Monday, June 27, 2011

another OPEN LETTER to new KPFK General Manager

This is another OPEN letter because there has been no responses to various emails sent to the KPFK General Manager at his corrected address.

And though this is not unusual to all listeners' previous attempts at corresponding with any staff at KPFK. there should be a two-way communication with any place that takes in our money - it must be possible. Yet sometimes it becomes only a 1-way attempt to make connections - that are not even acknowledged. So are they received ? We dont ever find out. No response may mean 'dont care' ?

Who knows if the emails sent are opened or read ?
Who knows if the words and thoughts are not even opened - to find out for whatever is expressed - even if these writers put forth efforts with good intentions, thought-out suggestions, precious time and persistence ?

Who knows what goes on in the internal bowels of the free-speech radio station called KPFK we financially support, anyhow ?

And because we $stakeholders CARE enough to persist in our dedications to making contact, and to being a PART of what we pay for, and we are diligent in not being just ignored until 'fund-raising' re-occurs, we write or call one more time.

So here it is, this email was sent well over a week ago - and now is OPENed to any interested reader here as well:

June 18,2011

"Hi Bernard

We saw you recently at the LSB meeting. We are glad to have you present and hopefully to be able to solve the many problems that have been noted and commented upon in prior emails to the station staff, and some unsolved procedures that continue to persist at the station. We are sure you know what you are getting into. We wish you strength, focus and good hard work at making improvements as well. Glad you have arrived to help manage OUR station, for us.

We are separately forwarding the 2nd recent email we sent - that was not delivered because the WEBSITE LISTS the "GM" address differently [than one a friend revealed as the corrected one: - so there was another 'mail failure.' Luckily we were able to ask someone else who knew more of the internal workings at KPFK - who gave us this address for you instead.

That kind of negligence and unaccountability and lack of access to you by KPFK members is typical of the alienation we have from staff and programmers at KPFK - from those of us who actually pay and support the station - and so these glitches are inexcusable. So we assume you will now supervise those who appear to be neglecting their job and duties, even while being paid for the work ?

Why doesn't someone know that there are errors that continue to appear on KPFK's website ? This is the 2nd main way of accessing information or programs from the station. Or are those workers that you have joined are not even noticing the changes ? The $stakeholder members and volunteers all need to be acknowledged and openly so, so when correspondences are not just 'lost', but may be put aside, ignored, or left unread or unanswered, we wonder. Some [any] acknowledgement is surely due to all those who pay membership /shareholder fees towards your and other staff salaries too. Hope it is OK to mention money, as when it is fund drive time that is all we hear...but then later what we dont get is...
oh, you know.

I sure hope you have someone helping you now, as an assistant or secretary, to attend to those sincere attempts to communicate with you from KPFK supporters. And more so with all the other changes and improvements needed in there too.

We also am asking [and others are too]this:
that the 2 videographers who did not identify themselves at the June LSB meeting, advise you and LSB chairperson as to who they are - or how to access the videos they took - or tell us all what is done with those videos ? The videographers should not be so sly and silent - but be open and share their product's [media's] availability - especially with anyone responsible at station, and especially to those LSB members. Even if not divulged to the rest of us attendees present there, the LSB members can inform us too - because the videos will now be exposed in ways we did not ask to be. Public meetings are not anonymous ones. Privacy is not honored.

Do you even know how you will be exposed on those videos too ? And how open LSB meetings are presented or where ? Do you know anything about this ? We wrote the LSB chairperson as well to ask about this.[Tho there has been no answer from there either so far.]

While all staff at the station appear to be clearly stressed, they are also are hard-workers, dedicated and also often seem to be in conflict with one another - for their different viewpoints or beliefs. They are all commendable for what they can do - as good "workaholics" - and they must put in lots of hard work, there being so few staff available or funded - and also it seems they yet cant or haven't made the improvements so badly needed [ problems known for so long and repeatedly reported to KPFK too ].

We will not enumerate for you all the prior and continuous concerns, complaints and requests we alone have made or attempted to communicate - that have NEVER been addressed, improved or even responded to...for the longest time...but we have concluded that 'it cant be done' and we kinda left the station, separated out and decided we did not want to drop down - as all seemed to be happening deep inside there.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE: Alan Minsky the iPD - is extremely able, competent, smart, workaholic, dedicated and now in more recent times he is making necessary CHANGES in programming. He should be commended for his daring courage and willingness to make improvements - that can make KPFK not the same-old-same-old haranguing repetitious voices of the few.

Many people we also meet OUTside the station have also complained and drifted away to KPCC [as have we, most often] because of the repeated same messages by same people who cling on to their KPFK program spot = their demanding air time for their pet ideas and personal slants. ugh.... So the iPD's changes may bring us all back to KPFK as some innovation is now being attempted and accomplished too.

The prior Pgm Manager was someone who was obviously using cronyism and somehow seemed maybe prejudiced or biased, and very limited in his willingness to open to other than his selected voices - and tho he stayed for years in place - and he did not communicate well with many. Lots of us were glad to see Alan take his place.

The difference in competence and courage and willingness to even experiment with different programming to see what works better is enormous. And we are not 'friends' of Alan's at all, but 'just' we do volunteer and are good observers and occasional listeners and fund contributors too.

We are sure you will hear many sides complaining about the others, each of the pet alliances insisting on their being the only ones to be heard or allowed on air... and pressures from each faction to dominate with their

Many want to be given air time - yes, especially all those who never ever mention aloud the word "payola" - - that many listeners already know that happens - tho not in the old-radio corrupt ways - but as side benefits obviously [sometimes financial too ] accrued by those 'volunteer' programmers. There is so much regular repeated hype, spin, PR and promo's that 'go along with' the banner of some community information being given. Yet no fools listen to KPFK who dont realize the selling promotions advertising under any other name that occurs constantly, tho never ever admitted. No ! never ! Those many programmers who do not do what they do for just 'altruistic service' - tho so they like to present such - like to claim it so. Liars.

Some are more obvious than others in the PR and promos on air that are presented as 'interviewing' and many are especially and notably so at the fund drives. The contributors of free premiums to the station make out cheaply for so much air time for them and their products, so obviously. The pretense it is all only for the funding of the radio station. But such 'other' alliances are profitable in more than in just money grubbing ways as well, as access and benefits occur in other 'corporation businesses' also. KPFK is not as pure as presented and pretended either. As elsewhere, no one will admit or say this though. The fear of being treasonous or betraying the station they fear may collapse keeps silence at a premium, well funded too.

That this is a hidden feature - and has always been so - that the value of getting a program on air, and yet it is denied, never admitted. But this pretense of being just idealistic, altruistic, sharing information, is also often a fake front that most listeners or even volunteers dont want to 'believe' - because they just dont want to be seen as betraying KPFK, for being so cynical. Ideals are hard to chip into.

No need to expose it all. Yet we believe in not being hypocritical
[like KPFK does on air - when criticizing NPR etc for their sponsors - even while KPFKers too are getting other helpful alliances or positions , special accesses, and other hidden benefits from this privilege they have of being on air on KPFK - for themselves - much more than for the generic station itself ].

This may sound hard and critical, and yes, we are writing it openly here , but this 'secret' is not only denied but prohibited from mention anywhere near the station or it's LSB also. Having been affiliated with KPFK since 1960's continuously to now,
we have volunteered mostly at fund drives, and on occasion other chores, and have come to observe folks while in there.

But even while being good observers, communicators and exposers of what we do perceive, we continue on loyally anyhow, in spite of our concerns of what happens there that is never addressed as far as we know.

Note also : the latest LSB Chairperson was so exceptionally good at facilitating that LSB meeting - we were delighted, having had such horrific and scary experiences in past meetings [last one attended may have been 2008 when we felt physically threatened by 1 LSB member while all other members who colluded and enabled such behaviors, were not admitting or helping or stopping it ]. This man's skills and his being willing to do this hard work is commendable [We wrote him so already]. This makes such a big difference ! We are glad he is in charge of these meetings and admiring of his skills too.

Another staff programmer that keeps many other people[who are often strangers met somewhere] is Roy Tuckman's late night or archived programs. The variety and relevance of much of that programming is a draw that cannot be found elsewhere...while much of the political versions may also to be heard elsewhere - even if not in so extensive time slots. And of course Amy Goodman is heard by many even if they dont listen to any other KPFK program, we hear said.

You should also know that the many slanted complaints to get rid of Ian Masters is not heard from listeners outside the station least we have never heard this. But instead find that listeners appreciate his intelligence and his guests on air. This cohort of anti-Ian demanders were a startling 'attack' on a person not present obviously. These demanding listeners are not a majority but were surprising at LSB meeting to be very vocal and maybe unified ? When 'talking behind someone's back' - doing maligning easily - it might be their way to try get THEIR views on air or influence you instead. This display of anger may be something to check out further to inquire which other programmers are resented or wanted replaced by a few cohorts.

We are glad you are here now, and willing to work hard on the dysfunctional family that holds KPFK together. It all is looking very different from the listening-on-air-outside than what is experienced on the inside-closed-doors.

So we can imagine what it may be like for you entering this scene- and we do look forward to complimenting you whenever possible later.

if we can be of any service please let us know."

(C) mj 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

OPEN LETTER to KPFK new General Manager

Open Letter sent to New General Manager Bernard Duncan
June 21, 2011

Dear Bernard Duncan -
[You may care to delegate the responding to this if you care to, but I would appreciate a response either way please ]

It is bad public relations when "our" KPFK website is preventing any access to staff from $TAKEHOLDERS = all those who pay to keep KPFK going on" - by only showing the wrong e-address for you. The continual listing of is not operational and there you are now, hired, in charge and still there is 'mail failure' when any attempt to communicate with you is made. Please make the corrections necessary.

I had to go to another KPFK source to find your correct email, which is now:
"GM Bernard Duncan KPFK"

but also

For a long time there was a "comments" for general comments to be used as the email address a while back - that was not attended nor responded to ever ! There was long ago an automatic email acknowledgment sent back, and then even that was discontinued. No one apparently monitored or read those emails that we made efforts to write, to communicate, to make suggestions, or to ask questions of OUR station/ staff. Then even that small courtesy was soon discontinued so there was NO response at all to emails sent to that address listed for years on the KPFK website.

And yet there was no access to our giving info / suggestions/ concerns to staff or to be able to make complaints either.. and now there is NO such email address at all, with only a phone extension # listed on website. We all know that an answering machine is inhuman and unresponsive. No human calls back either. Is this a pretense or is anyone at KPFK responsible back to those who make their good efforts to contact the station ?

the "program comments" corner email, as it is called, is monitored by receptionist at front desk - only to send mail on to the proper program ....But it is apparently not going to anyone who cares about how stakeholders, listeners, pledgers respond to programs or to the radio station - and have no input at all as to how & where their money goes.

There is no actual ACCESS to communicate with anyone there at KPFK...for years and years the 'freedom' to communicate is not possible. At all. Programmers do not respond from their separate addresses either. I've tried. Failed. Not OK.

that there has never been responses, to emails, to voice mail messages and thus a total hard cold wall has created a lot of poor - very poor - to no good Public Relations. Nor has there been access to anyone for positive communications from those who care about what occurs in and on air at KPFK ... and I am not talking about the cranking angry venting cursers -- but about those who do care and want to say something and at least receive a"thank you for your comment" automatic response - IF nothing else is affordable ...for now.

what do you think ? With your having been a PR person yourself ? This may not be an urgent chore but one that definitely needs your attention, hopefully. Please dont relegate the connection to all those who work, send money, listen and promote KPFK to the least attended concern for station management.

only because I have in past too often spoken directly to GMs, to staff, to programmers - when I am at station working as pledge taker - only then have I ever been able to briefly even voice a good suggestion - or help ssomeone in charge notice the errors that occur. Problems that seem unnoticed or unattended, whether on website, or on-air- disparagement of one programmer about another,and various other glitches and off-putting occurrences that affect KPFK's proper overall functioning, etc.

It seems necessary to make any and all other poor practices visible & audible to all [called 'transparency'] ... to make errors known to then be corrected -is part of good management. Or else the ongoing poor PR and poor inter-relations with all our $$upporters of the station is bad for all concerned - including the then results being the persistently strain [frustrating to all] of prolonged fund raising. You know this already, right ? .

thanks for checking on this - and passing these concerns on to whomever has authority, is responsible, cares enough to do more than their usual chores - and to MAKE all necessary corrections.

And if you agree with any part of this letter - and make observable changes - or maybe even let me know you have read this effort to communicate with you - as the next incoming manager - or if you pass it on to someone else who can do some work for you, that's acceptable too. But if the silence is deafening, as it has been at prior efforts to communicate - our many attempts to suggest, express concerns, etc. - then the funding becomes, of course, that much more difficult too.

The overall inaccessibility has been a concern of many $supporters and is also a reason for resistance of listeners to then helping this non-profit corporation - one that seems to ignore it's contributors, until money is demanded, that is.

I presume and hope you get a good 'secty / assistant' who helps you fulfill all these details and makes your work more productive overall too. I wish you good experiences and effectiveness in improving and managing this long-valued radio station in LA.

(c) mary j. 2011