Pacifica Network in Massive Debt

  • Pacifica Network in Massive Debt
    Savepacifica reports that an independent auditor hired to look over Pacifica’s books has determined that the non-profit network is in $4.8 Million debt, with the current fiscal year budget projecting an additional defecit of $1 Million. Over half that debt is due to bills from law firms, public relations firms, and security companies hired over the past year and a half, which were used to defend the embattled network’s management against the reformers who have now regained control. The report also details interim executive director Dan Coughlin’s plans for reconcilliation within the network and for belt-tightening, which includes reducing his own salary by 25%.

    It’s really hard to conceive how the previous administration of the network could argue that they were trying to help it progress and save itself by plunging it into massive debt. Especially given the extraordinary severence packages given to management and the simply stupid malfeasance — such as a rental car charged to a Pacifica credit card that is still rented out to a Pacifica executive who left a year ago — the only reasonable conclusion can be that management’s primary concern was solidifying their positions of power, an all-too-common phenomenon amongst entrenched management of any organization. This graphically illustrates the real problems with top-down management in non-profit and supposedly democratic organizations. Your radio network can’t be a voice for democracy when it organizes itself like a mob of cronies.

    Z Magazine’s Michael Albert presents an honest but optimistic assessment of the situation facing Pacifica now in his article “Democracy at Pacifica”. For a more well-developed thesis on the need for democratic management in democratic media see Albert’s article “What Makes Alternative Media Alternative?”

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