The auditor speaks! The A-Files: audiofiles, 2004-present

. . . really needs to be played given what follows . . .

. . . ties that bind . . .

This is an organization that has 50% salaries, benefits, of its revenue stream. If that revenue s-s-stream has a hiccup, for whatever reason, it’s very difficult to cut the salary level or, or to even keep it from increasing. So, y-you’re going to need a little breathing room, urgh, and working capital gives that to you

auditor Ross Wisdom addressing the Pacifica National Board, Washington, DC, in-person three-day meeting, Sa28Jan2006, 25:23, emphases added; . . . Pacifica last had audited working capital at 30Sep2009 (sic)

I’m part of the Pacifica constituency, I’ve donated to your organization […] I think you have a unique place in national public radio […] My concern is that I can see things slipping away from you […] this has probably been one of the most difficult audits I’ve had to deal with in, I think, 35 years of professional experience. Getting information: nobody seems to be accountable. That’s a very major control weakness

auditor Tony Pohl, 14Jan2009 PNB Audit Cttee, 18:25, emphases added;; Mr Pohl’s words warrant an intelligent verbatim transcription, to use the jargon, one free of the distractions we all utter

given the issue this year, of the auditors not being able to substantiate expenses, income – I don’t know what they can’t substantiate, but it’s been difficult – why, using the current technology, could not all of our financial documents & invoices received, contracts, everything, at each station, be scanned or submitted to the CFO […,] centralized in the CFO’s office?

Robert Mark (KPFT listener-delegate), 25June2013 PNB Audit Cttee, 38:34, emphases added;

there has been a lot of resistance on the part of some local stations to – well, quite frankly, I mean, we’ve had stations and we don’t find out they’re in trouble until they end up in court, OK, um, they’re not paying their bills, & they don’t tell us they’re not paying their bills […] it requires a corporate cultural change to have true a-administrative oversight of what’s happening at the individual units without people feeling that, um, somehow you’re usurping their authority, and, arr, in reality, when you get down to it, frequently it’s because people are not necessarily doing what should be done, or are not effectively handling things [… and now Pacifica is] an organization that is absolutely on the brink of financial collapse, frankly

ED Summer Reese, 25June2013 PNB Audit Cttee, 39:15 & 42:58, emphases added;

. . . Groundhog Day in PacificaWorld, not a cycle but a spiral, continuing decline . . .

. . . the directors, the custodians of decreasing assets, the custodians of increasing failure . . .

. . . a history of their inability to grasp the nettle: imposing centralised control . . .


[TO BE FINISHED Su10 or 17Jan2021 let’s say mid Feb! . . . but 2021 or 2022?

[PNB Audit Cttee & PNB audiofiles, embedded, with timestamped annotations. Source: The Pacifica Archive starts 9Jan2004; hence the series begins with the FY2003 auditor’s report. (Many thanks to all those who create, & maintain, the Pacifica archive over all these years not least the tagging. Respect.)

[An auditor’s report opens with a copy of the covering letter they sent to the client. Its date is that when the report is “available to be issued”, as inferred from this narrower statement: “[i]n preparing these financial statements, the Foundation has evaluated events and transactions for potential recognition or disclosure through July 16, 2020, the date the financial statements were available to be issued” (FY2018 auditor’s report, page 12; p. 14 of the PDF). In recent years – but not earlier – this date coincided with the PNB acceding to the PNB Audit Cttee’s recommendation that they accept the report. This sequence, Audit to PNB, structures the below annotations.

[On rare occasions, a contextual fact is given.

[Re the year link to the archive, just use the search function, ‘Filter Committees’, top of that page; PNB Audit Cttee is simply ‘Audit’.

[The accompaniment may have been inspired by ‘Bach, sheep’, the 9th movement aria, ‘Schafe können sicher weiden’ (‘Sheep may safely graze’), of Johann’s Cantata No. 208. Here, transcribed for two pianos by Mary Howe, is a delightful interpretation by John Ogdon & Brenda Lucas, achieved with the lightest of touch, Ogdon, the humblest of men, shared winning the four-yearly International Tchaikovsky Competition with Vladimir Ashkenazy.]


Please note that each year is reproduced on its own webpage, accessible from the sub-menu at top of page. There, each year’s text is more spread out, more paragraphs, which some may find preferable.


The auditors (by financial year, year-end 30Sep)

1994-99 Getz, Krycler & Jakubovits (Sherman Oaks, CA)

2000 …. T Curtis & Company (Greenbelt, MD)

2001-07 Ross Wisdom (NYC)

2008-09 PMB Helin Donovan (San Francisco)

2010-11 Ross Wisdom

2012-14 Armanino (San Ramon, CA, then San Francisco)

2015-16 Regalia & Associates (Danville, CA)

2017+ .. Rogers & Company (Vienna, VA)


It’s noteworthy that quite a few current Pacifican prominents have roots in the past. Given that most are grandparents, & great-grandparents, that’s no surprise . . . 2004: Jan Goodman, Terry Goodman, Sonali Kolhatkar, Teresa Allen, R Paul Martin, Berthold Reimers (PNB Audit Cttee), Carol Spooner, Kolhatkar, Allen, Wendy Schroell (PNB) . . . 2005: Brian Edwards-Tiekert, Bob Lederer (Audit), Deb Shafto (PNB) . . . 2006: Ted Weisgal (Audit), Lydia Brazon, Sandy Weinmann, Lederer (PNB) . . . 2007: Weinmann (Audit), Margaret Prescod, Sandra Rawline, Reimers (PNB) . . . 2008: Andrea Turner, Tracy Rosenberg, Carolyn Birden (Audit), Sherry Gendelman, Grace Aaron, Birden (PNB). One could go on. One could look at the PNB Finance Cttee too. One could just curl up under the covers. But we have a responsibility here: RealWorld needs to understand, & explain, PacificaWorld. And the year 2008 proved consequential for the circuits of money, providing a reality check for Pacifica. [The recycling of veterans is so pervasive, even into the present, that as this inquiry has progressed it’s become obvious that a timeline will have to be made for each Audit Ctteeman & -woman (& PNB member); & to aid comprehension, that for each Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer. I can tell you, the PW minions are not happy.]

The recycling of committee peeps, veterans refusing to stay veterans, affects the present, & so the future, because, as a psychotherapist or psychiatrist would readily say, scars run deep. Response/initiative schema, cultivated to be comfortable with, habituated to; schema used to structure today’s behaviour – especially when stressed, endangered, tipping into crisis. Fear. Paralysis. Wishful thinking – distracting from the task in hand. All undermining the chances of optimal action. Putting off the necessary cycle of policy-making, acting, monitoring, & back to devising. Not grasping the nettle. Reduced to firefighting. Swamped by events – and by the initiative of opponents who at least have a vision.

Setting the course of a death foretold.


[put here a few paras on what an organisation’s audit cttee is supposed to do, & how that has changed – the topic of its normative conception. References will be cited, showing that a healthy organisation has an audit cttee that works throughout the year, acting as the principal means for the directors to discharge their duty of monitoring the management of the accounting & finance function, to ensure that it’s performing adequately. A primary task for the audit cttee is ensuring that the auditor’s annual management letter, in part detailing the deficiencies of the A&F function (including its management), is immediately, & comprehensively, acted upon. In a healthy org’n it’s never left up to A&F senior management alone to decide the programme of remedial action, & to monitor implementation. And that requires an audit cttee with the necessary competence (knowledge, experience, & skills), time, & access. The audit cttee needs these qualities in order to be independent of management, & therefore have the capacity to assist the directors in discharging their duties, some being specified in law. New PNB Audit Cttee members need training before they stand for election to the Cttee; & the Cttee needs a public depository of resources, so all members, staff, & listeners can have the opportunity to learn about this crucial activity of the Foundation. Some may even find this webpage useful. These few sentences alone, locate Pacifica in a revealing context. We need to talk about Kevin Pacifica & money management.

Doc folder: California law & Attorney General’s Office (2 no.); non-profit bodies (to be added); the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, AICPA (to be added); ‘Big Four’ audit+ firms (KPMG, 2017 & 2021); second-tier audit+ firms (BDO, 2012, & Grant Thornton, 2016 (they audit the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC)).]

. . . screenshot of the mega page – not ‘live’ . . .


[grid of the key audiofile embeds or URL’s (too many for all of them)]


. . . challenging . . . challenging management . . . KPMG Audit Committee Institute, Audit Committee Handbook, 2017, page 7 . . .

FY1994 thru FY2002 auditor’s reports

• No audiofiles available.

FY2003 auditor’s report

• Ross Wisdom (this was their third Pacifica audit, having done FY2001 & 2002)

• Dated 12Mar2004

PNB Audit Cttee: no meeting found re this auditor’s report (first 2004 meeting in the archive is 21Oct); no audiofile; no draft/approved agenda; no minutes.

PNB: Sa13Mar2004 (King Middle School, Berkeley – back in the day, the directors had a three-day quarterly meeting, the venue rotating between the five signal areas); no audiofile; approved minutes, (item 9; no pagination; page 6 of the PDF; approved 4June2004). However, according to a detailed (& jocular) contemporaneous report in the archive, the meeting was audio recorded: (unpaginated; p. 1 of the PDF). Oddly, after the presentation by auditor Ross Wisdom, of the eponymous professional limited liability company, there was no motion to accept the report.

• Post-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting with Ross Wisdom: 26Oct2004; no audiofile; approved minutes, (approved 13Dec2004). (just use the search function, ‘Filter Committees’, at top of page; PNB Audit Cttee is simply ‘Audit’)

FY2004 auditor’s report

• Dated 28Feb2005

PNB Audit Cttee: no meeting found re this auditor’s report (first 2005 meeting in the archive, the only one (sic), is 18May – the previous meeting was 13Dec2004 (sic)); no audiofile; no draft/approved agenda; no minutes.

PNB: Sa2Apr2005 (Hilton Metropolitan, midtown Manhattan); no audiofile; approved minutes, (unpaginated; p. 1 of the PDF; approved 28Oct2005). Oddly, after the presentation by auditor Ross Wisdom there was no motion to accept the report (this couldn’t have been done before this 1-3Apr PNB meeting because the only prior one was F14-Su16Jan).

[15Jan2005 PNB: “[ED Dan] Coughlin states that he wants to give a snapshot of Pacifica’s 15-year history, starting off with the finances and introduces [CFO] Lonnie Hicks to give a brief overview of the finances. Lonnie Hicks begins his presentation, stating that he will be giving a 15-year financial history of Pacifica in order to give a sense of how the history gives a sense of where the future needs to go.” (minutes, unpaginated; p. 27 of the PDF; emphases added –], &

FY2005 auditor’s report

• Dated 7Feb2006

• This was Pacifica’s penultimate audited annual net income, $1 044 351.

• ‘The Empire State contract’ was signed: the lease & licence agreement shows that the party is Pacifica Foundation, Inc., & the signatory is Ambrose I Lane, Sr., identified as “Interim Executive Director” (pages 32 & 11; pp. 35 & 50 of the PDF supplied by the NY court); the agreement is dated 27June2005, “a term to commence on June 1, 2005 (the ‘Commencement Date’), and to expire on April 30, 2020 (the ‘Expiration Date’)” (p. 1; p.4 of the PDF); Reverend Lane, a WPFW staff-delegate ( – unpaginated, p. 2 of the doc), was PNB Chair, so he stepped in after ED Dan Coughlin resigned effective close of business 15June. WBAI, being a mere station, a user of Pacifica assets, was not a party to this contract (Reverend Lane died Sep2010 – (note, the URL ends in a ‘.’, but WordPress won’t hypertext it).)

PNB Audit Cttee: no meeting found re this auditor’s report (first 2006 meeting in the archive is 13Apr, given that the 16Jan was “[c]ancelled” (without explanation) – the previous meeting was 18May2005 (sic)); no audiofile; no draft/approved agenda; no minutes.

PNB: Sa28Jan2006 (Washington, DC); auditor Ross Wisdom, (0:01; please note, for an unknown reason, the times may be awry a lil); no minutes (those for F27-Su29Jan2006 in the archive, (approved 24Apr2006), are incomplete, ending with the item starting 1217 Sa28Jan (p. 5)). ◘ Ross claimed, without presenting evidence, that this was the first fiscal year in Pacifica’s history that all filings would be made without need of an extension, “the audit reports, the CPB reports, the federal, urgh, tax returns, & state tax returns” (2:43). ◘ And the PNB Audit Cttee’s contribution? It didn’t exist: “the Audit Committee was not involved – I understand it-it could not meet its quorum […] there was virtually no communication until recently, which was an indirect memo” (4:58, emphases added; also 29:58). So, as contrast, Ross pointedly made the prescriptive function point: “the audit committee should be looking at accounting policies and procedures and compliance, urgh, throughout the year. Um, it should be involved in the financial reporting process. This organization is one of the few organizations that has a great deal of transparency, and posts a lot of detailed financial information up on its website. The audit committee should be involved in the review of those financials b-before they’re posted to be sure that they’re accurate and fairly presented” (5:15, emphases added). Well, that needs competence; time; let alone adequate access. ◘ Responding to a question (7:10), Ross said

[re internal (accounting) controls] I didn’t find anything, argh, significantly amiss […, although] I don’t think it’s getting sufficient attention at the station level

auditor Ross Wisdom, 28Jan2006 PNB, 7:34 & 8:49, emphases added;

Really? ◘ The desirability of doing internal audits was also raised (20:20). ◘ As was making a periodic change of the external auditor; not mandatory, said the unfazed Ross (21:50). ◘ And how much working capital should Pacifica have? (24:17). Ross painted an obvious scenario, one that 14 years later happened to engulf Pacifica, when in early 2020 KPFK started to have a slump in revenue:

[t]his is an organization that has 50% salaries, benefits, of its revenue stream. If that revenue s-s-stream has a hiccup, for whatever reason, it’s very difficult to cut the salary level or, or to even keep it from increasing. So, y-you’re going to need a little breathing room, urgh, and working capital gives that to you

auditor Ross Wisdom, 28Jan2006 PNB, 25:23, emphases added; (that proportion was 52.6% in FY2016, the latest year of Pacifica audited financial statements (auditor’s report, p. 26; p. 30 of the PDF) – those proffered for the next two fiscal years, the auditors were unable to judge their material accuracy because they found inadequate supporting evidence)

On the working capital front, things were soon to change: 30Sep2009 was the last time Pacifica had audited liquidity. ◘ No motion to accept the report. ◘ Note, there’s a 22secs silent passage in the audiofile (4:34-4:56), when the auditor started to cite draft figures (the “$16.9m” total revenue ended up, benignly, as $16 939 184 (p. 6)); as expected, not mentioned in the Archive.

28Jan2006 PNB (0:01-31:06)

(How pervasive is adulteration in the Archive? A squad of minions at PacificaWatch are checking. Note that draft figures appear all the time in archived audiofiles of PNB Finance Cttee meetings, not least those spoken by the CFO. But yes, censoring does appear in the Archive. For example, during a 2019 livestream, Grace Aaron let slip the name of the just appointed ED, John Vernile, as revealed by comparing a contemporaneous recording with that in the Archive – 22July2019 PNB Strategic Planning Cttee, Indeed, in recent years, delegates at KPFT have repeatedly claimed adulteration.)

• Post-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting with Ross Wisdom: 13Apr2006; (21:58); no minutes.

FY2006 auditor’s report

• Dated 19Jan2007

At 30Sep2006, Pacifica achieved what has proved to be the largest audited net assets in its history, $7 684 012.

This year was also the last time that Pacifica made an audited annual net income. It was $1 662 532.

PNB Audit Cttee: no meeting found re this auditor’s report (the 18Jan meeting was cancelled, with no reason given; first 2007 meeting in the archive is 20Mar); no audiofile; no draft/approved agenda; no minutes.

PNB: Sa27Jan2007 (Holiday Inn Select, Houston); auditor Ross Wisdom, (0:01); no minutes. Perhaps not so oddly by now, after the presentation by Ross there was no motion to accept the report.

27Jan2007 PNB (0:01-1:03:43)

• Post-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting with Ross Wisdom: 9Apr2007; (16:08) & (0:01); no minutes. There’s mention of the work assigned jointly to the Cttee & the PNB Finance Cttee by a 27Jan2007 PNB resolution – a small matter, “to review and approve a revised financial procedures manual”, specifying “uniform accounting practices”. Actually a financial & accounting policies & procedures manual written by Chief Financial Officer Lonnie Hicks . . . July2003 (Audit Cttee, ‘a’ file, 41:50; referencing the above PNB audiofile, 45:00). Why Lonnie & the ED couldn’t just instruct the business & division managers to work according to the manual, g-d knows. Why was the PNB involved?!?

9Apr2007 PNB Audit Cttee (part 1, 16:08-54:07)
9Apr2007 PNB Audit Cttee (part 2, 0:01; the Cttee reflect on the pearls), &

• Dated 14Jan2008

PNB Audit Cttee: 7Jan2008 (auditor Ross Wisdom’s presentation wasn’t of the final report; next meeting in archive is 31Mar); (8:26); no minutes. Two landmarks: the first Cttee meeting in the archive discussing the audit whilst the process was underway; & the first year the Cttee met frequently (x16, rather than once or thrice; & no cancellations listed).

7Jan2008 PNB Audit Cttee (part 1, 8:26-59:17)
7Jan2008 PNB Audit Cttee (part 2, 0:01-24:42)

PNB: Sa26Jan2008 (Newark); Ross Wisdom, (0:01-35:16); no minutes (but approved Sa12Apr2008 per audiofile, (17:16)). Again, after the presentation by Ross, there was no motion to accept the report. Also, importantly, having been moved at the PNB each & every year since 2003 (sic), it finally agreed that day to approve CFO Lonnie Hicks’ financial policies & procedures manual; (0:01-8:54).

26Jan2008 PNB, re the report (0:01-35:16)
26Jan2008 PNB, re the manual (0:01-8:54)

(CFO Hicks gave directors a document, “a 17-year financial history of Pacifica broken down by station, that is surplus/deficits over the last 17 years; it goes to – [fiscal] 19-1990 to [fiscal] 2006”, & it included “17 years of Arbitrons for each station [standardised listening data]” (1:29),; Arbitron was bought by Nielsen in 2013, creating a monopoly – the Amerikan corporate dream . . . at least in its national expression.), &

FY2008 auditor’s report

• PMB Helin Donovan (principal Tony Pohl)

• Dated 1Feb2009

• Pre-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting, the first with the new auditor, Tony Pohl of PMB Helin Donovan: 18Dec2008; (0:01); no minutes. The meeting didn’t satisfy quorum, five out of 14, but proceeded anyway, with two more eventually rolling in (Andrea Turner & Tracy Rosenberg) – not the best of starts. Tony Pohl said he met Ross Wisdom, & “reviewed his work papers”. The audit plan: a team of two spent a week going thru Pacifica’s “internal control procedures”, getting a sense of its “control consciousness” (yes, RealWorld has such a concept); tests underway; by the end, there will be 1½-2 day visits to National Office, KPFA, KPFK, & WBAI (& for FY2009, with rotation, visits will “probably” include KPFT & WPFW). Re the audit, he said “I expect we’ll be done at the end of this month”, & recommended a meet with the Audit Cttee “to have them accept the report”. (Didn’t happen. Of course.)

18Dec2008 PNB Audit Cttee (0:01-18:17)

PNB Audit Cttee: 14Jan2009 (the next meeting; after having the same auditor, Ross Wisdom, for seven fiscal years, & over 5½ calendar years, at last a change – and what a change . . . presentation by auditor Tony Pohl, although not of the final report); (2:35, & then 17:26); no minutes. The meeting was 4mths after the financial crash. And Tony, who for 12 years worked for ‘Big Four’ audit+ firms (both KPMG & Deloitte, in fact –, dropped his own bomb. A RealWorld-smashing-into-PacificaWorld bomb:

I’m part of the Pacifica constituency, I’ve donated to your organization […] I think you have a unique place in national public radio […] My concern is that I can see things slipping away from you […] this has probably been one of the most difficult audits I’ve had to deal with in, I think, 35 years of professional experience. Getting information: nobody seems to be accountable. That’s a very major control weakness

auditor Tony Pohl, 14Jan2009 PNB Audit Cttee, 18:25, emphases added;; Mr Pohl’s words warrant an intelligent verbatim transcription, to use the jargon, one free of the distractions we all utter


Had the relationship with the previous auditor, Ross Wisdom, of NYC, been too cosy?

14Jan2009 PNB Audit Cttee (2:35 introducing CFO Lonnie Hicks, & then 17:26-1:05:00)

PNB: Sa31Jan2009 (Feminist Majority Foundation, Beverly Hills); Tony Pohl, (13:15), & (0:01); approved minutes, (p. 1; p. 2 of the PDF; approved 20Feb2009). A sentence or three on what Tony said wouldn’t do him, or Pacificans, justice, so we’ll have to wait for the blog series, The auditor speaks!. [on 2nd thghts., a summary will be given here]

31Jan2009 PNB (part 1, 13:15-1:00:43)
31Jan2009 PNB (part 2, 0:01-26:48), &

[…*hereafter, a working draft*…]

FY2009 auditor’s report

• Dated 19Mar2010

30Sep2009, the last time Pacifica had audited net current assets, also called working capital or liquidity. These amounted to $1 294 733.

• Pre-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting with auditor Tony Pohl, of PMB Helin Donovan: 9Nov2009 (9Nov is always a sad day); (1:13); no minutes.

**T1o3 ADD REMARKS RE Mr Pohl on both the FY2009 audit then underway, & his prior FY2008 management letter/// “We’re getting the information, but it’s, it’s sort of, it is coming slowly […] we assume that this is information that has already been prepared and should be readily available” (6:30) ◘ At WPFW & WBAI “fulfillment inventories, urgh, they’re not counted, they’re in disarray, […] the same item is found to be [in] multiple locations, […] we’ve got a concern that, um, there’s not-not much control over the inventory” (9:40); “[…] not all inventories are kept. I-I suspect it’s because in the past I don’t think that every- – anyone’s ever looked at the fulfillment inventories and therefore it’s been a very, very low priority. But the fact remains, that you know, on your, your financial record[s] show you’ve got about $200 000 worth […] of inventory, so we need to get ourselves, give ourselves, um, a comfort, a high comfort level that that inventory actually exists […] I’m going to propose to the Audit Committee is that […] we do an inventory on September the 30th. I know we’re going to be very unpopular doing that with the stations because of your pledge drives, but, you know, this, this, it’s a big, it’s a substantial financial asset, and we need to have a proper, a proper evaluation of what the value is as of the organization’s fiscal year-end” (11:25)

PNB Audit Cttee: 25Jan2010 (presentation by Tony Pohl wasn’t of the final report); (3:34); no minutes.

**T2o3 ADD REMARKS re … , … , & the FY2009 management letter 48:32 …

Tony started off setting the tone: “this was a tough audit” (3:53).

25Jan2010 PNB Audit Cttee (3:34-1:09:23)

PNB: Su31Jan2010 (Washington, DC); presentation by Tony Pohl wasn’t of the final report; (1:27); approved minutes, (p. 7; approved 21Feb2010). Compared with exactly a year before, the event was stage-managed. Ceaușescu would have been proud. The early tone was set by a procedural sequence, the auditor deferring to the PNB Audit Cttee Chair, Nia Bediako. Tony was very circumspect in summarising his report. Didn’t even mention the bottom-line directly. Altogether a much shorter presentation. Crucially, a prior private PNB session with the auditor helped take the heat out of things. Eliminating the need for embarrassing questions’ in public, ones witnessed by Pacifica members, staff, listeners, donors, grantors – and the press. Crucially, not even one question was asked. Not one. Successful damage limitation. It was only later that the world learnt what Tony had done: not only overseeing a restatement of the FY2008 figures, wielding a ‘negative swing’ of $1.5m, turning a $1.1m annual net income into a $0.4m loss, but also vouching for a FY2009 loss of $2.7m, then the second largest in Pacifica’s history. A combined loss of over $4m. Net assets vapourised: from $8.5m to $4.5m. Effectively chopped in half. Not Enron, Lehman Brothers, or Bear Stearns, but still. And the directors? Not asking even one question in public? . . . Jesu . . . Makes cowards look brave . . . Did Tony get invited back? You’ll have to scroll down – won’t spoil it for you. Finally, worth noting, a first, Nia “moved to accept the Audit Report subject to final draft” (per the minutes), & the Board duly approved. The civility of civilisation amongst the carnage.

31Jan2010 PNB (1:27-19:59)

• The PNB Audit Cttee is lucky to have even one post-report meeting with the auditor. This time the interaction was the most extensive: four meetings with Tony Pohl over 3½mths. One would think an attempt at money well spent, perhaps even trying to improve the chances of the Audit Cttee acting as the force of governance that it’s supposed to be, one acting throughout the year, not restricting itself, in a passive way, to observing the mechanics of the torture known in the business as the PAA, the Pacifica annual audit. Fostering the PNB Audit Cttee as independent of management, as an active force, the principal means for the Pacifica directors to discharge their duty of monitoring the management of Pacifica’s accounting & finance function. Hence, the Audit Cttee as the primary instrument for the directors to address matters arising from the auditor’s management letter, a process requiring the Audit Cttee to exercise monitoring powers over the CFO & the other accountants & bookkeepers, especially re the need for adequate internal accounting control. So, involving Tony Pohl would be an attempt, one would think, at money well spent. One would think. But what would the majority of the directors think? What would be Tony’s fate?

• Post-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting with Tony Pohl (1 of 4): 22Mar2010; & ‘b’ &?’c’; [approved?]minutes,

*T3o3 (above & annotate & EMBED; plus all below re FY2009 a’s r)

[at 12Apr2010Audit not Tony Pohl but ED Arlene Engelhardt & CFO LaVarn Williams, but excerpts from man. letter read out; &?’b’; no minutes.]

• Post-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting with Tony Pohl (2): 24May2010; &?’b’; [approved?]minutes, (praps approved 27Sep2010)

• Post-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting with Tony Pohl (3): 28June2010; &?’b’; [approved?]minutes,

• Post-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting with Tony Pohl (4): 8July2010(37mins);; no minutes. Reading of two letters from Tony (with Q&A, 20:00), & duly recommended unanimously to the PNB. The 30June2010 letter to Audit Chair Nia Bediako from Tony Pohl states the “understanding” of his firm that they’ll be doing the FY2010 audit (2:43) – they didn’t . . . the FY2001-2007 auditor, Ross Wisdom, returned. (See Sa17July2010 PNB minutes, p5 – & although mention of the 990, none, oddly, re the FY2010 audit engagement

[The other calendar 2010 mtgs., all falling in this audit cycle: 26July(no Pohl; 8mins); 16Aug(no P, 1:58; 1h23); 16Sep(no P, 1:59; 2h14); 27Sep(no P; 16mins).]

FY2010 auditor’s report (lacks the one-page covering letter from the auditor) & (includes the missing page, as found elsewhere on Pacifica’s website, at

• Ross Wisdom

• Dated 26Mar2011 (as per the ‘subsequent events’ note of the report, although the covering letter is dated 23Feb2011 – the only such discrepancy in this series (pp. 17 & 1; pp. 20 & 3 of the PDF))

• The Return of the Ross. Somewhat significant, yes?

What seems to be a Pacifica first, the auditor declared that there’s ‘a substantial doubt about Pacifica’s ability to continue as a going concern’.

A startling pre-audit event: [Sa2Oct2010 PNB, Beekman Tower Hotel, 1st Avenue, NYC, the Audit Cttee rpt. (0:01-13:58) “In April[2010] getting approval [from whom: Audit Cttee itself or the PNB?] for the letter of agreement [engagement?] to hire the external auditor – and this was to save money because actually if it had not been done then (he resides in Berkeley which is where we were) we would have had to have paid for him to have come to New York – […] so thanks to the Audit Cttee members for that” (3:23); no minutes (sic)] [F16July2010 PNB, Berkeley: Pohl gave workshop on audit responsibilities of an org’n; minutes, (p1)] [for the rest of cal.2010: only one set of minutes, 5Nov (nothing relevant)][PNB, cal.2011 to Sa26Feb (when Ross Wisdom presented his FY2010 a’s r): all PDF’s of minutes are re the FY2010 audit (21Jan, 28Jan, 15Feb)][Sa26Feb2011 PNB offered two accounts of the replacement of Pohl’s firm by Wisdom’s: (0:01, then 7:14, with 8:54f, 9:18ff (Audit Chair Nia) & 20:01ff (CFO LaVarn Williams)); Audit Cttee rpt. continues as (24:46). Minutes, So find the 2010 mtg. when Wisdom is appointed – Wms. implies the occasion of the NYC quarterly meet, F1-Su3Oct, was when Wisdom was either approached or appointed … the 1st PNB public session after this was c.2200 ET F15Oct2010, & a new auditor was mentioned: (3:10); also ‘b’ file; no minutes … the decision to hire Wisdom was made c.2030 that evening in pvt. session, announced without explanation by PNB Chair George Reiter, of KPFT (14:52) … mtg. had “acknowledgements […] for services to the Foundation”: did anyone thank Pohl & his co-workers? (7:11)]

PNB Audit Cttee: 21Feb2011; (1:52-58:41), (0:01-1:01:21), & (0:01-59:18); no minutes. This marked the return of auditor Ross Wisdom. First the “management comment letter”, then the auditor’s report. Ross framed what was to come by referring to “chronic deficiencies”, requiring a repetition since 2002 of “many of the same comments”, then “more extensive comments were made by the previous auditor, Tony Pohl”, & now, with this report, “perhaps the most extensive comments that have, that have ever been made […, &] it’s getting to a very critical juncture” (‘a’ file, 3:49). The management comment letter, dated 21Feb2011, was read in full – a transparency absent these days, snuffed out by the organisers of Pacifica’s secrecy culture (4:54-21:22). When the audit began, National Office, inexplicably, was unable to provide the auditor with the contract for the housing of WBAI’s transmitter at the Empire State Building (23:01). […to be continued…]

PNB: [2 no. in-person mtgs. in calendar 2011: F25-Su27Feb, Houston (at an undisclosed secure location), (& 23 others, apparently); F23-M26Sep, Channel Inn Hotel, Washington, DC – agenda included “Discussion and review of Correction of Deficiencies noted in Auditor’s Report” (p. 2, but the meeting passed this by, unmentioned by all; however, CFO Williams announced what turned out to be highly unwarranted happy news, an 11-mth year-to-date net income of “about $625 000” (11:43), with a forecast for the year, “and I try to still [sic] forecast conservatively”, of “about $400 000” (12:22): audited, FY2011 turned out to be a loss, of $564 339, so Pacifica’s bookkeeping was out by ~$1m-1.2m, by ~7%-8% of audited total income & total expenses (auditor’s report, p. 4,,; incidently, she gave ‘ee figures as at Aug2011 (at 9Aug or earlier), 155 ‘ees, & 110 full-time equivalent re “40 hours a week” (reduction from Oct2010, year-commencing, when they were 158 & 117; so FTE −5.98%) (14:13); the next day, she had a Q&A, (0:01-22:04)]

• No post-report PNB Audit Cttee meeting., &


***What happened during the fiscal year thru 30Sep2011 seems to have been Pacifica’s tipping point, this being so defining that even by 2021 the Foundation has yet to overcome the dynamic of forces it unleashed.***


FY2011 auditor’s report

• Dated 15June2012

As with their previous report, the auditor declared there is ‘a substantial doubt about Pacifica’s ability to continue as a going concern’.

This fiscal year, thru 30Sep2011, seems to be when the slide slid into serious dysfunction. An obvious indicator is that once the FY was over, it served to break an eight-year sequence of auditor’s reports being issued within 6mths of year-end: this time, 8½mths. (It then took another 12mths before the qualitative change found expression within the PNB Audit Cttee, it becoming wracked with fractiousness. It makes for unpleasant listening – but at least one has the opportunity to hear new Cttee members, such as Goldmacher/Kobern/Reyes/Heerwagen, from, yes, the very moment they took their seats.)

• At the time of this general audit, Pacifica was also being audited by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting: fieldwork Jan-June2012, report delivered 21Sep2012. Examined were two complete fiscal years, 2009 & 2010; the first had previously been audited by Tony Pohl of PMB Helin Donovan, the second by Ross Wisdom.

• 28Feb2012, Pacifica produced a report, by the Financial Recovery & Audit Taskforce, Pacifica Financial Recovery Plan, 10 pages. [mega LINK] Discussed at

• This auditor’s report, the last by Ross Wisdom, was also the last to disclose either the annual sum received from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, CPB, or how it was split within Pacifica (pp. 19-20; pp. 22-3 of the PDF). These details had been given in every auditor’s report from FY1994 (with the FY1993 comparative), except for FY2008 & 2009, the only ones prepared by PMB Helin Donovan. (The next auditor, Armanino, also didn’t mention that CPB money was received in FY2012 & 2013.)

• Pre-report PNB Audit Cttee:

[In the 18Apr2011 mtg., Fred Klunder (KPFK) made his mark, appealing for a Cttee that does work, & talked about both the need to read auditor’s reports & the importance of ratios, like working capital. The bar? No limbo. Q: did the FY2011 auditor, Ross Wisdom, attend any of the subsequent 2011 mtgs., 5no., 16May-5Dec, all with audiofiles?]◘[gem from the 16May2011, generated in a Summer breeze: in response to that perennial PacificaWorld Q, ‘why do we now need to go into “executive session”?’, that euphemism for going private: “[t]hat’s usually the problem, is that issues that cause you to need to go into executive session are not issues that you can really elaborate upon in the open session, so [the thought instantly evaporated, supplanted immediately by a descent into that trademarked cackle, the one awakening the dead]” (58:02) – yes, Der Process lives on (Kafka’s idiosyncratic misspelling:, & so much for federal law, §396(k)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934 (here the only possible kind of valid ground is “proprietary information”, & even a cursory examination shows it to be absent: the executive cry, spurious as ever. Yes, absent from the list of five valid grounds is ‘matters concerning a contractor/vendor &/or their individual employees’); This was also the last attendance by Mr Klunder in this audit cycle – displaying the wrong kind of enthusiasm, & lacking enough support, guess he got the message from the repeated, fruitless clashes with ‘The Breeze’]◘[the next mtg. was 20Oct (sic), & saw the reappearance of Tony Pohl, making his pitch for the FY2011 audit (2:19-21:49, with Q&A), – with a sole competitor . . . his replacement, Ross Wisdom. Tony was as forthright as ever, saying of the FY2008 audit, their first of Pacifica,

the [FY2008] audit was catastrophic, to say the least: ur, schedules weren’t ready, um, and-and when they were ready they were incomplete […] some of the staff would-would not cooperate with the auditors, ur, to the point that I actually contacted the Audit Chair, um, on-on several occasions, ur, to indicate the problems we were having

auditor Tony Pohl, 20Oct2011 PNB Audit Cttee, 11:53, emphases added;

Ross’ pitch, much shorter (0:15-12:04, with Q&A), And, yes, Ross got recommended. At the next mtg., 27Oct, by a 6-2-3 vote: yes (Dan Siegel, Fred Blair, Summer Reese, Wesley Bethune, Jane Gatewood, Carolyn Birden), no (Anthony Fest, Robert Mark), abstain (Nancy Saibara-Naritomi, Thomas Rainy (sp.), Manijeh Saba), 20:55]◘[Wisdom, after pitching, didn’t attend the Cttee in 2011.][…to be continued…

PNB Audit Cttee: 4 public mtgs. in calendar 2012 (no minutes, not even any agendas); [1° of the 4 public mtgs. in the calendar year, 24Apr2012: The Summer Reese Show, playing a clueless Cttee, which explained how the Chair was able to give yet another masterclass in winging it. How could a then $14m annual income charity-corp keep on generating these characters? Sad, but true. (40:42)] 8May2012 (8May is always to be remembered); (5:19, then 8:11); no minutes. ◘ Auditor Ross Wisdom presented his draft report (13:43). ◘ Ross reminded the Cttee that he had submitted the engagement request 18May2011, & received the engagement 5Dec2011: “that delayed the audit by about two months” (14:28). ◘ Also that he had presented the first draft of the auditor’s report to the F27Jan2012 PNB, a full three months earlier (15:06). (Ross misspoke, saying 25Jan, whereas the meet was at Hotel Angeleno, LA, F27-M30Jan2012:, etc.. In those delusional & profligate times, Pacifica decided to run Operation Flown Phone, flying out Ross (& his underling, Piedad Cardenas) from NYC rather than having him phone in – PNB link below, 0:02. This $14m operation, more corp than charity, fulfilling, as ever, its educational mi$$ion.) ◘ And the slow progress once the audit was underway? Ross: “[t]he Finance Office was often overwhelmed, and the CFO [LaVarn Williams] was often unresponsive” (16:00, emphases added). ◘ […to be continued…]

PNB: F27Jan2012 (Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles; as the Archive informs us, “[t]he hotel is familar [sic] to many who have driven northbound on the San Diego Freeway into the Sepulveda pass due to its landmark circular design”), (1:50) ◘ 10May2012, (4:03, Q&A 7:29) [the mtg. passed motion, pleading for the CFO to be in control of the station Business Managers. Pleading? The buck stops with the directors: they instruct. No: not simply instruct but I-N-S-T-R-U-C-T. It’s their job – it’s not an option. The motion in full:

[t]he lines of authority within network management should [not ‘must’] be specifically and carefully defined in order to reinforce the position of the CFO in regard to the station Business Managers in order to ensure the proper financial management of the Foundation. Further, the PNB expects [not ‘requires’] business managers to adhere to network-wide reporting standards and schedules

moved by Ken Aaron (KPFK), Chair of Financial Reform Audit Task Force (FRAT), 10May2012 PNB, emphases added;

Passed 10-6-2-1, with Yes—Aaron, Alcime, Allen, Birden, Crosier, Davis, Gray, Lexa, Rosenberg, Steinberg, No—Bediako, Brazon, Johnson, Prives, Reid, Siegel, Abstain—Bethune, Gold, & Present Not Voting—Reese (PNB Chair); (unpag.; p. 3 of the PDF)]

[2 no. in-person mtgs. in calendar 2012: F27-M30Jan, Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles; F20-M23July, Hotel Durant, Berkeley; cancelled was the F9-M12Nov mtg.]

[PNB 8Nov2012 agreed to hire Armanino to audit FY2012 (said to have been recommended by 4Nov2012 PNB Audit Cttee) (57:50; then the ‘b’ file)]

[station memberships per station manager written reports to PNB, 21July2012 (no such reports given by WPFW & WBAI), appended to the minutes: “[KPFA GM, Andrew Phillips, 21July2012:] Our current membership numbers are dropping and now stand at 19 667, almost 2 000 members less than this time last year.” (p. 11); “[KPFK GM Bernard Duncan, 17July2012:] The current count of active members as at 30 June is 16 032.” (p. 23); & “[KPFT GM, Duane Bradley, July2012 (no day given):] Membership currently stands at 6 989” (p. 16) – .]

[KPFA’s GM also reported, “[…] KPFA was still reeling following the major staff reductions that occurred in 2010. A total of 8.3 Full Time Equivalent staff positions were eliminated savings about $404k/year. A dozen staffers took settlements and left. […] KPFA’s current FTE number is 26.62, accounting for 47 people, at a salary cost of about $1.9 million/year (more than 50% of total budget) [$1900000 / 26.62 = $71 375, this in 2012]. We have 27 union members in our shop. We figure we can probably cut the equivalent of about one FTE before digging in to cut paid staff positions. To satisfy a goal of $300k in cuts, KPFA needs to cut the equivalent of more than 5 FTE’s.” (p. 10)]

[Philips also mentioned 4 reports, & a development opportunity: “Pacifica is a stressed and over-worked institution. The ED has no assistant. We are stripped to the bone. I am not surprised that there is no evident plan for the future but it is obviously necessary. The last time there was a plan for the network was in 1996 when the Foundation unveiled Vision for Pacifica Radio Creating a Network for the 21st Century – A Strategic 5 Year Plan. But this plan created a two-tiered system of paid and unpaid staff. The idea was to increase audience and income. There is no evidence that it worked and today it is the albatross dragging the Foundation toward bankruptcy and mediocre programming. […] Pacifica Affiliates Director, Ursula Ruedenberg’s has created a document exploring a Pacifica Internet Portal Project that explains more of these ideas. […] The current iPD at KPFK, Alan Minsky has prepared a nuts and bolts document called Building a Powerful Pacifica. It’s a well thought out and substantial document of more than twenty pages […] I have been in consultation with Nicholas Roberts, a web designer and information architect who has worked in a major news organization and prepared a paper for me called Pacifica Expanded which explores audio, video, streaming and the web, e-commerce opportunities, aggregating resources.”; & “KPFA does not have a development director. However following attendance at NFCB we began a relationship with Goalbusters, a development consulting firm specializing in public radio fundraising. Founded in 2001, Goalbusters specializes in working with nonprofit organization with limited development staff. They have extensive experience in noncommercial media serving both radio and television. The estimated fee for a one year relationship with Goalbusters is less than $40k. We are willing and ready to begin this relationship but are on hold because of the hire freeze.” (pp. 11-12)]

• ?Post-report PNB Audit Cttee: the other two calendar 2012 public mtgs. were 28Aug2012 & 12Oct2012 (this mtg. being FY2012 pre-report period), (1:08:30) & (50:55) … 28Aug2012: the Cttee saying it’s trying to get a list of candidate firms for doing the FY2012 … 12Oct2012: still trying to choose the FY2012 auditor; the only event was CFO LaVarn Williams barging in (37:21): ‘I’m really busy (sub-text: I’m a very important person), I can only spend, at most, 15-20 minutes (sub-text: I’m a very important person), & I was just wondering how everything’s coming along, & how I can help, &, you know, it would be good if I had a lil chat with those you’re thinking of, just to make sure that, you know, that they’d be a good fit – of course, it’s your decision, but it’s all about relationships, & . . .’. Unbelievable. It took Fred Klunder (KPFK), not Cttee Chair Fred Blair, to make plain that the Audit Cttee has to work independently of Pacifica management (44:58). Margy Wilkinson (KPFA) reinforced Mr Klunder’s point (46:34). What can one say? [Next public mtg. of the Cttee was 11June2013. (The FY2012 auditor’s report is dated 6Sep2013.)]

FY2012 auditor’s report

• Dated 6Sep2013

• 5Aug2012, Carol Spooner sent her open letter to the PNB, compassionately entitled by her as ‘Time for an amicable divorce at Pacifica?’.

• 21Sep2012, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting published their audit of Pacifica. It was of two complete fiscal years, 2009 & 2010; the first had previously been audited by Tony Pohl of PMB Helin Donovan, the second by Ross Wisdom. (CPB & Pacifica have the same year-end, 30Sep.) The fieldwork was done between Jan & June 2012. 31 pages.

30Sep2012, the last time Pacifica had audited net assets. These amounted to $495 924. They were wiped out by the FY2013 financial performance, which incurred a loss of $2 824 046.

• Oct2012 seems to be the last payment received from the Radio Community Service Grants programme of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ‘the usual $1m a year’ (FY2013 auditor’s report, pp. 4 & 20; pp. 6 & 23 (sic) of the PDF – This payment seems to be 70% of the FY2013 disbursement, the usual proportion received in that month; but then the balance was permanently withheld, perhaps as a result of the CPB audit or for not complying with other CPB rules, including those governed by federal communications law. (Supporting evidence: using total grant income for the five stations as a proxy for CPB, FY2013 is 69.0% of the previous 4-year average, FY2009-2012: 770540 / (4466187 / 4). Note that CPB money had solely gone to the stations, except in FY1993 when $62 544 of it went to National Office.)

PNB Audit Cttee: [7 public mtgs. in cal. 2013: 4 before a’s r date, 3 after; no minutes; but 3 (proposed?) agendas] ◘ 27Aug2013 [Paul O’Grady presents the draft report, ‘a’ file, 26:02, & also ‘b’-0:01, etc.; preceding him was CFO Raul Salvador, ‘a’-21:52 (O’Grady had to interject at ‘a’-23:49: the going concern auditing standard is re 12mths from the year-end, not from the date of the auditor’s report – bless us & save us); Heerwagen’s speech, ‘years ahead, people are going to look back at the lack of going concern doubt, & wonder … it’s misleading: things are worse in Pacifica’ (‘b’-3:56)]; ‘The Breeze’: with some stations “it was like pulling teeth this year” (‘b’-35:55); O’Grady: the auditor doesn’t opine on the station-level statements (‘b’-43:22) – the covering letter of the report doesn’t use plain language on this! (unpag., p. 2 of the PDF); O’Grady: we send 3 letters to Pacifica: to “those charged with governance” (so to Audit); also to Audit, “on internal control” (he calls it a 115 letter – re Statement of Auditing Standards 115, e.g.,; “other observations letter” to management (Summer assures all that Audit will get a copy) (‘b’-56:09); report approved?/recommended?/accepted? by the Cttee (no motion was stated; but the minutes were approved at the next mtg., 24Sep2013 (10:32), with the wording “accept”), 8-3-0, voting against was Brenda Medina (KPFK), Lawrence Reyes (KPFK), William Heerwagen (WBAI) (none had said why, nor intimated the suchlike) (‘c’-8:51 & 12:19); (also ‘b’ file; the ‘c’ was Cttee mbrs. only) … ◘ 1o7, 11June2013: seating of the 2013 Cttee, incl. newbies such as Donald Goldmacher (KPFA), Janet Kobren (KPFA), Lawrence Reyes (KPFK), & William Heerwagen (WBAI); a markedly contentious mtg. (rather like those since 2018 (if not earlier!) to present (Feb2021) – bless us & save us), with such suspicion of National Office being asked to count the votes for Chair, all 12 of them, that a plea was made to hire a balloting company; for Chair, Fred ‘Hapless’ Blair was up against the MBA Campbell Johnson, WPFW’s MVP (10:42), so of course Fred was chosen (8-5 – check the #) ◘ 2o7, 25June2013: the culture change entrenching itself; a problem getting the agenda agreed, so much so that one amendment had to be made coz they’d already gone past the proposed adjournment time (yup, one of those mtgs.); after ED Summer had breezed in & out of the mtg., Chair Fred announced that at the auditor’s request they had spoken 17June: auditor told him “his audit firm had not been paid since the beginning of the year”, so they’d walked off the job … Fred told Summer, they got paid, & are now back working – all of this news to the Cttee … & ‘Hapless’ didn’t know how long the walkout lasted, &, being Pacifica, no-one asked why he didn’t ask, this the Cttee Chair, six days into the job (53:11); key point made by Robert Mark (KPFT):

given the issue this year, of the auditors not being able to substantiate expenses, income – I don’t know what they can’t substantiate, but it’s been difficult – why, using the current technology, could not all of our financial documents & invoices received, contracts, everything, at each station, be scanned or submitted to the CFO […,] centralized in the CFO’s office?

Robert Mark (KPFT listener-delegate), 25June2013 PNB Audit Cttee, 38:34, emphases added;

Indeed. Then key response by Summer ‘Scattergun’, rattling off the usual 10 paragraphs a minute:

there has been a lot of resistance on the part of some local stations to – well, quite frankly, I mean, we’ve had stations and we don’t find out they’re in trouble until they end up in court, OK, um, they’re not paying their bills, & they don’t tell us they’re not paying their bills […] it requires a corporate cultural change to have true a-administrative oversight of what’s happening at the individual units without people feeling that, um, somehow you’re usurping their authority, and, arr, in reality, when you get down to it, frequently it’s because people are not necessarily doing what should be done, or are not effectively handling things [… and now Pacifica is] an organization that is absolutely on the brink of financial collapse, frankly

ED Summer Reese, 25June2013 PNB Audit Cttee, 39:15 & 42:58, emphases added;

(Another pair of facts for the charge-sheet: “we are in the process of laying off a large number of staff in New York” (‘The Breeze’, this 25June2013 mtg., 42:41; very end of the FY’s 3rd quarter) . . . and yet . . . and yet . . . FY2013 WBAI personnel expenses, year-on-year, exploded 31.0%, by $415 348, so perhaps an extra 10 workers (per auditor’s reports: up from $1 336 357 to $1 751 705 – FY2012, p. 19, being p. 22 of the PDF; FY2013, p. 21, being p. 24 of the PDF).)

◘ 3o7, 23July2013: just agreed the agenda, really ◘ 4o7, Aug2013: as above, the auditor speaks ◘ the other 3 mtgs. in cal. 2013 are pre-report FY2013 mtgs. – so considered below.


[2 no. in-person mtgs. in calendar 2013: F22-M25Feb, Beekman Tower Hotel, Manhattan, NYC; F8-M11Nov, Sheraton Four Points Hotel, Houston (no agendas or minutes at kpftx)]

FY2013 auditor’s report

• Dated 18Mar2015

• 2014 is the only calendar year in the period considered during which an auditor’s report wasn’t issued. (A surprise?)

• Pacifica now really went into orbit, creating its own time, not just a conception, creating its own distance from the reality of RealWorld. And it was only to get worse.

• Th13Mar2014, just before midnight ET, ED Summer Reese fired by the Pacifica National Board. M17Mar, she locked herself in the National Office – trying to carry on working as the Executive Director, staying there for 58 calendar days. (‘The Breeze’ interviewed by Steve Zeltzer, 31Mar2014, 39:44 – M12May, court ordered her to leave immediately; she left the next day.

• 3Apr2014, Bernard Duncan hired as ED; he had recently resigned as KPFK’s station manager (‘general manager’, in Pacificanese).

• During FY2014, WBAI staff costs chopped by 59.5%, from $1.752m in FY2013 to $709k. As context, Pacifica total expenses dropped 16.6%, & total personnel expenses by 10.9%. Changes in personnel expenses at the other stations: West Coast, very slight increases, KPFA by $23k, KPFK by $27k, each from a base of $1.9m; stagnant at KPFT, a $4k drop from $560k; & a slight drop at WPFW, by $47k from $758k. Pacifica’s heavy losses started FY2009. In the 5yrs FY2009-2013, total expenses hardly changed (varying btwn. $14.259m to $15.375m, so 7.3%); personnel expenses dropped successively in FY2010 & 2011, but then rose in FY2012 & more so in 2013 to a high for the period, before crashing by the mentioned 10.9%. At WBAI, personnel expenses dropped in FY2010, then grew 12.9% in FY2011 to above the 2009 level, only in FY2012 to plunge by 10.4% to below that of 2009, before ballooning in FY2013 by 31.0%, making it even 17.4% above that of the previous high, 2011. Then came the FY2014 catastrophe, the 59.5% chop from $1.752m to $709k. Erratic; crashing; buried alive.

• Dec2014, “the Foundation received notification from the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California that the Foundation was selected for a correspondence audit” (FY2014 auditor’s report, p. 16; p. 18 of the PDF). Not to do with the ED’s & CFO’s penpals, but them having to send in mostly five-years’ worth of 23 sets of documents, often extensive in scope. And all within 30 days. In her wisdom, ED Margy Wilkinson decided to sit on the 17Dec letter for six days, only telling the PNB on 23Dec. Her special Christmas present. Pacifica was able to get an extension to 17Feb2015. (Director Richard Uzzell’s disclosure of the dates; list of the 23 requests)

PNB Audit Cttee: btwn. issuance of the FY2012 & 2013 auditor’s reports, the Cttee had 11 public meets (3 in 2013, 6 in 2014, 2 in 2015) ◘ 24Sep2013: oddly, the Cttee was preoccupied with whether to remind PNB that restricted funds (at WPFW, for a building) can only be spent for that purpose (agree, go figure)(‘a’ audiofile); Brenda Medina on keeping management (ED, CFO) out when Audit Cttee is deciding whether to accept auditor’s report (‘b’-15:10); ◘ 22Oct2013: ; (1h08) ◘ 26Nov2013: ; (24mins) ◘ 4Feb2014: so not in Jan, but why rush?; Chair ‘Hapless’ Blair said he didn’t know what the Pacifica chain of responsibility is, so he wondered who the business managers report to (sic) (only Audit Chair since June2013) – (5:52); Nancy Hentschel (KPFT) said Pacifica needs an annual report, after all, “as teenagers we had to make up annual reports for, you know, our organization” (6:15); director Margy ‘it’s “Mar-ghee-eee”‘ Wilkinson reported that CFO is on leave, praps “administrative”, but doesn’t know what’s happening (only a director, after all) – (10:59); Chair ‘Hapless’ said auditor still owed for FY2012 (13:18), & Margy effectively said that’s news to the directors (13:34);*listen to rest when tolerance level restored … ◘ 27May2014: the 2° mtg., 3½mths after the 10Feb2014 PNB approved who would do the audit; oddly, no recognition was made that new members were being seated; during agenda agreement, ‘Hapless’ Blair briefly said that the audit started, then delayed until June (‘a’-5:44); Jose Fuentes (KPFA) said Pacifica owes the auditor, Armanino, $25k (42:36); ‘Hapless’ said he’d been told that Audit Chair shouldn’t speak to management, so Lawrence Reyes offered to run the errand (‘b’-13:03)*continue… ◘ 22July2014: the 3° mtg.; “Birden moves to have the CFO and auditor on next audit call to tell the committee why the audit is not ready to start” (minutes,; minutes subseq. approved?) – the last auditor’s report was issued 6Sep2013: so why this, 10½mths on? … ;◘ 26Aug2014:◘ 28Oct2014:◘ 25Nov2014:◘ 27Jan2015:◘ 10Mar2015: in the absence of principal auditor Paul O’Grady (a Joséphine headache?), a presentation was made by Grant Lam of a draft report (he seemed to be the account manager, replacing Ben Stortz (these days at Williams & Olds, Sacramento)) – ‘a’ audiofile, 3:34; unbelievably (or not), the Cttee wasn’t even privy to the latest draft report (sic), having not received copies (Kim Kaufman, ‘b’-37:06 & 41:46; auditor Grant, ‘b’-38:52; & CFO Raul, ‘b’-44:26); an “approved” motion was passed – of what, wasn’t said (no motion was read); no Cttee member had indicated they’d seen, let alone read, the latest draft; & moreover, the auditor’s final report didn’t even exist (sic) … nevertheless a motion passed 7-6, with one abstention (against were Virginia Browning, Carolyn Birden, Maria Castellanos, Kim Kaufman, Robert Mark, & Chair Fred Blair; abstaining was Jane Gatewood) – ‘c’-53:01; (also ‘b’ & ‘c’ files)

PNB: M10Feb2014 (Beacon Hotel, Washington, DC): Audit Cttee “[m]otion to retain audit services of Armanino, LLP” for FY2013, the firm who issued the previous report 6Sep2013, passed without objection; (unpag., p. 2 of the PDF; it says minutes approved 5May2014 *check (but cite the Feb audio as well)); …

[1 no. in-person mtgs. in calendar 2014: F7-M10Feb, Beacon Hotel, Washington, DC]

FY2014 auditor’s report

• Dated 13Dec2016

• Just in case you missed it, auditor’s report came in 26½mths after fiscal year-end. This gave 13Dec2016 high fiscal-year density, a structured order of four: it’s in FY2017; the FY2014 report was produced; & the FY2015 & 2016 financial records hadn’t even been touched. No wonder Pacifica decision-makers felt overwhelmed, no wonder the audiofiles become more uncomfortable to listen to, laced with increasing fractiousness – and inefficiency.

• 30Apr2015, Kim Kaufman removed as director at private PNB meeting. So also ejected from the PNB Audit Cttee. (She remained a KPFK listener-delegate. According to Tracy Rosenberg, she had “repeatedly tried to get the PNB and management to investigate financial irregularities and missing/incomplete information supplied to the California Attorney General. The retaliation against Kim Kaufman by the PNB is one in a long line of incidents where people trying to draw attention to fiscal mismanagement at Pacifica stations have been harassed, fired, run off and recalled.” Oh.)

• 6May2015, CFO Raul Salvador resigned, effective 15May.

• 11May2015, ED John Proffitt started work.

• Dec2015, Sam Agarwal appointed CFO. [who did that work after Raul left?]

PNB Audit Cttee: btwn. issuance of the FY2013 & 2014 auditor’s reports, the Cttee had 22 public meets (9 in 2015, 13 in 2016) ◘24Mar2015,28Apr◘ 28July2015 meeting, the third, was almost 4½mths after the issuance of the FY2013 auditor’s report. Yet outgoing Chair, Fred Blair (KPFK listener-delegate), reported that although Pacifica had asked Armanino to do the FY2014 audit, they had yet to respond with their letter of engagement (24:26). Praps something to do with the $55k they were owed, money the new ED, John Proffitt, said Pacifica didn’t have? Oh. And being end of July 2015, already 10mths after fiscal year-end, the audit was heading into year+ territory – ◘25Aug,14Sep,22Sep,27Oct,24Nov◘ 15Dec2015, ED Lydia Brazon gave a FY2014 audit update (16:14-41:58, with Q&A). Usual story: everything’s getting ready for the audit, loading stuff into the Armanino online system, giving them all they’ll need – all of it … &, without giving a date, everyone’s thinking maybe Easter, no-one thinking next year’s Christmas. (After all, Pacifica got a new CFO that month. Why should anything go wrong?) ◘22Mar2016,4Apr,6Apr,2May,26May,27June,1Aug,9Aug,17Aug,19Sep,3Oct,7Nov◘ 5Dec2016: auditor Grant Lam’s presentation wasn’t of the final report (16:27),


[1 no. in-person mtg. in calendar 2015, the last one there’s been: F12-M15June, Aris & Carolyn Anagnos Peace Center Foundation, Culver City, CA for the first 3 days, then Concourse Hotel, LA Airport (I kid you not)]

FY2015 auditor’s report

• Dated 7Aug2017

PNB Audit Cttee: btwn. issuance of the FY2014 & 2015 auditor’s reports, the Cttee had 13 public meets (all in 2017) ◘9Jan2017,6Feb,6Mar,3Apr◘11Apr2017: agenda included trying to get a FY2015 auditor?!? (they’d had since before 13Dec2016, the issuance of the FY2014 auditor’s report) – yet the mtg. never got that far. (Given Doug presented a draft 10July, Pacifica had gone supersonic!)◘14Apr,17Apr,25Apr(2no.),1May,9May,24May◘ 10July2017: Doug Regalia on the draft audit (25:36); • PNB:

FY2016 auditor’s report

• Dated 31May2018

• From crisis to a calm: 4Oct2017, WBAI tower rent judgement in favour of Empire State Realty Trust (re a near 15-year contract, commencing 1June2005, expiring 30Apr2020, the responsibility of the signer, “Ambrose I Lane Sr., Interim Executive Director”, the serving PNB Chair & WPFW delegate; Dec2017, PNB discussed going bankrupt; Mar2018, $3.085m ESRT settlement; paid for by the largest loan in Pacifica’s history, the 2Apr2018 three-year loan from the Foundation for the Jewish Community, operating as FJC, $3.7m (reduced to $3.265m per PNB decision, 7June2018).

• Jan2018, ED Bill Crosier resigned, replaced by Tom Livingston.

• 27Mar2018, CFO Sam Agarwal resigned, replaced by Tom Livingston (violating the by-law on holding both offices). Resignation letter, (5pp.); the by-law,

PNB Audit Cttee: btwn. issuance of the FY2015 & 2016 auditor’s reports, the Cttee had 11 public meets (1 in 2017, 10 in 2018) ◘11Sep2017: ◘23Jan2018,30Jan,5Feb,19Feb,5Mar, 19Mar◘ 2Apr2018: trying to sort out what to do in trying to get a FY2017 auditor ◘16Apr,30Apr,14May2018: • PNB:

FY2017 auditor’s report

• Dated 27June2019

• Pacifica’s new bookkeeper/accountant, NETA, the National Educational Telecommunications Association, was launched at the 5July2018 PNB, with Executive Vice President Anita Sims giving a presentation. (29:47)

• 4Oct2018, ED Tom Livingston resigned, replaced by Maxie Jackson III. (p. 2)

• 6Dec2018, Larry Dankner (Senior Controller, NETA) appointed as CFO. (However, there is no record of him attending a Pacifica meeting, even though his name appears on the occasional agenda. Importantly, he never gave a public report, be it oral or written – to the PNB, the PNB Finance Cttee, the PNB Audit Cttee.) With no mention of ED Jackson having served as CFO, one must assume no-one was in post, for the two months, after Tom Livingston left.

• 9May2019, Tamra Swiderski (Senior Controller, NETA) appointed as CFO.

PNB Audit Cttee: btwn. issuance of the FY2016 & 2017 auditor’s reports, the Cttee had 20 public meets (10 in 2018, 10 in 2019) ◘11June2018,16July,6Aug,20Aug,17Sep,1Oct, 15Oct,5Nov,19Nov,3Dec◘7Jan2019,21Jan,28Jan,18Feb,4Mar,1Apr,22Apr,13May,3June, 24June2019: auditor speaks (12:45) (there’s also ‘b’ & ‘c’) • PNB:

FY2018 auditor’s report

• Dated 16July2020

• 18July2019, ED Maxie Jackson fired, with PNB Chair Grace Aaron taking over.

• *xJuly2019, John Vernile appointed ED.

• 7Oct2019, coup at WBAI. Directors Bill Crosier (KPFT listener-delegate) & Adrienne LaViolette (KPFT listener-delegate), together with ED Vernile, closed the station, ordered lay-offs, & immediately piped in programmes from a platform set up by KPFA’s station manager, Quincy McCoy. The Pacifica National Board knew nothing of this plot. (Yes, conspiracies do happen.) The Foundation went to court, successfully reversing the action.

• *xOct2019, ED Vernile suspended, then fired, replaced by PNB Chair Lawrence Reyes.

• 5Dec2019, Lydia Brazon appointed ED.

• 9Jan2020, Anita Sims (Executive Vice President, NETA) appointed CFO. (misspelling her name ‘Simms’)

• Mar2020, Pacifica’s first membership referenda, for listener-members & staff-members, on a proposed new constitution (superficially a set of by-laws amendments). Listener-members: 32 777 abstained (77.1%); 6 340 voted to reject the proposal (14.9%); 3 273 voted to effectively break up Pacifica (7.7%). So, abstainers : ‘no’ : ‘yes’ = 10 : 2 : 1. Staff-members: 481 abstained (48.4%); 331 voted ‘no’ (33.3%); 177 voted ‘yes’ (17.8%). Inexplicably, National Elections Supervisor Renee Penaloza chose not to disclose station absolute numbers, only percentages., &

PNB Audit Cttee: btwn. issuance of the FY2017 & 2018 auditor’s reports, the Cttee had 4 (sic) public meets (2 in 2019, 2 in 2020); the directors, & PNB Audit Cttee members, haven’t grasped even the conventional idea of the duties of an audit cttee – let alone thinking about a better idea. (Why not have a look inside the doc folder mentioned at the top of the page, on California law, & discussions of the work of an audit cttee by non-profit bodies, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, & audit+ firms? ◘ 15July2019: ◘ 19Aug2019: ◘ 1June2020: ◘ 14July2020: • PNB:

FY2019 auditor’s report

• Rogers & Company (principal not disclosed)

• Dated 29Apr2021

PNB Audit Cttee: since issuance of the FY2018 auditor’s report, the Cttee has had *3 public meets (3 in 2020, *ZERO in 2021) ◘ 26Oct2020, the auditor speaks (well, sort of … in his own way), ◘ 9Nov2020: ◘ 30Nov2020: (also ‘b’ file) ◘2021, praps in Mar, then Apr • PNB:, &

FY2020 auditor’s report

• & [link to auditor’s report at]

• Rogers & Company (principal not disclosed)

• Dated [repeatedly said since late 2020 to be presented by 30June2021 (the first declaration was made by Jorge Diaz, Rogers & Co, to the 26Oct2020 PNB Audit Cttee, 17:32,]

PNB Audit Cttee: no mtg. as of M31May2021

PNB: no mtg. as of M31May2021


working template: FY20 auditor’s report • & [link to auditor’s report at] • • Dated • PNB Audit Cttee: • PNB: •