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|Broadcast area||Los Angeles, California|
|Slogan||"Radio powered by the people"|
|Repeaters||KPFK-FM1 Malibu, California|
|First air date||July 26, 1959|
|Callsign meaning||K PaciFiC (K)a|
KPFK (90.7 FM) is a listener-sponsored radio station based in North Hollywood, California, United States, which serves the Greater Los Angeles Area, and also streams 24 hours a day via the Internet. It was the second of five stations in the non-commercial, listener-sponsored Pacifica Radio network.
KPFK began broadcasting in April 1959, twelve years after the Pacifica Foundation was created by pacifist Lewis Hill, and ten years after the network's flagship station, KPFA, was founded in Berkeley. KPFK also broadcasts on KPFK-FM1 along the Malibu coast, K258BS (99.5 MHz FM) in China Lake, California, K254AH (98.7 MHz FM) in Santa Barbara, California.
With its 110,000 watt main transmitter atop Mount Wilson, KPFK is one of the most powerful FM stations in the western United States. The station can be heard from the California/Mexico border to Santa Barbara to Ridgecrest/China Lake. A second 10-watt translator is licensed in Isla Vista, California, a census-designated place outside of Santa Barbara. The transmitter for that station is located atop Gibraltar Peak, allowing its broadcast to be heard over a large portion of coastal Santa Barbara County.
As part of the Pacifica Network the station receives some funding from charitable organizations such as the Ford Foundation and government funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but operating costs are primarily covered by listener-sponsors, as the station runs no regular advertisements or other commercial programming. Pacifica says they have no "sponsors" of a commercial type and are solely supported by their listeners.
Frequent On-air fund drives to support the station financially occur more than 3 times a year. There are also other occasional drives held for special circumstances. For example, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, KPFK held a special fund drive to raise money for survivors of the catastrophe.
Contributors to sustain KPFK generally donate a minimum of $25 for a year-long membership. Larger donations are requested and are rewarded with DVDs, CDs, and books or downloads = that are called "premiums". The person donating money to the radio station selects the "premium" they heard on-air or noted from the website listings that has a fixed $ number - the "premium" to be later sent to them.
There are often concerns about the frequency of the "fund drives" and the interruption to regular programming by those who are regular stakeholders [ie. regular donors, sponsors] of KPFK and by who listen frequently and regularly. To the newcomers to the station the pledge drive is less bothersome.It has been said that the major financial support required to run the radio station comes from the listener-sponsors.
Film Club: For people that contribute $150 at other than fund times or $100 when pledging during the pledge drives with another pledge, there is the KPFK Film Club. This benefit allows those who are subscribers and donors, only, to attend for free various film screenings through-out the year.
Films are announced on air and the donor calls to enter their name on a list to be admitted to the film at no cost. The film club screens art films, documentaries, film classics, and even current first-run films. Although the film club promises a minimum of 12 films per year, there can be over 100 free film screenings in a year, as there were in 2012.
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Like most Pacifica stations, KPFK runs an eclectic schedule, including world music, talk radio,politics, interviews and public affairs programming.
While KPFK airs some national Pacifica or other programming, including Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News, KPFK program producers are accorded the maximum amount of editorial freedom possible. As most programmers try to keep their own programs on-air for many years, they leave little room for even a few new programs to also enter the station's schedule, even on a trial basis. Programs are aired 24 hours each day all year.
The non-transparency of who has opportunity to be given air space for their programs and who cannot join into the program schedule has been questioned outside the station for years. And the benefits gained by each programmer, with their fixed programming opportunity - has been an unspoken taboo. While it has also been noted by many wanting a newer variety of issues or programs presented, that each for the guests that are allied to that particular programmer. While providing 'new' information and resources, there also is a promotional aspect to the way some programmers present their materials, while denying that any promotions or PR are allowed on this listener-sponsored radio station.
The variety of programs is wide and extensive. The programers may be managed by the Program Manager, but are not responsive to the general KPFK listeners when the public tries to use the station website's listings to contact them. So the concerns of many listeners is about the accountability, accessibility and the closed-loop that each program seems to contain and hold unto themselves. Lack of communication in-to the radio station, to staff or programmers, has been a long contended issue that has not been corrected nor resolved. Many believe that being mainly listener-sponsored, that all those involved should also be receptive and responsive to those [the public who sponsors and pays pledges to financially uphold the station] who support and work freely to maintain KPFK and its stated mission.
It has been stated that the only requirement is that programmers adhere to KPFK's mission statement, which states that all programming must be educational and non-commercial, must "serve the cultural welfare of the community", and must "contribute to a lasting understanding between nations and between the individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors".[see the Mission station on the website: www.kpfk.org]
The station's political position is generally regarded as being on the left-wing of the USA political spectrum. This includes issues regarding politics, women, the various minority ethnic groups, some of which also make up a sizable population of Southern California, as well as the LGBT community. KPFK's programming is also dedicated to the environment and the human inequality conditions at large and globally. The station has sometimes drawn some award-winning radio personalities as guests.
- 1959: The Pacifica Foundation begins its second station — KPFK. Terry Drinkwater is its first General Manager.
- 1961: KPFK wins Pacifica's second George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting.
- 1962: The FCC withholds the license renewals of KPFA, KPFB, and KPFK pending its investigation into "communist affiliations." Pacifica was never cited (see The Investigator).
- 1963: KPFK runs the very first Renaissance Faire as a fundraiser (the event is managed by Theme Events Limited Renaissance fair#History of the fairs in America).
- July 24, 1966: The first broadcast of Radio Free Oz by The Firesign Theatre.
- 1974: The Symbionese Liberation Army delivers the Patty Hearst tapes to KPFA and KPFK. The KPFK manager is jailed for refusing to turn the tapes over to the FBI.
- August 31, 1986: Jerker, a Robert Chesley play dramatizes the reflections of a man dying of AIDS, airs on Pacifica station KPFK. Because it included graphic sexual language, the FCC ruled that it violated an indecency policy.
- 1987: Ladysmith Black Mambazo makes their first live U.S. radio appearance on KPFK.
- 1992: CPB Board member Victor Gold targets KPFK for strident African American programming and controversial speech aired during Black History month, by filing an FCC complaint.
This is only a partial list of programs. See this page on the KPFK website for a full list.
- Something's Happening - with Roy of Hollywood.
- Global Village - Local and international music. Monday-Friday 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM.
- Digital Village  - Ric Allan and Doran Barons. Digital Village is KPFK's weekly show about computing and the Internet. Saturday 10:00 - 11:00 AM.
- Democracy Now - News and current affairs. M-F, 6:00 - 7:00 AM, Rebroadcast M-F 9:00 - 10:00 AM.
- Uprising Radio - Weekday mornings 8:00 - 9:00 AM. Host: Sonali Kolhatkar.
- Connect the Dots - with Lila Garrett. News, current affairs. Monday 7:00 - 8:00 AM.
- Background Briefing - with Ian Masters. Inside breaking international and national news. Sunday, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Monday - Thursday, 5:00 - 6:00 PM.
- Truth Seekers Radio – Saturday 12:00 Midnight – 3:00AM. Hosts: Santana aka Nexus102, Dj Daz, Shakespeare, Andre S. Belcher, Stan B., Lady Christal.
- Reggae Central - with host Chuck Foster Rock steady, dub, and dancehall. Sundays 2:00 - 4:00 PM.
- Poets Cafe - rotating hosts Lois P. Jones, Jaimes Palacio, Myrenna Ogbu second, fourth, & fifth Wednesdays at 8:30 PM.
- Pocho Hour of Power - Fridays 4:00 - 5:00 PM. Hosts: Lalo Alcaraz, Esteban Zul, Patrick Perez, Paul Vato.
- Spaceways - with host Carlos Gabriel Niño|Carlos Niño (and his son Azul Niño, when available) Sundays 10:00 PM - 12:00 AM.
- Radio Afrodicia - with Nnamdi Moweta. African and Afro-Caribbean music. Saturdays 4:00 - 6:00 PM
- The Lawyer's Guild - A public affairs program to discuss current political developments. Hosted by atty Jim Lafferty, Thursday 7:00 - 8:00 PM.
- Melting Pot - with Michael Barnes - Sunday 4:00 - 6:00 PM.
- Truthdig Radio - with hosts Kasia Anderson and Peter, Josh and Robert Scheer- Wednesday 2:00 - 3:00 PM.
- The Axis of Justice Radio Network - with Tom Morello and Serj Tankian. Protest music. Airs every second, third and fourth Friday @ 7:00 PM.
- The BradCast - Hosted by journalist Brad Friedman, featuring topical news, commentary, listener phone calls and live interviews with news makers. Wednesday 3:00 - 4:00 PM
- RISE - with Mark Maxwell. A creative jazz celebration of African roots. Sunday (evening), Monday (morning), 2:00 AM - 3:00 AM.
- Jimmy Dore Show - Hosted by comedian Jimmy Dore, this is an irreverent and humorous take on today's headlines and hypocrites.
- IMRU - IMRU is the nation's longest-running broadcast produced by and for the LGBT community. Mondays, 7:00 - 8:00 PM.
- The Aware Show - with Lisa Garr. Self-help programming. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 - 2:00 PM.
- Bibliocracy - with Andrew Tonkovich. Weekly books show. Wednesdays 8:00pm.
In addition to the main station, KPFK is relayed by an additional three translators to widen its broadcast area.
|City of license||ERP
|K258BS||99.5||China Lake, Kern County, California||9||D||FCC|
|K254AH||98.7||Isla Vista, California||10||D||FCC|
|K229BO||93.7||Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California||10||D||FCC|
- "About Pacifica - A Short History". Pacifica.org. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- KPFK 90.7 FM official website
- Pacifica Radio Foundation
- Pacifica Radio Archives
- Pacifica Radio Archives weekly radio series
- Mt. Wilson transmitter
- Historical transmitter photos
- "Superpower" Grandfathered FM's
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KPFK
- Radio-Locator information on KPFK
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KPFK
- Query the FCC's FM station database for K254AH