources here in the Nation’s capital.

    It’s time for the people to get off the sidelines and take the station back. Simply pledging, like voting, is never enough, hopefully we’re learning this in time to stop the theft of our station.

  10. I found some interesting information from the January 23, 2012 Community Advisory Board (CAB) meeting on how programming and listener metrics for the station are now being viewed. I advise everyone interested in this matter to read pages 6 to 9 of the March 2012 minutes (the January ones are at the end of the March minutes, not posted separately as they should have been), which you can find at this link: http://www.wpfwfm.org/about-us/community-advisory-board.html

  11. another voice – I second what Taylor and Trygstad have said. I’m only sorry it has taken so long for this listener to learn what’s going on. We fought to save Pacifica once, in my history of listening, and we will do it again.

    • I was looking forward to reading action-oriented posts, like yours. Waxing poetically has its place but what’re we gonna do. I hope folks in the DMV plan to pack the next LSB meeting in Dec.

      • For the record, I plan on making my voice heard in writing and in person. This is only the beginning…the poetic waxing you read was “my” first reaction to what I was hearing. However, you are on point that “we the people” and I the person must be about “action” to be heard and affect change.

  12. I have experienced WPFW as the heartbeat of a healthy community. To lose this voice and this forum is unthinkable. To hear that it is being sabotaged and the cries of pain are being ignored— it leaves me without breath, without words.

  13. There are no words that can adequately express my feelings at this time! It is as if I am attending the funeral services of several immediate family members, but I cannot! This is beyond “…this too, shall pass…” I have not been wounded, I have been slain!!!

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