Regarding John Sakowicz at KZYX

Correspondence between
New Settler Editor, Beth Bosk and
KZYX Station Manager, John Coate

Below are two exchanges between Beth Bosk and John Coate. We start with Station Manager Coate's short uninformative response to Bosk's detailed letter which included a request for air time to clarify the background of Mr. Sakowicz and the station's promotion of him and his program, "The Truth About Money." In these email letters, which were also sent to the Board, she cites specific findings about Mr. Sakowicz which she uncovered in her research. And most importantly, she is concerned about how closely the station has linked itself to Mr. Sakowicz and his point of view.

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From: John Coate
To: 'Beth Robinson Bosk'
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 7:46 AM
Subject: RE: The Truth About Money -- Promo

You can do what you want in New Settler. You are not using the airwaves for this. Quit asking.

((Coate, above is responding to the following message from Bosk:))

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From: Beth Robinson Bosk
Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 12:46 PM
To: Mary Aigner (KZYX Program Director)
Cc: John Coate; mike-grady@redwoods.edu; Bruce Anderson
Subject: Fw: The Truth About Money -- Promo

Mary: I'm curious. You are aware that John Sakowicz's publicity now goes out under the aegis (the shield, the protection) of your name?

And if so: you are, of course, alerting inquiring media to the background information you hold re: Sakowicz's history (including the Boston Globe series beginning with the $300,000 shakedown of minority contractors on behalf of a state Republican party slush fund using lists provided by administrators working for the Republican governor; his masquerade as a gay man with HIV AIDS to win a $1000 poetry prize, at least as reported in John Hopkins Magazine april 1997; John's on-occasion return to that masquerade. The fact that Sakowicz's last employment in Mendocino County was as a low paid jailer, and before that he was fired for taking over the identity of the Youth Project for his own purposes with his own business cards. Plus asked to leave a Mendocino County Grand Jury, of which he had managed to be elected foreman.

Thus, the current challenge (dare I even say "controversy") re. his character and professional vitas. This being the man who claims he co-founded a multi-billion dollar off-shore hedge fund. And another hedge fund he refers to as if it is extant, with a name that mimics a British financial firm.

Just in case--the bare possibility--inquiring media might be interested in more than the entertainment value of "The Truth About Money". I'm curious as to what kind of character references are you handing out? Anything in writing? This is my formal request of a copy for New Settler. Mr. Sacowicz emailed me a copy of the promo sent out with you listed as his press contact. As his new press secretary, does that mean he wants me to interview him. At this point, I would be delighted to. And I want to do it on air.

Amy Goodman is due here tomorrow; the two of you have a close relationship that reaches back through Alice Walker and the take-over of Pacifica scandal. I can see her assuming you vet your programmers. Certainly the background of someone purporting to report the truth about money. It's my immediate concern, given my respect for Amy Goodman and 'Democracy Now.'

--Beth Bosk

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From: John Coate
To: 'Beth Robinson Bosk'
April 13, 2009 3:23 PM
Subject: RE: The Truth About Money -- Promo

Beth, if the way you write these messages is any indication of what would be in store for the listeners should you take an hour to do what you demand, then it would be very irresponsible indeed for us to allow it.

((Coate is responding to the message below from Bosk))

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From: Beth Robinson Bosk [mailto:nsi@mcn.org]
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 3:04 PM
To: John Coate
Cc: Mike Grady (KZYX Board President)

Subject: Re: The Truth About Money -- Promo

John: I don't take kindly to martinets, and this has long gone way beyond ignorance on your part into a very chintzy & churlish cover-up. How stupid can you be? I know you have very little experience in public radio (and are very much the wrong choice for your job) but surely, the concept of DISCLOSURE is not totally foreign to you. What you're perpetuating--not informing your listeners or inquiring media about John Sakowicz's known background--verges on fraud. May be fraud! John Sacowicz is a con-man. With two distinct modus operandi. And by allotting him so much airtime (none of it with open lines) with no counter balance, you are encouraging people to trust to him their mindset about the economy, and perhaps, even their money.

Steve Shectman is the exact opposite of what Sacowicz has depicted him to be: Schectman was president of Vilica! for Christ sakes. They were doing timberland conversions and selling the property to people with criminal records engaged in large commercial marijuana grows, diesel dope operations some of them.

I'm a seasoned journalist. I'm making a relevant request for airtime. The New Settler Interview readership (though as large in numbers each issue as your paid membership) does not reach the same audience you have given John Sacowicz multiple opportunities to address.

Mary gave me two reasons why she would not allot me an hour of public affairs programming. Her second: I was not a programmer. (Other non-programmers have done special programming.) Her first reason entailed my objection to her hire as the Underwriter rep eighteen years ago! Which is true: Nepotism was getting to be a problem at KZYX at the time. The Underwriting job was never properly advertised and handing it over to Mary put two of the four paying jobs at the station into the same household. Half of them. Joseph Leon, Mary's partner, was the news director--at my urging. He was great. He took very seriously the stations mission to include local Native American and Latino issues on a regular basis in the local news coverage. The stations original mission included sharing the airwaves with these two specific communities.

Mary spent all of last year attempting to keep El Cooperider from returning to a show she originated. How much effort over the past few years has she put into developing local Indian and Latino public affairs/and or cultural programming. Any? And how much effort recently in assisting John Sakowicz?

Sakowicz's last promo, put out under Mary aegis, makes the station more and more complicit.

You guys are stuck in a ramparts mentality. When I first contacted you, I was after a quick fix: vet the guy. Take seriously the red flag that a purported custodian of a multi-billion dollar off-shore hedge fund most recently was working as a jailer! That there is a sealed controversy over why he left that job. Are you laughing off the fact that for nine months he was shaking down minority contractors using lists provided by a governor's administration in a state where that relationship is illegal. The same way you sneered at a mere $10,000 embezzlement charge. This man's history is a wreck of masquerades and moral flaws.

Even the name of his latest purported hedge fund looks to be a rip-off.
So why am I being so persistent: John Sacowicz has become the ranking unpaid volunteer voice of the station. And outside of it, KZYX's most dominant representation.

I got to get back to work. I'm cc-ing this part of our exchange to the Board.

P.S. to Mike Grady: I'm cc-ing this to you because there is no email address for the board on the kzyx/z contact list. Share it with your colleagues or please provide me with an email address that reaches you all

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Issue 7 - Another Crisis of Transparency at KZYX

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