TURMOIL AT WWOZ: CALLS FOR DAVID FREEDMAN TO RESIGN
The center of the storm is General Manager David Freedman. A New Orleans Advocate editorial, published last week, says Freedman should go:
“It seems obvious that David Freedman—who is a great community radio pioneer—has overreached his position at WWOZ, and probably needs to retire for the good of the radio station and its sacred mission.”
There are a bunch of reasons for the unhappiness: Governance squabbles, perceived changes in the station’s programming and WWOZ’s quest to become a worldwide music source at the expense of local listeners.
Another controversial issue is the arrival of former Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) CEO Arthur Cohen. Cohen retired from the PRPD in 2014 and now takes occasional consulting gigs. Freedman brought in Cohen to be Interim Chief Operating Officer around the first of the year.
Cohen appears to be unpopular for three reasons:
• He is from out of town,
• He is a consultant, and,
• He has worked with some of the most successful public radio stations in the nation.
I find this very strange because Cohen is a person I’d trust with any task, any day of the week. From my own experience, Cohen is sensitive to preserving a station’s brand and mission, provides wise perspective and knowledge and focuses on solutions. It appears Cohen is being unfairly targeted for criticism simply because Freedman brought him in for an interim period at the much-beloved radio station.
ARTIST LINEUP FINALIZED FOR THE 2016 NON-COMMvention
The NON-COMMvention is being held May 18-20 at WXPN’s World Café. I am aware that some commercial media folks read this column. If you like Triple A music and haven’t been to a noncom conference, this is one you should attend. More information is at [link].
|Mark Abuzzahab on his new cellphone|
Veteran Triple A programmer Mark Abuzzahab is joining in-store music service provider Custom Channels as a music programmer. Custom Channels [link] is an innovative service that offers customized and curated 24/7 music channels for offices and businesses of all types, particularly restaurants.
Custom Channels are fed via the Internet for as little as $35.00 per month. The fee includes full licensing of the music with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange licensing and reporting.
Abuzzahab calls Custom Channels the ultimate mix-tape:
"All my life I've subjected people to my mix tapes and mix CDs. Custom Channels is the next logical step for creating playlists on a much bigger level.”
Abuzzahab is also continuing as Program Director at VUHAUS, the music discovery video channel.
WFDD BRINGS LOVE TO THE PIEDMONT
February was Love Month at WFDD in North Carolina. The month-long promotion doubled WFDD’s February revenue from last year and quintupled it from previous years without interrupting programming.
According to Molly Davis, Assistant GM at WFDD, The Love Month is designed to bring in extra donations during what has been a typically slow fundraising time. The campaign uses listener testimonials, listener comments on social media renewal and through in-person fundraising events at area cafes/coffee shops.
WFDD said thank you to contributors with a special, limited-edition, hand-crafted WFDD Love Mug made by a local artist.
Davis told the PRADO list:
“I can’t express enough how heartwarming it is to take pledges directly from listeners face-to-face at these events. It is meaningful to those who contribute, too. They enjoy making a gift in person.”