KPFA launches a morning news hour at 7AM, moves broadcast of Democracy Now to 6AM

Starting Thursday, May 17, at 7AM, tune your dial to KPFA 94.1FM for Up Front, a news collaboration that many hope will begin to rebuild the station’s morning audience. KPFA issued this press release today about the new show, which will be a collaboration between KPFA and sister station KPFK in Los Angeles. Produced by KPFA’s award-winning News Department, Up Front will include “challenging interviews with political and community leaders, civil but heated debates, and frequent breaking news updates.”

KPFA’s Brian Edwards-Tiekert and KPFK’s Sonali Kolhatkar will co-host. Up Front will include “voices both familiar and new.” The first broadcast of Democracy Now! will return to its traditional time of 6AM to make room for the new program.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP: circulate this message to your network, then TUNE IN AND MAKE A PLEDGE on Thursday during the 7AM hour.  The number to call is 800-439-5732 (800-HEY-KPFA), or pledge online at  You are also invited to KPFA’s studios at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way in Berkeley on Thursday for the program’s launch. Answer phones or bring some food to share. Let’s a take a moment to celebrate and support KPFA!

Pacifica National Board votes to “wind down” use of union-busting law firm Jackson Lewis

“It took hundreds of letters, over two thousand petition signatures, a picket from KPFA listeners and staff, and two strong resolutions from the local boards of KPFA and Los Angeles sister station KPFK,” said KPFA board chair Margy Wilkison, “but we got Pacifica to at least back away from employing those union-busters at Jackson Lewis.”

She’s referring to the fact that the Pacifica National Board passed a measure in closed session to “wind down” its current employment of the firm, which Pacifica hired on retainer earlier this year. The motion allows Jackson Lewis to complete work on three cases the firm is currently handling for Pacifica, as national board member Dan Siegel reported to the Local Station Board on May 5. | LISTEN to Siegel’s report (2 minutes of audio)

KPFA local board to Pacifica: stop taking our funds unilaterally

At the same KPFA Local Station Board meeting, board members passed several important resolutions. One addressed Pacifica’s frequent raiding of KPFA’s accounts to meet the financial obligations of other Pacifica stations. Members passed a resolution directing KPFA’s delegates to the Pacifica National Board to bring a motion there that restricts Pacifica management’s ability to take KPFA’s money unilaterally. | LISTEN to the entire May 5 LSB meeting here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.

Mark your calendars: the next KPFA Local Station Board is June 2, from 11AM to 4PM, place to be arranged. The Pacifica National Board is planning an in-person meeting in the Berkeley in the last half of July. We’ll let you know when exact dates and locations are available. Also, KPFA’s Community Advisory Board meeting will be held on Sunday, May 20 at 11am in KPFA’s studios at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (just north of University Ave in Berkeley).  This meeting is open to the public.

Van Jones to Pacifica: “take your hands off KPFA”

In a recent station fundraiser, long-time supporter Van Jones spoke about the role KPFA played in his early life and work, and sent a strong message to Pacifica about its meddling in KPFA’s affairs: “There’s a reason we’re so passionate about this station,” said Jones, “and there’s a reason the people in Pacifica need to listen to the voice of the people and take their hands off this station and let the voice of the people be heard. We can solve these problems here locally.”

If you missed his talk, here’s the next best thing: a 3 minute clip from the presentation. Jones is president and founder of Rebuild the Dream, an initiative to restore good jobs and economic opportunity. He’s also co-founder of three thriving nonprofit organizations (the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All). You can also get a CD of his talk as a premium with your donation to KPFA.