Two days ago, I blogged about the turmoil at Nanaimo’s campus-community radio station CHLY (101.7 FM) where bannings and removal of programmers have become a near-daily ritual.
Program producers at the beleaguered station have now issued a statement.
This is their press release that came across my desk moments ago:
For Immediate Release
September 04, 2013
CHLY 101.7FM PROGRAM PRODUCERS ACCUSE STAFF OF FISCAL AND LEGAL MISMANAGEMENT
On August 30th, 31st, Sept 1st and Sept 2nd, CHLY’s acting Station Manager Jesse Schroeder, and acting Executive Director (ED) Greg Boulter, called the RCMP to remove volunteer broadcasters from publicly funded independent broadcaster CHLY 101.7FM on-air studio on grounds of trespassing. This action comes on the heels of allegations of financial and legal mismanagement by more then half of the station’s approximately 70 volunteer on-air hosts and producers who are concerned Schroeder’s and Boulter’s self-appointment, unilateral decision-making, and lack of fiscal transparency could threaten the station’s licensing and funding.
In late August, Boulter was appointed ED by the now 4-member (down from 10) Radio Malaspina Society (RMS) Board of Directors—which includes Boulter as Board Treasurer. Despite the conflict of interest, he holds both positions. Jesse Schroeder, Nanaimo-Alberni Pirate Party candidate in the 2011 federal election, held a Fundraising Coordinator position by contract that expired in August. CHLY members were told that the Board renewed this contract and re-designated him Station Manager several weeks after Dylan Perry resigned from his position of Program Director on August 4th 2013.
According to the CHLY Policy Guide, Staffing Committee Policy Guide on www.chly.ca (editable by staff), staff positions must be posted, a job description must be in place, and applicants must be interviewed, not appointed. CHLY has not had an Executive Director for at least 7 years. CHLY’s Programming Committee has traditionally dealt with issues re a specific show/programmer, but this due process has been ignored. At least three RMS members have also filed harassment complaints with Work Safe BC and Victim Services.
In the Society Act and in CHLY’s Bylaws, the Treasurer must provide financial statements to members within 24 hours of a written request. On August 22nd, Robyn Yaredic, programmer for In the Red, submitted a written request asking for, among other things, a copy of the April lease agreement for the Globe Hotel and recent financial statements, but they have yet to be produced.
CHLY is has been on the air for over 13 years, funded by over 9000 members of the VIU student body and the public. The RMS Constitution and Bylaws state its mandate is to provide local, alternative, professional content and access to students and other volunteer members to develop their talents.
Gabriola Island’s Dave O Rama, an 11-year host of popular CHLY program ‘The Lovecast,’ was one of several programmers removed from the studio by police officers during his show on August 31st. In May 2013, Dave O was nominated by CHLY staff for a National Campus Radio Lifetime Achievement Award. O Rama says,“If we don’t agree with their plans, we are harassed or dismissed. Long-time volunteers have been bullied out of here. We haven’t broken any laws.”
As of today, banned programmers and volunteers also include: Pam Edgar, Living for the Health of It; Bob Hansen, Altered Egos; Matt Carter, Impending Loom; Joan Isberg-Herron, Character Driven; George Millar, Big G’s Spot; Arbie Fru, Music Director; Steve Levington, Assistant Music Director. Supporters are subject to RCMP removal and are banned from the station. Officers have asked Boulter and Schroeder for documents confirming their authority but it has not been provided.
Other programmers, like the Changes Radio team, broadcasting for over 11 years, announced publicly on Sept 2nd that they would suspend their show because they felt unsafe at the station. “(W)e will not continue to broadcast our show from the CHLY studio as long as the atmosphere at the studio remains toxic and threatening. We are unwilling to subject our interview guests to the possibility that they may be escorted off the premises by the RCMP. We ourselves are unwilling to be subjected to the unpredictable behaviour of the current ‘management’ and Board.”
Station management has yet to announce a date for CHLY’s Annual General Meeting, at which all of CHLY’s members are eligible to elect new Board for the upcoming year. Typically, the meeting is held on VIU’s Nanaimo campus in October.
Contacts:Marian van der Zon Faculty of Media Studies and Women’s Studies, Vancouver Island University CHLY Programmer since 2010 – Be the Media (nominated by CHLY and received Honourable Mention in June 2013 for the National Campus Radio Current Affairs and Magazine Show Award) Marian.vanderZon@viu.ca 250-732-3635 Matt Carter CHLY Programmer since 2001 – Impending Loom Voice of the VIU Mariners Host, Shaw TV Central Vancouver Island VIU Alumni 2006 firstname.lastname@example.org 250-739-1237 Sandeep Chauhan CHLY Programmer since 2000 – The Late Shift Contributing Editor of Back of the Book VIU Alumni 2006 email@example.com 250-619-6326