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Pacifica fundraising report

From: Dan Coughlin [ acting Pacifica executive director ]
Subject: Pacifica Posts Record Fundraising
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 10:16 AM

June 12, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: danc@pacifica.org

Record Fund Drives Continue at Pacifica Radio Listeners Rally at Non-Profit Broadcaster's Stations

WASHINGTON, DC (Jun. 12) Continuing the strong show of support for the nation's oldest listener-sponsored broadcaster, Pacifica Radio stations across the country again posted record on-air fundraising drives this past spring, the network announced today.

At Pacifica station WBAI 99.5 FM in New York, listeners pledged some $900,000, an all-time spring fund-drive record and up 55 percent from the $580,000 pledged during last year's spring drive. Listeners at Pacifica station KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles pledged a record $618,000, up 45 percent from the previous year's spring fund drive total of $425,000.

At Pacifica's flagship station, KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley, California, listeners pledged a spring fund raising drive record of $621,000. The drive was capped by the largest single day of fundraising in the station's 53-year history, with some $104,000 pledged on the drive's last day.

"In times of crisis, especially in wartime, communities across the country have traditionally turned to Pacifica. And once again, listeners are relying on Pacifica's unique perspectives on war and peace," said Dan Coughlin, Pacifica's interim Executive Director. "With its independent funding base free from corporate influence, Pacifica is the only national network providing the kind of hard-hitting alternative news and views that educate, inspire and inform."

This spring's fund-raising record follows Pacifica's highest ever winter on-air drive this past January and February, generating nearly $3.5 million in on air pledges at Pacifica's five stations.

The record winter and spring drives come in the wake of last December's settlement of lawsuits brought by reform directors, local station advisory board members, and, on behalf of listeners, the attorney general of California where Pacifica is chartered.

As part of the settlement, a 15-month interim board of directors was created. The board is committed to deepening Pacifica's mission and the network's progressive politics, as well as to a process of listener elections for democratic governance at the non-profit broadcaster. The network is also revising its bylaws through a process that includes a series of grassroots meetings of listeners, staff, and community activists nationwide.

An independent review of the network's finances released earlier this year revealed that the previous regime virtually bankrupted the network. Pacifica's new leadership inherited a working capital deficit of $4.8 million and a projected budget gap of $1.5 million for a 2002 calendar year budget of some $11 million.

But as a result of cost-saving measures and the success of on-air fundraising, Pacifica's finances have stabilized. The network will release up-to-date financial information prior to the Pacifica Board meeting later this month.

Pacifica's two other stations, WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington, D.C., and KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston, have yet to complete their spring fund drives.

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