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KPFA programming council meets

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comment about WBAI program council at bottom of this page]

KPFA Program Council Report from 3/5 meeting
Sat Mar 16 16:11:38 2002

Report to the LAB from Tracy Rosenberg - Alternate Community Rep to the KPFA Program Council

March 5 Program Council Meeting:


1. Continuing discussion of criteria for evaluating new program proposals. We reviewed and finalized a policy of evaluating the existing body of new on-going program proposals and any that will come in the future. All applicants will be expected to fill out a program proposal form answering the following questions:

Program Description
Purpose of the program and how it furthers KPFA’s mission
Who are the intended listeners?
Topics to be covered?
Possible guests?
Resources needed
What experience, expertise and interest you bring to the program?
Proposed airdate?

In addition, musical program proposals must submit a demo tape with telescoped music and two proposed playlists

Public Affairs proposals must submit a full-length demo tape.

The full program council will review each proposal and decide if it sounds promising enough to be referred to a sub-committee for a listen to the demo tape. (An example of a program that would be rejected out of hand was one with significant corporate underwriting of some sort).

Proposals that are vetted by the Program Council as a whole will be submitted to either a music or a public affairs sub-committee. Each sub-committee consists of a paid staff/point person, a member of the unpaid staff, a community rep, and a LAB rep. The LAB is encouraged to have its representatives to the LAB chosen as soon as possible so as to participate in these sub-committees.

The current make-up of the PA subcommittee is Susan Stone (who is planning to replace herself with Amalia Gonzalez), Lisa Rothman, Mary Berg and myself.

The music sub-committee is currently Luis Medina, Doug Edwards, Andrea Buffa, and Joy Moore. Al Glenn is temporarily an at-large alternate, as members must recuse themselves when a proposal they are involved in comes up for evaluation, which appears to be a situation that will occur shortly.

Jim Bennett, who anticipated having this done prior to the next PC meeting, which will be on March 12th, will post the full policy to the kpfa.org website.

I am enclosing the full text here:

Program Proposal Policies Adopted on March 5, 2002

1. When a member of program council submits an individual and/or is part of a group program proposal,they will not be present in the room during discussion and final decision-making procedures. (Vote:No2/Yes 8). In addition, they will not take part in the evaluation process. (Consensus: 3/5/2)

2. All program proposals will be given to the Program Coordinator to be logged. Every program proposal will be acknowledged by a letter to the applicant(s). The letter will explain the program proposal process. If an applicant(s) submits an incomplete proposal, they will be given 4 weeks to complete it. For example, if they did not send a demo tape or aircheck, they will have 4 weeks to submit one. This part of the program proposal process will be coordinated by the Program Coordinator. A back-up person will be designated by program council.

3. All proposals will be copied and distributed to program council members, with an evaluation sheet attached to it. Within 2 weeks, completed evaluations will be brought back to program council and given to the program coordinator. The Program Coordinator will then give the completed evaluations to the appropriate program proposal sub-committee, along with the demo tapes and airchecks.

4. If there are extenuating circumstances where a program council member can not evaluate a program within the given time frame, they can ask for no more than a one-week extension to remain in the decision-making process. Depending on how many proposals are involved, the sub-committee(s) will complete evaluation within 2-4 weeks. Once they have listened to the demo tapes and/or airchecks they will come back to program council with a recommendation.

5. There will be a music program proposal sub-committee and a public affairs program proposal sub-committee. Each sub-committee(s) will consist of the department head and or executive producer/point person, 1 unpaid staff rep, 1 lab rep and 1 community rep. In addition, the public affairs sub-committee will include one of the rotating (4) of the editorial board. Each program proposal sub-committee will stand for not more than 3 months.

6. In the absence of consensus around a program proposal, program council will proceed to a 2/3-majority vote of the program council members present. In the event that a deciding vote can not be reached, the Program Director and or General Manager will make the final decision.

7. When the program proposal decision impacts on the format or the current schedule of the station it is a program council-wide decision. Ultimately, the Program Director and/or General Manager will take under advisement all recommendations from program council, department heads, executive producers and designated point persons.

There was no other conclusive business done although there was some discussion of the following:

A) The music slot that is opening on Wednesday’s Music of the World show. There is some dissension over the choice of a host. It has not been settled and is scheduled for further discussion next week.

B) The request by the LAB for evening/weekend meetings of the Program Council is very difficult for Program Council members who are associated with early morning or very late night programming. This seems partially to be a worker’s rights issue about mandatory overtime, so some thought needs to be given to how to balance these competing needs. Right now the request is not going to be met by the Program Council.

C) Very positive things were said about the BayView Town Hall Meeting by several of the people present.

D) Very positive things were said about the day-long fundraising campaign for KPFK’s transmitter with the exception of some misunderstandings about the General manager’s time on-air and whether that was restricted time only for station managers or not.

E) On the Loafer’s Glory issue, there will still be some body of programs that Drama and Lit would like the freedom to air in that time period. Otherwise, the time technically "belongs" to Drama/Lit. I suggested that a full program proposal for Pacifica Matters to use that slot at least some of the time should be submitted, and it was agreed that this would be considered. I would recommend to the producers of Pacifica Matters, that they make a formal proposal per the above policy with a demo tape as soon as reasonably possible.

Wednesday March 6, 2001 - Meeting with Asata Iman

Since it has been publicly disclosed, Asata will be leaving her position at KPFA at the end of the month. It is not clear at this time who will be facilitating the Program Council in the future.

We discussed agenda-setting at the Program Council and it was agreed that there will be 10 minute open slot at each meeting for the Community Reps - which will allow us to broach topics in a timely way.

We discussed the liaison aspect of my role as a community representative and I suggested and am continuing to suggest, that requests to the Program Council that do not come officially from the LAB, but just from freestanding individuals, be sent to the Community Representative and not to the individual e-mail accounts of Program Council members. I am happy to set up an e-mail address for that purpose, if the community would like, and to print out everything that comes in, place it in a binder and make it available to the Program Council. For convenience’s sake, I just opened a Yahoo account called kpfacommunityrep@yahoo.com.

Agenda for March 12, 2002

A) Clarification on proposal to evaluate new programming on two points. 1. Whether the department head gets a separate review if they are not for whatever reason on the sub-committee?

2. Appropriateness of Program Council members submitting program proposals while on the Program Council. Does this create a perception that people join the PC to get a show? Does it make the atmosphere in general too charged when discussing new program proposals?

B) Continuing discussion on the hosting of the musical show

C) Editorial board oversight of guests on controversial topics. This is in response to a problem with the perceived credibility of a guest on a "special" public affairs program.

D) Proposal to eliminate news headlines in Flashpoints. Dennis Bernstein to address the PC.

E) Reports from the General Manager, LAB and the Community Reps. Please advise if there are any particular items that you would like us to address during this time.


[ a response ]
sounds very good.
When is WBAI going to institute — a similar program council?
Holding my breath., Sat Mar 16 21:19


Actually, all is not well in paradise
Sat Mar 16 22:18:22 2002

The KPFA Program Council has been non responsive to the listeners and KPFA LAB. Having community reps on the PC is the first chink in the wall. I fear it won't be enough, though.

The KPFA PC has refused to give the KPFA LAB a MONTHLY slot to do a LAB Program. The LAB have even compromised on not having a steady program slot, and has agreed to be on a rotating schedule on the public affairs programs, but the PC will permit the programmers to insist on remaining the host for the program. So we would be stuck with being guests on a person's show, which is totally unacceptable. I want our own show to frame our message as we see fit.

The KFPA PC refuses to meet at night, when mosts community people could serve as community and LAB reps on the PC.

The KPFA PC has refused to open its meetings to the public.

The KFPA PC has no formal mechanism of making sure listener input is received and reviewed by the PC.

The KPFA PC so far has insisted Flashpoints carry the KPFA news headlines, against Dennis Bernstein's desires.

The KPFA PC (the ones who were consulted) opted to not carry the incredible World economic Forum produced by DN.

The KPFA PC did not elect to carry the historic iPNB meeting in January on the air, so we had to struggle listening on line thru lots of buffering.

The KPFA PC has refused LAB members admission to its meetings, even after messages were left requesting that the LAB member be put on the agenda.

I am not sure the PC is the way to go. We need major help envisioning how to structure our foundation, stations, and programs to ensure democracy and truthfulness to the mission.

I hope the Mission Commission, and listener groups around the country come up with suggestions, to put forth in the bylaws that are being rewritten.

Peace, and despair at times, gail blasie, kpfa


Mike Feder
Re: WBAI already has a Program Council
Sun Mar 17 09:50:02 2002

Actually I was at a meeting of the program council this past week. The current "program council" is a kind of a informal, left-over group of elected (from the staff, basically) and non-elected walk-in people who work at the station (all on-air producers at the last meeting). A lot of things at the station are that way now-- kind of half-legal, half thrown-together assemblys (what always happens in the wake of a war).

In fact, the program council is reforming itself in the near future to be elected and composed in such a way that conforms to certain prescribed rules. I suppose anybody interested in who can be on the council and how they get on can refer to R. Paul's website postings - http://www.glib.com/contract.html#program_council). I know that a member of the local board will be included and that, I think, is mean to establish the participation of the listeners on the program council.

Seem like the program council, from what I could tell in my brief exposure to it, is a kind of advisory board to the program director but can propose and lobby for new programming and adjustment of current programming.

I brought a few ideas along, primary among them was that idea I had for classical (now with Jazz and World) programming in an across the board weekly strip.

Mike Feder

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