Today, KPFA Manager Nicole Sawaya was fired by Pacifica CEO Lynn Chadwick. Chadwick said Nicole "did not fit in with the direction the organization was taking" no doubt accounting for the popularity of Nicole among many subscribers and workers.
Prior to the February Pacifica National
Board meeting's public session, a visitor accidentally walked into a closed
session of Pacifica personnel and heard them discussing Nicole's contract
renewal. Chadwick and the others (Mary Frances Berry, Roberta Brooks and
Frank Millspaugh, possibly another ) were of the opinion that Nicole "had
to go" apparently because of her open defiance of Chadwick's firing of
Larry Bensky and other indications of an inappropriate attitude.
CEO CHADWICK TRIES TO PREVENT KPFA NEWS DEPARTMENT FROM REPORTING THE FIRING,
PROGRAMMERS BREAK THE GAG RULE
"Dave Kadlecek" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date sent: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 20:38:21 +0000
Subject: gag rule defied on 3/31 KPFA evening news
Copies to: email@example.com
Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
As I write this message around 8:30 on Wednesday evening, at least the last three shows on KPFA openly defied the gag rule to discuss the firing of KPFA General Manager Nicole Sawaya by the Executive Committee of the Pacifica Foundation and Pacifica Executive Director Lynn Chadwick.
On the KPFA Evening News, News Director Aileen Alfandary said that Sawaya had been fired, then read verbatim the dismissal letter she was given and said that Sawaya saw this as part of a larger scheme but declined further comment at this time. Alfandary then said that Lynn Chadwick refused to comment, and that the news department had been sent a memo telling them that they would be in violation of the gag rule if they aired a news story on Sawaya's firing.
The next show after the news was news department reporter Wendell Harper's "What's the Verdict?". The first half-hour of the show was various produced segments about race relations and racism. The second half hour was call-ins, which ended up being mostly about Sawaya's firing and the situation with Pacifica generally. One caller gave the URL for the Free Pacifica web site.
next show on was David Gans' "Dead to the World", a music show. He spent
the first few minutes talking about the situation at
Pacifica, both saying that Sawaya was "the best thing that had happened to the station in [his] thirteen years there", and also
bringing up the bylaws change taking away local control of the station. He referred listeners to the Bay Guardian's articles as a
source of information, and he described Lynn Chadwick "shining [him] on in a Reaganesque manner" to avoid answering a question about why Pacifica Foundation takes so much money from the local stations for so little in the way of programming and services. Around 8:30, he gave out the following numbers and addresses to which he urged people direct protest of Nicole Sawaya's firing:
Pacifica Foundation fax number 510/845-0289
Lynn Chadwick 510/843-0130 x202 email@example.com
Dr. Mary Frances Berry firstname.lastname@example.org
also said there will be a big union meeting tomorrow (4/1), with some more
action expected to be taken by the station's
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