Letter from KFCF to Pacifica
November 29, 2010
Dear Ms Englehardt:
The history and relationship of KPFA-FM in Berkeley and KFCF-FM in Fresno is one
that has a record dating back over 35 years. In addition, the Fresno Free
College Foundation, which owns and operates KFCF-FM, has been involved in
programs for KPFA since its inception in 1968.
This history, which includes members of the Fresno Free College Foundation
serving on both the KPFA Local Station Boards as well as the Pacifica National
Committee, has been one of collegiality and cooperation. Indeed, that same
history has provided a place in the Pacifica By-Laws where KFCF is recognized as
an independent part of the Pacifica Community, and has been given status as an
Associate Station under those same By-Laws.
It is this relationship which allows the Pacifica Foundation the ability to
provide programming to what it terms the Pacifica Network, through use of the KU
band satellite system which FFCF and Pacifica jointly own, but for which FFCF
solely holds the license. Perhaps you are not aware, but the prior Pacifica
administration did not adequately protect the satellite equipment during the
1999 lockout, and it took a threat of legal action before that satellite
equipment was made both safe and secure.
Because of the nature of the arrangements between KFCF and KPFA, it is and has
been incumbent on both KPFA and Pacifica management to keep KFCF and the Fresno
Free College Foundation advised of any significant changes in the shared
programming, as KPFA uses the pledges derived from KFCF listeners to enhance and
improve its standings in obtaining CPB CSG funding. Please understand that the
KFCF listener audience makes up roughly 10% of the total KPFA listenership by
most measures and metrics. Any changes which result in less listeners affects
both stations, and changes without warning or notice affect both stations in the
ability to respond and compensate for those changes.
This is even more important now with the joint “News Stringer Project” between
KPFA and KFCF, providing news and human interest stories from Central California
to the Bay Area, with funding coming from KFCF listeners to pay the stringer
costs. Much of the fundraising for this has come about due to the inclusion of
stories of local interest in both the Morning Show as well as the Evening News,
which has also increased overall fundraising.
It is of more than passing concern, therefore, that the recent changes in the
KPFA Morning Show were made without notice to KFCF or the Fresno Free College
KFCF is more than “just an affiliate”; KFCF was the first station outside the
Pacifica licenses to provide Pacifica and KPFA programming to the larger
community of Central California. More recently, with KPFK as well, the three
stations combined reach roughly 80% of the California population.
Through its participation in both KPFA and Pacifica, KFCF and the Fresno Free
College Foundation have unique rights to membership under the Pacifica By-laws
as well as the operations contract between KPFA and KFCF. And, due to the
financial arrangements that we work under, there are several inherent rights,
not the least of which is to be consulted or notified in advance when
substantive changes are made.
To that end, the Fresno Free College Foundation Board of Directors, meeting on
November 16, 2010, has unanimously adopted the following resolutions:
1) Resolved, the Fresno Free College Foundation requests a conference
between the Executive Directors of both the Pacifica Foundation and
FFCF to discuss what plans are currently in progress and being
considered for future planning at KPFA which will affect the existence
of KFCF now and in the immediate and long-term futures.
2) Resolved, the Fresno Free College Foundation expresses its concern
about the reformatting of the Morning Show without informing its
Associate Station KFCF-FM, its partner in public broadcasting for
over 35 years.
3) Resolved, the Fresno Free College Foundation reminds the Pacifica
Foundation that the satellite equipment on the KPFA premises is
licensed to the Fresno Free College Foundation and jointly owned by
FFCF and Pacifica Foundation; we request that it be protected and
preserved as well as available for inspection by KFCF engineering
We should not need remind the members of the Pacifica Foundation and its network
of stations that KFCF-FM and the Fresno Free College Foundation, founded on the
principles of free speech, free expression and free thought, played both a
silent and pivotal role in the effort to take back Pacifica and preserve its
institutions. This included distribution of DEMOCRACY NOW, FLASHPOINTS FREE
and FREE SPEECH RADIO NEWS by satellite, internet and courier to affected
Pacifica affiliates and the sister stations to KPFA.
What we hope for in relation to the current upheaval at KPFA and Pacifica is an
amiable and collegial resolution in which all affected parties are heard and
their interests considered. We ask that you consider us a partner with a direct
interest in any decisions that are made. For this reason, we ask to be kept
informed and are requesting a meeting with you at your earliest convenience.
Exec Director for the
Fresno Free College Foundation
President for the
Fresno Free College Foundation
Board of Directors