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Hi. I am Sandy Childs, and I am asking for your vote for KPFK’s Local Station Board. As a two decades lover of, avid listener to, and devoted volunteer at KPFK, I have a vested interest in helping keep KPFK on air. I need KPFK. It has taught me more than I learned in school, and daily keeps me better informed than any other media outlet.

I am aware of the station’s financial straits, and feel that in order to keep the station viable and on air we must keep our reputation for integrity, honesty in reporting, and quality programming. That is the why when people find us on the dial, they keep coming back.

Austerity measures, (laying off paid staff and trying to run the station and programs with volunteers), is the exact wrong direction to take us. Award winning professors of economics such as Paul Krugman, Richard Wolff, Joseph Stiglitz, or Robert Reich have told you what they think about the efficacy of economic austerity for countries. It doesn’t work for business, either. Austerity will kill the station. We simply need to sell a great product, so that we become in demand again. And we need to promote the station, while searching for more funding, so we can have fewer on air fund drives that are driving away our listeners.

Using amateur volunteers to produce programs won’t save the station money, it will lose listeners and end up costing us more, as in penny wise, dollar stupid. We need to cut the length and frequency of our on air drives with alternative income sources. We really need a full time development and PR person.

The volunteer programming during the last pledge drive earned the station no pledges. The programmers had agendas and causes they were passionate about, but they forgot that you must attract listeners’ interest. With so many different venues and choices today, we have to be good enough to get attention and to keep it. If we present droning talking heads, no matter how well meaning, the dial is switched quickly.

My college major in journalism, taught me to get your audience’s attention, be interesting. And with my years of experience in TV production and in writing and film and TV development, I know what interests an audience and what puts it to sleep. Good intentions do not pay the bills. As we know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Cutting costs does not pay the bills. Good programming which grabs people and makes them want to give and tell their friends, pays the bills.

Even a non-profit radio station or network must be run as a business, and bottom line in any business is to bring in more money than is spent. So, the bottom line for KPFK’s survival is broadcast programming listeners want to hear. Good product, good income.

Thank you for your vote to help me help KPFK stay alive and on air.


Optional Questions (push the plus sign to see the answers)

In what ways are the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve?
KPFK’s excellent, informative strip shows produced by our talented, professional programmers are what is positive and great about the station. They are, also, its bread and butter. They need to be kept intact to keep their loyal listeners and to attract a larger audience for the station. And we need to find alternative sources of revenue in order to reduce the number and length of on air pledge drives. We need to cut shows which do not bring in money. And we need more political humor programming. In this crazy, upside down world, if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry all day. I’d like to hear more science shows, too. I miss Michio Kaku.

In what ways are the station moving in a negative direction, that you would want to stop or change? What changes would you work for?
On the negative side, there were some programs by untested volunteer programmers which aired during the last fund drive that drove listeners/donors away. We cannot afford to go all volunteer staff or programmers, as I’ve heard and read other candidates say we should do to alleviate our current economic woes. Cutting costs without good programming is absurd. We need to keep the quality to keep the donors. Penny wise, dollar stupid thinking will just sink the ship.

What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station's mission?
I am a nearly 20 year avid and loyal KPFK listener and volunteer. Mostly, I assist Terry Guy, the Membership Director, administrate the pledge phone room during drives. I love this station and its staff and programmers. They are like family to me. I was so happy to find KPFK because I could not find reality news and info on mainstream, corporate owned media. I am retired from TV/film production and development. My last job was for Warner Bros TV where I advised our executive producer on which projects to develop and which to toss. I’ve written a couple of romantic comedy screenplays and a successful cartoon series that played for three seasons in L.A. and was sold to Sony for video release, (which I also edited and coordinated). I have written a few short stories and magazine articles and a few children’s books, one which a group of artist, composer, musician, singer and actor friends helped me make into a musical audio book. And I am a published author of another children’s book. I am a portrait artist and my work has hung in two art galleries and at Norman Lear’s Tandem Productions. I had my own greeting card business (which I created in Photoshop) with six shops. I know what will catch interest and/or sell and how to keep a listener, viewer or reader’s interest. I majored in journalism in college, (after I dropped art history), where we were taught that you must get the attention of your reader in your first line. I always think of the old “Gettin’ the Mule’s Attention” joke. The mule will do anything you ask it nicely. But, first you have to get his attention. Thus, the two-by-four to its head first before talking. You have to hit your audience with a proverbial two-by-four attention grabber if you want to engage and keep them. Before the PNB decided to replace our GM, I was working with the program director to develop and attract new, and humorous programming.

What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced?
Besides keeping quality programming listeners love and pledge to support, developing new listener attracting programming, and cutting those they do not, I would suggest searching for more sources of income. But, we can’t attract new revenue unless we have great programming to promote. We need a good development person to spend her/his time finding funds, so we can cut back on our on air pledge drives.

So, what do you think ?