On Tuesday, laid-off employees at the radio station KPFA in Berkeley commandeered the airwaves and launched into a “renegade” show.

From the Bay Citizen:

KPFA 94.1 FM, the Berkeley radio station and linchpin of the liberal Pacifica Radio network, plunged again into crisis Tuesday morning when the staff of The Morning Show locked themselves inside a third-floor alternate studio and began broadcasting during the regularly scheduled timeslot.

Their action comes a day after they were fired by Pacifica’s upper management following a protracted labor dispute.

A remarkable scene unfolded at KPFA’s downtown Berkeley offices around 7 a.m., as Morning Show co-hosts Aimee Allison and Brian Edwards-Tiekert bade farewell to their audience from a third-floor studio while Arlene Engelhardt, the Pacifica Foundation executive director, entered the main studio on the first floor to heatedly defend her controversial decision Monday to remove three staffers of the popular morning program. Full article.

Here is an archive of that very unusual and confrontational show.

The Morning Show – November 9, 2010 at 7:00am

Click to listen (or download)

And here’s a video clip in which a Morning Show producer confronts Engelhardt on-air.

Earlier today on Forum, Michael Krasny talked with Arlene Englehardt and Larry Bensky, former host of KPFA’s Sunday Salon. That show is archived here.

Last week, KPFA’s employee union, CWA Local 9415, filed an unfair labor practices charge with the NLRB against Pacifica related to the layoffs.

Listen to Yesterday’s Tumultuous Morning Show at KPFA 10 November,2010Jon Brooks

  • molleresqua

    Thanks for including this on the blog!

  • Miguel Rodriguez

    Bout damn time. The Morning Show was an awful show that repeatedly, during the primaries, brought pledged delegates for Obama — like Norman Solomon on — and refused to identify them as that. They shouldn’t have been presented as “independent analysts” to begin with and they probably shouldn’t have been on.
    What did it have to offer?
    Let’s see Brian Edwards Tiekert interviewed Ray McGovern ‘about’ Wikileaks and we learned Ray McGovern watched ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and Ray also told us what Diane Sawyer said. It was the same story Ray shared on The Monitor (Houston’s Pacifica station), on Uprising, on . . . It was just a really weak echo chamber.
    And, as a Latino, don’t think for one damn minute I wasn’t aware that the only person less likely than a Latino or Latina to be on The Morning Show was an Asian-American. Surprising when you consider how many of us are in the Bay Area.
    Aimee Allison needed to learn to speak, always stammering. And she attacked Helen Thomas on air and conducted one of the worst interviews on the subject of Helen Thomas. That was so awful she actually got called out for it.

    When a KPFA show is putting out that Helen Thomas is anti-semitic, it needs to go. That show should have died years ago. Good riddance to the trash that was fired and let’s hope KPFA finds a way to include Latinos and Asian-Americans in whatever permanent show replaces The Morning Show.

  • Former Listener

    The Morning Show with Amy Allison was almost as boring as the previous Morning Show with Andrea Lewis. I listen to pathetic NPR news and then turn it off and listen to podcasts in the morning instead. After the big Take Back KPFA movement, (which I devoted quite a bit of time to) the listeners voted to air Democracy Now during “drive time” — 7 to 9 am — but for unknown reasons probably related to the byzantine internal politics of the station, that never happened. So many more people would listen to Democracy Now if it was aired during drive time instead of 6-7 am and 9-10 am, when it is now aired. Since KPFA is in the commercial radio part of the band, many who don’t normally listen to KPFA will stumble on it just by station-surfing during drive time. If Democracy Now were on, these accidental listeners would keep on listening, because Democracy Now is a professionally-done, fascinating, thorough international news show. So playing Democracy Now during drive time would provide a powerful couterpoint to the perspectives of all the other radio news shows that everyone listens to. If KPFA workers, management, and volunteers took the station’s political power seriously and responsibly, they would have been playing Democracy Now during drive time for the past 10 years. Democracy Now’s perspective would have been available to the whole Bay Area, not just to confirmed progressives, and the Bay Area would have a more well-informed population.


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of EconomyBeat.org, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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