TV & Radio: Silence in Houston

Some of the most enterprising public service radio programming in recent years has come from the listener-supported FM stations of the Pacifica Foundation. They tackle controversial issues from all sides, broadcast disk jockeys who are knowledgeable as well as funny, and put on first-rate readings from literature. Their news, drawn from their own Washington bureau, has unusual freshness. All this went well at the original Pacifica station in Berkeley, Calif., and at the two newer ones in Los Angeles and Manhattan. But last March, the foundation got into Texas—and trouble.

KPFT Houston tried to continue the Pacifica tradition. Though its management was...

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