Not Giving Tuesday, but Taking Wednesday – taking one’s sanity. Audios of three Pacifica meetings, two not yet in the meetings archive – W30Nov2022

UPDATE, 1200 MT, Th15Dec2022: the two still aren’t posted in the Pacifica meetings archive, https://kpftx.org/archive.php.

Additionally, the last three PNB audio are also missing – but they’re linked here:

8Dec: https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2022/12/08/feds-seize-dollars-305k-from-kpfa-bank-account-10-positions-to-be-laid-off-audio-of-th8dec2022-pnb/.

~

W30Nov2022 audios:

KPFK Finance Cttee … put in the archive, seemingly within the hour (as Cerene would say, it can be done, people), https://kpftx.org/archive.php, as https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfkfin/221130/kpfkfin221130a.mp3 (2h06m)

WBAI Finance Cttee … start missing, https://mega.nz/file/ZUcygI4C#0etbbbWJ5SnIAcEjZmByWU7491VHhhF16o-YSsJ2vfc (1h26m, 122MB)

PNB Strategic Planning Cttee … start missing, https://mega.nz/file/ldU0GB6S#-HWgLhVV21K8CsCd7h1xf0Z8-5-aiH-r6v3TmF-Y068 (1h01m, 86MB)

~

KPFK Finance Cttee

[remarks to be added when the Lord provides the strength]

WBAI Finance Cttee

It’s all magic, apparently. So says Berthold (46:34; R Paul’s response, 49:54). Berthold, the gift that just keeps on giving.

https://mega.nz/file/ZUcygI4C#0etbbbWJ5SnIAcEjZmByWU7491VHhhF16o-YSsJ2vfc

0:17 Treasurer’s report, 5mins (R Paul Martin)

6:53 the committee men respond

36:06 GM’s report, 7mins (Berthold Reimers)

43:38 WBAI’s finest respond

46:34 magic moment, “that’s the magic combination”

49:54 question: is magic real, especially performed in the GM’s office? The answer may surprise you

59:22 (& 1:01:40 & 1:03:15 & 1:09:52) Michael D D Double-D D D White lives up to his reputation, being obnoxious, snarky, petty (guess Mario was never on his Xmas list)

~

Apparently, everything’s under control, largely because of the nitric oxide premium (56:26) & Gary Null’s latest film, Science for Hire (59:33) . . .

Donny G just fell off his chair – please, no cheering . . . instead, buy the latest merch from WBAI, the voodoo dolls, designed by Sister Mama Mama, a full range, closely resembling the leading breakers: Donny himself, Gendelman, Turner, Tanaka, Huggins, Wolfley, Cory, Jacobs, Adams, da Silva, Dodsworth, Lynch, Maldari, Goodman, Reson, Jones, Lexa, Macon, Marbach, Sabbagh, Wasserman, Crosier, Allen, Young, Foley, LaViolette – take your pick, then take your pin – or scissors.

~

Berthold’s report was as confusing as ever. But less so if one relates it to the last station report coming from outside WBAI management. This is the July2022 net income statement for WBAI, generated by NETA – remember them, the time when the directors sleepwalkers bothered to have fiscal management? This report has some of the figures mentioned by Berthold, & it helps orientate oneself when he goes into scattergun mode, spraying numbers all round the room, the likes of $70k, $100k, $120k, and $29k & $30k.

July2022 net income statements: https://mega.nz/file/YIFXVD4Y#eaOgj-j0KX68TWhUDGHQ1EsqMOxHBpKDCpG5PlQiQZI. (Publicly available Pacifica mthly net income statements are collated in this folder: https://mega.nz/folder/RR8XmaAB#kEhHjAFTec2X_Z6CzAC5dw.) [UPDATE: the later Aug2022 monthlies, such as they are, were thrown to the plebs the middle of last week – but sadly no electricity vouchers. Discussed below.]

So the basics of this WBAI statement, the 10mths of FY2022 thru July2022:

• total revenue $1 015 003, total expenses $1 312 754 (non-Central Services, $1 101 634; CS, $211 120), loss $297 751;

• annualising as, total revenue $1 218 003, total expenses $1 575 304 (non-CS $1 321 960, CS $253 344), loss $357 301;

• per mth (the figures useful for our purpose), total revenue ~$101.5k, total expenses ~$131.3k (non-CS ~$110.2k, CS ~$21.1k), loss ~$29.8k;

• so, loss > CS charge, so revenue doesn’t cover non-CS expenses, this portion of total loss annualising as $103 957 (1218003 − 1321960), so almost exactly $2k per wk (no-one has publicly pointed this out); &

• for those sceptical about the guidance offered by data from quite a while ago, Oct2021 thru July2022, one can compare the average of its later mths to the period as a whole. So, mthly averages for Apr-July, & the trend: revenue $92k, so downward trend, −9%; non-CS expenses $97k, downward, −12%; loss $26k, downward, −13%. The station has contracted since Oct2021 . . . again, no-one’s put this in the public record. But it is losing less, coz even though revenue fell, expenses fell more. This trend should be borne in mind, improving one’s intuition, prudently, at a time when Pacifica has been flying blind since 22Sep, without fiscal management.

So, the NETA report is thru July2022. Scroll on 4mths, thru a wasteland without NETA, & we come to Berthold, holding court, on the last evening of November . . .

~

As said, for trying to make sense of Berthold’s report, keep in mind NETA’s mthly figures: revenue $101k; non-CS expenses $110k, CS expense $21k, total expenses $131k; loss $30k.

For those wanting to listen along, Berthold’s report is 36:06-43:37, with queries & responses thru 1:18:35 (of note from 44:03, 52:04, & 1:14:50) – https://mega.nz/file/ZUcygI4C#0etbbbWJ5SnIAcEjZmByWU7491VHhhF16o-YSsJ2vfc.

Now, an intelligible rendering of what Mr B said:

once into his stride, having gone thru key creditors, the first figure thrown into the mix was $70k (40:12), apparently Nov’s revenue – but the sum isn’t enough: “we need 100 000, minimum” (40:20).

That was his report. Effectively.

Not so quick, buster. WBAI’s finest were there, thankfully, & they probed Mr B with a probe – sorry, questions:

extracted, then illuminated, was “my-our analysis of our deficit is that we are about 29 000, $30 000, urgh, in the red every month, for-on an average” (44:26);

R Paul laid a jab: “[w]hat do we pay if we get, if we get to 100 000? Does that pay our bills?” (45:09) … “[i]f we get to 100 000 we’ll definitely be paying our bills, yes” (45:14);

but that wasn’t what it seems. Another jab: “[d]oes that include Central Services fees?” (45:17) … “[u]mm, nah, umm, all-all of Central Services together would, would include more like 120 000 – but what happened is […]” – and then he was off, quick as a flash, a veritable jack-in-the-box, expounding on something quite different (45:21) . . . the master of evasion;

Mr B, ever inventive, blazing a new trail, throwing in figures not yet in a WBAI net income statement: Sep $93k, Oct $79k, Nov $80k (45:32) – an average of $84k. These being? Not immediately obvious because he was talking about “when you’re looking at the profit-and-loss” (45:40). However, they seem to be mthly total revenue – although, you may remember, earlier he gave Nov as “70 000” (40:12), not “80 000”. The power of magic.

What a performance. Drawing blood from a stone. Dragged from $70k, to $100k, then onto $120k. Alchemy turning 70k into 80k (a Gary Null product?).

[UPDATE: the so-called Aug2022 monthlies are a complete mess. Not just the inconsistency in how many FY2022 mths are displayed prior to Aug itself, nor whether there’s the comparative – there’s also the lack of analyses, describing the composition of broad categories, such as, you know, personnel expenses, admin expenses, programming expenses, development expenses . . . so for Pacifica as a whole (per the “Consolidated-F” tab), no analysis of $5.4m personnel expenses, $2.5m admin expenses, $0.9m programming expenses, $0.75m development expenses. No analysis at all. And no-one on the PNB Finance Cttee or the PNB remarked, let alone complained. A lack of fiscal management is simply accepted, lived, as a non-event.

As already noted, monthlies folder: https://mega.nz/folder/RR8XmaAB#kEhHjAFTec2X_Z6CzAC5dw

[So what Markisha did to the WBAI statement, even as editor, hardly merits comment. Such as, not all the Aug figures finding their way into the totals column! So, “Community Events Income”, $9 065 in Aug, has a $0 total for the fiscal year to date. The same happens, egregiously, for “Miscellaneous/Other Income”, $129 158 in Aug. So WBAI total revenue is understated by ~$140k! Other categories totalling as $0 but with an Aug figure are “Board Expenses” $1 031, “Depreciation (Admin Exp)” $1 357, & “Postage, USPS, FedEx, UPS” $1 020. None of this was spotted by the preparer of the statement, nor by those who review the monthlies before they’re distributed, the reviewers being the ED, the five station managers, & the 10 on the PNB Finance Cttee – so missed by 17 people. Welcome to the quality that is PacificaWorld.

[And did you catch the restatement of WBAI “Total Revenue” & “Listener Support” – without accompanying notes? Total revenue: the July monthlies have a carry-forward (C/F) of $1 015 003, but the Aug brought-forward (B/F) is $1 002 791 ((1129246 + 9065 + 129158) − (264654 + 24)) – a reduction of $12 212. Not explained. Listener support: C/F $948 159, but B/F $935 947 (1062378 126431) – the $12 212 reduction. Not explained. Also, no note explaining where the $129 158 “Miscellaneous/Other Income” comes from. All this passed in silence when the monthlies were presented by ED Steph ‘The Breeze’ (48:53) to the Tu6Dec PNB Finance Cttee – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221206/finance221206a.mp3.

[Sloppier than sloppy.]

~

This is the reality. 2022. Pacifica, & WBAI. So from Mr B nothing as simple, or systematic, as:

‘my report is in four parts, focusing wholeheartedly on eliminating the current loss-making of the station:

• (1) currently, the average monthly revenue, expenses (non-Central Services, CS), & the resulting loss are $ x, y, z; more informatively, $ x, y (y₁ + y₂), z;

• (2) for the remaining 10mths of FY2023, action will be taken to best reduce this otherwise expected loss by implementing these evidenced & costed programmes of work, a, b, & c, adjusted per our monitoring reports – all grounded in what I presented to you in September, before the year started, the evidenced & costed scenarios & derived policies that guide management;

• (3) looking beyond FY2023, I am devising the outlines of evidenced & costed scenarios, & derived candidate policies, & attendant programmes of work, that will be presented to this Cttee, starting in January; however

• (4) WBAI is confronted by a resources barrier, not just holding it back but burying it, slowly. That’s why annual losses keep being so high. To cut to the conclusion, I see no way out other than the directors adopting a network development plan, one that involves fundamental change, not only of management but also correcting the lopsided distribution of resources. Controlled properly, this new way ahead can *maximize the total marginal gain* available to the stations. Pacifica’s money needs to stop three of the stations operating on a shoestring, & allow them to breathe, allow them to make an impact, & grow. The money at Pacifica’s disposal needs to be treated as an investment fund, distributed to further the development of the network, of Pacifica as a whole, in fulfilment of its mission. This must replace the alien dogma currently applied to each station: the Reaganite/Thatcherite ‘pull y’self up by y’bootstraps’ mantra. Obviously this new approach will require changing the *structure* of where personnel are deployed; this means away from KPFA & towards KPFT in particular, & also towards WPFW & WBAI. To remind you all, this is the current structure of station full-time equivalents (@ $80k each), with half being at Berkeley: KPFA 31, KPFK 13½, KPFT 1½, WPFW 8, WBAI 7½. Total 61½. There are also three other units to consider (PNO, PRA, PAN) – not least to ensure the employment of adequate accountancy staff, including an internal audit team (if paid program producers have to be made redundant, so be it: the bookkeeping, accountancy, & internal audit function must be protected, above all else – otherwise no-one knows what’s going on). The principle of a network development plan is a matter for governance (not management), so for the Pacifica delegates, & ultimately the directors. I’ll leave it there, R Paul. I thank everyone for their attention, & I look forward to your questions & remarks.’

The station manager’s report not given by Berthold Reimers to the W30Nov2022 WBAI Finance Cttee

~

It’s worthwhile noting three errors in Mr Martin’s report, pace the public record: (1) “the Pacifica National Board has voted to sell the KPFK building in Los Angeles” (1:21); (2) “[t]he sale would also be used to retire the FJC loan [Foundation for the Jewish Community]” (1:49; the principal is currently $2 258 821); & (3) “the sale probably will not be final until April” (6:28) – per the link given above to the audiofile, https://mega.nz/file/ZUcygI4C#0etbbbWJ5SnIAcEjZmByWU7491VHhhF16o-YSsJ2vfc.

(Also, he got the 31Dec FJC quarterly interest charge wrong: it isn’t “a payment of around $48 000 or so” (3:36) – no, ⅐ more, $55 402.99. Workings: effective Th3Nov the rate went up from 9.25% to 10%; the Sa31Dec charge = ((2258821 x 0.0925 x 33) ÷ 365) + ((2258821 x 0.1 x 59)÷ 365) = 18890.550 + 36512.449 = $55 402.99.)

Why are these errors?

• (1) a decision hasn’t been made to sell the Studio City land & building. Only to prepare for a sale, doing everything required to sell it – so more than simply ‘getting it listed’. The passage in the PNB resolution: “[t]he PNB met […] to authorize the Board Chair, Executive Director and General Counsel to take all steps necessary to the most advantageous sale of the building currently housing the KPFK station and Pacifica National Office at 3729 Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, California and relocation of all activities currently housed at 3729 Cahuenga and bring these transactions to the Board for approval” – Th27Oct2022 PNB closed meeting, https://pacifica.org/documents/pnb_exec_221027.pdf.

Director James Sagurton (listener-delegate, PNB Finance Cttee Chair), mealy-mouthed, put it this way: “the motion on the PNB was to explore [this he emphasised] a sale of the KPFK building. There’s been no decision to sell the KPFK building, as everybody knows. You know, the final decision in a real estate transaction doesn’t happen until the closing. Any number of things could happen that would derail this – one of which could be we only get an offer of $2m: we’re not going to sell that building for $2m. So right now what we’re doing is exploring the sale, which includes, by the way – which is a pretty good indication of where we’re going – realtors walking through the KPFK building, looking at it, and sizing it up. So that is happening. It’s assumed that’s probably where we’re headed, but it’s not a done deal. We didn’t vote to sell the building: we voted to explore the sale of the building” (22:44). Guess James could have written the press release for Columbus or Pizarro.

The resolution was suffused with woolly wording – praps intentional: nothing as unambiguous as ‘the PNB (a) has decided to sell the Cahuenga land & building, (b) instructs the Board Chair, Executive Director and General Counsel to do what’s required, within reason, to maximize the selling price, (c) instructs the Executive Director and General Counsel to bring to the PNB for approval each and every purchase they intend to make, and (d) instructs the Executive Director to ask the PNB for permission to arrange the public listing of the lot for sale’.

So, yes, a decision was made on 27Oct to prepare for a sale, so there is the intention to sell, but a decision to sell hasn’t actually been made, nor even to list it for sale;

• (2) the PNB hasn’t said how any of the net proceeds will be spent, & certainly not as specific as “to retire the FJC loan”; &

• (3) R Paul’s claim re April for completion is the first time in a Pacifica public meet that anyone has given a temporal estimate.

~

To conclude, the wider Pacifica picture. Despite NETA giving their 3mths’ notice 30June, allowing an efficient transition to new busy-beavers, the Pacifica directors sleepwalkers have succeeded, probably without too much effort, in rendering Pacifica without any fiscal management – not just an absence of any reconciled statements, or monthly net income statements, but, crucially this:

leaving this $11m annual turnover public charity with an absence of both internal audit control, & the recording of *all* financial events. These events are either transactions (money coming in or going out), or events that establish obligations (such as fund-drive pledges, or incoming goods & services that have to be paid for). And the scale of what hasn’t been recorded in Pacifica’s general ledger since 22Sep, when NETA left 8days early? Well, for Oct-Nov2022 alone one can estimate from the evidence a total of ~$3 284 862 x 2 ≃ $6.57m (this excludes intra-Pacifica events, such as scraping together payroll by ‘borrowing’ from an accounting unit or three). Come the New Year, the figure climbs to ~$9.855m ≃ $10m. The directors sleepwalkers continually demonstrate they’re oblivious to this double neglect: internal audit control & event recording. Oblivious to the scale of their neglect, one that increases hourly. Oblivious to *their personal liability* arising from a failure to discharge their legal responsibility to protect the assets of this public charity, a liability that is *not* protected by the famed D & O, directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.

The sleepwalkers have indicated not one iota that they are aware of what is happening. They’ve given no indication that they’re even thinking of producing a costed & evidenced plan to fund an accounting professional (or three) to establish fiscal management – not least finishing with FY2022: performing all the reconciliations, producing a trial balance, generating the three main financial statements, having all the supporting evidence available – that is, having everything ready to invite in the auditors to do their work.

Per NETA’s July2022 consolidated net income statement: FY2022, average mthly revenue, $764 871 + that for non-CS expenses, $877 560 = 1 642 431 … x 2 (that Italian thing, the nature of double-entry bookkeeping) = $3 284 862 of financial events to be recorded each mth

That’s the second of our 30Nov meets. Now a very short report on the final one.

PNB Strategic Planning Cttee

Semi-woke director Jim Dingeman (WBAI listener-delegate) advocated making applications to the CPB Radio Community Service Grant Program in May next year. Note, no-one expresses ‘application’ in the plural: because Pacifica holds multiple FCC broadcasting licences, any application is for an individual broadcasting station.

Apart from audience level, here are three obvious reasons why applications would fail, & the first, because it’s supervening, is a hurdle confronting each application:

• the impossibility of having, by 28Feb2023, FY2022 audited financial statements & a FY2022 Annual Financial Report (Section 15C, p. 18 – https://www.cpb.org/sites/default/files/radio_community_service_grant_-csg-_general_provisions_and_eligibility_criteria_fy_2023.pdf) . . . such concerns are above Markisha’s pay-grade – one reason why there needs to be 1.25 full-time equivalent redundancies at KPFA to pay for a CPA as the CFO . . . perhaps starting with the cancellation of getting Mr Brian Edwards-Tiekert yet another full-time helper on UpFront, with applications having closed M14Nov2022 – https://pacifica.org/documents/jobs/kpfa/UpFrontProducer_221021.pdf, linked from https://pacifica.org/ (left sidebar) . . . since 30Sep1994, of those 28 auditor’s reports, FY1994 thru FY2021, those dated 28Feb or earlier number 12 (FY1994-2000, & FY2004-2008), so all within a 15yr-span – meaning none in the last 13yrs. https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/auditor-s-reports/auditors-reports-summary-notes-2/auditors-reports-summary-notes/ . . . why has no director sleepwalker spoken to this? don’t they know the CPB rules?;

• KPFA not having a CAB (last met 23Nov2019 (sic), over 3yrs agohttps://kpfa.org/station-announcements/community-advisory-board/; last meeting noticed in the Pacifica archive is 16Apr2022, with no evidence it met – https://kpftx.org/archive.php; Section 2D, p. 5) . . . with no director having even once spoken to this, let alone bringing a motion, can anyone deny they’re sleepwalkers?; &

• KPFT not having 4 employees, 2 being full-time (Section 5A & B, pp. 8-9) . . . why has no director sleepwalker spoken to this? don’t they know the CPB rules?

~~~

By coincidence, held & published today, Th1Dec: Mearsheimer on Ukraine, debating with Carl Bildt (starts 9:25; Bildt, 15:50; Mearsheimer, 32:32; & from then it continues. 2h45m. In an oil city, Bergen, Norway – further proof that a distraction distracts from the essential).

~

. . . NATO will fight to the last drop of Ukrainian blood – and Ukrainian nationalism will fuel the supply of corpses . . . meanwhile, decent peeps have their lives ripped apart, dissolving whatever security they thought they had . . . just before the illegal invasion, Ukrainian per capita real income was 74% of what it was when the Berlin Wall fell (see below) . . . disgust, anger, missile crater, in Kharkiv, 3Aug2022 – foto courtesy of Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images, Guardian, 3Aug2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/aug/03/russia-ukraine-war-live-news-ten-million-people-have-left-ukraine-since-russian-invasion-un-says-as-first-grain-exports-arrive-in-turkey . . .

~

. . . (note, that’s 3.2 thousand, not 32k!) . . . few know the reality of how it’s been being a Ukrainian since the end of Stalinism: per capita real income in 2021 was only ~74% of what it was in 1989 (2451.9 ÷ 3330.5 = 0.7362) . . . &, in 2015’s money, since the 2008 crash, it’s been less than $50 gross a week (just over $1 an hour; note, this is per capita, so including those not working, even neonates!) . . . Ukraine GDP per capita (constant 2015 US$), 1987-2021 – https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.KD?end=2021&locations=UA&name_desc=true&start=1987 . . .

~~~

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