[lbo-talk] Guma responds

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Wed May 9 17:09:17 PDT 2007

[My post that cited WBAI's R Paul Martin's observations on the possibility of Pacifica exec director Greg Guma's imminent departure made its way to Guma, whose response is below. As for the conspiracy issue, it's all over the Pacifica airwaves, though he's not the responsible party. Many Pacifica producers and audiences love conspiracy theories.]

While there may be some kernels of reality embedded in this post, they are overwhelmed by the inacaccuracies and assumptions. Drawing conclusions from a chance comment can be quite dangerous. Am I leaving? Well sure, eventually — no one stays forever, and I made it clear when I arrived that my tenure would be limited to no more than three years. I'm about halfway there. But I am not being shown the door, and such an assumption is incorrect. I am urging the Board to be proactive, however, in beginning a thoughtful search process. We will all simply have to wait and see how things go from here.

As for charges of "embezzlement, corruption or malfeasance," this is irresponsible rhetoric and not substantiated by available facts. But, of course, blogs are not journalism, and sometimes have little to do with reality.

If I recall, Doug and R. Paul expressed some concerns in January 2006 that my arrival at Pacifica would set loose conspiracy theorists. How did that prediction work out?

Here's a reality check: In 2006, Pacifica launched three new national programs — a daily Spanish language newscast –Informativo Pacifica, a weekly archives-based program — From the Vault, and an election series — Informed Dissent. As far as I know, we didn't launch Conspiracy Digest.

It also provided vital coverage of key congressional hearings, the May Day immigrant rights mobilization, the 2007 Media Reform Conference, and much more. And it had an excellent year in financial terms. The governance structure has some flaws (no news there), but an effort to revisit the bylaws has begun. The growth of digital distribution creates new challenges, but work to address that through a Creative Commons approach is underway. The affiliates network is about to reach 125 stations, and Pacifica is actively promoting the filing of applications for new non-commercial licenses this fall. WBAI has a new general manager, as does KPFA, and the network has a national programming coordinator. For a look at Pacifica's programming, check out the new and improved national website: www.pacifica.org.

These are some of the facts. But hey, rumor is so much more fun, isn't it?

If anyone is truly curious about is happening at Pacifica, the truth is not hard to find. You just need to look, listen, and ask.


Greg Guma

Executive Director

Pacifica Foundation

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