Pacifica Network News to be Canceled
Several reliable sources have revealed that Pacifica Management plans to cancel the Pacifica Network's daily news program Pacifica Network News (PNN).
In an expansion to the entire Pacifica Network of the deals worked out by AFTRA for the reduction of Paid Staff at WBAI, voluntary buyouts are being offered and involuntary layoffs planned throughout all Pacifica stations and offices.
While radio stations and other offices will still exist after the Staff reductions we are informed that Pacifica Management plans to completely liquidate the PNN operation, which is based at Pacifica station WPFW in Washington, D.C.
Founded in 1978, as the Pacifica Radio News, PNN became embroiled in the struggle over the hijacking of the Pacifica Foundation when, in October 1999, it's Director, Dan Coughlin, lost his job for airing a 20 second report about Pacifica affiliates boycotting Pacifica national programming for one day. Coming only three months after the shutdown and lockout at KPFA by Pacifica Management the “reassignment” of Coughlin sparked protest from many quarters and coverage by some mainstream media.
Within months Pacifica Network News anchor Verna Avery-Brown left PNN claiming hostile working conditions.
In January 2000, the PNN stringers, freelance reporters who contributed to PNN broadcasts on a regular basis, protested the increasing censorship of Pacifica Management by calling a stringers' strike. Initially called for three months the strike became permanent later in 2000, and the former PNN stringers began producing the Free Speech Radio News (FSRN).
AFTRA opposed the stringers' strike, while WBAI/UE Local 404 supported the stringers as did many others.
At the interim Pacifica National Board meeting held in New York City in January 2002, Dan Coughlin was appointed interim Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation. Mr Coughlin has since appointed Ms. Verna Avery-Brown interim Deputy Executive Director of Pacifica.
PNN will produce its final broadcast on Friday, February 15, 2002, after which its Staff will be laid off. It is speculated that FSRN will replace PNN as Pacifica's daily, national news program.
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