Pacifica station KPFK is making plans to put up a full-time Spanish language stream of programming on the web that will move onto the AM radio dial. Program director Alan Minskey's memo to the staff and programmers is after the jump. "When this station launches it will be one of the proudest days of my life," he writes. "By serving the Spanish language community with mission driven Pacifica programming, the majority population of the Southern California working class will have a media outlet in their corner for the first time in recent history."
Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 4:17 PM
To: staff; programmers
Subject: KPFK's Spanish Language Station initiative
Dear KPFK community,
Over the past few months, I have been researching how we can have a second Pacifica radio station, a 24/7 Spanish language station, here in Southern California. I am proud to report that this dream should be able to come to fruition in the coming months. I will be revealing the particulars of the plan to the Local Station Board after the current fund drive.
Basically, KPFK will start with a 24/7 Spanish language web-stream, which we are planning to inaugurate shortly after the fall fund drive. Once that is up and running, we will be ready to move that stream over to a new signal, which will be transmitted on the AM dial (yes, there are available signals!). The AM signal will start out relatively weak, thus very local - as a Part 15 station, which you can learn about at http://part15.us
Of course, once we have a new signal we will be able to produce substantially more original Spanish language programming than we currently produce. How we will proceed in deciding the make-up of the new programming will be determined through dialogue with all interested parties in the KPFK community.
Currently, and in the foreseeable future, the project will be overseen by KPFK management in coordination (as always) with the Local Station Board, the Pacifica Executive Director, and the Pacifica National Board. By proceeding in this way, we can insure that the new station remain within the Pacifica family (we're not in the business of using our labor and resources to start radio stations for non-Pacificans).
I have already cleared this initiative with Pacifica's FCC lawyer, John Crigler.
Currently, the cost to develop this project is insignificant - and the start-up costs can be handled by adding a small amount to the goal of our December mini-fund drive. Again, details of the plan will be forthcoming - bare with me in not revealing more as we don't want to jeopardize the plans.
I do believe that the day this second station goes over the air will be one of the two greatest days for Pacifica Radio in Southern California, alongside July 26, 1959 when KPFK first broadcast.
It will take a while for the second station to develop and become fully powerful. While this happens, Spanish language programming will remain on KPFK - and it is my hope that Spanish language programming will remain on KPFK at least until the Spanish language station's listenership exceeds that of KPFK in the hours that KPFK is also broadcasting in Spanish.
The nature of the plan is such that it will take a lot of work from a lot of people with a lot of community coordination - and, in all likelihood, it will eventually take a lot of grant writing too - but I expect enthusiasm for the project to be tremendous.
Lastly, on a personal note, I am very proud to be developing this initiative and I've worked very hard on it. A Spanish language station in the spirit of Pacifica has been desired by countless people here in Southern California for a long time. When this station launches it will be one of the proudest days of my life.
I wholly expect this new station to be a phenomenal success. By serving the Spanish language community with mission driven Pacifica programming, the majority population of the Southern California working class will have a media outlet in their corner for the first time in recent history.