Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Future of WPVM: Grassroots or Top-Down?

As many of our listeners know, the governing structure of WPVM has been the subject of much discussion lately. Two different visions for the future of this radio station are forming. One is that of the volunteer radio staff. We call it "Organizing WPVM". It was created by the folks you hear everyday at WPVM, folks that have many years of experience in community radio. This proposal puts control of station programming and operations in the hands of the volunteers and listeners of WPVM, while reporting to an oversight group that includes the Executive Director and members of the Board of the Mountain Area Information Network, which holds WPVM's license. The other vision is that of MAIN’s Executive Director. His vision concentrates authority and decision-making in the hands of one person, the Executive Director. We encourage you to download (Word document) the volunteers' proposal, “Organizing WPVM" then let MAIN's Board of Directors hear from you, our listeners, on the kind of station you'd support in the future. Please send a “cc” to as well, if you could.

We also encourage our listeners and supporters to contact local media, such as the Mountain Xpress and the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Thanks for listening. Your voice is important to us.


  1. As one of the volunteers who did not receive a letter from the Executive Director, I have to say "I feel so left in!", though that's not something I welcome.

    I left the station earlier this year along with my cohosts of "Making Progress", Barry and Veronika, because I knew this day would come - the day when Wally Bowen would in essence hand all the volunteers their walking papers.

    Though I believe in community radio, and I miss broadcasting at WPVM, I couldn't be as optimistic as some of my fellow volunteers about the outcome regarding the differences between the WPVM volunteers and the Executive Director. I knew any work I continued to do would be at best disregarded and at worst, sabotaged. In situations such as this, I hate it when I'm right.

    I am heartened to listen to tonight's broadcast (Mon. 2/16), and hear volunteers speaking out and rejecting the misguided edict by the Executive Director that he has the power to ask WPVM volunteers to refrain from participating in normal operations for a period of 6 weeks.

    The volunteers are correct in asserting that the Executive Director alone is not empowered to make such an order.

    The legal phrase "in good faith" comes to mind. Many volunteers put in long hours in good faith that the current disagreements could be settled in an amicable and professional manner. I feel those volunteers have been betrayed.

  2. David obviously has a wonderful and generous spirit, one that could no longer be trampled upon. I too am heartened by tonight's show.