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Program Information
 Updates for Pacifica Affiliate Stations 
 
 News Report
 
 Smithy  
 For non-profit use only.
Producer: lyn/smithy smithy@mindspring.com
Uploaded by: jab@tucradio.org
Here is the text version of the report for those who wish to read their own.:

----------------------------

This is the Pacifica update for the week ending August 19. I'm [...]

Tense negotiations between the Democracy Now! staff and Pacifica management appeared to be at an impasse as of Friday. Since August 14, Pacifica has refused to distribute the live Democracy Now program.. Instead, Pacifica National Program Director Steve Yasko dispatched his assistant was to sit beside the Pacifica satellite engineer, to insure that he fed the re-runs of old episodes instead of the live Democracy Now shows produced last week at an off-site facility.

Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash issued a press release claiming that Amy Goodman had refused to produce the program and management issued a disciplinary memo citing Goodman with insubordination. But Tuesday's live production ran on Pacifica station KPFA as well as on several affiliate stations that were able to arrange for a feed on short notice, proving to the world that Wash and Yasko had lied.

IN a memo explaining their reasons for moving to an outside studio, the four person Democracy Now crew cited a months-long campaign of harassment and abuse which, "culminated last Friday in the physical assault against Amy Goodman by WBAI Station Manager Utrice Leid, and again on Monday morning when a WBAI producer and staff member used a master key to open the locked door to our office and verbally harass us as we were attempting to prepare for the morning's show."

"We do not feel safe at WBAI," they wrote. "Pacifica Management, " the memo went on to say, "through its outright refusal to substantively address a single one of our complaints, has made it clear they are unwilling to guarantee our physical safety or protect us from this outrageous abuse."

"It is outrageous that Pacifica chose to air a rerun of Democracy Now. We produced a fully prepared live program with guests in the studio and a clean technical link-up. In fact the technical conditions were superior to those in the substandard editing studios WBAI Station Manager Utrice Leid has forced Democracy Now!, and no other program, to broadcast from in recent days."

Goodman and her team met with management late into the night on Wednesday, but nothing was resolved. KPFA producer Dennis Bernstein interviewed Goodman before that session.

In the interview, Goodman detailed Yasko's complicity with WBAI management's abuse.

"When we were thrown into studio 3, the editing booth last week for absolutely no reason
national management was there, "Goodman said. Yasko was present and did not intervene, she said, " as we were put in minutes before the broadcast on the air, without a
clock, with substandard studios, the interim station manager was shouting, was saying, and laughing, 'Watch them run, watch them run.'"

Goodman also pointed out that as at least two daily programs on WBAI broadcast from remote studios, thus there is no justifiable reason for not airing the live off-site production of Democracy Now!.

New developments in the situation are expected this week.

Meanwhile, Pacifica affiliate WEOS in Geneva, NY has announced that is canceling its contract with Pacifica over the handling of DN!. In a brief e-mail sent out on August 20, station manager Mike Black cited the disappointment of listeners with the lack of live programs, Black's memo said that "WEOS has dropped the Pacifica Democracy Now program," and that it would look for something else. Earlier this year, WEOS dropped PNN to air Free Speech Radio News

The Pacifica Campaign is asking Democracy Now! listeners to take action by calling the Pacifica headquarters. Call 202-234-7486 or 7487. That's 202-234-7486 or 7487.

For more information on how you can help, contact the Pacifica Campaign at www.pacificacampaign.org



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