John Carlo Vernile, Pacifica’s new corporate careerist ED – & previous premiums vendor to KPFK

The man on the left (well, standing there, at least) . . . then a fit, spritely 51-year-old, a Rebel Without a Tie; in 2010, then Vice-President, EMI Music North America, with Ma. Ve.

So the new Pacifica executive director is John Carlo Vernile. So not /Farneal/, as pronounced by Chair & current ED, Grace Aaron, in her unintended leak at Monday’s Strategic Planning Cttee. That faux pas was revealed by this blog, as was Pacifica’s bungled, failed coverup. The Pacifica ‘leadership’ is so inept it can’t even deceive properly. Persons unknown engineered to excise that part of the audiofile of the meeting, thereby violating a Federal Communications Commission rule that exists to help make decision-makers accountable. Thing is, it had already been livestreamed. Oh, dear.

Maxie Jackson was hired as ED in very late Sep2018, after a lengthy search by the recruitment firm of the then ED, Tom Livingston. Nine months later the PNB majority, & their staff allies, had made Maxie’s life unbearable, pushing him out. That was done at the private Tu2July PNB meeting. That Friday he removed his labels from inside the fridge.

PNB Chair Grace Aaron became ED. The ‘recruitment search’ for her own replacement never existed: Mr Vernile was already lined up. Maybe the Personnel Cttee was never involved: chopping up Maxie had worn them out. So by the weekend everything was sorted. Then Grace blurted his name out at Tuesday’s Finance Cttee – she thinks every meeting she’s in is secret. Importantly, she also said he won’t be coming any time soon, indicating no sense of urgency, even that he won’t be hanging around all that long; maybe in a particular month he’ll be here, maybe he won’t:

“John Vernile will be giving input, er, well, within a matter of weeks, or a month or two [interrupted by Chair Alex Steinberg]” 0:34, (1:43, 2.2 MB)

Having waited over a decade to have the chance to become executive director, Grace won’t be dislodged that easily. In fact, there’s every chance she pushed through Vernile’s temporary appointment because he’s happy to be a silent partner, with Grace doing the work . . . lento . . . lento . . . even largo . . .

But this tardiness is contradicted by the announcement of his appointment in yesterday’s Pacifica press statement, now on its homepage,; the linked PDF just adds a blurb,

That paints quite a different picture, of a myriad of superhuman efforts about to be unleashed upon the Pacifica Foundation:

“I will be focused on activity that engages audiences, expands opportunities for financial support and stabilizes national operations […] I will assist our General Managers and staff to develop resources that help our stations and affiliate network better serve our communities […] the critical mission of making great radio first and foremost” (my emphases)

After reading that, I think we all need to take in a deep breath, a really deep breath . . .

Once we’ve restored our composure, & digested the presso’s platitudes & generalities, we can consider a few specifics about Super John, ones that are quite easy to find.

Basically, Super John is a corporate careerist, mostly with Sony Music: a salesman, a promoter. No evidence, whatsoever, that he’s had any experience of turning round a basket-case like Pacifica. There is no evidence that he’s suited for the ED task that needs to be carried out in the next six months. Note that the necessary enabling conditions for this period were being patiently put into place not by Super John but under the direction of Maxie Jackson.

Pacifica: out of the frying pan, into the fire.

Everything under Heaven is in utter chaos, the situation is excellent – as a librarian once said.

Specifics about Super John:

corporate careerist, mostly with Sony Music, “at Sony Classical, Columbia and Legacy, ending up as SVP of Artist & Catalog Development” (below interview). Also VP, EMI Music North America.

the premiums supplier to KPFK

retired from Forest Incentives, Ltd. as president in 2017, replaced by Greg Dumont, when the Pennsylvania company re-structured, registering also in California & New York

he started Forest Music Express

a firm he set up (yup, single webpage – for the whole site; just a contact page – maybe that’s why he was glad to take this very temporary Pacifica gig . . . maybe this is how Grace contacted him)

an interview, published July2014; the most informative of the material, in a way (fave band is The Clash, apparently)

when Vice-President for Promotions, Sony Classical, 2007

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