Friday, June 17th, 2005

HARD KNOCK RADIO IS UNDER ATTACK

The groundbreaking hip-hop talk show, HARD KNOCK RADIO, is under attack:

From: hardknock@kpfa.org
Subject: HARD KNOCK RADIO UNDER ATTACK
Date: June 17, 2005 5:39:56 PM PDT

Folks,

I hate that I have to reach out to you like this. Some of you know whats up, but most of you are hearing this for the first time. Hard Knock Radio is under attack. This is not a joke. HKR is in jeapordy, and only your support can save it. We are asking for our supporters to speak on our behalf at Pacifica’s National Board Meeting tomorrow 11am-1pm at Doubletree Hotel 200
Marina Blvd in Berkeley. Supporters and allies will gather at 10am for breakfast and strategy at Westside Café located at 2570 9th St in Berkeley.

We have exhausted ALL internal processes, and putting this on BLAST is our last resort. Pacifica and the Local Station Board have ignored requests from KPFA staff and the KPFA Union to resolve the situation.

The situation is this: KPFA GM Roy Campanella assaulted me on the job; KPFA GM Roy Campanella has sexually harrassed several women at the station; there is increasing evidence that KPFA GM Roy Campanella and members of KPFA’s Local Station Board are spreading rumors that I am accepting payola from local artists and that I’m laundering money. A recent “anonymous” note sent around the station states that I have “a rep for abusing young women” and that I’m racist and an Anti-Semite.

I know this is last minute, but Pacifica just now told us when public comment would be. I hope some of you can join us for breakfast. For those who can’t come through, there will be other opportunities to help us. Thank you for you support.

-Weyland

(Following is a letter from the KPFA Union attorney…)

Hoffman & Lazear
Attorneys at Law ARTHUR W. LAZEAR

180 Grand Avenue, Suite 1550 Email: awl@hoffmanandlazear.com
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510.763.5700
Facsimile: 510. 835.1311

May 17, 2005

Rosalinda Palacios
Local Station Board Chair

Dan Coughlin, Executive Director
Pacifica Foundation
1925 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704-1037

Dear Ms. Palacios and Mr. Coughlin,

Please be advised that I represent Communications Workers of America, Local 9415, the union representing workers at KPFA. My client is concerned about the conduct of KPFA General Manager Roy Campanella. The purpose of this letter is to advise you of the nature of that conduct and to alert you to possible litigation that may result from such conduct if it is permitted to continue.

1) A substantial number of women working at KPFA radio have reported sexual harassment, emotional abuse and discriminatory treatment. These accounts are numerous and have been documented. Such treatment has been perpetrated
both against employees represented by the Union and against unrepresented employees. This conduct constitutes violations of both California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and the federal Civil Rights Act. As a result of such conduct, the station may be held liable in civil litigation brought by the affected individuals.

2) Mr. Campanella was recently involved in an incident where he followed an employee, Weyland Southon, outside of the building apparently to commit physical violence. Such conduct constitutes an assault. The threat that formed the basis of the assault was witnessed by another employee. This witness is a very credible person with a sterling five-year record, who had no prior personal issues with Mr. Campanella. In addition, several other employees witnessed the act of Mr. Campanella following the threatened employee outside. No one, in fact, has denied that Mr. Campanella followed Mr. Southon outside. Mr. Campanella, in his position as a General Manager representing KPFA, is expected to defuse possibly violent situations,
rather than inciting or participating in them. It is our belief that this incident creates a potential for both criminal and civil litigation against KPFA.

Given the pattern of behavior that these instances portray, we insist that a thorough and fair investigation be conducted into Mr. Campanella’s conduct. Mr. Campanella should not be on KPFA Station premises during the course of the investigation currently taking place. Any lack of action on the part of KPFA and other responsible parties would constitute a failure to protect persons on the premises of KPFA from exposure to a hostile work environment and from possible violence. Again, KPFA may be held civilly liable for damages that result from such a failure.

We ask that you ensure that Mr. Campanella does not work at KPFA Radio until the investigation has concluded and a final disposition has been rendered.

Thank you for your attention and anticipated cooperation.

Very truly yours,

ARTHUR W. LAZEAR

cc: Christina Huggins, Vice-President CWA 9415

Weyland Southon
Executive Producer
Hard Knock Radio Mon-Fri 4pm PST
KPFA FM 94.1
www.kpfa.org
www.hardknockradio.com

posted by @ 4:48 pm | 3 Comments



3 Responses to “HARD KNOCK RADIO IS UNDER ATTACK”

  1. Anonymous says:

    So Mr. Campanella followed someone outside? Have we all really become that on-edge to feel that that is news-worthy? He commented on it himself didn’t he? Looking back on the incident he even said that it was not a good idea. No one writes about that though, you all just want to see dirt huh? You don’t want to really look at someone as a human being, with emotions, hopes, dreams, fears, faults, triumphs. You all like dirt, forget about the positives, flush them out right? It is so sad for me to see all the effort that people use in trying to pull someone down. I hope that one day we can use this energy to build each other up and be constructive and open, I hope that one day we can try to stand together and genuinely try to heal one another instead of tearing each other apart. I mean look at what you are all really talking about here. Really look at it, look at all the perspectives, or at least try. Are people even allowed get upset anymore? Is it a crime to get angry? No I’m not talking about violence, I’m just talking about anger. What are you like when you are frustrated and angry? Honestly think about it, please. Considering that Roy goes into work everyday calmly is amazing. And also consider that he is new to the area. How may you feel when you move to a new place? I know how I may feel after the initial excitement, a bit isolated maybe? So what do you do? I know what I do, I try to make friends, maybe not life long friends but just people to go see a movie with or grab a bite. But who are you exposed to mainly? The people you work with right? So let us be honest, because I am a woman it could be a bit easier for me to seek out friendship with both men and women. I mean let us be reasonable here. Are we all so sensitive and lawsuit hungry that we misunderstand a gesture so severely that we are willing to try and destroy a human being? I have been asked to see movies and attend lunch and dinner with employees and employers. If I don’t want to go I say so, if I want to go I go. I actually take it as a good sign if a boss actually wants to get to know the people that he works with instead of just giving them a simple nod or “hello” in the hallway. Why must we all assume the worst in people? Why can’t we all try and give one another a fair shot? Why can’t we dialog and look to problem solve instead of embarking on a mission to seek and destroy a human being, not just a General Manager, but a fair, generous and good hearted person. You don’t have to like him, you don’t have to agree with him, or even me for that matter, but come on don’t simply jump on the band wagon and call KPFA a hostile work environment. It could be an uncomfortable work environment for some (mainly Roy) but hostile…not for a reasonable person. I have heard Roy say that he is willing to talk openly with people. I have witnessed him be funny, warm, professional, and genuine with his co-workers. Have you all forgotten that? I have not, and I will not. Please have the humanity to speak up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I want 2 read that book can’t stop won’t stop

  3. Anonymous says:

    Give me a break. Women many, many, many women have filed complaints against Roy. He is making it a place that women feel uncomfortable working. That is classic harassment. KPFA is a horribly notorious place for women programers. Rather than bemoan women complaining- how about caring that women aren’t on the air, that men are just forcing them off. Oh because that has happened so many times it is repulsive. Re the violence. This is not just about Roy threatening a staff member with bodily violence- well I think that should be a problem. But this is about a creating a culture from the top down, oh he is on top right, he is the manager, right, that is encouraging a very very very dangerous work environment. How many instances of workplace violence have to happen at KPFA before – we put a stop to it.
    women and men who believe in creating a healthy work enviornment have to stand up. I will, will you?

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