Filed under: Pacifica
It is with some sadness that I write this blog post. I have been laid off from Pacifica. Effective last week, the National Programming Coordinator position was eliminated due to budget hardship.
On October 6th, I received a registered letter from Pacifica CFO Lonnie Hicks officially informing me of the Board-approved reduction in force. Lonnie writes in part, “This is a very bad situation for all concerned and I am truly sorry to be the one to bring this bad news.”
I am not, of course, the only person being laid off in this period of hardship for Pacifica. Four others in National Office alone were laid off, several others saw their hours much reduced, and the network has not hired a new HR Director or Executive Director yet – saving those salary costs, whether intentional or not. The hardship isn’t just limited to National Office. WBAI is currently undergoing layoffs, and supposedly layoffs will also be happening at KPFK in the coming weeks.
It’s a period of contraction at Pacifica. I understand that it is necessary at this time. Although, of course, it’s never fun to be one of those on the cut list.
But beyond the difficulty this brings to my personal situation, the cuts would seem to break up what modest accomplishments I and others had made toward network building, cooperation, and growth. Lacking finances and political will, it was sometimes a struggle to wrangle those changes, but we managed to make some things happen. Stations were talking to each other, were working together, were carrying a bit more of each others’ programming. In spite of tight/no budgets, we were producing an ambitious lineup of high-quality national specials. I feel like we were laying the groundwork for growth.
But now that work ceases, and I have to mourn some.
Pacifica will go on in some fashion. It has survived past crises, and it always goes on. And I sincerely hope it can rebuild sooner than later. In this era, when the media landscape itself is changing significantly, I hope Pacifica can find its way forward.
But it seems it won’t include me. In all likelihood, this is my last blog post here, but I’ll leave the blog up for future reference.
In the meantime, I’m off to go find some work. All the best.
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