Fwd: Berry Affirms Board's Plans to Sell KPFA

Chuck Grimes cgrimes at tsoft.com
Thu Aug 26 12:49:03 PDT 1999

The latest from Savepacifica is below.


Pacifica board chair Dr. Mary Frances Berry paid a series of stealth visits to WBAI, Pacifica's New York station, this week.

Dr. Berry first demanded an hour-long interview on the air, without allowing either interviewer to prepare their questions. She refused to take live phone calls.

She then requested an immediate meeting with staff, only about twenty of whom were in the building.

During the course of this meeting, according to some of those present, Dr. Berry stated that there were at least five board members in favor of selling KPFA (presumably herself, Micheal Palmer, David Acosta, Frank Millspaugh, and Ken Ford).

She also admitted that her "six months to succeed" ultimatum to KPFA was an impossible goal, since KPFA would not be provided the resources to succeed.

She evidenced "extreme rancor and antagonism" towards Pacifica in general, according to long-time WBAI programmer and local advisory board member Mimi Rosenberg.

Berry also posited a scenario where KPFA would be sold and smaller stations in the South would be bought.

"Under no circumstances," said Dr. Berry, would she return the national Pacifica office to Berkeley, or allow Berkeley to be a national production hub.

"She is not cognizent of the intent of the stations she rules," concluded Rosenberg. "She made terrible slurs about the people at KPFA...and she was in a room with 90% people of color, and many of us activists, and she chose to lecture us about diversity."

The full text of Mimi Rosenberg's recounting of the meeting, in an interview with KPFA "Flashpoints" hosts Dennis Bernstein and C.S. Soong, may be read at (http://www.savepacifica.net/990826_rosenberg.html).

(Berry also implied that WBAI would be placed in some sort of "receivership" soon, with an inspection team from Pacifica arriving to supervise its operations. There is widespread speculation that Pacifica, having been at least temporarily thwarted in their plan to shut down and sell KPFA by enormous community and political pressure, and having incurred between $300,000 - $500,000 in unbudgeted expenses in pressuring and temporarily shutting down KPFA, may now try to do something similar in New York, and try to sell WBAI instead.)

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