The new KPFK schedule

The new KPFK schedule

Pacifica radio station KPFK here in L.A. just made major changes to their programming schedule. It would not be KPFK if some were not outraged by the changes, suspecting hidden and vast conspiracies. The internal politics of KPFK from its beginning in 1948 have always been tumultuous bordering on lunatic.

Which is not to say that KPFK isn’t a world-class amazing radio station. Because it is. While much of the media is pablum, KPFK continues to be hardcore Left, and proud of it. Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. Sonali Kolhatkar on the Morning Show. Excellent afternoon news by a variety of journalists. Many specialty political shows.

Lest you think KPFK is a little dingbat station, it’s not. It has one of the most powerful signals in the West. If it ever sold, the sale price would be 400-500 million. KPFK has a huge transmitter in an area with millions and millions of people.

A few years back Pacifica got taken over by a board that was, to my mind, intent on creating rigid central control, dumbing down the content, and maybe even selling off some of the five station network. Station activists fought back, and after prolonged trench-warfare fighting which was extreme even by Pacifica standards, drove out the usurper board, and took over. It is no exaggeration to say they saaved Pacifica.

The programming changes at KPFK reflect the new leadership and the advisory boards they created. Music programs were shortened. New programs, almost entirely political, have been added. In a truly bold move, they’ve put Spanish-speaking news and politics on Mon-Thu night from 9-11 pm.

We live in dangerous political times. The Left needs a voice. Pacifica provides that. This is not the time for more music programs, this is the time to organize and get the word out. KPFK’s programming changes help do just that.

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