KPFK, listener-sponsored Pacifica community radio for Los Angeles and all of Southern California, is refreshing its programming schedule, adding new more radical, community-based, solution-oriented programming, and launching a locally produced newscast for the first time in over a decade. Anti-racist, anti-war, and anti-capitalist viewpoints are taking center stage in a new morning mix radio magazine. The station is bringing back some other important voices from communities of color that have been missing from its airwaves, and moving others to greater prominence, in an effort to increase the station’s relevance to a new generation of social, political and economic struggles. and revive it impact, membership and fortunes, according to new interim General Manager Michael Novick.

Here are the highlights of the  new line-up, heard on 90.7 FM in L.A., the strongest FM signal west of the Mississippi:

Mon-Friday, 6:00 AM – Democracy Now! is moving back to its original time slot, right after its live broadcast from NYC.

Mon-Friday, 8:00 AM – KPFK’s morning mix radio magazine: Mon: The Blunt Post with Vic Gerami and Ricky Herrera. Tue: Voices from the Frontlines, with Eric Mann, Barbara Lott Holland, Channing Martinez and others from the Labor Community Strategy Center; Wed:  Raza Unida Radio with Matt Sedillo, Dr. Vanessa Bustamante and Jenaro Ernesto Ayala; Thurs: Radio Insurrection with Hamid Khan and co-hosts from Stop LAPD Spying Coalition and LA Community Action Network; Fridays: “Cut to the Chase” with Sylvester Rivers and sister Ife Jie. These programs provide voice to the movers and  shakers, the movements that  are shaping the future. The station also a new young social media coordinator to overcome stagnation on that front.

 

Radio Powered by the People, and Empowering the People

Phil & Ted’s Sexy Boomer show is moving to Tuesdays at 1 pm. Monday and Wednesdays at 2 PM, KPFK is adding additional half-hours of arts and cultural programming as a bridge from the station’s health and spirituality strip to afternoon public affairs programming, and providing greater prominance to anti-war and pro-socialist voices. Monday, Making Contact will be followed at 2:30 by Richard Wolff with “Economic Update,” moving from Sundays. Wednesdays, Poet’s Café is back on the air at 2 pm, followed at 2:30 by the Laura Flanders program. Thursdays, the LARB Radio hour will be followed at 2:30 pm by Antiwar Radio with Scott Horton, also moving to weekdays from its prior slot on Sundays.

 

Arts, Culture, Peace, Human Rights,  and Environmental Justice

 NewsViews with Garland Nixon is moving to Tuesdays at 3 pm as a result, and the Lawyers Guild, with Jim Lafferty and Maria Hall, is moving to Wednesdays at 3; Living in the USA with Jon Wiener on Thursdays at 3.

Thursdays at 4 pm XR-Extinction Rebellion will be providing coverage of direct-action environmental solutions and challenges locally and from it international network, particularly the Global South. EcoJustice Radio, from SoCal 350, will be shifting to Fridays at 4 PM.

At 5 PM, Flashpoints with Dennis Bernstein will continue on Mondays, Fridays, and the fifth Thursday of each month. But three new programs are coming on mid-week.

NY Times best-selling author Max Blumenthal will present a radio version of The Grayzone podcast; youthful antifascists will present “It’sGoingDown” on Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 5 will feature an alternating focus on our bodies and our health, with “Body Politic”, a public affairs talk show about sex and gender with Dr. Vanessa Carlisle & Dr. Christa Sacco on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays, and “Health Care 4 US”, with Maureen Cruise, RN, Erika Feresten and Gina Viola, on single payer, medical apartheid, and public health; Flashpoints will also be on for the 5th Thursday of the month.

The big news is that Mon-Fri at 6 PM, starting Nov. 28, KPFK is restoring a locally-produced hourlong evening newscast, something the station has not had for many years.

The all-volunteer news gathering and newscast effort is led by KPFK SB chair Ziri Rideaux, a former foreign correspondent, who will function as  editor and producer.

A crew of 20 volunteers from independent journalistic efforts and collegiate  media and journalism students are involved, and will be seeking to implement the “Pacifica In the Steets” initiative to cover major events, rallies and protests.

KPFK’s Rebel Alliance News will feature commentary , culture, and reports from the wide ranging geographic communities the station serves, from Santa Barbara to San Diego, along with state, national and international news. It provides a refreshing alternative to corporate commercial media, corporate dominated public and social media, according to interim GM Michael Novick.

“KPFK’s audience and impact began to decline when the local newsroom was shut down, supposedly as an economy move,” he said, “and the local newscast was replaced by the so-called Pacifica Evening News from sister station KPFA in Berkeley, which was disconnected from So Cal realities and movements, and featured a dry, AP-style format that often reflected the official US and corporate political positions on national and international issues.”

At the same time, a diverse array of community voices was abandoned in favor of a few gatekeeping strip programmers . Feeling abandoned, many listeners dropped away, especially as the station began to spend more and more time in on-air fund drives offering high priced premiums to cover excessive costs.

The new programming is an effort to reverse that decline and restore the station’s credibiity, impact and listener-member support base.

KPFK’s early evening public affairs programming continues, with a monthly community news report from students at Cal State LA’s media education program added to the mix.

KPFK’s unique bloc of progressive Spanish language and indigenous programming also continues. The Association of Spanish Language Programmers is hosting a benefit fiesta/party for station, Festivo Re-Ecuentro, on Sat. Dec. 10, 7pm-12 midnight at SEIU 721, 1545 Wilshire at Union, with food, drink and music. Tickets are $25 to benefit the station, available physically from the programmers, or online via the kpfk.org website.

There are changes on the weekends, too. Saturday mornings at 6 AM, Bike Talk – which has been a podcast on KPFK for about 14 years, will finally break through to the airwaves, with  folks from the LA County Bicycle Coalition and other groups working for safer streets and sustainable mobility.

At 10 AM, Liberated Sisters with Charlene Muhammad and Angela Birdsong, is returning to KPFK.

On Sundays, Chris Hedges is back with his new program, The Chris Hedges Report from The Real News Network at 8:30 AM, and at 9, Think Outside the Cage, with Geri Silva, Jitu Sadiki and others will air the voices of men, women and non-binary or trans people who are locked down inside CA’s mass incarceration system of prisons and jails.

“Tune in!” says iGM Michael Novick.  “Start your day with KPFK, and stay with us. Check out the diverse and wide-ranging music programming, with world music, jazz, salsa, hip hop, blues, reggae and more. And be sure to donate generously on Giving Tuesday,  and when the station’s winter membership drive begins on December 6, running through 12/20, fifteen days.”

Hundreds of unpaid volunteer programmers and producers give generously of their time and  effort, augmenting a small crew of paid staff who often go far beyond the 9-to-5, to give you programming unlike anything you can find on corporate dominated commercial, public or  social media.

“Please give generously to keep these unique and empowering voices on the air!” Novick implores. The new programming represents a bold break with conventional wisdom and stale radio formatting that is the station’s last best chance to regain its relevance, impact and  desperately needed counterweight to the prevailing pro-war and pro-system views that predominate across the broadcast and even social media spectrum. “Nobody can sell your ears to the highest bidder, or track your likes and embed you in big data surveillance and social control systems when you are listening to terrestrial radio,” says Novick.

“We’re moving to social media and podcasting, because that’s where a new generation of listeners are,” he continues, “but we are bringing them, and stimulating and sharing  from them, a critical analysis and consciousness of how to break out of the police state and corporate narrowing of the political discourse, finding ways to resist white supremacy and corporate colonialism.”

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