Feds seize $305k KPFA bank account: court ensures Vernile gets his money. Also 10 positions to be laid off (4 of the ~31 FTE)

. . . Pacifica Evening News, spilling the beans, broadcasted by KPFA, 1800 PT, Th8Dec2022, during the meet of the Pacifica National Board, where the directors sleepwalkers were choosing to conceal reality from their listening public – pathetic. https://kpfa.org/episode/the-pacifica-evening-news-weekdays-december-8-2022/ (The screenshot has been updated to show the inclusion a few hours later of a ‘button’ to an added transcript – the URL of that page is at the very end of this post.) . . .


The broadcast, KPFA today, 1800 PT, its Pacifica Evening News: https://kpfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/SMITH-Pacifica-Crisis.mp3 (5m39s).

(Here too: https://mega.nz/file/ANNhRTBA#zU8bGr_vmGH_uvYUah1m3RNu2_AIexJtt5SuWMrA0yI, coz you never know.)

The headline used, the above screenshot: https://kpfa.org/episode/the-pacifica-evening-news-weekdays-december-8-2022/.

So broadcasted during the PNB meeting, 30mins after it was due to start at 2030 ET, 1730 PT.


“$305k” seized “this week”.


Layoffs underway – “10 positions” announced “Monday”.


. . . double oh . . .

Helps explain why KPFA Treasurer Chris ‘Janus’ Cory (staff-delegate) wasn’t at the Tu6Dec PNB Finance Cttee, with Chair Sagurton silent on any comms with him, & no-one mentioning that there wasn’t an excused absence item on the agenda. These peeps would have excelled in Stalinist times.

Helps explain why at the Cttee two weeks before, Tu22Nov, Cory, curiously cryptic:

[w]e have a lot of undeclared assets within the organization. If we’re talking about declaring those assets that creates a lot of trouble for us. Umm, so [false laugh, expertly delivered – as usual] […] I don’t see any problem creating an informal balance sheet which also has undeclared assets on it […] But, umm, yah, urr, making it more formal than that I-I-I-I definitely see, I-I definitely [see] problems with that” (7:46).

Undeclared assets, you say? . . .

Odd, you may think?

But the Cttee knew.

So silence.

Chris ‘Janus’ Cory (7:46), Tu22Nov2022 PNB Finance Cttee – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221122/finance221122b.mp3. (He was commenting on the motion from Beth ‘I prefer to pose rather than propose policy ensuring the ED controls the GM’s & bookkeepers’ Gunten (KPFK listener-delegate), the motion for the PNB to have two documents: “management shall provide a complete current balance sheet […] and […] an overall Pacifica business plan proposing a path forward from Pacifica’s current financial predicament into a viable future”, this “in advance of any further consideration of irrevocable liquidation and disposition of proceeds from [the sale of] any significant Pacifica capital asset” (a-file, 58:15).)

Interesting, yes? But will any delegate, of any local station board, publicly ask their treasurer or director sleepwalker what the hell are these “undeclared assets”? Of course not. The public record shows most don’t even know what’s going on at national.

The lack of scrutinisers is one reason why the Pacifica decision-makers keep getting away with their incompetence. Unfortunately, revelation is usually the result of external discipline, from contractors or the state.


Layoffs numbering 10 is somewhat dramatic. But the whole picture is different, as revealed by the newsreader herself:

“[o]n Monday, KPFA management announced 10 positions would be laid off, totaling 150 hours, effective [Friday] December 30th, including producers and engineers” (5:20).

150hrs. This explains why the talk of 10 peeps isn’t as drastic as it seems – for the station. 150hrs, presumably per week, is 4 full-time equivalents (approximate saving of 4 x $80k = $320k per annum). And the present KPFA complement? Per the Aug2022 KPFA net income statement (such as it is), personnel expenses for the first 11mths of FY2022 were $2 259 812 … annualising as $2 465 249 … @$80k = 30.82 FTE ≃ 31 FTE. So the loss of 4 FTE is a 12.9% drop, ~13% (4 ÷ 31); roughly 1-in-8 laid off.

Aug2022 Pacifica net income statements, https://mega.nz/file/oc91RQDJ#RKw7_pFuAJ2DTTXhrJR2lC0pwKzxgLVhI2myX1RXUsA. Incidently, the file data are not without interest: “Authors[:] columbia”, as per usual this year, not least because Columbia, South Carolina is the location of NETA’s HQ – https://www.netaonline.org/about-us; & “Content created[:] 2/10/2022”, so presumably NETA hung onto it for over 2mths awaiting payment from Pacifica – why weren’t the members, other donors, staff & listeners told of this? (At Tu6Dec, NETA was owed “I believe it’s close to a little under [$]40 000” (46:45), if one can believe ED Steph ‘The Breeze’ Wells, not least because since 22Sep (when NETA left) Pacifica has lacked fiscal management – Tu6Dec2022 PNB Finance Cttee, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/221206/finance221206a.mp3.)


And there’s another small matter:

just in case peeps think KPFA was on top of the world before this hiccup, its Aug2022 net income statement declares something never mentioned at the PNB Finance Cttee, even that of Tu6Dec when this ‘report’ was presented to it by ED Steph ‘The Breeze’ Wells, protecting NBM Markisha from scrutiny: KPFA has made an 11mth loss of $282 634.

. . . triple oh . . .

And this loss is more than WBAI’s!!!

KPFA’s loss is 61% more than WBAI’s!!! (282634 ÷ 175721)

. . . quadruple & quintuple oh !!!

The Aug monthlies are a mess, even arithmetically – not least for understating WBAI’s total revenue in the totals column by ~$140k! WBAI’s loss isn’t the stated $311 893: it’s $175 721. The restatement: loss = $ −311893 + ((9065 + 129158) − (1031 + 1020)) = −$175 721. Put another way, the loss, restated = revenue − expenses = $ (1129246 + 9065 + 129158) − ((1208907 + 1031 + 1020) + 232232) = 1267469 − 1443190 = −$175 721. This also means WBAI made a net gain of $56 511 before applying the Central Services charge. (Note, put to one side has been the nonsense concerning (a) the Aug telephone charge (being bigger than the year-to-date carried-forward total – sic), & (b) there being the usual office rent charge for Aug but the B/F & C/F totals are the same . . . can, worms.)



The directors sleepwalkers have chosen not to have a chief financial officer. The directors sleepwalkers have chosen to not even have an accounting professional, a CPA, a certified public accountant. Instead, the directors sleepwalkers have chosen to do it all by themselves, do it all without the expertise of a specialist. The directors sleepwalkers have chosen to fly blind. To fly a $11m annual turnover public charity completely blind. To fly without fiscal management. Defying the California Corporations Code requirement that a corporation have a chief financial officer (§§ 312, 5213).

The law was fully explained over 6wks ago, in a 25Oct post (at the end), https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2022/10/25/kpfk-shooting-into-repeater-station-orbit-current-annualised-loss-making-rate-1-3m-up-219k-on-aug-fy23-budget-revenue-down-20pc-covering-80pc-personnel-costs-51pc-operating-costs-40pc-total-costs/.


At the Th8Dec PNB itself, the directors sleepwalkers pussy-footed around with euphemisms, refusing to call a spade a spade. The executive director also chose to say nothing in her report – yes, that’s the sort of ED we have. All this ensured the cash cow punters, Joe & Joanna Public, got what they think they deserve: nothing.

But KPFA, that black site, was breaking the news.


Note, the news report stated two falsehoods.

First, the framing was “parent” & so subsidiary, “Pacifica Foundation” & “KPFA”. No, the only legal personality in this is Pacifica: KPFA is Pacifica thru-n-thru, not related to it externally, but related internally: what’s here is an inner-connection.

Nevertheless, the breakers will try to ‘spin’ the state action to their advantage, mounting a defence of KPFA, not Pacifica – to the contrary, Pacifica will be presented as the problem. Will the anti-breakers respond, & how? Are the anti-breakers organised?

Are the anti-breakers ready for the coming storm?

The answer, we know.

Second, twice the report spoke of “KPFA assets”: no, all assets are those of Pacifica Foundation, Inc. A station holds, owns, no assets: a station is simply a manager of Pacifica assets (& liabilities), a custodian. There being ‘KPFA assets’ is a fantasy. There being a ‘KPFA building’ is a fantasy. This is because a station lacks legal personality. It’s an accounting unit. All this whilst the listeners usually live the station in quite a different way, as an attachment, living it affectively, cognitively, conatively. This can be purely utilitarian: the station as object, used as a means to satisfy wants or needs. But the relationship can be much more: causing a merging of self & object, an immersing, even turning into submerging: ‘soy Cuba’ ‘I am KPFA’. Generating a proprietary consciousness, disposition, &, crucially, orientation. Motivating. Lived with passion, even obsession. Escalating to an animosity towards opponents, the unbelievers. Persecuting perceived enemies. Hatching plans to separate the station, the physicality, from its current social organisation, it being an integral part of Pacifica. All this is a far cry from simply appreciating a radio station, holding it dear – caring for its programmes & what the station represents in an oppressive world.

This is why talk of “KPFA assets” is not benign: it’s part of a separatist politics. “KPFA assets” is a conception consistent with an ideology of station chauvinism, the polity of a fiefdom, & a separatist political practice; a conception antagonistic & alien to Pacifica pride & the polity of a network, one that could be powered by a network development plan – but that’s a path not taken, a path now closed off.


[UPDATE: KPFA added a transcript of the news report, giving it the dateline 2205 PT, Th8Dec2022: https://kpfa.org/featured-episode/federal-marshals-seize-kpfa-assets-to-pay-defamation-judgment-against-its-new-york-sister-station/.]


[UPDATE: KPFA is currently in fund-drive, 11days, Tu6-F16Dec. Something happened Friday morning, 9Dec, just after 0700 PT. The news summary ended with the Fed raid (6:29), & this was immediately elaborated upon by the presenter of UpFront. Yes, Brian Edwards-Tiekert gave his take (8:25), framing KPFA as captured by a corporate power that messes up, before dumping on the station:

“our parent organization, the-the Pacifica Foundation, the-the corporation that owns KPFA, has been severely financially distressed for some time, umm, and, I-I think it’s safe to say, quite poorly managed for a lot of that time. We at KPFA have mostly been insulated from that by, umm, local managers who-who ran a lot of interference for us, and by you, umm, by-by the fact that every time we’ve asked, you have stepped up and contributed enough money that-that we could keep paying KPFA’s bills no matter what was happening in the rest of the network”

Brian Edwards-Tiekert (8:25), UpFront, F9Dec2022 – https://archives.kpfa.org/data/20221209-Fri0700.mp3

[After a while he asked for money, & from 14:06 the broadcast continued with a prepared package, Zirin on the NFL. Whether it was down to Dave, the chosen item, or The Descent of the Feds, within the hour, after a longer reading of the news of the Feds, Brian was almost in tears:

“[w]hat I am awe-struck to report is h-how your fellow listeners have responded. Umm. To put this in context, during fundraising, you know, i’-if-if we raise $2 000 during the 7am hour, you know, we feel like we show[ed] up for work and we did our job. If we raise $4 000 during the 7am hour, we feel like we had a really good day. This morning, during the 7am hour of fundraising on KPFA, after we explained our situation, your fellow listeners contributed a total of $15 016. I-I can’t express to you how much that means to us”

Brian Edwards-Tiekert (9:24), fundraising for the next hour instead of Sabrina ‘you think I’m being nasty? I’m not even trying’ Jacobs, her show suitably titled A Rude Awakening, F9Dec2022 – https://archives.kpfa.org/data/20221209-Fri0800.mp3

[And Bri didn’t stop there.

[A storm is brewing.]



One thought on “Feds seize $305k KPFA bank account: court ensures Vernile gets his money. Also 10 positions to be laid off (4 of the ~31 FTE)

  1. Bella De Soto 8 December, 2022 / 23:47

    Thank you so much for this expose. I need to add that every single one of these two faced folks, pushing Foundation adverse resolutions need removal…


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