LUV on NPR

The LUV Newsletter carried this small piece today on the “fair and balanced” reporting of NPR:

Cuban news has a good piece this morning showing how censorship works in the USA, reminiscent of Michael Parenti’s invitation to appear on NPR.

Parenti was asked by a woman, impressed by him at a party, if he would appear on NPR, and he replied that they would not allow him on NPR, because he’s a leftist. The woman huffed that she is an NPR producer, and what she says goes, so if she invited him, he would be in. She later called and agreed on a date that he would appear, but as he agreed he told her he would not be allowed to appear. Sure enough, the day before he was scheduled, she called to apologize that his participation had been canceled by higher ups.

When such a person is in a corporate media discussion, several right wingers are stacked on the program for “balance,” people who support the ruling Forces of Greed and National Security State, and they drown out what few words he says with screaming insults and misinformation. Apparently NPR thought they would not be able to completely mute Parenti, who’s very quick on his feet.

The latest case involves Gerardo Hernandez of the Cuban Five, who’s celebrated internationally because of the cartoons he’s created since being in prison in the Land of the Free for opposing terrorism sponsored by the USA against Cuba, together with four others. CNN invited him to appear, then canceled. Americans are not supposed to know about the thousands of Cubans slaughtered in raids from the USA since the Cuban people overthrew their US-puppet dictator in 1959, or the massive destruction of Cuban infrastructure from bombings, or that five men are locked up in American prisons for opposing terrorism.

Also from LUV:

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Turn Out the Lights

Phyllis Stark, writing in her Stark Country newsletter on Radio-Info.com, had some more bad news for the few remaining HD radio proponents, here printed in its entirety:

In last Thursday’s issue, we raised the question “HD Radio: What Went Wrong?” after radio panelists at a recent convention debated that very topic and concluded that HD Radio is in intensive care at best, or on life support at worst. The story generated a lot of reader mail. Surprisingly, not one person defended HD Radio or argued for its survival. Here’s a sampling of the responses.

• “As one who watched the introduction of HD Radio here in the U.S.A. and back home in Australia, I remember all the hype, the ads, and the shock and disappointment of the cost of HD Radios. When we leave our offices each day we return to being a consumer in a time of world financial turmoil. I found myself asking the same question I imagine many consumers asked themselves when buying that new clock radio for the bedroom: ‘The brand new, wiz bang HD unit at $100, or the $15 Wally World, no name, generic one?’ I’m betting you all did exactly the same thing.

“This is not like the introduction of digital TV that had hard changeover dates looming over our heads. If we the industry don’t embrace the technology in our own homes, given the added cost, why would we expect the listeners to do so?

“Streaming, to me, has always been the better option. It’s cheaper to implement, cheaper to access for the listener, and I think has better monetizing opportunities. We just changed our stream host provider, and now our streaming has begun to make money.” —Jack Alexander, owner, Lone Dawg Radio and host, “The Jack Alexander Experiment”

• “Other than PPM that affects the top markets, HD Radio has a couple thorns that really need to be addressed [including] floor space and general Internet streaming, along with smart phones (iPhone, Droid, etc). As Randy Michaels pointed out at the R&R Talk Radio Seminar in 2005, the problem with satellite and HD Radio is it’s one-way transmission. With streaming, computers or smart devices, there’s a two-way aspect where the listeners vote on the songs, purchase the songs and have ways to interact with the advertisers along with the radio station bringing all of this to them.

“I’m in market 211ish and, trust me, I cannot find an HD Radio in any retail store locally. In walking through my local Best Buy, I see XM/Sirius and Pandora devices, but no HD Radio. Even worse, try to find one as an option from a car manufacturer’s Web site.

“When I worked for Clear Channel about six years ago, I had an e-mail discussion with a corporate technical type telling him that this is a problem and I cannot find one to put into my existing vehicle unless it was from a catalog/online store out of New York that I had to do deep Internet searching for. The floor space problem still persists.” — Jeff Williams, director of operations, Knight Broadcasting Inc. (KSMA/KUHL/KRAZ/KSYV) Santa Maria, Calif.

• “In my opinion, HD Radio was DOA. Much of the initial lack of excitement can be attributed to the name. I’ve never understood why it was thought a good idea to use a term we associate with TV—‘HD’—to radio. That alone seems like a monumentally bad idea.

“Secondly, it’s been poorly and sporadically marketed. I think it should have been rolled out with major companies already onboard. The initial impact of HD Radio was, to be kind, a bit tepid. It’s not improved. A big debut could have gone a long way.

“Thirdly, radio broadcasters have rarely acted together in their own self-interest. Cable and satellite TV providers support an R&D facility where the idea is to constantly come up with new ways to attract and hold viewers. Can you imagine major broadcasters financially supporting the same kind of support system?

“Radio has been and remains a nation of tribes—each thinking they know more than the other and each suspicious and mistrusting. If the radio industry ever got together at a level more than conferences and statements, amazing things might happen.

“Finally, for decades I’ve thought the real challenge of traditional radio broadcasters will be the Internet. It’s a force that can’t be ignored and only gets more powerful, while traditional radio keeps hollering that they’re not dead, they can compete, etc.

“HD Radio was never well-thought out and there was no real goal. Is it a surprise that it’s now irrelevant?” —Radio veteran Danny Wright

• “The biggest factor to me of NOT getting HD Radio was the much reduced power that broadcasters use to transmit their HD signals. I work at KIIM-FM Tucson, Ariz., part time. KIIM-FM transmitters are on Tucson’s far NW side. I live on Tucson’s far East side. I couldn’t receive the HD signals at all. It appeared to me the only solution would be an outdoor antenna, which just wasn’t practical. I don’t know all of the technological reasons for such a low signal, but after I found this out by testing a receiver at a Radio Shack store near my house, I made the decision NOT to purchase HD.” —Bob Jones, Tucson, Ariz.

• “The dirty little secret about HD is that the signal coverage is significantly less than the analog signal. So unless you are within 20-25 miles of a 50K FM, you’ll have trouble picking it up.” —Name withheld by request

• “A giant white elephant. Retailers never had the receivers, and the ones that did had no idea what they were. Big confusion with the listener came in February 2009 with the TV analog-to-digital conversion and listeners thought we were talking about TV. I programmed one of these stations for a year and never knew if one person listened to it. As one of the Clear Channel PDs said in our cluster, HD is for the audio quality and not the side channels. Hell, no one knows about the HDTV side channels, let alone radio.” —Chuck Geiger, managing editor, Full Throttle Country

• “Terrible advertising (and tons and tons of it!). Minimal resources. NOT high definition, thus a stupid name [and a] confused selling proposition. Very poor retailer support.” —Bob Wood

The Days the Music Died

Following is an exchange one of our correspondents, author Gwen Fortune, had with “DT” about the state of music in general and NPR in particular:

Gwen:
Thanks, I know NPR affiliation is no guarantee of decent music. Some PBS affiliates do better, but by no means most. There is much PRM and APM programming that is of the highest quality, and a good bit of NPR programming is very good, but the NPR corporate attitude is the pits.

I have told you that at one time I contributed significant sums to WCQS, our local NPR affiliate. Then NPR’s programming changed, not so subtly. There arouse a frequent need for a mute button, and I would often forget to unmute.

When the morning magazine program began to use nasty rock in the interstices in the early AM, and the “music” reviews were nearly always rock, I complained. I wrote many letters with no response from WCQS and only boiler plate from NPR and the person they jokingly call an “Ombudsman.”  I won’t dignify their response to my letters as an “exchange.”

I turned NPR off in my house, permanently, and I stopped contributing. I will not contribute to a station that makes it necessary to carry a remote with a mute button. I record TV and use fast forward through the nasty segments, but I only pay the cable company for that.

Congress wants to defund them. I will not write Congress about that either. I do occasionally write to NPR to remind them of the situation and why they aren’t getting the hundreds of dollars a year I used to contribute. That money goes to my orchestras and local charities now.

Talk about beating a dead horse. I’m almost sorry about the diatribe…
Love
DT

D:
Our experiences with NPR are hand-in-glove. No diatribe. You’re entitled. This is called freedom. Without choice there is no freedom. We have ever decreasing choices.

In the Chapel Hill area I was part of a community group that met with the Ombudsman. A joke. UNC killed all Classical and Jazz  They prefer the banal, non-musical rock-rap  contemporary “pop” because the generation now in power has no cultural continuity.  There God is “the demographic,” kids with even less exposure to anything of quality than they have.

When I moved to Gainesville the station here had seven and one-half hours of classical music weekdays,  carried the Met and other good music. The UF president took control, and it has been downhill for more than two years. I was, again, part of the protest group. We picketed three or four times in front of the Journalism Building — home of the station — and The Alumni Hall where a high-level meeting was to be held. Most of the dignitaries entered by alternate doors, to avoid us.

I have totally given up on this society. A friend accused me of hating the US. I hate the ignorance that has always been a part of any culture — but the rapid “dumbing-down” under the guise and control of Corporate is the social equivalence of an earthquake-tsunami combination, nation-wide.

I left Chicago at the time NPR was forcing its corporate model on WFMT. Citizens bought the station — $$$$ — and it still offers high quality music and commentary. It is on my desktop, playing right now. Just announced a summer festival in Chitown. Watts and the CSO are included. Listening, now, to glorious music of Jonas Kaufman, from “Verissimo.” Oh, how I miss that place.

I wonder what the world will be like for the youth who are continuing the “School music” tradition. UF has excellent music students, and I am sure there are many others in the nation — but their survival is problematic, given sports and BUSINESS.

My seven-year-old granddaughter is in her third year of violin, and loves it. The four-year-old begins this fall, so they can play together, they say. Kids like this are being fed to the barracuda. For shame.

Yes, it is sad.
Love,
Gwen

Collegiate Claptrap

The suits are wildly spinning for ‘GBH in Boston, in wake of the takeover of the student station at Bryant University. Bean counters at Bryant — acting the good industrialist as ‘GBH honchos did in busting up their union — have now begun to put that most favorable light on this latest acquisition, to wit: “Bryant partnership with WGBH provides new tech platforms for student radio station.” This is akin to saying “layoffs create whole new world to experience in unemployment.” The word from Boston is equally giddy in its assessment of the move, which will consign student radio to the purgatory of HD radio and online:

“We are absolutely delighted to be returning to an area with so much vibrant cultural activity, and look forward to sharing it with the rest of the region,” said Benjamin Roe, WGBH managing director for classical services, in a press release.

In related news, doings at WDUQ hit the national radar in Tom Taylor’s newsletter, here:

The feared mass layoff at Pittsburgh’s WDUQ (90.5) is happening, as one poster on the Pittsburgh Board at Radio-Info.com said it would. The new Essential Public Media is buying WDUQ for $6 million and initiating an LMA on July 1. The Post-Gazette confirms that the current staff, more than 20 fulltimers and parttimers, got termination notices. Now the question is — will Essential Public Media re-hire any of them? It’s still going to be doing a limited amount of jazz, as it re-formats to mostly news and talk. The paper’s Adrian McCoy says the buyer is retaining director of development Fred Serino and business manager Vicky Rumpf for the LMA period.

DUQ has been absorbed into the NPR borg, thanks in large part to the machinations (double-dealing, some would say) of Public Radio Capital in its freshlly minted Public Media Co. — a move that slices the hours of jazz programming from 100 to 6, as noted in this blog:

If the online outcry is any indication, there will be a lengthy period of discord over the manner in which the removal of jazz from these free public airwaves is being accomplished. Those who have been most vocal have said that a healthy compromise somewhere between the 100 hours of jazz being aired on 90.5 now, and the 6 that is currently planned for, would be fine with them. Their plea does not appear to be intractable, even in spite of an effort to boycott membership in both stations. Why does WYEP’s silence in response seem that way?…

From the sound of the rhetoric, the management of WYEP has made up its mind, and is not inclined to listen to the pleas of jazz fans around the area to keep more of this music on analog FM. The deaf ear they appear to have turned to the complaints is not in keeping with a community media resource, and has fueled too much speculation along with the bad feelings.

Perhaps they just think that the spectrum is too valuable to continue to commit so much airtime to what they may perceive as a “niche” audience. If that’s the case, their approach is antithetical to their origins. Perhaps they have truly forgotten from whence they came. Too bad.

As this post in March on the Bloomberg Businessweek site, “Making Public Radio a Little More Private,”  notes, the pace for acquisition of the cherry student stations has accelerated in response to perceived threats to federal funding:

Some media executives in Pasadena, Calif., think they may be able to save public radio by making it less public. They’re using business tactics rarely employed in the tame world of local public radio to create a megastation they hope will one day beam its signal from Santa Barbara to San Diego. By building a mini-empire of local stations, they say they’ll be able to better distribute the fixed costs of radio broadcasting and draw on a much larger audience for the donations and corporate sponsorships that could keep them afloat if government funding dries up.

Those plans are taking shape in the $25 million, one-year-old studios of KPCC, the flagship station for Southern California Public Radio. SCPR already owns or operates three stations and is on the hunt for more.

The Southern Cal group, which snapped up beloved station KUSF in San Francisco in its quest to go more corporate, is not shy about its goals:

SCPR’s stations currently reach 14 million listeners, but the board hopes to nearly double that, to 25 million. “If we can buy a station, we will,” says Crawford. “Where we can’t, we’ll build translators to boost our signal. This is a new business model for public radio.”

I’m Sorry. I Can’t Do That, Bob

Despite the underhanded sale of Vanderbilt station WRVU by the suits at VSC, the battle seems far from over. Here is the latest release from the trenches:

Supporters of WRVU,

Despite the strange sounds emanating from 91.1 FM Nashville . . . WRVU-FM is NOT DEAD YET!!!

Vanderbilt Student Communications (VSC) has entered a lease-purchase agreement with WPLN 90.5 FM Nashville, a National Public Radio affiliate. In May of 2011, the VSC administration filed paperwork with the FCC to change the call letters from WRVU to WFCL. As you may know, this change became official on June 1, 2011. WRVU DJs did not become aware of this change until June 6, 2011.

For six days, the WRVU DJs announced the improper legal I.D. It was a serious failure on the part of the VSC that the students were not made aware of the call letter change.

Although talks of a frequency sale have been going on for months now, the VSC effectively lied to the students of WRVU assuring them that no sale was imminent and that no major decisions were being made concerning the frequency sale.

When the call letter change was brought to the attention of the WRVU Friends & Family by Kodi McKinney, a reporter from CMJ, General Manager Robert Ackley approached the VSC for more information. After some delay, the VSC finally admitted that it had reached an agreement with WPLN.

On Tuesday, June 7th, WRVU sang out loud and clear. Don Troop, reporter from the Chronicle of Higher Education, listened from afar.  Of Pete Wilson’s final show he said, “It was a playlist for the End of Times.”

Those of you who listened heard Pete say several times during his program that the station would be shutdown at 2:30 for some regular station maintenance. “Not to worry” Pete told his worried listeners, “we will be right back On the Air.”  Pete left the station and just a few hours later the DJs realized they were locked out of the station.

DJs are currently unable to access the station or the online stream. According to VSC Chair Mark Wollaeger, “Angry, Frustrated people and open mics over the airwaves is a Volatile, Dangerous mixture.”

Reactions to WRVU Sale
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnMiYlSL-ck

Therefore, if you are attempting to listen to WRVU via Streaming audio or the WRVU app, you are picking the automated DJ the students refer to as DJ HAL.

HAL Wont Open the Pod Bay Door
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkyUMmNl4hk

The student DJs will not be allowed back on the stream until the fall.

******************************

THE DEAL

According to the Tennessean, WPLN has 18 months to come up with 3.35 million dollars. WLPN intends to run a pledge drive to raise these funds. WPLN aired an audio report by Kim Green on June 9th that referenced WPLN President Rob Gordon,

“Gordon says . . . WPLN can’t just write a 3.3 million dollar check to purchase WRVU. The station’s making a down payment and planning a capital campaign to pay off the balance in the next eighteen months. During that time WPLN will apply for an FCC license transfer.”

WRVU Sale Creates Static
http://wpln.org/?p=27797

******************************

THE HOPE

Provided WPLN can actually raise the 3.35 million to purchase 91.1 FM, they will have to apply propose the license transfer to the FCC.  At this point, the public will have 30 days to formally object to the transfer. We, at the WRVU Friends & Family intend to fight this transfer every step of the way!!! We are up against a formidable enemy but we with your help we are strong too. The time is NOW to STAND UP for your frequency!

The VSC has been secretive, underhanded, and dirty throughout this game and now they have hung us out to dry.  WRVU 91.1 FM belongs to YOU, the DJs of WRVU and the students of Vanderbilt University.   FIGHT FOR IT, it is NOT too LATE to get it back!!!

Keep up the letter writing. ZEPPOS and the BOARD OF TRUST are RESPONSIBLE for EVERYTHING that happens at VU. Do not let them get out of this mess unscathed.

http://www.nolo.tv/wrvu/whotolobby/

Keep up the pressure and put your money where your mouth is . . . Let Vanderbilt know this will effect your giving. Promise to donate generously if WRVU is saved, promise to pledge nothing if it is not.

The same tactic might be used at WPLN~

Rob Gordon, President and General Manager
Nashville Public Radio
630 Mainstream Drive
Nashville, TN 37228
(615) 760-2020 x222

http://wpln.org/

GET VOCAL WRVU!!! Let WPLN and Vanderbilt University know that this frequency sale is a terrible idea that has spun out of control. DEMAND that they retract the agreement and PROVE that WRVU can arise from the ashes.

Bushwhacked

The following is a release in its entirety from the supporters of WRVU in Nashville in response to the actions of the board, selling the student station to the NPR borg:

 ‘ADULTS’ of VSC CONTINUE TO BRING SHAME TO VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Well, it ain’t Truthin’

One of the main purposes of this website is to simply archive all of the information surrounding the proposed VSC sale of WRVU that was announced September of last year with the goal of providing a full record so everyone can have access to the facts. For starters, it is critical to note that WRVU has long historically been a student-operated organization . . . until very recently. Until recently the VSC itself was nearly entirely run by the student heads of each of the represented media organizations (radio, print, tv, etc). What makes the recent events so galling to so many is that that under reconfigurations directed by Chris Carroll (Media Advisor), the VSC and the student controlled media groups have been hijacked by ‘adults.’ The VSC and their growing paid adult staff have strong-armed control away from the students and into the hands of a paid ‘professional’ (and expensive) staff who take on many of the day-to-day operation duties and, as such, important responsibilities.

A natural outcome of this ‘adult’ take-over of a student-run VSC is this agreed sale of WRVU, which you will notice has two and only two vocal proponents: Mark Wollaeger (VSC Chair) and Chris Carroll (Media Adviser). Other than the insipid comments of student Justin Tardiff, there has been little to no vocal support of this sale idea from ANYONE. Yet, against the avalanche of protests and complaints opposing the sale, Wollaegher and Carroll clearly had been actively conducting the sale, all the while, at the same time assuring concerned students that they would be informed about the whole process and be apprised about VSC’s consideration of other options. Numerous efforts in all manners have been attempted to get the VSC to provide more information, to answer direct questions, and to consider better options. Some of these attempts are included here in this site. The record shows that these attempts and student protests and concerns where routinely ignored by Carroll and Wollaeger — who, it turns out, are the only people whose opinion matters, evidently. WRVU staff members were repeatedly denied entrance to VSC meetings, direct questions were provided uselessly evasive answers, and letters were never answered.

By looking at the archived information included in this site you will continue to see how shameless Carroll and Wollaeger are in being deceptive. We are hesitant in calling it lyin’ but it sure as hell ain’t truthin’. Take the following quotes from Chris Carroll in the recent June 8 Student Press Law Center article:

[…]

For Carroll, though, the decision-making process has been ‘more open and public than any I’ve heard of before.’

‘We wanted just the opposite of secrecy,’ he said. ‘Anyone who asked [VSC] any questions was given an
answer. We could not have been more visible and accessible.’

Apart from a formal discussion with WRVU supporters at an October board meeting, Carroll said VSC has never been presented with any ‘legitimate’ feedback.

‘There were a lot of people who said ‘don’t take away my radio station,’ but there weren’t any who presented a viable solution,’ he said. ‘The reality is that, in nine months since our initial announcement, there have been no attempts to communicate with the board.’

Most attempts to advocate for WRVU, Carroll added, have been directed toward the university’s administration, which he said is not the legal license holder of the station.

Each sentence by Carroll above strays heavily from ‘truthin’.’

1) ‘more open and public than any I’ve heard of before.’
The glaring omission here, of course, is that the bar is set very low by the despicable way that college radio (see KTRU and WUSF) has been treated as of late. With the bar set so low, it is easy to show improvement, but, alas, Wollaeger and Carroll have found a way to trip over it.

By using ‘at least I am less evil than Hitler’ type logic you can say that that he and Wollaeger are indeed ‘more open and public’ than the public relations disasters that are the University’s actions in regard to KTRU and WUSF. The truth is though, that Wollaeger and Carroll employed the exact same deceptive methods as these shameful other examples, but with the added benefit adding a public doe-eyed hand-wringing made for public release. Bravo, Carroll.

2)’We wanted just the opposite of secrecy,’ he said. ‘Anyone who asked [VSC] any questions was given an answer. We could not have been more visible and accessible.’
There might be some truth to the above statement if you are grading on a heavy curve. Wollaeger and Carroll provided half-truths, promised follow-up that never came, and otherwise stonewalled any intelligent discourse. For starters, the following letter sent to Carroll never received acknowledgement much less a response. You can listen to Wollaeger provide a series of empty promises that were never followed up on here.

3) Apart from a formal discussion with WRVU supporters at an October board meeting, Carroll said VSC has never been presented with any “legitimate” feedback.
This is a bald assertion. The VSC has admitted that they have received well over 300 letters (a small sampling here) all against the sale of WRVU. The VSC received 2 letters (see Sept 27 and Oct 4 entries in Timeline) from alumni with combined over 136 years of WRVU dj experience and 28 combined years of student voting members of Vanderbilt Student Communications (VSC). A letter was sent to the VSC from 21 faculty members and deans of Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music as well (see here). Wollaeger and Carroll provided no acknowledgement of receipt and certainly no intelligent response. We also know that the VSC have received letters from internationally known titans of TV, radio, and print media who got their formative experience at WRVU that illustrated in letters the importance of WRVU very clearly, but the super geniuses at the VSC couldn’t be bothered. The arrogance and abusive attitudes of these ‘super-geniuses’ were even openly mocked in Vanderbilt’s humor magazine, The Slant (see here).

4) ‘There were a lot of people who said ‘don’t take away my radio station,’ but there weren’t any who presented a viable solution,’ he said. ‘The reality is that, in nine months since our initial announcement, there have been no attempts to communicate with the board.’
How is this for a viable solution?
We at SaveWRVU suspect that the real problem is the bloat associated with the growing paid VSC staff. We fear that an endowment created by the WRVU license sale would not assist with the operating costs of any of its member media organizations but, instead, will become a means of sustaining an ever-increasing professional (i.e., non-student) VSC staff. At 5% yearly return on this $3.35M sale price the VSC will receive $170k annually, which is less than the recent ‘adult’ bloat that just a few years was totally unnecessary as all these responsibilities were conducted by the students. You want a solutions? Revert the VSC and associated media groups back to the students and you will save more per year than you will gain from this wretched license sale and killing a treasured student organization.

5) Most attempts to advocate for WRVU, Carroll added, have been directed toward the university’s administration, which he said is not the legal license holder of the station.
Again, some truth to this. It became clear to anyone reasonable person that the VSC had their minds made up and held a contemptible position to the value of WRVU and its supporters. What is someone to do if they want their voice heard and find themselves being stonewalled by the VSC? They go to the administration. To say that Vanderbilt University has no say in this is also false. WRVU and the VSC is funded by student-paid activity fees. Vanderbilt remains the owner of WRVU and must sign-off on any transfer per FCC guidelines. WRVU stands for We aRe Vanderbilt University.

Pigs Can’t Fly

Selling Low in Nashville

The writing is on the wall in Music City: Vanderbilt student station WRVU, a fixture for nearly 60 years, appears to have been sold down the river. As noted here in a piece on Radio Survivor by Jennifer Waits here in an article on CMJ by Kodi McKinney, and here on Tom Taylor’s newsletter, station suits acted after the spring session ended, changing the call letters to WFCL on June 1st, suggesting that WRVU’s license may have been sold by the VSC. No one on the staff was informed of the move.

As Kodi wrote, “VSC president Chris Carroll said he was waiting to hear from an attorney that handled the FCC filings and declined to comment otherwise.” You may remember Carroll, aka the Station Slayer for his role in selling off two other college stations, from this post, where he nobly proclaimed that at least they weren’t Rice:

At Vanderbilt, [Carroll] said, “what’s happening, really, is a big public discussion about is this a good idea or not, and there’s no conclusion to that yet.” Rice, he said, made the decision to sell KTRU behind closed doors — without student input.

Yet here we are, looking up at that lonely high road… Mr. White Hat at least hasn’t padlocked the station doors, as at KUSF, and given the workers the bum’s rush out to the curb — yet.

Kodi’s article lists some of those involved in the high-spirited defense of the station, besides its 6,000-strong Facebook page and website (links on right):

WRVU alumni, staff members and supporters have been vocally opposed to a sale of its broadcasting license. The Pledge Nothing campaign has urged Vanderbilt donors to pledge lengthy suspensions of donations to the university until plans to sell the license are abandoned. Most recently, WRVU general manager Robert Ackley pledged to eschew donating for eight years. Alumni speaking out in opposition include CNN anchor Richard Quest and Facebook’s vice president of technology, Jeff Rothschild, both former managers at WRVU. Public Enemy’s Chuck D also came out publicly to support WRVU during Record Store Day, joining artists such as 10,000 Maniacs and Jason And The Scorchers.

As Pete Wilson remarked on the Facebook page:

It has been very demoralizing to be treated as an adversary and kept in the dark by the corporation which is supposed to facilitate and promote Vanderbilt student media, not buy and sell it. Not only did the Board of the past year have no one on it with any official connection to WRVU, but nobody representing WRVU was even ALLOWED IN the final meeting of the year, nor was any information given about what exactly would be discussed, other than that “nothing irrevocable” (I believe that is a direct quote from a conversation I had with the chairman before the meeting began; if not, it’s a very fair paraphrase) would be done at that meeting. This has all been said before but I say it again because I am still struck by the glaring lack of consideration shown both students and hard-working non-student volunteers like me.

This is the new reality: teaching our students how the real world works. In the dark, behind their backs.

Expect word to come out in the coming days, the same mealy-mouthed self-justification and concerted obfuscation that VSC has spouted from the beginning, with the same  assertions that “we know best what’s good for you” — as promulgated by the seven full-time staff members of the VSC that now suck up a vast majority of the budget for the organization. (As noted here “The annual outlay of VSC on WRVU’s behalf, on the other hand, is minimal — less than or equal to the salary of just one of the seven current full-time staff members,” where once a single paid staff member sufficed.)

At work here is a cold calculation of those seeking to cash in on what students have built over the years into a vibrant part of the Music City scene. There has been from the outset a dogged determination to evade or ignore what has been presented in rebuttal to the overbroad assertions of the bean counters wielding the cudgel. They had their agenda and just waited for the “appropriate” time — i.e., when students were away.

But that does take care of that pesky, “undesirable” element associated with this student station — which, from all indications, is too independent, too alternative for the buttoned-down bureaucrats running this show…

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