Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WPVM Chronology: August 2008-present

Though the lack of a viable structure at WPVM goes back to the very beginnings of the station, the purpose of this post is to present a timeline of the public events during the past 7 months.

This post will be updated with relevant information as it becomes available. While visiting any of the links below, you are also encouraged to read the comments section below most articles, and leave your own.

AUGUST 22, 2008

The locally-produced "Seven Layer Dip" program airs during MAIN/WPVM's "Free The Airwaves" fund drive. You can download the show here. Upon hearing the broadcast, the Executive Director of MAIN (the organization which holds WPVM's broadcast license), Wally Bowen "indefinitely suspended -- effective immediately" the hosts of the show for "using offensive language and deliberately attempting to undermine our fund drive and our organization's credibility."


The Mountain Xpress issues this article which brings the situation to the public eye.


A special meeting of the MAIN Board is held to discuss the ongoing situation at WPVM. Read the Mountain Xpress coverage here.


The MAIN Board issues this press release:

Press Release:
From Mountain Area Information Network Board of Trustees
9 September 2008

In action taken 8 Sep. 2008, the Mountain Area Information Network Board of Trustees:

Refuses the resignation letter of Station Manager, Jason Holland;

Recommends a new governance structure requiring WPVM to report directly to a subcommittee of the board;

Encourages the Executive Director to strengthen his oversight of the wireless ISP, media reform advocacy, and fundraising dimensions of MAIN;

And issues the following statement:

The Board of the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) wishes to thank Gillian Coats, volunteer at WPVM, for her remarkable contributions to the growth and success of the radio station, and the Board regrets the circumstances surrounding Ms. Coats' departure from the station. We will miss her leadership.

The Board holds itself responsible for the events that took place, since we failed to take action to resolve a longstanding disagreement over station policy between Ms. Coats, MAIN, and our Executive Director, Wally Bowen.

Given our lack of prompt action, Mr. Bowen had no choice but to take steps to bring the matter to a close. The Board apologizes to both Wally and Gillian for not having brought about a more graceful resolution.

George Peery,
Chair, MAIN Board of Trustees

Mountain Xpress' updated coverage of the story can be found here.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2008

UNC-Asheville's student newspaper "The Blue Banner" reports on the story here.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2008

Based on the September 8th action from the MAIN Board of Directors, this interim MAIN/WPVM structure is put into place.

OCTOBER 1, 2008

An op-ed piece by WPVM's Barry Summers appears in the Mountain Xpress.

OCTOBER 31, 2008

First day of the 2008 Fall Fund Drive on WPVM, organized completely by volunteers, which brought in a record number of donors. Listeners were encouraged to support "people-powered radio", based on the September 8th action from the MAIN Board.

NOVEMBER 24, 2008

WPVM's local news program "Making Progress" airs its last show. You can download it here.

DECEMBER 3, 2008

The article, "Some WPVM volunteers remain dissatisfied with station" appears in the Mountain Xpress.

JANUARY 14, 2009

"Organizing WPVM", a structural outline plan for the future of WPVM, was presented at the radio staff's monthly meeting. A unanimous vote was passed to present this plan to the MAIN Board of Directors, based on their September 8th action.

JANUARY 27, 2009

The MAIN Board of Directors votes unanimously to hear the "Organizing WPVM" proposal at their upcoming February 10, 2009 meeting.

FEBRUARY 10, 2009

Edwin Shealy, WPVM Managerial Board chair, presents the "Organizing WPVM" proposal to the MAIN Board at their meeting. Following the presentation, the MAIN Board goes into "Executive Session."

FEBRUARY 11, 2009

The Mountain Xpress covers the "Organizing WPVM" proposal story here.

Later that evening at the monthly WPVM radio staff meeting, MAIN Board member Robin Smith presented the following statement from the Board:

"The Board can not conceive a structure where the ED is not in charge of the management and daily operation. The Board has given the ED, Wally Bowen, the task to come up with a structure. The Board of Directors and staff of MAIN appreciate the input provided at the board meeting on 2/10/2009."

FEBRUARY 16, 2009

MAIN's Executive Director Wally Bowen announces Kim Clark as the interim station manager at WPVM. At the same time, Bowen suspends 9 longtime volunteers of the station. Read the Mountain Xpress coverage here, and visit this post on the WPVM Blogspot for more on this development.

The "Revolutionary Radio" program debuts on WPVM. The first episode takes a look at how non-profit boards operate and goes in-depth with the current situation at WPVM. Several of the nine suspended volunteers appear on the show, as well as Mountain Xpress reporter Nelda Holder. You can download this episode here.

FEBRUARY 18, 2009

A "Meet The Interim Station Manager" meeting is held at the Public Service Building on Wall Street in downtown Asheville. Audio from this meeting can be heard here.

That evening, Greg Lyon, host of WPVM's "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly", and also one of the nine suspended volunteers, was interviewed on WMBR's "What's Left" program. You can download the interview here.

FEBRUARY 19, 2009

A discussion between volunteers and Wally Bowen takes place on the WPVM Facebook wall. Please view both wall pages for the complete discussion which is chronicled in reverse order (newest to oldest posts).

FEBRUARY 23, 2009

MAIN's Executive Director Wally Bowen holds a presentation for MAIN 2.0 at the Pack Library's Lord Auditorium. You can download the audio of the Q & A session here.

FEBRUARY 25, 2009

This week's issue of the Mountain Xpress has several WPVM-related items. Please visit the WPVM Blogspot entry for direct links to each item.

FEBRUARY 28, 2009

MAIN's Executive Director Wally Bowen is interviewed on WPVM's "Drop Beats Not Bombs" program. You can download the interview here and read the WPVM Blogspot entry about this interview here.

MARCH 2, 2009

WPVM's interim station manager Kim Clark resigns. You can read her full resignation letter here and Mountain Xpress' articles concerning her resignation here and here.

MARCH 3, 2009

The volunteers of WPVM issue a statement of "No Confidence" in the Executive Director of MAIN. To date, the statement has been signed by a solid majority of the volunteers, as well as 4 former members of the MAIN Board and many listeners, supporters and donors.

MARCH 4, 2009

In this week's edition of the Mountain Xpress, you can read a Letter to the Editor from MAIN's Executive Director Wally Bowen, as well as another letter from a long-time supporter of WPVM. Additionally, there is also an article about the MAIN 2.0 presentation of February 23.

MARCH 10, 2009

Former MAIN Board member Randee Goodstadt-Evans releases a public statement in response to Wally Bowen's "Letter To The Editor" from the March 4th edition of the Mountain Xpress.

MARCH 18, 2009

In this week's edition of the Mountain Xpress, you can read a "Letter to the Editor" from former WPVM Management Board chair Edwin Shealy, as well as this short letter from someone viewing the ongoing situation.