Sunday, May 17, 2009

"We will be more selective in choosing volunteers. "

MAIN's Executive Director, Wally Bowen, after ejecting the majority of the volunteer leadership that has run WPVM over the past six months, and presiding over an exodus of other volunteers, has announced several major changes. After requiring the remaining volunteers to re-apply (including an essay on how much they support his 'vision' for the station,) he has announced that the station will become more news and information oriented, and that the remaining music programming will be more "strategic". Citing as an example the local music festival, "LEAF", it seems clear that this means a more homogenous and unchallenging mix of music programming will become the rule.

Sweeping aside any fiction of WPVM being a genuine community radio station, he made it clear in the email to station volunteers that future locally-produced shows will be under "contract" to MAIN, and his personal review, and that adherence to his strategic vision for MAIN/WPVM will be a condition for continued access to the airwaves.

"...we will be more selective in choosing volunteers to ensure a better fit between MAIN's strategic vision and a volunteer applicant's interests and abilities."

All of this flies in the face of MAIN's Board announced intention to adhere to former station manager Kim Clark's five suggestions (see March 2 entry below). These suggestions included bringing back the banned volunteers, removing the ED from day-to-day operations, and hiring a professional mediator to address the ongoing conflict. The current (or remaining) volunteers had, until recently, been waiting for the Board to act on this promise. The ED's recent email, and the 50 - 60% (and counting) departure of volunteers seems to finally close the door on any hope that WPVM will become the station we were striving to make it.

To all those who supported WPVM in it's previous (brief) incarnation as a community, "people-powered" radio station, thanks.

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