Locked Out at Radio CHLY Nanaimo

By Kim Goldberg

September 8, 2013 

I hear you knocking, but you can't came in. New approach to program production at Nanaimo Radio CHLY. (Photo by Larry Walske)

I hear you knocking, but you can’t come in. New approach to program production at Nanaimo radio station CHLY. (Photo by Larry Walske)

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 GoldbergKim 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.

About Kim Goldberg

Kim Goldberg is a poet, journalist and the author of 8 books of poetry and nonfiction. Latest titles: DEVOLUTION (poems of ecopocalypse), UNDETECTABLE (her Hep C journey in haibun), RED ZONE (poems of homelessness) and RIDE BACKWARDS ON DRAGON: a poet's journey through Liuhebafa. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Contact: goldberg@ncf.ca
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11 Responses to Locked Out at Radio CHLY Nanaimo

  1. paulenelson says:

    When is the next Board meeting? Is the Canadian equivalent of the FCC aware? Have protests been lodged with them? What are the by-laws of CHLY? Are they operating in accordance with the by-laws? Do the outlaw programmers have a good lawyer? Good luck.

  2. Pingback: Mutiny at Radio CHLY Nanaimo | Pig Squash Press

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  5. bill rollier says:

    i have donated to chily in the past but never again as long as schroder is involved every thin he is involved in turns to crap

  6. Pingback: Oct. 30 Elections for Nanaimo’s CHLY Radio | Pig Squash Press

  7. Kim Goldberg says:

    Well Bonita, as of yesterday, at least two dozen of us have now been banned by CHLY management from accessing CHLY’s public facebook group. So it would appear that things are going to get a bit worse before they get better. But fortunately there is an election coming up in just a few nights, on Oct 30 (7 pm, Shaw Auditorium). And if all goes well, we will have a new board of directors by the end of the evening that will put an end to the tyranny and just plain silliness being waged by the current regime. Some information about the elections and the Facebook bannings is here: https://pigsquash.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/oct-30-elections-for-nanaimos-chly-radio/

  8. Pingback: Victory for Nanaimo’s CHLY Radio | Pig Squash Press

  9. In decades past, Ukrainian Canadian radio programs had limited distribution, for a variety of reasons. Some smaller stations had low-power transmission towers with weak signals. Since most programs were (and still are) produced and hosted by volunteers or self-funded individuals, there have been few resources to promote the programs. Commercial stations, whether mainstream or multicultural, private or public, generally did not (and still don’t) perceive Ukrainian programs as able to generate sufficient revenues to justify the expense of promoting them.

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