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bylaw index | Murdock's proposed changes

More analysis of Murdocks proposed bylaw changes

From: Craig Gingold
Date: Thu Feb 1, 2001 5:01am
Subject: Analysis of Pacifica By-Law Changes
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Subject: Pacifica By-Law Changes
Date sent: Wed, 31 Jan 01 15:32:38 -0800
From:Ben Clarke

I suggest adding the following two bullet points to summaries of what the proposed murdock bylaws would do.

Ben Clarke
Media Alliance San Francisco

**Murdock's proposed bylaws would subordinate membership, qualifications, policies and procedures of the LABs to control by "the regulations of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting "

**Murdock's proposed bylaws implicitly and explicitly reverse the no-sale resolution and committment to requiring a 2/3 vote to sell stations that was passed unanimously by the Board of Directors in Hoston in October of 1999.


Listeners/activists should recall that the continuation of CPB money was used as a pretext by Pat Scott & CPB president Robert Coonrod in the illegal bylaw change of February 1999. The enshrining in the bylaws of the regulations and procedures of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting implies that Pacifica will always apply for and receive CPB money and that it will obey CPB regulations no matter how arbitrary and anti-democratic.

While the original decision to accept CPB money was couched in the idea that it would be discontinued if it compromised the independence of the network it is now barely mentioned in the debate over Pacifica's future. Murdock's language implicitly and explicitly includes LAB obedience to current and future unidentified CPB regulations. Allowing a government sponsored entity to control any aspect of its operations is in direct contradiction to the mission of the Pacifica.


"Section 9.3 Nominating Members ...Each Local Advisory Board shall, as an entity, be a "Nominating MemberÓ"and have all of the rights and duties described in section 396 of the Federal Communications Act, The Regulations of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, these bylaws and the policies and procedures that the executive committee of the board shall establish for nominating members and local advisory boards.

Section 9.4 Number and Qualification. ...[LAB members must demonstrate a]... commitment to the requirements and purposes of Local Advisory Boards under section 396 of the Federal Communications Act, the regulations of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, these Bylaws, and the policies and procedures for Local Advisory Boards established by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

Section 9.6 Policies and Procedures ...Local advisory boards and each person who serves on a local advisory board shall comply with all policies and procedures established by the board of directors through the executive committee from time to time and shall comply with the duties and obligations in the Federal Communications Act, regulations of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the By-laws of the Foundation as applicable to Local Advisory Boards."

REVERSAL OF THE 10/99 NO SALE RESOLUTION IN HOUSTON The fact that Murdock's bylaws reverse the no-sale resolution is recognized in most all of the analysis of the bylaws but for the sake of the general public and listeners who joined the battle to save KPFA this reversal of the no-sale resolution should be highlighted.

The fund drives at KPFA made after Houston 10/99 were conducted on the basis of "no sale" and the committment of the entire board to pass a bylaw requiring a 2/3 majority for any sales. The donating public needs to be made aware that the board is explicitly considering reversing this decision. The resistance to selling the stations is the greatest point of unity by all the forces that participated in saving KPFA and fighting for free sppech throughout the network signal areas.

The resolution as passed by the board in Houston was as follows: "The Pacifica national board will take no action to sell, transfer or encumber any Pacifica broadcast license or station, and that we will not as a board even explore such a sale and that we admonish board members not to do anything that would lead reasonable people to believe that they are in the process of trying to explore for the board a sale or transfer of a license. Period"

Board Chair Mary Frances Barry and the entire board also agreed at that meeting to develop a bylaw which would codify this decision to require a 2/3 majority of the entire board to approve a sale. Frank Millspaugh was assigned to develop such a resolution and bring it back to the board for approval. No such bylaw has since been proposed.** That board committment is still outstanding. Murdock's proposal is explicitly contrary to the prior resolution by the board.

**[If I am not mistaken, Tomas Moran (one of the two board members who represents KPFA on the national board), has repeatedly sought to introduce such a resolution, but the board majority has refused to permit him to do so. -- Craig Gingold]

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