The Pacifica National Board
As you probably have heard by now, on Friday morning, October 13, KPFK General Manager, Mark Schubb, cancelled the longest running live program on LA radio, "Folkscene" with Howard and Roz Larman. He did this because the Larmans, who have produced the show for over thirty years as volunteers, would not sign a "Work for hire" contract for no pay and no benefits, but which gave the station ownership of the program.
Thirty one years ago the folk scene in LA consisted of bluegrass concerts at pizza parlors; then a small guitar shop in Santa Monica decided to take a risk on hosting live concerts. When "Folkscene" went on the air a few months later on KPFK, it helped generate interst in the music and publicize the concerts. McCabe's Guitar Shop went on to become a Mecca for folk musicians and fans alike. Other guitar shops in Southern California have followed their example and host concert series. Groups such as the Caltech Folk Club and The Living Tradition formed and grew in the environment enriched by "Folkscene". House concert series and festivals also happened and flourished with help from the Larmans and "Folkscene". Today LA has one of the richest and most vibrant scenes for folk music anywhere. This would not have happened without the dedicated effort of Howard and Roz Larman and their program, "Folkscene".
During its three decades on the air, "Folkscene" has built a large and loyal audience, introduced countless new listeners to KPFK and raised far more than its share of listener contributions.
Mr. Schubb has blamed Roz Larman for the email and phone calls flooding his office in protest; she does not run my website (http://acousticmusic.net), nor has she sent any request for emails or phone calls. The audience and community support the Larmans and "Folkscene". Should KPFK hold a vote with a choice between the Larmans and Mr. Schubb, I have no doubt that the Larmans would win and write-ins would probably finish second and third (this is the KPFK audience).
In a response to an email I sent to KPFK, Mr. Schubb wrote, "I'm also a longtime listener and it saddens me that the Larmans will not continue their show on KPFK." He has had a counter-proposal from the Larmans and their attorney on his desk since last Wednesday, and has yet to even acknowledge it. If he truly wanted the Larmans on the air, he would have at least responded to their proposal.
This, along with other actions by Mr. Schubb (for more details, I would refer you to my website, http://acousticmusic.net), caused me to write to him, "you have no credibility out of either face, and I will no longer support the station as long as you are associated with it. Given the incredible lack of integrity between your words and your deeds, I would not blame Howard and Roz if they took 'Folkscene' to another station, nor would I blame the Board of KPFK if they hired a new General Manager."
In his unabashed greed and unbridled grab for control, Mr. Schubb has attacked a cultural institution and may well have killed the goose that laid the golden egg for KPFK. The question I pose to you, as members of the Pacifica National Board, is this: Does KPFK exist for the benefit of the community and its listener sponsors, or to serve the ego of Mark Schubb? Given the obvious answer, I trust you understand why I am calling on you to demand the immediate resignation of Mark Schubb as the General Manager of KPFK.