The following article appeared in Friday's Oakland Tribune.  It is particularly interesting because it contains the remarks of Mary Frances Berry pertaining to the firing.  If nothing else and at best, it indicates that Berry doesn't have a clue about running a radio station or what Pacifica is all about.  Note, I said, that was the "best" interpretation of her comments.

Jeff Blankfort


April 2, 1999

Firing of KPFA manager leads to assault attempt

by Cecily Burt
Staff Writer
Oakland Tribune

BERKELEY- The backlash is growing over the firing of KPFA's popular general manager.  Someone even shot out the office window of the executive director responsible for the decision.

Lynn Chadwick, executive director for the Pacifica Foundation, KPFA's parent company, told Nicole Sawaya at 4 p.m.,  Wednesday, to clear out her desk because her contract wasn't being renewed.

Mary Frances Berry, chairperson of the Pacifica's executive board, said she supported Chadwick's decision, and was outraged that somebody would actually shoot at the offices.

"As executive director, she has a right to have staff there that she is comfortable with," Berry said, adding that Chadwick is underpressure to improve administrative and management efficiency and consolidate services
with Pacifica's other stations -- WBAI in New York, KPFK in Los Angeles, WPFW in Washington, DC, and KPFT in Houston.

"(Chadwick) described her as not being a good management fit," Berry said.  "She didn't feel that Nicole was helping her make the administrative and staffing changes.  And if Lynn doesn't achieve the goals, she'll be out the door.  It's that simple."

Critics contend it's the latest in a string of ill-advised actions taken by Pacifica management, all designed to erode KPFA's left- progressive voice of the people and replace it with watered-down general interest

The firing was announced on air, and callers flooded the station's phone lines during Wendell Harper's public affairs program.

Jeffrey Blankfort of "Take Back KPFA," a group trying to preserve local input at the station, said people may be upset, but he doubted any of them would have gone so far as to shoot a window.

"The windows are all clouded up. No one would know where Lynn Chadwick sits," he said.  "There were a lot of angry listeners but nobody would do that."

David Gans, host of the "Grateful Dead to the World" show, interrupted his music format to make a statement concerning Pacifica's action.

Sawaya's supporters plan to demonstrate at noon today in front of the station at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

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