GM Report May/June 2018. By Quincy McCoy.

GM Report May/June 2018

By Quincy McCoy


Personnel Update

Unfortunately, we have lost some staff members. May 1st was the last day for Cat Brooks as a member of the Up Front morning broadcast. As you all have heard she is now a candidate for Mayor of Oakland.


In keeping with our election policy, all programmers who run for office are required to leave our air the moment they publicly announce. Cat put in her leave of absence papers and if her campaign fails, it offers her the opportunity to return to her co-hosting position. We just finished the process of hiring an interim co-host, and we’re delighted to add energy journalist and activist Antonia Juhasz.  Some of you may remember that she was a member of the Terra Verde show.


Also departed from Up Front is producer Lucy Kang. Lucy left at the end of the May for China to visit family for six months. She was with us for a year, but like many the morning show producers, the job burns folks because of its stressful, unrelenting format that demands to be fed a constant diet of content.  We had an open hire for the producer position and it was offered to Corinne Smith, who has been a reporter for the news department, done fill-in work for Up Front, and produced our State of the Union special broadcast coverage.


Another big loss is our program director Laura Prives, who after 15 years at KPFA last day was yesterday. Laura was our secret weapon, when it came to creating successful fund drives with her encyclopedic knowledge of premiums, the Pacifica archives, and simply what works and what doesn’t with our listenership; along with her excellent editing skills. Her departure will leave a significant hole that we will never be able to completely fill.  Many programmers depended on her good taste, honesty, and her shoulder to lean on. As PD of KPFA, an impossible, thankless job, she has been extremely dependable, passionate and fair.  Her leadership, dedication, and creativity will be missed.


Yet when one door closes another window of opportunity opens. I’ve had a goal to lessen the PD’s load by hiring someone specifically for pledge drives, to wrangle programmers and keep our fund drives organized, stimulating and successful. Of course, the perfect person for this is a development director, which we can’t afford at the moment; but fortunately, a former KPFA subscription person, Brooke Caputo, who has been working part-time as a development director, has agreed to come back and run our drives. When Brooke left subscriptions, the reason why we didn’t totally collapse was because of the strong systems she had created, that we still utilize today.


With Brooke on board, it was easy to convince Kevin Cartwright to step in as interim PD.  Kevin who has been overseeing the music programmers, off-air partnerships and website marketing and social media will add administrating the troops to his job description.


Fund Raising

April 15th Birthday Membership Drive focused on gaining new members raised nearly $37 thousand dollars. After the drive, our total members are now 16,312.  Our new total of Allies is 1,128.  We will check our membership totals again after the on-going Spring Drive.


KPFA-FM 94.1
69th BIRTHDAY DRIVE 2018 Pledge Drive  (Fri., 4/13/18)
As of 5/18/18
$40,000 $36,846 92.1% $8,128 22.06% $28,718
$ % of TTL $ % of TTL
Acquisitions –                            New members 4,396 11.9% 1,775 21.2% 2,621
Renewals –                            Within 3-mo of exp. 6,616 18.0% 1,405 16.5% 5,211




$ % of TTL $ % of TTL
Rejoins –                                Lapsed memberships 6,872 18.7% 1,799 18.6% 5,073
Add’l Gifts –                                     Repeating FD donors 18,962 51.5% 3,149 43.7% 15,813
TOTALS $36,846 100% $8,128 100% $28,718
INSTALLMENT/ SUSTAINING PLANS * : $26,090 70.8% $65 0.8% $26,025
LUMP-SUM PLEDGES: $10,756 29.2% $8,063 99.2% $2,693
TOTALS $36,846 100% $8,128 100% $28,718

* Installment/ Sustaining Plans are 70.8% of the total pledges. However, they don’t get charged/paid for the first time/first payment until 5/21/18, therefore, the current “paid” figure looks very low.


Lump-Sum Pledges are 29.2% of the total pledges, but 99.2% of those were already paid. Now we wait until (hopefully) all the Installment/ Sustaining payments come in.




Spring Fund Drive

All the non-profit radio stations in the market were conducting their pledge drives so our donations were a little less than usual.  Thankfully donations did pick up during the week after.



KPFA-FM 94.1
SPRING DRIVE 2018 Pledge Drive  (Tues., 5/8 thru Fri., 5/25/18)
As of 6/13/18
$620,000 $583,998 94.2% $396,617 67.91% $187,380






$ % of TTL $ % of TTL
Acquisitions –                            New members 99,814 17.1% 69,433 21.2% 30,381
Renewals –                            Within 3-mo of exp. 95,903 16.4% 66,813 16.5% 29,090
Rejoins –                                Lapsed memberships 125,501 21.5% 88,004 18.6% 37,497
Add’l Gifts –                                     Repeating FD donors 262,779 45.0% 172,367 43.7% 90,412
TOTALS $583,998 100% $396,617 100% $187,380
INSTALLMENT/ SUSTAINING PLANS * :     $77,648 13.3% $0 0%     $77,648
LUMP-SUM PLEDGES: $506,349 86.7% $396,607 67.91% $109,742
TOTALS $583,998 100% $396,607 67.91% $187.390

* Installment/ Sustaining Plans are 13.3% of the total pledges. However, they don’t get charged/paid for the first time/first payment until 6/20/18, therefore, the ZERO has been “paid” to-date.


Lump-Sum Pledges are 86.7% of the total pledges, but 67.91% of those were already paid. Now we wait until (hopefully) all the Installment/ Sustaining payments come in.



Tech and Operations


Our Operations staff held department meetings on improving communication, easing technical pain-points, and expanding cooperative professional relationships within and outside of the department.

There has been a clearing out the engineering offices and closets of obsolete equipment opening up work and storage space. There has been another network infrastructure upgrade for recording video of musicians in our performance space. An outside, independent, free assessment was made as to the state of the audio production facilities. Regular maintenance and pain points are being addressed. The continued deployment of staff workstation computers is underway with half of the station being upgraded.


Contracts with communication providers AT&T, Comcast, and Vianet are slated for retirement with being brought in to provide Internet and phone service at a drastically reduced rate. ISDN lines were terminated saving thousands in favor of ipDTL, a subscription service providing equal to or better than service for ~$2,000 a year. An off-air campaign is being coordinated for Control Room and Studio upgrades. Our soon to be employed, new phone system allows streamlined communication between on-air hosts and Board Operators as well as improving the audio quality of callers. We hope to have it in by the fall.


There has been a purchase of a new Audio Mixing Board and phone system for KPFB and a development setup is in operation. A new station roll out of new Studios and Control Rooms in the fall will reduce operational overhead and streamline productivity as well as restore confidence in the department and station.


New personnel have brought tighter management oversight. The department is engaging in review of schedules to organize the most efficient and productive staff. Operations has set up weekly Operations Dispatches which communicate changes in technology as well as offer a space for staff feedback.


Sexual Harassment Training

Pacifica issued and requested that all permanent employees complete the training,

AB 1825: Workplace Harassment Prevention by Friday, May 18, 2018. All KPFA employees have completed the 2-hour training.


Sale of Nakapan & National Office


KPFA’s business manager, Maria Negret, has been overseeing the cleanup, disposing of junk, basically emptying 1921 MLK, also known as Nakapan. This building has been storage for both KPFA and Pacifica National Office for years.



  • Mark Torres and Edgar Toledo from Pacifica Radio Archives flew in on Wednesday, May 9th and packed a U-Haul to the ceiling and wall-to-wall with old KPFA reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, CDs, DVDs, whatever they could find. They also took three old reel-to-reel machines to facilitate the process of archiving these treasures. They worked at least 12-hours that day, yet there’s still more for them to take.
  • Now that the old tapes are gone, the old files have come back into KPFA’s (now dry) storage room.
  • Years and years of folios have also come back into KPFA’s storage room.
  • Envelopes for premium shipments have been put into the phone room cabinets.
  • Old equipment has gone to e-waste.
  • Garbage has gone into the dumpster!
  • Maria’s husband trucked two huge radio dishes and a large spool of cable up to the transmitter on Grizzly Peak.


National Office

  • In 2013, approximately 150 dusty, mildew boxes full of old work papers, invoices, cancelled checks, payroll and personnel records that were brought from a storage unit to Nakapan. Now they have been taken into national’s office. These have been added to the myriad of old records that have been piling up at national office over the years.
  • Maria has also been drafted into overseeing the archiving of old Pacifica records to make heads or tails of what’s in the boxes.
  • Pacifica will be “renting-back” 1925 MLK from the new owners for one year ($4,500 a month).


CWA Contract Negotiations

This week we began our first round of discussion about a new contract. CWA and its members are interested in a raise, since it’s been three years since their last increase.  I’m interested in gaining savings in the benefits package, with a slightly higher co-pay level and employee pay in for spouses.


The KPFA Movie Matinee

In partnership with the New Parkway theatre, KPFA will present a series of curated films (ranging from documentaries to political, or social justice themes) beginning with our first presentation on Saturday July 28th with All The Presidents Men. Ticket price will range from 10-12 dollars with two-dollar discounts for seniors and students.


New KPFA Mailer

We’re trying something new.  If any of you have received our tired, sad and sadly ineffectual green and white pamphlet in the mail you know what I mean.  The high cost of envelopes and repeat mailing of said has led to this new and cheaper way for us to reach out to our donor base. (Nearing break even vs. cost and reward) Also by simply using our style guide from the web designers we are able to create an more colorful and interesting piece of content that hopefully is stickier with our listeners.