Vic Gerami

New General Manager Blocks ‘Blunt Post with Vic’

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By Vic Gerami

I’ve been a longtime programmer for KPFK 90.7 FM (Pacifica Network), am currently on the local station board, and am the Convener of the Programming Oversight Committee. My program, “The Blunt Post with Vic,” is the namesake of my online publication, The Blunt Post. Its focus is news and politics, and I interview members of Congress, governors, mayors, and many other elected officials, dignitaries, and high-profile public figures.

With the invasion of Artsakh in 2020 and the lack of mainstream media coverage, along with general news, I started to include important news about what consequently was the Artsakh Genocide. By then, we had a new Interim General Manager, Michael Novick, who was not too keen on me covering issues important to the Armenian community. He also raised the issue of me posting about related topics on X (Twitter) as I am a content creator for KPFK.

Last November, Novick wanted to move all 8:00 a.m. programs to bring “Democracy Now” back to its original spot. Four other programmers were offered alternate hour-long premium time slots except for me. Instead, he offered me two half-hour time slots on different days; my interviews alone are about 30 minutes. So, half-hour shows would not work.

I asked why the four other programmers were offered prime one-hour time slots, but I was not. But he never answered my question. Months have passed, and I have lost countless opportunities to interview elected officials. Nonetheless, I’ve continued to serve on the board and contribute to the network.

Out of 138 programs, not a single one focuses on issues important to the Armenian community, especially considering the diverse range of programs for other communities in SoCal.

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KPFK recently sold its building in Studio City, CA, and moved to a new location in Glendale, where the largest ethnic group happens to be of Armenian descent.

The station’s official mission statement includes, “KPFK’s mission is to serve the community and support free speech, cultural expression, peace, and justice.” How is KPFK serving the community when it cancels the only program that discusses issues important to the hundreds of thousands of Armenian-Americans that live in Southern CA, the most prominent Armenian diaspora in the nation?

It’s clear to me and the board that drastic action, including public support, must be taken to resolve this issue.

Thankfully, board members have supported me and advocated on my behalf. The following letter is from KPFK’s most prominent board members, including the Convener of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and was sent to Michael by the Board Chair, Tatanka Bricca, on June 8, requesting the reinstatement of my program.

This powerful letter remains unanswered. When approached in person, he said he didn’t want to talk about it.

You can contact Tatanka Bricca, KPFK Board Chair, at cbricca@me.com or me at vic@thebluntpost.com.

People: Vic Gerami

Below please find the letter of four board members to Michael Novick, edited for space:

Dear Michael,

We, the KPFK LSB members, request immediate reinstatement of Vic Gerami’s show, “The Blunt Post with Vic” (TBPV) for several reasons, starting with the most pressing.

TBPV is an exceptional program that embodies KPFK’s spirit. When covering national, regional, and local news, Vic gets his guests to open up with a friendly and warm demeanor but still asks tough questions. His catalog of interviews is impressive by any standard, including over 100 members of Congress, Governors, Mayors, local politicians, and beloved high-profile public figures. Among other noteworthy shows, when Vic interviewed Marianne Williamson at the KPFK studios in 2019, she disclosed her plan to drop out of the presidential race.

This is one of the most extraordinary times in our nation’s history and possibly the most important election in our lifetime. Vic has interviewed over one-hundred members of Congress and is able to land interviews with some of the most significant high-profile people in the news, politics, and current events. Without Vic, KPFK and Pacifica are  missing this opportunity to have major newsmakers on our air, and it’s a huge loss for KPFK and Pacifica to  be missing these opportunities.

Not a single program on KPFK has an Armenian host who covers topics which are particularly important to the roughly SoCal’s 700,000+ Armenian community, especially at a time when the Armenians are going through the 2nd Armenian Genocide and are targets of anti-Armenian and Armenophobic hate crimes locally.  Of course, Maria Armoudian has a terrific show, but she rarely touches on “Armenian” related topics.

Vic is a well-known gay Armenian-American activist, with a vast network of dedicated and intersectional supporters and listeners. KPFK should be maximizing Vic’s notoriety to reach more listeners and members, not driving them away. We also cannot afford to lose the kind of PR and marketing he brings to the table that benefit KPFK. He produced KPFK’s Pride Marathon for a few years, but the station hasn’t done anything significant for Pride in 2024.

Since Vic, as a staff member replaced a board member who was elected in 2021, he is up for reelection this year.  TBPV should be reinstated in June in order for him to qualify running as a staff member. Vic, as the convener of the Programming Oversight Committee (PrOC), is working on a substantial and much-needed project that includes analyzing all programs on our grid, that benefits the station greatly. We want him to continue his service.

It becomes hard not to consider attributing the cancellation of TBPV to a negative bias towards the Armenians, as this show is the only one that was targeted and eliminated with no rational, reasonable, and legitimate cause. Out of KPFK’s 138 programs, not one has an Armenian host which regularly  addresses issues important to the Armenian-American community. Finally, the fact that unlike four other programs moved from their 8:00 a.m. time slots, TBPV was the only one not given an alternate one-hour time slot, which further highlights the unfair, questionable, and possibly illegal cancellation of Vic’s program.  We hope this serious breach of ethical practices in the business of mass communication can resolve fairly, honestly, and free of any prejudice or discriminatory agendas towards one of the largest minorities and most vulnerable and disenfranchised communities in Southern California, the Armenians.

We urge you to give TBPV a drive-time hour-long time slot immediately so the station can benefit from his unique and important interviews and programming and we can keep one of our dedicated programmers on air and on the LSB.

Respectfully,

Tatanka Christopher Bricca, Chair, KPFK LSB

Harvey Wasserman, KPFK—Pacifica National Board Director

Evelia Jones, KPFK—Pacifica National Board Director

Jan Goodman, KPFK—Pacifica National Board Director

Myla Reson, KPFK—Pacifica National Board Director

 

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