On Nov. 26, 2012, members and listeners of WPFW Pacifica Radio in Washington, DC first heard programmers announce on air—some tearfully—that they were doing their last shows. These abrupt cancellations were part of a sweeping grid change by station general manager John Hughes that saw the elimination of 35 hours of jazz weekly, the elimination of many popular, quality public affairs shows and hosts and the planned import of corporate-funded, nationally syndicated programming. Starting on that same day, the Concerned Members and Supporters of WPFW responded through this site, thepeople4pfw.wordpress.com, as a vehicle of independent community action and information.
Since then, we have had many victories:
1. John Hughes has had to reinstate several programs initially removed from the air, even though he has thrust them into awkward, unfamiliar timeslots, including:
“Myndtalk” with Pamela Brewer
“On the Margin” with Josephine Reed
“Voices With Vision” by the DC Radio Collective
”The Collectors” with Brother Ah
“In Our Voices “ with NKenge Toure
2. We have exposed the fact that many of programmers that Hughes planned to import have corporate funding from military contractors and Wal-Mart, in violation of Pacifica’s bylaws against.
3. John Hughes has not been able to bring in many of the planned shows, including “The Take Away” with John Hockenberry, “Tell Me More” with Michelle Martin and “The Tavis Smiley Show”
4. More than 400 members and listeners have attended community meetings—Dec. 5, Dec. 11, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19—during which they have demanded that programming be restored at the station and that John Hughes be removed.
5. Despite the effort of station management to cancel the meeting, On Dec. 5, a meeting of 30 station members, listeners and board members took place, during which passed a resolution urging the Local Station Board to initiate the process to fire John Hughes
6. More than 100 letters have been sent to Pacifica Foundation Interim Executive Director Summer Reese concerning the crisis.
7. About 150 people have signed a petition at Change.org condemning the abrupt program grid change and calling for the removal of John Hughes.
8. On Dec. 19, The Local Station Board passed a motion urging the station general manager to restore the programming to pre-Dec. 3 status.
9. On Dec. 28, many of the candidates supported by Concerned Members and Supporters of WPFW were swept onto the Local Station Board.
10. On Jan.9, Yves Point du Jour was elected chairman of the Local Statin Board, unseating Tony Norman. Two other CMS-supported candidates were also elected as officers: Ola Cole-Laryea as secretary and Marcus Jeter as treasurer.