Nanaimo’s CHLY Radio at the Crossroads
By Kim Goldberg
October 23 UPDATE: As of this morning, numerous members of Nanaimo’s CHLY Radio have been banned from the organization’s public facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/chlyradio/) because of their concerns with the current management of the station. Some of the banned members are: Dave O’Rama, Sandeep Chauhan, Joani Isberg-Herron (a candidate in CHLY’s upcoming elections), George Millar (a candidate in CHLY’s upcoming elections), Jesse Woodward (a candidate in CHLY’s upcoming elections), Arbie Fru (former CHLY Music Director), Kenny Brault, Chef Myklove, Courtney Harrop (Station Manager at sister station CJMP in Powell River), Jay Eskayeedee, John Phillips, Jonathon Brown, Joy Lacey, Thee Dwayne, Bob Moffatt, Graham Watson, Steve Levington (CHLY’s former assistant Music Director), Julie Chadwick, Ivo Beitsma, Frazer Johnson, Jimmy Pardey, Brent Coulton , and myself Kim Goldberg. Additionally, management has deleted several of the more hotly debated postings and videos in the group, including one video (shown below in this blog post) of CHLY Station Manager Jesse Schroeder making a lengthy late-night phone call to a show host’s mother to complain to her about her son. That posting alone had more than 350 comments on the public CHLY Facebook group. All gone as of this morning.
October 19, 2013
NANAIMO, BC—The Annual General Meeting for the Radio Malaspina Society governing Nanaimo’s CHLY Radio is fast approaching on October 30, 2013 (7:00 pm, Shaw Auditorium, Vancouver Island Conference Centre). And since nothing less than the survival of Nanaimo’s 12-year-old campus/community radio station is at stake, a “Save CHLY” movement has launched a website along with some candidates for the elections that will be held that night.
In recent weeks, the internal turmoil at CHLY Radio has been the subject of multiple newspaper articles, blog reports, and radio interviews by outside stations. Police have been called to the CHLY studio in the basement of the Queen’s Hotel repeatedly. Numerous longtime program producers and their shows have been banned by staff, or locked out of the building, or withdrawn in solidarity with the banned programmers. Torrential dialogue and diatribes are tumbling forth on CHLY’s public Facebook page daily.
Volunteer programmers have filed complaints with Worksafe BC, the RCMP, and the RMS Board of Directors alleging abuse, harassment, and bullying at the hands of two staff members: Station Manager Jesse Schroeder and Executive Director Greg Boulter.
Schroeder even went so far as to make a lengthy late-night phone call to the mother of one of the banned program producers, Sandeep Chauhan (The Late Shift), to complain to her about her son’s presence in the studio. Watch the video of that phone call here:
Schroeder also phoned a former university instructor of the same programmer to lodge a similar complaint—actions many are describing as bizarre.
Yet despite the volume of complaints, all of this has been occurring with the seeming approval of the current four-person Board of Directors, which includes Boulter.
Nanaimo’s historic Globe Hotel is the controversial new home for Radio CHLY. (Photo © Kim Goldberg, 2013)
Additionally, the station entered into a lease agreement for the former Globe Hotel earlier this year, located a few blocks away from the broadcast studio in the basement of the Queen’s Hotel. This new property (to be run as a nightclub and concert venue) has increased CHLY’s monthly rental costs from a modest $600/month at the Queen’s to a whopping $8,500/month at the Globe—a burden that many members now fear may bankrupt the station.
The Society’s original ten-member elected Board of Directors was reduced to three members earlier this year after the others resigned. A fourth member was then added through non-electoral means. [Correction: The board member added through non-electoral means, Ian Lennon, was allegedly added by a nine-member board, not a three-member board. Additional board members continued to resign, reducing the board to its current four members: Ian Lennon, Mike Preston, Alex Kalmakov-Wellborn, and Greg Boulter.]
Board member Greg Boulter is also the Society’s treasurer as well as the station’s executive director, appointed to that position by the board on which he himself sits.
Read my previous posting on CHLY’s troubles here.
Read the September 4, 2013 statement from CHLY program producers here.
Read the September 2, 2013 statement from the Changes Radio Show producers, and their reasons for suspending production, here.
Read a cautionary fable here.
The October 30 AGM will begin at 7:00 pm in the Shaw Auditorium of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre at 80 Commercial Street in downtown Nanaimo. Marjorie Stewart will chair the AGM.
Elections will be held on this night for eight of the ten seats on the RMS Board of Directors. Seventeen candidates are running for these eight seats, and there is the possibility that more may be nominated from the floor on the night of the AGM.
All RMS members who attend the AGM are entitled to vote. And if you purchase or renew your $20 membership that evening at the AGM, you will be entitled to vote that same night.
According to the official CHLY website, four of the eight available seats on the board must be filled by Vancouver Island University students, and the other four seats are to be filled by community members.
The following 17 candidates filed nomination papers by the deadline. I have identified those candidates who are currently listed on the Save CHLY website with their candidate bios and statements, or those candidates who are otherwise associated with the Save CHLY movement. [The designations in this article of the "Save CHLY" candidates were last updated October 23, 2013, and may be updated again as new information comes forth.]
STUDENT NOMINEES (4 to be elected)
Joani Isberg-Herron (“Save CHLY”)
COMMUNITY MEMBER NOMINEES (4 to be elected)
Gord Bibby (“Save CHLY”)
Bob Hansen (“Save CHLY”)
George Millar (“Save CHLY”)
Nadine Wiepning (“Save CHLY”)
Cameron Wigmore (“Save CHLY”)
Jesse Woodward (“Save CHLY”)
On October 27, three days before the elections, there will be a Candidates Forum at The Globe (25 Front Street) beginning at 6:00 pm. Seating is limited to 145 people, so be there early if you want a seat! The Candidates Forum will also be telecast on tv.chly.ca.
And mark your calendars for the October 30 AGM and Elections for CHLY Radio, and vote for a future that will ensure sound management for Nanaimo’s campus/community radio station.
Copyright © 2013, Kim Goldberg
Kim Goldberg has written extensively on media ownership and alternative media in Canada. She is a winner of the Goodwin’s Award for Excellence in Alternative Journalism and the author of six books including two on community-access cable television in Canada. Her reporting has appeared in Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight, Macleans, This Magazine, BBC Wildlife, The Progressive, and numerous other periodicals. She was a co-host of the hour-long Urban Poetry Café periodically heard on the Changes Radio show on CHLY Radio in Nanaimo.