Thursday, October 12, 2017


Jamie Wood
Jamie Wood, currently Chief Operating Officer (COO) of KUNC, Greeley, Colorado is taking over day-to-day operations as General Manager.  She will continue her work as COO.

The change will allow Neil Best, KUNC’s former to GM, to concentrate on new initiatives, spend more time cultivating big-ticket donors and continuing his work expanding coverage of the Colorado River Water Basin. Water from the Colorado River is a precious resource that provides water for over 40,000,000 people from Colorado to Mexico.  Best’s title is now President and CEO of Community Radio For Northern Colorado.

Ms. Wood is a nine-year employee of KUNC. She wrote about her path from being a loyal listener to becoming part of the senior management on KUNC’s website:

“I began listening to KUNC when commuting an hour each way to work at an accounting firm in Denver. I loved being able to keep up with what was going on in the world even though my life seemed hectic.  I was fortunate enough to come to work for KUNC in May 2008 as the Director of Finance.

“I told my daughter I was going to work for KUNC, she was very excited to hear me on the radio. I then had to explain I wasn’t going to be ON the radio. Then I had to try and explain how exciting accounting is to a 6 year old.”

Neil Best commented:

Neil Best

“She has demonstrated strong leadership capabilities, and more importantly she has a great vision, which she and I share. This is the right step for us to ensure we continue to do a good job to our listening community.”

Community Radio For Northern Colorado operates two program streams: NPR News/Talk KUNC [link] and Triple A “music discovery” 105.5 The Colorado Sound [link].

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Best told Spark News that the staff of the operation has doubled in the past few years. 

According to a 2016 report, Community Radio For Northern Colorado had a budget of around $3.4 million. 

Best also said that The Colorado Sound is doing very well and is surpassing audience and cash projections.


Ernesto Aguilar
Community radio veteran Ernesto Aguilar wrote a moving opinion piece for Radio World [link] about his former employer Pacifica Radio. Back in better days, Aguilar was PD of Pacifica’s KPFT in Houston. (He is currently the Membership Director for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters NFCB).

Aguilar's piece is called Pacifica’s Teaching Moment: Community media can learn a lot from failure as well as success. What follows are excepts, I urge you to read it in its entirety at [link].

Aguilar: As a former program director at a Pacifica-owned station, KPFT, and someone touched as a youth by its programming, I am surely one of many in the public media space are saddened by the current dilemma at what has been formally known as the Pacifica Foundation.

Ken Says: I don’t think many in the public media space are saddened by Pacifica’s current problems.  For most people in public media Pacifica became irrelevant decades ago.  And, Pacifica’s wounds are self-inflicted.

Aguilar: Michael Huntsberger is just one of many who have explored the enduring splits between community radio advocates and Pacifica activists. [Pacifica] saw their role as partisans rather than those who present diverse ideas from the wider community. Indeed, its content has seemingly been chosen with that provocation in mind.

Ken Says: True. Over time Pacifica has became a purveyor of intolerance and hatred.

Aguilar: Longtime chronicler Matthew Lasar has covered Pacifica’s many other legacy challenges [including] governance that came across more as ideological exercise than nonprofit leadership and more.

Ken Says: Lasar is correct. Pacifica’s stupid method of governance caused some of its recent problems. Pacifica’s “committee for every decision” approach produced indecision, the lack of accountability and divided people into factions like a bad remake of Lord of the Flies. Those who ruled Pacifica thought that what was said at their endless meetings was more important than what was on the air.

Aguilar: Pacifica's impact on community radio cannot be denied. Decades ago, Pacifica’s spirit of inquiry was evident in the magical on-air reading of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and the stunning 1963 debate between Malcolm X and James Baldwin at a crucial period for the Civil Rights Movement.

Ken Says: That was a long time ago.

Aguilar: However, that energy has dissolved at points into an almost dazzling anti-intellectual goulash of 9/11 conspiracy theories, dubious HIV/AIDS positions and claims African genital size made Greeks homosexual.

Ken Says: Plus, consider the damage to the brand by putting a herbalist self-promoter on the air selling boner pills and healing vacations.

Aguila: The Pacifica story may be a good example of the importance of unity. At the heart of these feuds appears to be a failure to find or make compromises for the betterment of the organization.

Ken Says: That’s part of the problem. To me, it all comes back to the lack of honesty, sound judgment and a total denial of broadcasting in the public interest.

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