• Without prior notice or consultation Sasha Lilley, interim Program Director, informed Women's Magazine (WM) on 1/20/09 that the show would be taken off the air for 3 months and replaced by “Letters from Washington” hosted by Mitch Jeserich. She stated the reason being that a 1pm public affairs slot was needed for this show but did not explain why their show was the one selected to be replaced.
• Over 50 listeners complained to KPFA mgmt about the abrupt cancellation
• A requested meeting with Sasha and Amelia Gonzalez occurred on 2/19/09. Sasha affirmed that the show would be back on the air at the end of 3 months.
• At the March LSB mtg., when asked when the Women’s Show would return to the air, Lemlem also affirmed that the show would be back on 5/4/09.
• In compliance with a request by WM, a cart was prepared, just prior to the end of the 3 mo period, informing listeners that WM would be back on the air beginning 5/4/09.
• At the above meeting some concerns were raised about the level of programming, and WM reps agreed to work with Amelia to complete a self evaluation.
• The staff were never given a written evaluation or informed of any corrective action plan or timeline in which to improve their programming.
• The staff were never informed that their show may be taken off the air due to its “spotty” programming.
• In fact, after special programming for International Women's Day, WM asked for and got feedback from Amelia.
• In response the show came up with a new format, some new approaches to woman's issues, and laid the groundwork for reorganization.
• The return date was also posted on the KPFA website
• On May 4th, just prior to the show being aired, with the hosts and guests sitting in the studio, with no prior notice or consultation, the board opp informed the WM hosts that Sasha had pre-empted their show for a previously aired program.
• Reps of WM met with Sasha that afternoon to discuss the situation. She was apologetic, and said she had no idea the show was scheduled to be back on the air on that date. She still maintained that she had misread an email from Amelia confirming the May 4th air date for the show.
o even though KPFA has speakers throughout the station that air live programming, including the carts;
o and even though Sasha, as the interim PD, should be fully aware of the KPFA programming schedule.
• At this same meeting WM reps asked Sasha when the show would be back on the air. She indicated, for the first time, that it would depend upon their upcoming program evaluation.
• The WM requests support from the LSB and the KPFA listening community for continued programming of the only program on KPFA specifically serving the women’s community and other marginalized communities, in conformance with the Pacifica mission.
• The WM further requests that there be open and transparent communication between KPFA mgmt and WM staff.
• The WM welcomes feedback from mgmt regarding a critical evaluation of its programming and suggestions for corrective action.
• The WM requests that the LSB use this experience as a template to guide its recommendations to KPFA mgmt in its oversight role regarding programming policy that is fair, open and transparent.
• The WM requests that KPFA mgmt reconstitute the Program Council which did develop a fair, open and transparent policy regarding KPFA programming and evaluations.
• And WM reminds the LSB that there are system-wide power imbalances in the broader Pacifica family, and that these need to be addressed as well.
Thank you for your attention to these matters.
The Women's Magazine
The below motion was approved by the PNB on 4/26/09
Motion: That the LSB’s are 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 programming” We recommend to the PNB that they request, in writing, an explanation from the LSBs, GMs and PDs on how they are implementing this bylaw.