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Houston resignations

From: Denis denis [ Pacifica Campaign ]
Date: Wed Jan 9, 2002 10:59 am
Subject: Ganter and Ramirez resign from KPFT

According to a reliable source, Garland Ganter, General Manager of KPFT, and Mary Ramirez, KPFT Program Director (who has fired programmers for failing to adhere to the computer-generated playlists that she provided) have resigned from KPFT.



Jan. 9, 2002, 11:16PM

Beleaguered KPFT boss to announce resignation

Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle

After four years at the center of local and national controversy, Garlan Ganter said Wednesday he will announce Friday that he is resigning as manager of Pacifica radio's KPFT FM 90.1 in Houston.

"The new national board is making it impossible for a professional to work at Pacifica," he said.

Ganter is the first full-time Pacifica station manager to resign since dissidents last month wrested control of the network's national board from a group bent on mainstreaming its left-leaning radio stations in Houston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York and Berkeley, Calif.

Ganter accused the new board of seeking to centralize control of local programming. "That's something I can't abide," he said. "They want to reverse all the programming changes made over the last couple of years."

New national board member Teresa Allen, whom Ganter had arrested for trespassing in October, said there would be more local control under Ganter's replacement.

Allen was appointed to a new board formed after last month's settlement of lawsuits filed by listeners and a minority board faction opposed to centralizing control of the network and widening its appeal by substituting music for its traditional informational programming.

Under Ganter's leadership, KPFT moved toward more daytime music and dropped its local news coverage.

Ganter gained a reputation as an enforcer among his detractors when he was called to the network's KPFA station in Berkeley in 1999 to help a newly assertive national board rein in its most independent station.

Edwin Johnston, head of the Houston Committee for People's Radio, said his group formed in opposition to Ganter in response to his tactics at Berkeley.

The tactics sparked criticism from supporters of a network founded by peace activists after World War II and traditionally run by local advisory boards. Pacifica was the first network financed through listener donations.

Roark Smith, KPFT promotions coordinator and host of the Sound of Texas music program, said, "The people who have taken over the board do not like him (Ganter) and this is publicly known. He knew he was going to be fired if he didn't leave.

"It's going to make a huge change in the programming and the way they run things around here," Smith said.

Allen predicted the station would become a "mirror of the community" with more public affairs and community news.

"We will train a lot of people to work on the radio and do investigative reporting," Allen said. "It's not going to be top down."

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