Since the summer of 1968, community radio station KBOO has been a reservoir for local voices and progressive politics. So when they first entered into a contract in the '70s with Pacifica Network News, another bastion of unsung perspectives, it seemed like a marriage made in airwave heaven. But in late May, KBOO's Board of Directors gave Pacifica the boot, effective the first of October. Good riddance, they said, to what they call abusive labor practices and heavy-handed management."They've ideologically partitioned themselves off from us," said KBOO news director Mike Broderick. "It's like negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis."

Five years ago, Pacifica began remodeling its syndicated news and affiliate stations. Tensions grew between Pacifica and stations around the country who use them as a national news source. Stations began to protest that Pacifica had shifted their ideological center towards a commercial enterprise--one that behaved more like a free market supplier than a community forum.

Trouble first erupted last July in Berkeley, when on-air personalities at KPFA, a Pacifica-owned station, began speaking out. Pacifica locked dissenting employees out of the recording booth.

KBOO's news department responded to what they viewed as managerial atrocity and censorship. They aired disclaimers before and after nightly syndicated news pieces from Pacifica. This February, KBOO took a substantial step away from Pacifica when they began airing "Free Speech Radio News," a wildcat news service launched by striking Pacifica workers.

Discarding Pacifica, however, may prove trying for KBOO. The station must now seek out other news services. While the Board voted unanimously to oust Pacifica, the news department was slower to abandon its primary source of daily national news.

Without a wide variety of national news sources, Broderick felt that dropping Pacifica before securing a competent alternative was "naîve in the extreme." Last Wednesday, "a lot of those fears were allayed," as KBOO began to build its own network of national news correspondents.