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KPFK 90.7 Listeners Return "Democracy Now!" to Airwaves

Pressure Campaign Forces Management to Stop Censorship of Popular Show-Victory Rally Planned for Today

May 23, 2001

LOS ANGELES— A listener protest of daily picket lines, hundreds of phone calls resulting in a significant drop in fund drive pledges has forced KPFK 90.7 Station Manager Mark Schubb to relent on his decision to censor live broadcasts Amy Goodman’s "Democracy Now!," a daily national newsmagazine show and the most popular program on the Pacifica network.

What: KPFK listeners celebrate victory "Defend Democracy Now!" rally
When: Thursday, May 24th, 3:30-6:30 PM
Where: Outside KPFK 90.7, 3729 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood

Today, for the first time in a week, KPFK/Pacifica Radio listeners were able to hear their favorite show live. Starting on May 16th, the first day of KPFK’s fund drive, the listener-sponsored station only aired old tapes of "Democracy Now!" adding an announcement that Goodman had "refused to cooperate with KPFK and provide fund drive programming."

Reached by phone Goodman, an award-winning journalist had strongly denied management's version. "Whenever a general manager of a Pacifica station wants me to fund raise, I fund raise. Pacifica management informed me, KPFK General Manager Mark Schubb did not want me fund raise live on the air."

In New York at Pacifica's WBAI "Democracy Now!" is still being pre-empted altogether, but the show continued to be broadcast at the three other Pacifica stations-and at two of them, Berkeley's KPFA and Washington's WPFW, Goodman did fundraise.

In the last months, AFTRA and UE (United Electrical) have filed formal grievances against Pacifica's management on Goodman's behalf around the issue's harassment, censorship and a hostile workplace.

In March, Goodman and her former co-host Juan Gonzalez drew over 1,300 KPFK listeners to a Los Angeles forum on the "Pacifica Crisis." Gonzalez, resigned on-air earlier this year, citing harassment and muzzling of free speech, Gonzalez said that "the current management situation at Pacifica has become intolerable."

A national boycott of Pacifica Radio was organized in the wake of widespread criticism of the network's leadership, including the May 15th Congressional hearings before in Washington, D.C. stemming from Rep. Major Owens (D-Brooklyn) censorship by management of WBAI/Pacifica New York.