Special Programming: Other on 05/19/13

Air date: 
Sun, 05/19/2013 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Short Description: 
Lynn Fitch: Raw, Naked, and Exposed - Part One

Don Merrill will be inerviewing KBOO Station Navigator Lynn Fitch.

They will discuss Lynn's history in community media and development work, other experiences in her past, and where she is leading KBOO in the future.

Calls are welcome. (503) 231-8187


Calls & Questions Welcome?

After attending the last board meeting and staying until after the session was taken private banishing the public and the issue of the Navigator's pay increase could then be put before the board following the jaw-dropping plans for mass lay-offs, I listened very carefully this evening hoping to glean some insight into just what Ms. Fitch's vision for KBOO is.  Any hope of deciphering just where this outsider to KBOO's community is coming from besides Alaska, Seattle, and big money deals with the Gates Foundation was over the course of 90 minutes dashed.  Fitch dodged softballer Merrill's questions on specific numbers to assess her performance in her initial job description as Development (Funds & Listenership) Director; how much did Fitch's first year on the first job bring in to KBOO coffers?  The expensive de facto fundraising consultants unveiled to listener-members at the Tabor Space some three years ago have also never accounted for cost\benefits of the last major depletion of listener contributions.  Nor any measure of their success or Fitch's in audience outreach.  Add to that no callers put through the phone line to question the Navigator herself and only a couple of listener questions filtered through softballer Merrill, I've come away with a cynical pit in my stomach where the antidote to the corporate world's concentration-of-wealth and spreading-of-illth conventional wisdom used to be. No respect is yet due.  What we heard about the union-busting Bullard Law Firm selection over public interest lawyer-listener-member counsel amounted to PR BULL. Arlo Guthrie's soundtrack is quite apt given the anti-union remarks Arlo made to NY Times interviewer Deborah Solomon when he boasted of bolting from the musicians' union local a long time ago. Recently Arlo has pulled out his Dad's union songs and Pete Seeger's to soft-pedal the Libertarian small-government politics Arlo espoused in his support of the Ron Paul presidency.  Why Arlo do you side with public service employees in Wisconsin after distancing yourself from the excess control of the musicians' union?  And I'm a lifelong fan of Arlo's songs and storytelling!

 If this is where KBOO directional culture has gotten to, no numbers, no accountability, no vision, no macro no micro measures for growing listenership participation or even  meaningful discussion of the various options available to KBOO, in fact no reconcilliation of the contradictory claims of the last season's rosey fiscal report with the Foundation Treasurer and board member Paula Small's assertion at the board meeting and at the Tabor Space meeting that KBOO Foundation is in fact bankrupt, there is no confidence in current leadership. Lynn Fitch describes herself as ambitious, but she may well be confusing the ambition to pad her Gates Foundation $60 million dollar resume with the ambition to put KBOO on course for the bumpy road leading into the 21st Century of Hoovervilles under all our cities' bridges and outside their no-vacancy homeless shelters that will define community listener-supported radio's "people's intelligence service" lifeline.

What about the employee handbook?

The station manager and Paychex apparently created an employee handbook with no input from staff, and which contained a number of measures that the staff found objectionable . According to a staff member at the May 4 meeting, the employee handbook is copyrighted to Paychex, although it affects the KBOO employees. Staff also reported that they were ordered by the station manager not to divulge the contents of the handbook, although she has no legal standing to keep employees from discussing the terms of their employment. Why would the employee handbook be copyrighted to Paychex? What if KBOO decides to make changes in the handbook? And since when do the staff get no input in a document that affects them so directly and adversely?


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