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The 411 Last Updated: May 6th, 2013 - 22:36:19

Save YOUR Radio Station!
By the
Dec 6, 2012, 15:30

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WPFW Pacifica Radio in Washington, DC has been beset by a hatchet job on its jazz programming and progressive content. But listener-members and programmers of the station are fighting back.

RALLY, FRIDAY, DEC. 7, NOON at the station, 2390 Champlain St, NW, in Adams-Morgan

AND TUESDAY, DEC. 11 6:00 p.m. at Howard University's School of Architecture auditorium, located at 2366 6th St., NW, Washington, DC.

Learn more and connect with the community campaign at

Jazz Decimated; Corporate-Sponsored Talk Shows Brought In

As of December 3, at least 35 hours of jazz has been eliminated from WPFW’s program grid. This includes:

15 HOURS of weekday morning jazz GONE!—formerly 5am to 8am daily, three hours per day 15 hours per week. Gone from the airwaves: Askia Muhammad’s soulful Tuesday morning jazz program, which aired for 33 years and 8 months.

KATEA STITT’s positive and precious Wednesday program–Katea, daughter of jazz icon Sonny Stitt, is no longer on PFW’s airwaves. She’s been with us since she was 19 years old.

Also gone is Lady Myrr, formerly Friday morning, jazz and musical treasure for the past 25 years.

10 HOURS of weekday mid-day jazz–GONE!–formerly
1-3pm daily, two hours per day, 10 hours per week. Gone from the airwaves totally: the powerful Tom Porter–the epitome of real jazz & justice programming, who mixed beautiful music with cutting edge political discussion; Sophies Parlor—the longest running women’s music program in the US, a collective on the airwaves of pfw since 1977.

10 hours of drive time evening jazz–GONE!–formerly 4-6pm weekdays, two hours per day, 10 hours/week, including Rick Williams (correct?) and Hassan.

Also hit hard: the popular Sunday night LATIN FLAVOR (jazz as well), cut in half from 6 hours to 3 hours. Brazilian music show, “Sounds of Brazil”, eliminated.

The Decipher Hip Hop Strip (formerly weekday evenings, 10-11pm–torn apart, some moved to Saturday.


To make room for at least four new nationally syndicated talk shows that are airing (totaling at least 20-25 hours), WPFW has removed numerous locally produced shows.

Removed shows include:
–Josephine Reed’s highly respected ON THE MARGIN literary program.
–Dr. Pamela Brewer’s popular MYNDTALK, which has aired for 17 years.
–Jean Yves Point-Du-jour’s Saturday show serving the Hatain community for the past 26 years.

–The youth focused 2KNation is also gone.

–Esther Iverem, popular “Community Comment” host, was also removed from her slot, despite the fact that hosts are still needed for the new 9 a.m. “Community Watch and Comment” hour. Earlier this year, Friday “Community Comment” host, Riley Abbott was abruptly booted from his timeslot with no notice when John Hughes commandeered that hour for his deadly “Manager’s Mailbox.”

Several of the new nationally syndicated programs are produced through support from corporate THUGS: This includes

The Tavis Smiley show–backed by WALMART!

The Takeaway with John Hockenberry, underwritten with funding from LOCKHEED MARTIN

Also featured on the new grid are NPR shows, such as Michel Martin’s “TELL ME MORE,” currently heard on local NPR affiliates in our region.

In addition, to add insult to injury, WPFW WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR MANY OF THESE SYNDICATED SHOWS. The amount of money LISTENERS will be paying for these syndicated talk shows has not been disclosed.

But clearly, with PFW’s small paid staff being threatened with lay-offs, having been denied their full salaries and being grossly underpaid, clearly the notion of PAYING for these nationally syndicated corporate-sponsored programming is an outrage.

While other talk programs remain, their audiences
have been disrupted through time changes, such as
Jay Winter Nightwolf’s THE NIGHTWOLF SHOW, moved from
Fridays 7pm to Fridays 1pm. Nightwolf’s program relies on a production team; this change from evening to daytime will make doing the show close to impossible for the team.


These sweeping programming changes were made with
NO INPUT from WPFW’s paid rank and file staff.
NO INPUT from the 100+ volunteer programmers.
NO INPUT from the 24-member LSB Local Station Board.
(note: the listener’s pay $40,000 per year to elect this body, under the guise of promoting democracy at our radio station.

Furthermore, the manner in which long-time programmers were removed or told of changes mirrors the most callous and disrespectful of corporate practices. Programmers were told they were no longer needed with very little time to prepare, sometimes finding out a few moments before there show began, and in some instances after there last show aired!

It should be noted that there is NO EVALUATION PROCESS for any program!!! Programmers are not afforded the opportunity to improve, not given the support to strengthen their skills, not even given any feedback about how they are doing. It’s just “off with their heads”–not needed anymore.

It should also be noted that there has been NO ATTEMPT to get coordinated input on potential program changes from paid staff, volunteers or the LSB. Many might have agreed some changes were needed. But there was no effort to conduct a discussion of how this might be done. THERE HAS ALSO BEEN NO ATTEMPT or even discussion of how to MARKET and PROMOTE our on-air programming. WE HAVE DONE NO off-air PROMOTION, and little on-air promotion, in a long, long time.


In case you missed the many recent shows that have been discussing what has taken place, check them out on the archives. Suggested listening as of 12/3includes:
11/28: Katea’s last show, 5am to 8am.
11/30 Jared Ball’s show, 10am to 11am,
11/30 Askia’s last “Spectrum Today,” 6-7pm.
11/30 Nightwolf, 7-8pm.
12/1 Yves Point-Du-Jour, 10-12pm
12/2 Miyuki Williams “Sunday Kind of Love,” noon to 2pm.
12/2 Jim Byers “Latin Flavor,” 6-8pm;
12/3 Joni Eisenberg HEAL DC, 11am to noon
12/3 Brother Ah’s new time slot, 7-10pm


WPFW listeners have been speaking truth to power,
and as a result, some of the cuts have been
reversed. These include the return of Brother Ah
(now Mondays 7-10pm), Voices with Vision (now Tues
10am), Dr Theodore Watkins (now Wed 10am), Nkenge
Toure (now Thurs 10am), and Von Martin (reclaiming
Sat 7pm). Still, the struggle must continue to restore programming.


© Copyright 2006

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