By Kim Goldberg
September 8, 2013
NANAIMO, BC–Nothing says “community radio” like changing the lock on the door.
As of yesterday (September 7), program producers no longer possess a key to open the door at Nanaimo’s beleaguered CHLY Radio, whose broadcast studio is located in the basement of the Queen’s Hotel downtown.
The lockout is the latest development in what many are describing as a hostile takeover of Nanaimo’s campus-community radio station by Station Manager Jesse Schroeder and Executive Director Greg Boulter. The pair appears to have the support of the four-person board of directors (which also includes Boulter) for the Radio Malaspina Society.
Any programmers still producing their shows at this point have been allowed in the door by Schroeder and Boulter. But many are shut out.
On Monday, I blogged about the turmoil at Radio CHLY here.
And on Wednesday, CHLY program producers issued a media release, which you can read here.
According to program producers, Schroeder and Boulter have harassed and bullied various programmers, have ordered them off the air and out of the building in mid-show, have called the police on programmers, and have even resorted to making harassing and threatening phone calls to programmers’ parents, employers and friends.
This morning, the popular Songwriters Circle that has aired for a decade was not heard because guest host Brian Hazelbower was told by management over the phone that he would not be allowed to enter the building if he came down to do the show as scheduled.
Hazelbower’s “crime” appears to be that a few days earlier he stepped in to lend technical assistance on another show, Living for the Health of It, when show host Pam Edgar was barred from entering the building. And Edgar was barred from entering, it seems, because a few days earlier still she was present in the studio when management tried to expell another popular show host.
Confused yet? Here is your scorecard to the growing body count of banned programmers and disrupted shows as the station’s management and remaining board members attempt to consolidate their power.
CHLY programmers and volunteers who have been banned, ejected and/or relieved of their volunteer duties in recent weeks:
Arbie Fru – Music Director
Steve Levington – Assistant Music Director
Dave O Rama – Host, The Lovecast
Matt Carter – Host, Impending Loom
Sandeep Chauhan – Host, The Late Shift
Bob Hansen – Host, Altered Egos
Pam Edgar – Host, Living for the Health of It
Brian Hazelbower – Guest Host, Songwriters Circle
Additionally, the entire production team of the 11-year-old Changes Radio show announced on Monday that they will no longer enter the CHLY studio while it is a “toxic and threatening” environment. Richard Polachuk, co-host of Paint A Vulgar Picture, has decided to stop co-hosting his show until the problems at the station are rectified. And Character Driven was pulled off the air in June after the host filed harassment reports against management with the police and Worksafe BC.
Have I missed anyone? Leave a comment or send me a message and I will update the list accordingly.
The scorched earth policy being carried out by CHLY management, with the apparent support of the board of directors, is proceeding at such a pace that it is hard to keep track.
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, The Progressive, and numerous other periodicals. She is a co-host of the hour-long Urban Poetry Café periodically heard on the Changes Radio show on CHLY Radio.