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PNB meeting draft agenda: rent KPFA?
11-12-01


( 11-16-01 Pacifica national board meeting draft agenda lower on this page )

From: Mark Hernandez
Date: Tue Nov 13, 2001 2:35 am
Subject: LMA: Sale or Split?

Folks, we're getting contradictory information posted about, so here are the options:

Local Marketing Agreement.
Local Management Agreement.
Local Marketing Agreement is when someone "leases" you station and signal, and pays you for the use of your license. In other words, a way to "sell" the station but without actually losing control/ possession of it.

The consequences of this are pretty obvious, so I won't detail them out unless someone asks.

I don't think it is likely to be the definition above...I think it is the definition below that is the genuine problem:

Local Management Agreement means that Pacifica is going to offer the staff and listeners of KPFA the ability to operate with a contracted "hands off" by the Pacifica National Board, and will likely be observed so long as KPFA meets it's fundraising goals and sends $X to the PNB at intervals.

In other words, the PNB is thinking that by letting the only _locally_ organized listening area have control of KPFA, those of us in the area would drop out of the struggle...and allow the PNB to consolidate control more rigidly and viciously elsewhere.

In the end, however, the PNB will come back after KPFA should that plan come to fruition...so accepting such an offer would not only guarantee a PNB victory by splitting us apart and preventing us from developing an organized action.

CONCLUSION: The idea of an LMA is a bad thing if one, and a worse thing if the other.

Just say NO to an LMA, whatever the definition.

Mark Hernandez
KFCF Volunteer | FFCF Member/Director | KPFA Volunteer/LAB Member

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[ from the message board at: http://www.goodlight.net/wbai ]
Cannibal at home reposts M. Hernandez
LMA WARNING! LMA in the works for KPFA similar to WEVD
Mon Nov 12 22:44:17 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Hernandez
To: Free Pacifica
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2001 9:13 PM
Subject: LMA WARNING

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 15:28:44 -0800
From: Chris Bille

I was just looking over the agenda for the upcoming Pacifica board meeting, posted on their website, and was struck by one item in particular: they've scheduled a discussion of a local marketing agreement (LMA) in conjunction with KPFA. I'm not sure if this is a new development or an ongoing controversy that has escaped my notice, but if it's the former, pay close attention. An LMA (quite common in the commercial radio world) is essentially the "leasing" of an entire station by its owner to another party, typically for a flat yearly fee but sometimes including a set percentage of future profits. The transaction is registered with the FCC, making the "lessee" legally responsible for operating the station. The "lessee" then operates and manages the station as if he/she/it were the actual owner, hoping to make a profit thereby.) I have no idea what Pacifica intends - it may in fact be something more limited in scope - but I think it bears investigating as to whether they might be considering such a move as a possible "final solution" to the KPFA crisis, and maybe WBAI in the future. Conceivably, an LMA could allow Pacifica to neutralize KPFA politically, and profit from it, without actually selling the station. Personally I have never heard of an LMA for a public or nonprofit station, though it's not unthinkable that such a thing may exist somewhere.

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Cannibal at home reposts Spooner
Spooner writes on this topic...
Tue Nov 13 00:17:08 2001

From: Carol Spooner
Date: Mon Nov 12, 2001 11:29 pm
Subject: Re: [freekpfk] Fw: Re: [NewPacifica]LMA ON Draft Agenda of PNB mtg 11/16-18

The Court entered a stipulated order preventing negotiating or entering into any such contracts last June. We will certainly call this to the attention of the new attorneys -- and the court if necessary.

--Carol Spooner

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Andrea C.
Role of LMAs in Public Radio from Station Resource Group
Mon Nov 12 22:49:48 2001

In hunting for links on the role of LMAs in public radio I came across this site for the Station Resource Group http://www.srg.org

"The Station Resource Group is the membership organization of public radio's leading broadcasters. SRG's 46 members operate 164 public radio stations across the country, account for one-third of public radio's audience, and produce the majority of public radio's national programming.

The SRG web site provides access to many of the Station Resource Group's current projects and an archive of key material from earlier initiatives."

Pacifica Foundation is listed as a member though this may be outdated as the contact given was Bessie Wash.

There are two pieces worth checking out: Building Capacity for Public Radio http://www.srg.org/delivery/buildcap.html and another specifically on LMAs http://www.srg.org/delivery/localman.html

Here's a pithy bit from the LMA piece....see especially last paragraph re "cash in hand."

The Advantages and Disadvantages of LMA Agreements

LMAs offer the advantage of creating a distinct management structure for the operation of a station without either party involved having to acquire or sell the license. From the licensee's perspective, the university or school board can step away from the day-to-day challenges of running a public radio station, while maintaining control of the license. From the view of the operator, running a successful public radio station is the top priority, and execution of that goal is unencumbered by politics and competing priorities. Budgeting, staffing, and compensation decisions could also be made outside the context of the licensee's policies.

At all times, however, the licensee is ultimately answerable for compliance with FCC rules and regulations-and for every second of the station's programming. This is one of the primary disadvantages to the LMA situation. To maintain this control, an LMA must give the licensee the ability to terminate a management agreement, or exert veto power over specific programs if the licensee determines that programming does not meet its standards, or the standards of the community served.

From the operator's standpoint, these termination and control clauses mean that a successful LMA agreement will be characterized by a strong, ongoing relationship with the licensee-a relationship in which the licensee is informed and aware of major programming changes that the operator may want to implement or other issues that might affect the licensee's standing with the Federal Communications Commission.

Does an LMA Require FCC Approval?

LMAs need to be filed with the FCC, but do not require FCC approval. Because FCC approval is not required, an LMA is not affected by public notice or comment requirements associated with license transfers or other major changes. The issue of communication with the public can be addressed entirely within the context of community relations.

LMA Costs

In the commercial radio world, operators who entered into LMAs with a licensee usually paid a monthly fee to the licensee. These fees partially offset any continuing operating costs incurred by the licensee and provided some additional compensation. The fees ranged from a few thousand dollars a month in smaller markets to more substantial fees in larger markets.

Nonprofit licensees considering having another entity operate their station under an LMA may have interests beyond financial gain. For example, the institution may be interested in better management of a public asset, promotion of the institution to the community of service, student training or internship programs for students, or even the opportunity to withdraw from operating responsibilities, as well as cash in hand. To date, most management agreements with noncommercial licensees have not been done on a fee basis. As with the sale of noncommercial stations, there are no real market standards for monthly fees for a noncommercial LMA. As more institutions and operators explore LMAs for noncommercial stations a price range based upon market size will begin to emerge

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From: Andrew Norris [ wbai LAB member ]
Date: Mon Nov 12, 2001 5:04 pm
Subject: Draft Agenda of PNB mtg 11/16-18

The following was placed on http://www.pacifica.org/info/releases/pbm11_12_.html on Monday, November 12, 2001 at 3:51 PM:
---------------

Pacifica Foundation Board of Directors Meeting
November 16, 17, 18, 2001
Doubletree Hotel, Crystal City, VA

Draft Agenda

1.0 Call to
Order...................... Farrell
2.0 Minutes of November 3, 2001
................................... Farrell
3.0 Chair's Comments ..................................Farrell
     3.1 Peace Initiative
     3.2 Executive Committee Ratification
     3.3 Election of Vice Chair
   a. Board Member Resignation
     3.4 Interim Executive Director

4.0 Interim Executive Director Report........ ...... Meredith
     4.1 Administrative Overview
     4.2 Executive Director Search

5.0 Finance Committee...................... Johns

6.0 Operations Committee ................... Murdock
     6.1 Pacifica Program Policy & Standards Committee
     6.2 Executive Director Resignation
     6.3 Appointment of Interim Executive Director
     6.4 AFTRA Contract for WBAI

7.0 Governance Committee
     7.1 KPFK Staff Concerns
     7.2 KPFA Local Marketing Agreement
     7.3 HQ Business Center/LMA Issues

8.0 Adjournment ........................ Farrell


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