This graph, based on ten years of Pacifica’s audited financial statements, clearly shows the drop in listener support (income) at KPFA in a period when staff salaries and benefits were rising or flat. During this period staff salaries and benefits consumed a greater and greater percentage of the budget. During the same ten years, KPFA’s unrestricted net assets dropped into the red. These figures include money which is available for emergencies and to fill budget deficits.
After the period of this audit, staff at KPFA was reduced by ___% This was accomplished through cuts in hours, __9?__voluntary layoffs and two involuntary lay offs. (Aimee Allison and Brian Edwards Tiekert. Brian returned, using his seniority rights to bump John Hamilton. At that point, the news department rearranged their collective hours to keep John as a staff member in the News Department. )
The “unrestricted net assets” figure is basically KPFA’s savings account. The rogue Pacifica board nearly spent KPFA (and the other four stations) into bankruptcy in an attempt to maintain their control. After the court settlement and adoption of the new by-laws in 2001, KPFA appealed to listeners and they responded. With the U.S. invasion of Iraq, KPFA was able to rebuild its reserves to nearly $1 million dollars by 2003. In 2005, when listener donations began to fall, this money was used to pay for salaries and benefits so as to avoid laying off staff. By 2008, the reserves were gone and to continue to pay salaries, KPFA began using money that should have gone into the common Pacifica fund — leaving us further and further behind in our network responsibilities.
Because of these lay offs and general belt tightening, KPFA’s listener support is now more in line with our staff costs. Our debt to Pacifica is being slowly repaid. However, the interim general manager, Andrew Philips, says that KPFA must continue to cut costs. Although he hopes to avoid them, more lay offs are not out of the question.