Friday, April 21, 2017

NPR NEWS STATIONS UP IN BOSTON, MINNEAPOLIS & DENVER • FRIDAY DREAM JOB


Wednesday (4/19) was a special day for Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). Not only did MPR honor its founder – Bill Kling-- by putting Kling’s name on their HQ, MPR’s KNOW had perhaps its best performance ever in the Nielsen Audio March PPM estimates.

Bill Kling (Photo: Star Tribune)
The new name – Kling Public Media Center – had been in the works since Kling retired as CEO of both MPR and American Public Media. 

The actual change was held off until now so that it coincided with MPR's 50th anniversary.

In a press statement, Jon McTaggart, President and CEO of American Public Media Group, said about Kling:

“His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for public service continue to inspire us as we begin our next 50 years. What Bill has done – not just for Minnesota and MPR, but for public media audiences across the country – is unique and lasting. The creativity and innovation within the walls of the Kling Public Media Center will always be a living testament to what Bill began a half century ago.”

Bill Kling (left) and his posse in 1978 (Photo: MPR)
KEN SAYS: Bill Kling was public radio’s most consequential change agent. He embraced both sides of public media’s “public/private” partnership.” He brought competition to the noncommercial radio biz when it needed it most. 

In 1983, when NPR almost went bankrupt, Kling’s American Public Radio brought a new entrepreneurial spirit, and better programming, to the biz. Some folks called Kling Darth Vader because he pushed public radio to go beyond a subsidized economy.

Public media is better because of Bill Kling’s contributions. Thank you and congratulations!



In the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM estimates, NPR News station KNOW had perhaps its strongest showing ever.  Not only did KNOW have a weekly cume of almost half a million, it moved to third place in the market in average-quarter-hour share. KNOW’s AQH of 6.5% was topped only by two music-intensive commercial stations.

KCMP aka 89.3 The Current also increased its weekly listeners compared to February.  Today, Friday, April 21st, is the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death. The Current’s coverage of his death and fan reaction became a global moment.



The number of estimated weekly listeners to WAMU declined slightly from the previous month but the station is still number one in AQH share (11.0%). Commercial competitor WTOP had a 9.9& AQH share.




In Boston the seesaw battle between WBUR and WGBH moved slightly in WBUR’s direction with a 6% jump in estimated weekly listeners compared to February. WCRB also posted a nice gain in weekly listeners. 

Commercial Triple A station, which shares considerable listening with public radio stations, had 304,800 weekly listeners in the March PPM ratings.




The March book brought good news for Colorado Public Radio (CPR).  All three of its stations were up compared to February.  NPR News KCFR was up 6%, Classical KVOD was up 5% and Triple A OpenAir KVOQ was up an amazing 26% in one month.



FRIDAY DREAM JOB: GENERAL MANAGER KJHK, LAWRENCE

Friday is my favorite day of the week and Friday night is my favorite night. On Friday, everything is possible and on Friday night dreams can come true. Sometimes on Fridays I look at job listings and fantasize about applying for something interesting.


Today I am dreaming about becoming General Manager of KJHK, Lawrence, Kansas. Or, more realistically, there is Jayhawk alum reading this post that would be perfect for the job.

KJHK [link] has been rocking Greater Lawrence since 1975. According to Kaitlin Brennan. a recent KU graduate and KJHK veteran, the station’s sound “has gone from a “grungy-alternative,” counterculture bent to a more varied format, with music, film, news and sports. We’re still edgy, but more mature.” However, KJHK still maintains a “no Nickelback” policy.

KJHK’s studios and offices are located in a state-of-the-art 1,400-square-foot space in the Kansas Union. The station left the journalism department a few years ago and now is fiscally part of the student union. KHJK has an $80,000 annual budget that comes from student fees and underwriting sales.

The job pays around $50,000 a year, enough to have a nice life in Lawrence, a lovely college town. More information is available here




Thursday, April 20, 2017

VICE NEWS AIRS EXCELLENT STORY ABOUT THE IMPACT OF DEFUNDING CP B • NPR NEWS STATIONS HOLD LISTENERS IN MARCH PPM RATINGS


A friend of mine recommended a news report that appeared on VICE News about the impact of defunding CPB on small rural communities.  

VICE reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro traveled to Petersburg, Alaska and profiled KFSK, a public radio station that fills vital information needs in the remote area. You can see the VICE story here.

The story aired on VICE News Tonight on HBO April 10th. I particularly like the way the story highlights CPB’s support for rural stations, pointing out that they are often in Republican-leaning areas.  Here is a sample:

Public radio is often associated with big-city liberalism, which makes it a constant target for defunding by Republicans, despite the fact that all public broadcasting put together represents only 0.01 percent of the federal budget. But cutting public radio could hurt the people who voted for Trump — remote, rural, largely Republican voters.

Last November voters in Petersburg overwhelmingly favored Donald Trump.  However they strongly disagree that CPB should be sacked because of the ways defunding will hurt KFSK and the community.

NPR NEWS STATIONS APPEAR TO BE HOLDING LISTENERS IN MARCH PPM RATINGS

Common wisdom used to be that news listening tends to decline 10% to 15% in the months following an election. But not this year. The combination of Trumpism and splendid coverage by NPR and local stations, seems to be keeping estimated weekly listeners close to the often record levels in many markets.

Nielsen Audio data for only a few markets – including the largest ones – has been released so far. Today we are featuring March PPM estimates for the top five metro areas: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Some of the NPR News stations with the largest number of listeners saw modest declines.  For instance estimated weekly listeners to KQED, WNYC-FM, WBEZ and KPCC were 1% to 4% lower compared to the prior month. KCRW gained weekly listeners. KERA stayed the same.





In New York City, Classical WXQR saw a 13% drop in weekly listeners, the biggest one-month change in the nation’s largest market.









Weekly cumulative listeners to Classical KUSC were up 6% compared with February. Jazz KKJZ continues to show strong listening.






In Chicago, estimated weekly listeners to WDCB were down a bit but the station is still in its typical zone. Apparently Classical WFMT is currently not subscribing to Nielsen because their data was not available for February and March.




In the Bay Area, four of the five noncoms for which we have data, were down a bit. KALW saw some decent gains in weekly listeners over the past few months but now it has returned to its typical performance – weak.





Triple A KKXT in Dallas had a 14% increase in weekly listeners compared with February. EMF’s KYDA saw a nice increase in weekly listeners to its satellite-delivered Air1 format.








Wednesday, April 19, 2017

KPFA WANTS TO SUSCEED FROM PACIFICA • S-TOWN IS THE “HIMALAYAS” OF PODCASTING


Bill Crosier
The pixels were almost dry on our report [link] from Wednesday (4/12) praising Bill Crosier, the interim director of the Pacifica Foundation, for bringing business reality back to the beleaguered organization. 

Then Crosier’s plan ran into trouble at KPFA.

On March 30th, Crosier released the Pacifica Financial Recovery and Stabilization Plan, part of a past-due report he had made  to the California Registry of Charitable Trusts [link].



(Cartoon courtesy of Pacifica in Exile)
Then last week members of the Board of KPFA, Berkeley, say they are creating a new 501c3 organization called Big Tent Radio to acquire Pacifica's assets, or at least those of station KPFA. According to several reports, representatives of Big Tent have contacted celebrities and prominent supporters of progressive causes, claiming that Pacifica is “collapsing”, and asking them to be on the board of their new organization.

In a memo on Friday (4/10) to employees of all five Pacifica-owned stations, Crosier said, in part:

“As commercial media interests dominate our society and non-corporate journalism and culture struggle for survival, Pacifica, like most independent media networks, is facing financial, organizational, and technological challenges.

We are working to improve Pacifica's finances, and we are making progress. Major donors are approaching us, asking how they can help. It is certainly not correct to say that Pacifica is “collapsing”. In fact, that is very misleading. We are actually improving our financial stability.

I am bothered that any local board member would falsely spread negative rumors about Pacifica. There is an ethical issue…it's wrong to falsely (and secretly) spread false rumors about Pacifica, in order to get support for this new clandestine organization.”

KEN SAYS: I hope Crosier’s plan prevails. Turning Pacifica around is heavy lift because its reputation has been toxically tarnished by the endless infighting. Like past internal battles, KPFA’s secession effort is not about better programming or broadcasting in the public interest. It is all about political agendas, egos and the mistaken notion that Pacifica needs be destroyed in order to save it.

“If a Serial episode was a mountain peak, then S-Town was the Himalayas.” - Andrew Kuklewicz, PRX chief technology officer


NiemanLab reports [link] that PRX chief technology officer Andrew Kuklewicz shared data about the launch of S-Town on Medium that demonstrates the impact of releasing all of series’ episodes at one time. 


The chart of the right is a display of downloads of S-Town during the week it was launched. 

The “mountains” you see show the instant interest in S-Town.

Even though S-Town was only on the market for three days in March, it zoomed to #4 on Podtrac’s March Rankings. 

March was a banner month for Ira Glass and company, the folks also behind This American Life (TAL) and Serial

In fact, TAL productions has three to the top four positions on March 2017 Podtrac top 20 podcast chart.


Podtrac releases two charts per month (the March chart is on the left), one that tracks the performance of podcast publishers and the other that lists individual podcasts. 

Both charts are generated by Podtrac’s proprietary analytics and are based on their US Unique Monthly Audience. The publisher chart contains specific metrics but, strangely, the podcast chart contains no statistical information.

This is sort of like publishing the standings for a baseball league and not listing how many games each team has won and lost. Without the stats, what is actual difference between #1 and #6?


If Podtrac wants their charts to be an industry standard, they need to show us the data.

As in previous months, the top 20 podcasts is dominated by producers with ties to public radio. Seventy percent of the podcasts on the chart originate from public media shops.








Tuesday, April 18, 2017

“CLASSICAL MUSIC RISING” DEBUTS EXCELLENT WEBSITE ABOUT CLASSICAL MUSIC MEDIA



One of the reasons for Classical music's enduring popularity on the radio is the curation provided by programmers and on-air hosts. They make certain the right recordings, performances and artists are heard in context and flow.  It is both an art and a science.

Wende Persons

The same loving curation is on display on Classical Music Rising’s (CMR) nifty new website: click to see it here

Wende Persons and her team have made available the “go to” site about the business of Classical music on the broadcast radio platform and companion digital platforms.

I am featuring CMR’s site today because such a resource would be very helpful for marketing noncommercial Triple A and Jazz on radio and companion digital platforms.



Lets go under the hood of the CMR site:

• LANDING PAGE [link]

From the moment you reach the home page, you know you know you are a place with “all things Classical.” The vibe is calm and confident.  There is plenty of activity but it is never congested.  The look makes navigation easy. I particularly appreciate the detailed menu at the bottom of the page.

• AUDIENCE PAGE [link]

Only the most recent information is presented, including the January 2017 Public Radio Classical Audience from NPR Audience Insights and State of Play, an undated by obviously recent compilation of data by Tom Thomas and Terry Clifford from SRG and Walrus Research.

State of Play (sample chart on the right) brings together information from Nielsen, AudiGraphics, Edison Research, Triton Digitals and custom analysis from Walrus Research. The information is relevant and there never is an overload of data.  As Joe Friday said: Just the facts, mam.

• TALENT PAGE [link]

Want to find stats about the Classical music workforce? This page has the most recent data from the Classical Radio Workforce survey. (A sample chart is on the left.)

For the first time I can recall, separate breakouts are presented for workers at All Classical station, Mixed Format stations and folks working for content providers such as NPR, APM, PRI, PRX and WFMT.

• MARKETING PAGE [link]

Want to see examples of marketing campaigns that have successfully generated listener tune-in for public radio stations? This page has it.

I am very impressed with the report from the 2016 PRPD Content Conference Branding and Marketing for Classical Radio. (Sample image on the left.) This was an all-star panel of Classical radio programmers show how their station uses outside media to build awareness and encourage listening.

• MUSIC RIGHTS PAGE [link]

CMR provides links to two recent and comprehensive guides about the legal aspects of Classical music use on radio stations and digital platforms.

The first is A Guide to Copyright Law for Noncommercial Radio Stations by John Crigler and Melodie Virtue from the law firm Garvey, Schubert & Barer. It provides the basics of musical content in various media.

The second is Digital Music Licensing Guide by Spencer Weisbroth from Weisbroth Law. It provides a detailed overview of the evolving world of music on digital platforms.

But wait, there is more. CMR offers a comprehensive list of all of the noncommercial Classical music stations in the US. That list can be downloaded here.






Monday, April 17, 2017

PETER DOMINOWSKI BUILDS A NEW FUTURE FOR PUBLIC MEDIA IN FORT WAYNE


Peter Dominowski
When the Board of Northeast Indiana Public Radio (NIPR) in Ft. Wayne hired Peter Dominowski to be their new President/GM in 2013, they expected good things to happen. As time has gone by, Dominowski continues to surpass expectations. The latest chapter is the announcement on Tuesday (4/11) of a $4.5 million campaign to build and equip the new headquarters of NIPR.

The new site will house NIPR’s two programming services: NPR News 89.1 WBOI and Classical 94.1 WBNI.



210 East Jefferson Boulevard
NIPR bought a legendary Ft. Wayne building in 2016 for a “fire sale” price, $145,000. It is definitely a “fixer upper.” The building has 14,000-square-feet, three-levels was designed by famed Fort Wayne architect A.M. Strauss almost 100 years ago.  Located at 210 East Jefferson Boulevard, the new NIPR HQ is seen as an important part of the renewal of downtown Fort Wayne.

Mayor Tom Henry told the crowd at the announcement event that the new building positions NIPR to be a cultural hub that will add downtown vitality. The new HQ is about twice the size of NIPR’s current home.

WELCOME TO THE “PODCAST CAFÉ”

Peter Dominowski announces campaign
New studios for WBOI and WBNI will be located on the first floor along with a digital news center and the Podcast Café where folks can produce their own podcasts. On the lower level NIPR will have an auditorium-like multipurpose room that will seat around 120 folks for cultural and community events. The second level will have administrative offices and meeting rooms.

NIPR also plans to take advantage of the high-traffic, downtown location by installing a large digital sign with news and information on the front of the building.  The renovation will preserve many of the building's historic features, including pink marble facing on the front.

The fundraising effort is called the Sound Future campaign. NIPR hopes to be in their new home in 2019.

KEN SAYS:

Peter Dominowski Wins Otto Award
I’ve worked with Peter Dominowski ever since I began working in public radio in the 1980s. Dominowski was an early champion of Classical Countdown, the countdown show I produced in LA.  We worked together on research and planning for the program that became The World at Public Radio International (PRI). Our work continued on many projects after I started my own consultancy in 1997.

Dominowski has always been about "Improving the listening experience for millions of audience members." 

That quote comes from the 2012 PRPD conference when he received the Don Otto Award for excellence in public radio programming. That is what Dominowski is doing in Fort Wayne. He is taking what he learned over years while working with the best and brightest in public media and giving it to the people of Fort Wayne. Way to go, dude.

IN SANTA CRUZ WHAT IS NEW COULD BE OLD AGAIN

 In January of 2017 we reported [link] on efforts by former employees of the late-KUSP in Santa Cruz, to buy another station. The group organizing the effort is Central Coast Community Radio (CCCR), led by author and activist Rachel Goodman.

In January CCCR announced it had signed a conditional agreement to purchase KSRI (90.7 FM) for $265,000. KSRI’s current owner is the Educational Media Foundation (EMF), the same organization that bought bankrupt KUSP in late 2016 for $605,000.

CCCR needs to raise around $300,000 by the end of April to complete the purchase. So far, things have been slow.  CCCR is using a crowd-sourcing fundraising site [link] to solicit the funds. As of 10:00am CT on Sunday (4/16) the campaign had raised $82,778.

You might think that such an effort would create significant community interest but that hasn’t happened yet. However, the good folks of Santa Cruz seem to have little enthusiasm about Goodman’s projects. Her plan for the new station sounds like a flashback from the 1970s.

According to the weekly street-paper Good Times [link], CCCR asked local folks in a recent survey to describe what they want to sound like. The winners were “The old KUSP” followed by “Radio of, by and for the people.”

Of course, CCCR doesn’t mention the fact that this approach and awful management is what sank KUSP to begin with.

MEANWHILE, KAZU KEEPS GROWING

Another factor leading to KUSP’s end was the fact they could not compete with cross-market KAZU. 

Ironically KAZU just bought three translators that used be owned by KUSP. EMF sold 89.3 K207CN Santa Cruz, 91.3 K217EK Palo Colorado Canyon, and 95.3 K237EV Big Sur Valley CA, for five thousand dollars ($5,000).  Talk about a bargain! The three translator will repeat KAZU.


Friday, April 14, 2017

TRIPLE A NONCOM “NV89” ROLLS INTO RENO



On Wednesday (4/12) Nevada Public Radio launched Triple A KVNV “NV89” in Reno.  

 NV89 [link] emerged as a fully formed “Discover Music” source that promises:

No Commercials. Local Bands. Your Generation's Public Radio.


Mike Henry

NV89’s debut makes a terrific first impression. The beginning of NV89 reminds me of the start of 105.5 The Colorado Sound on Colorado’s Front Range about a year ago. Both stations were developed and are consulted by Mike Henry from Paragon Media Strategies [link]. Both appeared like magic for maximum buzz – first there was nothing, then presto, here a new music source you’ve always wanted.  Brilliant, Mr. Henry.

As I write this post, I am listening to morning personality Malayna Joy. NV89 sounds urgent, fresh and warm.  The music is a 50/50 mix of new tracks (I’ve heard new released tunes from Ryan Adams, Beck and the New Pornagraphers) and recent oldies and re-currents.  Malayna, who is live, is a smart companion, unobtrusive.

Willobee Carlan
NV89’s PD is Willobee Carlan, who has deep roots in Reno. Carlan programmed and/or worked on-air at commercial stations in New York City, Austin, Santa Barbara and Phoenix. He also has worked with major record labels and in artist management.

In addition to Malayna Joy, NV89 hosts include Gia DeSantis (KROQ, LA), Jake Wagner and Steve Masters (Live 105, San Francisco). NV89 also airs State of Nevada, the franchise-defining talk and interview show that originates at KNPR, Las Vegas. It airs weekdays from 9am to 10am.


THE LAS VEGAS CONNECTION

Last November we reported [link] that Las Vegas based Nevada Public Radio had acquired 89.1 FM KJIV, Sun Valley, a suburb of Reno, for $550,000. Most observers (me included) thought the new station would be a 24/7 repeater of NPR News station KNPR, setting up a statewide news presence.

In that post, we opined:

I have just one question for Nevada Public Radio:  Why spend so much money ($550,000) to acquire a voice in Reno? 



The Reno-Sparks metro has around 400,000 residents and seems to be well served at present by NPR News KUNR and Classical KNCJ. Maybe the long-term goal for Nevada Public Radio entering Reno is to establish a new format such as Triple A.  Or, maybe there is Nevada gold secretly buried under the ground at the transmitter sight.

Now it turns out that the Nevada gold was NV89. When I wrote those words in November, I didn’t know that the plan to create NV89 was already in motion.

Nevada Public Radio is run by Flo Rogers, once a host at legendary Modern Rock station 91X in San Diego. Before moving to Las Vegas, Rogers paid her noncom dues at KRPS-FM in Pittsburg, Kansas. She has proven to be a wise and forward thinking public radio manager.  Nevada Public Radio operates KNPR (NPR News), KCNV (Classical) and Desert Companion, a weekly arts and culture publication and website [link]. Desert Companion's print circulation is over 55,000.

WILL NV89 ENTER THE LAS VEGAS MARKET?

Perhaps Nevada Public Radio’s ultimate goal is to add a third format, Triple A, in Las Vegas.  NV89 is already on in Vegas via KNPR’s HD-3 channel. If they can acquire a well-placed translator, they will have an instant Triple A station on FM. Then NV89 will be a player in Nevada’s two biggest markets.

Last year Nevada Public Radio was rebuffed in their attempt to bring Jazz station KUNV into their shop.  Congratulations to all involved.  You make me proud to be in public media.

2017 TRIPLE A NONCOMMvention HAPPENS IN MAY

No doubt the new NV89 will be the buzz at the upcoming 17th Annual NONCOMMvention in Philadelphia May 17 – 19 [link]. If you want to attend (and I highly recommend it) early bird registration ends April 24th.

You can see the complete schedule for the NONCOMM here.

The 2017 NON-COMMvention will kick off with an opening party at 4pm on Thursday (5/16).  After that, there will be 56-hours of meetings and artist performances and/or intervews that include Dan Auerbach, Blondie, The Pixies, Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band and many, many more.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

HAPPY EDWIN ARMSTRONG DAY!


Major Edwin Armstrong
Edwin Armstrong would be celebrating today if he were still alive. The technology he developed – FM radio – is the “go to” system on the broadcasting platform.

Armstrong was a true believer in FM.  In the 1920s and early 1930s he developed frequency modulation (“FM”) in a secret laboratory at Columbia University. He was granted five U.S. patents covering the basic features of new system on December 26, 1933.

In June 1936, Armstrong debuted FM with a public demonstration at FCC headquarters in Washington, DC. It went very, very well.  Perhaps too well it turned out.

During his presentation he used jazz recordings to demonstrate the differences in fidelity for FM an AM. FM blew AM away.  The signal was as clear as a bell. According to a post on Wikipedia [link], a reporter that was on the scene said:

"If the audience of 500 engineers had shut their eyes, they would have believed a jazz band was in the same room. There were no extraneous sounds. Several engineers said after the demonstration that they considered Dr. Armstrong's invention one of the most important radio developments since the first earphone crystal sets were introduced."

The major broadcasting companies in the US certainly noticed. Armstrong's new device scared the shit out of them, so to speak. They were all heavily invested in AM and quickly saw that FM’s superior system, owned by independent up-starts, was a threat to them.

The Mighty W2XMN
In 1938, Armstrong signed on the first FM radio station, W2XMN, at Alpine, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. The Mighty W2XMN at 42.8 on the FM dial pushed 40,000-watts over 100 miles, far surpassing the area reached by New York’s big AM broadcasters. In those days an FM receiver was one of the hippest devices available.

Unfortunately Armstrong had done some of his early work at RCA’s facilities. RCA buried him with litigation. Then the US entered World War 2 and FM (and television) was frozen.  As the war ended, RCA and other companies pushed the FCC to “redline” FM. The Commission moved FM to 88.1 mHz – 107.9 mHz making hundreds of thousands FM receivers obsolete. It ruined Armstrong’s business.

The litigation continued into the 1950s. Late on the night of January 31, 1954, Armstrong had had enough. According to the report on Wikipedia, Armstrong opened a window in his apartment on the thirteen-floor and jumped to his death.

If he had chosen to live that night by the late 1960s he would have seen his baby – FM – begin a growth pattern that continues to this very day…

NEW FCC COUNT OF RADIO STATIONS: FM TRANSLATORS & LPFM STATIONS SHOW DRAMATIC GAINS



According to a new report from the FCC, FM dominates the broadcasting platform.   

As of March 31, 2017, there were 20,243 FM stations on the air, counting full-power commercial, noncommercial stations, FM translators and LPFM. 

As of March 31st, there were 4,666 AM stations on the air, and that number is slowly dropping.

In early 2016 I wrote in a post [link]: We are now experiencing The Last FM Translator Gold Rush.  

Today the hits just keep on coming….









The boom in FM translators zoomed after the FCC permitted noncom broadcasters to feed programming to translators by satellite. 

This rule change, first championed by Moody Bible led to mega national networks like K-LOVE.   

The folks at Moody called them “sata-lators.”




In 1963, Keith Anderson became the first person develop and market FM translators. Anderson was living in the Black Hills of South Dakota making lots of bucks with cable TV microwave systems and VHF TV translators.   

He manufactured “boosters” for TV stations in the Rocky Mountain West.   

This was around the time John Malone (who founded cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. – TCI) was hooking up his first cable subscribers in Casper, WY.

I’ve got to think that Edwin Armstrong would be proud of FM today and grateful to the people who make it great.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CAN BILL CROSIER SAVE PACIFICA RADIO? • TWO JOBS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE


We have talked often on this blog about the problems at Pacifica Radio. Many years ago they created a template for listener-supported public media, they influenced policy regarding major social and political issues and added an important voice to the national conversation.

However, more recently, Pacifica became known for endless in-fighting between internal factions, declining listenership and fundraising, unpaid bills and a looming bankruptcy. I’ve called them public media’s most embarrassing, dysfunctional and disappointing organization.

Bill Crosier
Then, in early February this year, the clouds parted and a new leader, Bill Crosier, emerged as a voice of sanity and reality. Pacifica’s National Board named Crosier Interim Executive Director and he quickly got to work on some of the network’s most pressing issues. Crosier began his tenure with this public quote:

"Pacifica’s mission of alternative educational broadcasting is crucial to the future of this country.  I will do everything in my power to ensure the Pacifica  Foundation's survival until I can hand over the network to the care of a new visionary leader.”

Crosier himself may be that new visionary leader.  As CEO of the Houston Peace and Justice Center, Crosier survived in-fighting and partisan, personal agendas and kept the organization focused on it’s work. 

He climbed the ranks at Pacifica’s KPFT in Houston and became the station’s manager. Bill Crosier is a “visionary” because starts with the fundamentals for operating a national network and operating noncommercial radio stations.

CROSIER’S PLAN FOR PACIFICA’S RECOVERY

On March 30th Crosier released the Pacifica Financial Recovery and Stabilization Plan, part of a past-due report to the California Registry of Charitable Trusts.  You can download the impressive recovery plan here.

A few of the actions Crosier has taken since be became Interim Executive Director include:

• Getting the owners of the Empire State Building (WBAI’s transmission site) to back down on their lawsuit and agree a settlement conference. The Empire State Building is Pacifica's largest aggressive debtor.

• Moving the impending drop-dead due date for Pacifica's delinquent FY 2015 audit report to August 27.

• Getting a generous WPFW (Pacifica’s station in Washington DC) donor to agree to free Pacifica from a requirement to immediately repay the donor for a $140,000 capital fund loan.

• Addressing Pacifica’s arcane and dysfunctional governance system. Crosier wants to do away with a 2002 rule change that, in Crosier’s words makes a mockery of our supposed democratic governance.

The new Pacifica Financial Recovery and Stabilization Plan even provides a clear-headed look at the existence of Pacifica in worst-case scenarios. According to the plan, the Pacifica stations in the greatest jeopardy are WBIA and WPFW. If conditions don’t improve in the few months, Crosier suggests swapping WBAI’s valuable signal with another noncom station where Pacifica could continue in a less costly environment.

Perhaps most importantly, Crosier doesn’t seem to dwell on the past. In the report Crosier says:

Here in Pacifica-land, we believe everyone has the right to be as stupid as they want or are, whether it's by nature or nuture. We don't discriminate against stupidity, or ignorance, or failure of fiduciary duty, or even malfeasance. Equal rights for all!

We wish Crosier well and hope he succeeds.

TWO JOBS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

• GENERAL MANAGER, WWOZ, NEW ORLEANS

WWOZ [link] is one of gems of the public radio system. Not only does WWOZ present a tasty blend of classic New Orleans jazz, it successful deploys dozens of volunteers to all corners of the city.  

After a rough patch a couple of years ago, David Freedman and The Board of Directors of the Friends of WWOZ, brought in former PRPD leader Arthur Cohen to be Interim GM.  Cohen has done a terrific job of kicking out the jams and has WWOZ purring like kittens at a catnip festival.

Livingston Associates in conducting the search. To learn more and apply online
consideration, please visit the full job posting, application instructions
and apply online at http://liv.jobs. For best consideration apply by April 15, 2017.

• STATION MANAGER, WHQR, WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

WHQR serves the Wilmington area (including nearby Myrtle Beach, SC) with two stations, WHQR Public Radio 91.3FM (24/7 NPR News) and ClassicalHQR at 92.7 (24/7 Classical music).

WHQR is licensed to an independent community organization. The station was founded in 1984.  Thanks to retiring manager Cleve Callison, WHQR is solvent aand respected in business community.

The Station Manager reports to an elected board of directors and leads a paid staff of eleven and a cadre of volunteers. 

WHQR purchased their current office and studios in downtown Wilmington. It has become a cultural center for both the station and the community.

Livingston Associates is also handling the search.  For details go to [link]. The deadline for applications is May 15th.  



,