Commentary: Station Board Members Evaluate Campanella

Friday August 26, 2005

Since May 21, 2005, the KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) has been actively examining the situation at KPFA regarding the conduct of its general manager (general manager), Mr. Roy Campanella II. The LSB was asked to investigate these matters at the invitation of Mr. Dan Coughlin, the former executive director (executive director) of the Pacifica Foundation (parent corporation of KPFA) and Mr. Campanella’s direct supervisor.  

At the end of 2004 and early in 2005, some KPFA employees leveled charges of misconduct against Mr. Campanella. Management promptly hired an outside organization to investigate these allegations and then took steps in March to deal with these issues. Subsequently, early in May 2005, a charge relating to an alleged confrontation between Mr. Campanella and another KPFA employee was filed with the union representing paid staff. 

Representatives of the LSB attempted to get involved in the situation as early as March 2005 but were rebuffed by Mr. Coughlin. Mr. Coughlin stated that the rebuff stemmed from the advice of Pacifica’s counsel who argued that the matter was strictly a personnel issue under the exclusive purview of the executive director due to its confidential nature.  

The LSB continued to be increasingly concerned about this issue. On April 11, when its Personnel Committee requested a meeting with Mr. Coughlin, over half the members of the LSB attended the meeting. At this meeting representatives of the LSB asserted that the Pacifica bylaws gave the LSB the right and the duty to participate in a review of this critical issue but Mr. Coughlin still refused to involve the LSB.  

One month later, on May 5, after an alleged confrontation between Mr. Campanella and another KPFA employee, Mr. Coughlin invited the LSB to participate in the review process shortly before he left Pacifica. 

Since May, the LSB has taken the following steps: 

1. Hired Mr. Dan Siegel, a well known local attorney, to conduct an investigation. 

2. Met with Mr. Siegel to review and discuss his findings. 

3. Met with Mr. Campanella to hear his perspective and quiz him about the above-referenced allegations and review with him the findings and conclusions of the Siegel report. 

4. Examined certain personnel files relevant to the case. 

5. Held eight meetings in executive session (confidential meetings) to discuss this matter. 

After many lengthy discussions of all relevant issues the LSB decided the following: 

• On Aug. 14, it rejected a motion to terminate Mr. Campanella by a vote of 5 for, 15 against, 2 abstentions, 1 no vote and 2 absences.  

• On Aug. 14, it rejected a motion to put Mr. Campanella on probation until February of next year. 

• On Aug. 20, it approved a motion recommending constructive steps to be taken to improve the situation at KPFA.  

This information will shortly be communicated to Mr. Ambrose Lane, Pacifica’s interim executive director. He will then exercise one of two options as spelled out in Pacifica’s bylaws:  

• Accept the recommendations of the KPFA LSB and work with the LSB and Mr. Campanella to implement its recommendations, or 

• Reject the recommendations of the LSB in which case the matter will go to the Pacifica National Board, which is empowered to make the final decision according to the Pacifica bylaws.  


N.B. On August 14, 2005, the LSB voted in executive session in Berkeley, not to terminate Mr. Campanella. On August 20, 2005, also in executive session, the LSB approved disclosure of the above decision and the below roll call vote: 



Berg, Mary 

Blanchet, Max  

Enteen, Riva 

Friedman, Ted 

Hauptman, Chandra 

Khosrowjah, Sepideh 

Nagy, Attila 

Ratcliff, Willie 

Phelps, Richard 

Saba, Fadi 

Tattersall, Marnie 

Wanzala, Joseph 

Williams, LaVarn