Listener Candidate


Allan Coie


Lawyer, philosopher, adventurer. 


  • Committee to Strengthen KPFK
  • Statement:

    As a candidate for the LSB I come as an acknowledged fortunate son religious upbringing, zeroed in on college and grad school as a life path. Then, through a series of choices, my perspective on living was infinitely broadened, from being kicked out of a religious college for secretive trips to Chicago jazz clubs, a life in the Synanon community, lawyer for Cal/OSHA, trekking with the sherpas in Nepal, early retirement to a seven year sabbatical in Ecuador, adding a second language at age 50 and marriage to a great Ecuadoran lady, Miriam. I have two grown children pursuing higher education.

    My early criminal law practice led to a long-time association with Synanon ( as in Lew Yablonskys The Tunnel Back). Years of playing the Synanon game with addicts and other squares brought me rare insights into what made me and my fellow game players tick. I moved in and lived the communal lifestyle until radical changes loomed that were sure to lead to compromise of Synanons mission and its ultimate demise.

    I left my private practice and dedicated my law degree to advocating for the health and safety of working people as a staff counsel for Cal/OSHA. This actually led to far more trial work than you typically find in private practice. I was privileged to learn the ins and outs of virtually every way there is to earn a living in California. Becoming bi-lingual was a secret weapon as I could understand a workers testimony before it was translated. I was also able to challenge mis-translations.

    A regular listener since 97, I depend on the morning news and analysis shows. Occasionally I have sent in tips to programmers. KPFK, particularly stories breaking about Ecuador where I lived for 7 years. I believe that KPFK has an excellent Program Director albeit interim. Glad he has brought back Ralph Nader and David Feldman, Jimmy Dore and now The Young Turks. I was sorry to lose Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West. Im sure they could be invited back. 

    I am all for Spanish language programming, though I appreciate the concerns of those who do not speak Spanish. The PNB has ordered an additional 5 hours per week of Spanish language programs at KPFK, a dictate not borne by other Pacifica stations. If these programs are of consistently high quality we can attract new listeners, but therein lies the rub. Unfortunately, selection of hosts has been confined to an inner circle at KPFK. KPFK needs to consult with recognized Spanish language media people as to voices that are both delightful and may currently be excluded or undervalued in the popular media.

    I think that I am a practical person. I worked my way through college and law school. My 20 years as counsel for CalOSHA brought me up close to the daily issues facing working people. I believe there is no reason we should not have the best staff and programming for our listeners. I want that to happen.


    Hi, Im Allan Coie. Im running for the LSB because, since at least 1997, KPFK has been a lifeline of sanity for me, as our political scene was seized first by neo-liberals, then the neo-cons. Through working fund drives for a dozen years or so, then working in the Archives and volunteering at outside events, then taking a spot on the front desk two years ago, I am familiar with the needs and issues facing the station from the inside out. Since January Ive been a regular at our LSB Sunday meetings as well as governance and personnel committees. I have enjoyed and benefited from the wide range of programs offered by KPFK and am 100% in agreement with Pacificas mission statement, emphasizing the urgency of world peace as well as societal health through justice, brotherhood, communication and the arts.

    Answers to Candidate Questionnaire
    1. In what ways is the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve?
      In spite of managements best efforts to trash staff and programming, listeners continue to give to support their favorite radio station, not to the degree the financial recovery would warrant, or their out pouring in previous years, but marginally sufficient to keep the station a step ahead of its longsuffering creditors. Long-term debt continues to loom.
    2. In what ways is the station moving in a negative direction, that you would want to stop or change? What changes would you work for?
      When non-profits saw their donations drop, given the losses ensuing the crash of 2008, the same faction that continued its dominance of the Pacifica National Board, by failing to hold elections and other manipulations, took advantage of KPFKs financial crisis to bring in a manager with an agenda to downgrade the quality and competency of the staff and programming. Were thankful that some resisted those attempts, like the some 800 listeners who protested the replacement of Roy of Hollywoods always thoughtful program at midnight slot with an ungodly mélange of characters dubbed Safe Harbor. Its what happens when the GM lets her sidekick pre-empt the Program Directors choices. Likewise without rhyme or reason, KPFKs Press Club award winner, Sonali Kolhatkar, always a leading fundraiser, was cut from5 to 2 weekly morning slots. The GM has a tin ear for listeners. viz, her Report to the Listener.
    3. What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station's mission?
      Im a good listener and a practical person. Im fluent in Spanish and, having lived abroad, am sensitive to cultural differences. I have legal skills and my B S meter still functions well. I think I have a good sense of humor and am able to laugh at myself. Through years of playing the Synanon Game I appreciate the dynamics at work in a group.
    4. What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced?
      I have answered phones in dozens of KPFK fund drives. My experience and common sense tells me that interesting, well produced programs generate generally 10 time more than those that are not. We cannot ignore talent, dedication and expertise in our programming and expect to make up our financial deficits reducing payroll. Thats short sighted. Under current management far fewer broadcast hours are pulling their own weight. Check which programs are pre-empted during fund drives by Christine Blaisdale, Lisa Garr, Untold History of United States and the like.
    I specifically recommend we invite our old friend Gary Null to come back and pitch. Health food concoctions like his are flying off the shelves at stores like Whole Foods. KPFK used to make a ton of money when Gary was on air. Whoever has gotten into a tiff with Gary needs to put the interests of Pacifica foremost. 

    My candidate petition was signed by the following and by 26 other members;
    Charles Fredericks, Roberta Eidman, Michael Novick, Grace Aaron and Jan Goodman