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Any follower of WPFW, D.C.’s Pacifica-owned “jazz and justice” station, knows that discontent among its mostly volunteer staff is frequent and frequently high-pitched. But its current programmer revolt might be something else. Last week, 80 on-air programmers declared “no confidence” in the station’s general manager, accusing him of mismanagement and a lack of transparency.
Now, the station’s programmers appear to be going on a P.R. blitz. Tonight, they’ll expound their grievances at the Busboys and Poets at 5th and K streets NW. The event is called “Let’s Talk: A Town Hall Meeting and Dialogue with WPFW Programmers” and goes from 6 to 9 p.m. In an email, programmer Tony Regusters writes:
We are standing up against bad internal practices, a lack of efficient managerial leadership, internal transparency and vision from present GM John Hughes (to whom in-air programmers presented a letter of ‘no confidence’ last week!); a lack of strategic planning by the so-called “development department” (whose lame efforts focus primarily on presenting an endless cycle of on-air pledge drives and has little interest in seeking or doing the work that is required to acquire off-air funding); a perception that WPFW is an unwanted step-child (‘colored’ step-child, if you will) in the Pacifica Network, endless conflicts on an obstructionist Local Station Board, and an outrageous Pacifica Foundation engineered witch hunt designed to destroy and ban long-time WPFW operations manager, Bob Daughtry, who was last week illegally fired from a position as our interim Program Director, creating a scenario for a major lawsuit against an interminably cash-strapped Pacifica Foundation (that basically milks its five stations like cash cows!).
The on-air programmers, the vast majority but not all, have signed a letter of ‘no confidence’ in GM John Hughes, and are on the threshold of an “Occupy” type revolt…
Obviously, there’s a lot more to this story. Luckily, I’m working on a longer piece about WPFW. Have thoughts? Email me.