KPFA General Manager Report August/September 2018

By Quincy McCoy


There has been lots of activity going on in the past several months. Lets start with programming. PD Kevin Cartwright’s objective in this department is to improve our overall listener experience by developing and introducing fresh, relevant programming that informs and inspires our listeners old and new.


New Program Development:


“Countdown 2018” with Larry Bensky (Fridays @ Noon pm)

We needed an insightful program about the upcoming, pivotal Midterm elections (local, regional + national).  It’s a unique approach in that it is an informative “Short Run Series” that we’ll be doing more of in 2019.  I just noticed that the NY Times just opted to do something similar.


Your Call – Media Review (Friday @ 3 pm)

Rational: We wanted a really well done, locally produced media week in review program that covered top and under-reported news.  As well, we like that it is locally known and respected.  We can build off of that familiarity and respect.  A real local asset.


East Bay Yesterday (Liam O’Donoghue, Wednesdays @ 1 pm)

This program began as a local podcast 3 years ago. A fresh look at East Bay history through creative storytelling.  This is the kind of programs we’re currently developing featuring a new, younger voice and vision.


Best of KPFA (Alternates with East Bay Today)

A necessary program highlighting the best of KPFA programs and specials over the years.  Our goal is to reintroduce our audiences to the powerful moments and movements that have made KPFA a unique, one-of-a-kind listening experience.


Let’s Talk Music (D-Minor, Thomas J)

This is a really fresh look at music and culture.  These are the fresh and alive voices we are excited to promote, particularly as we want to increase and improve our footprint with younger audiences.


Under Construction – Programs to Come

Two Music + Culture programs for Sunday evening that will help create a new block of culture and music that helps invite news listeners to KPFA.


99% Invisible: 99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about  – the unnoticed Architecture and design that shape our world.


“California In Flux” (A Podcast)” In development this with Indian journalist and transplant, Mukta Patil.  We’ll be telling unique story about California challenges with climate and technology.  We’re looking specifically at Northern California areas like Sacramento, The North Bay, Silicon Valley, and the Central Valley.


Music Specials

Beatles Special, A through Z – October 20th

An on-air event that highlights our great music programmers and our flexibility. It’s also an amazing scalable opportunity to attract listeners who don’t know who we are.




Database and donor management is getting cleaned up and ready for the process of migrating and building a new database. This process will simplify and make it easier for donors to support the station. And will be critical to building relationships with our current donors and donors in the future.


– Very positive changes have been happening to our fund drive practices. We will now be compliant with current standards of taking pledges and credit card information over the phone during fundraisers. Volunteers will take donations on laptops and donor information will be even more secure. Credit cards will also be charged right away at the time of the donation, instead of going through a third party company to charge them – This will 1) Get us money faster 2) Donors will find out if their credit card went through right away 3) Save us time because we won’t have to upload and download reports before charging cards and we won’t have to chase donors down for new credit card #’s or expiration dates. To put it in the mildest terms, this is a complete game-changer. There are more changes to come but this is a very exciting overture.

– Fall Fundraiser is shaping up with good premiums lined up but will also be promoting our coverage of the elections as a great example of the donors contributions at work. This is a great time to show off our efforts and show people they have every reason to support this station if we are providing the unique coverage they want.


Operations Department


  • Our Second National Broadcast was a success with a two-fold increase of listenership during the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing.
  • Upgrades in equipment continue to be made. We’ve upgraded the following: Emergency Alert System is now automated, 20 new computers have been installed, new clocks have been placed in studios (syncs up website archives, airchecks recording and on-air content to one universal KPFA time)
  • Communication between the Programming Department and Operations Department has been improved and we continue to work on improving communication.


Quote from Antonio “When I came back to KPFA in January 2018, we had dead air at least once a week, issues with broadcasting incorrect content due to miscommunication between programmers and Operations daily, technical issues with equipment in the studios daily as well, and a general unhappiness with KPFA’s work environment.  I’ve communicated with as many staff members as possible and have improved our systems of communication. I am happy to report that major technical issues are no longer a daily occurrence and there are days where the station runs so smoothly that we can begin to focus on future projects.  An example of a future project of mine is more training and support for paid and unpaid programmers.  I am currently training Sheela Gunn-Cushman of Pushing Limits on how to engineer studio recordings.  We’ve begun putting braille labels on the main production soundboard.  I look forward to the day that Sheela can board op a live show for Pushing Limits.  I invite any member in the board to come speak with me about ways we can collaboratively work together to make KPFA work for everybody.”