responds to claims made by WYSO Resource Board members
Members of Keep WYSO Local are attempting to address a complaint raised
in a public statement by several WYSO Resource Board members two weeks
ago by seeking the instigator or instigators of harassing phone calls
The statement, signed by seven WYSO Resource Board members, accused Keep
WYSO Local of engaging in reprehensible behavior and using
brutish tactics, and called on Antioch University administrators
to stop negotiating with the group.
The statement was signed by Resource Board president Randy Daniel and
members Chuck Vella, Jeff Dundon, Joe Colvin, Nancy Nash, Alex Williams
and Ed Humphrys. Resource Board members Char Miller, Fay Ellis Jones,
Bonnie Parish, Dionne Kennedy, Neil Meermans and Glenn Watts did not sign
At a recent Resource Board meeting, Daniel said the statement represented
the opinions of the signers only and not of the entire board.
The signers issued the statement, Daniel said in a later interview, as
an expression of our desire to move the station forward, to focus
on the future and not on the past.
As an example of reprehensible behavior, the statement said
that Keep WYSO Local members generate a steady barrage of e-mails
forming vindictive and hurtful personal attacks upon station management
and board members.
Recently, Antioch University Chancellor Jim Craiglow said that he has
received abusive voice mail messages by individuals claiming to represent
Keep WYSO Local.
Keep WYSO Local spokespersons have said that they do not generate or condone
We feel strongly that this shouldnt be happening, that people
should be treated with respect, Keep WYSO Local member Lisa Goldberg
said in an interview this week.
Keep WYSO Local is a loosely group of activists who oppose programming
changes made last spring by WYSO General Manager Steve Spencer, and who
have questioned the way WYSO is managed. The group has raised $42,000
in pledges from supporters in an alternative fund drive, and has promised
to turn the money over to the station if compromise is reached.
We are trying to get at the root of the phone calls, said
Goldberg, who stated that the group has been in contact with Craiglow
in an attempt to identify the caller. So far, she said, evidence indicates
that the caller lives out of state and is not associated with Keep WYSO
Group members have also requested that WYSO Resource Board members or
station management turn over the inflammatory e-mails so that the writers
can be identified, but they have received no response, said Keep WYSO
Local supporter Michael Jones.
We have asked to see them, said Jones. If someone in
the group has done this, we will apologize and reprimand the person.
In an interview last week, Vella, who drafted the Resource Board members
statement, said that while the statement signers believe those who sent
the e-mails were Keep WYSO Local supporters, they are not positive.
We made some assumptions based on patterns of behavior, said
Vella. Do I have proof that theyre associated with the group?
No, I do not.
In a prepared statement submitted to the News after the interview took
place, Vella said, Whether or not we can prove that
the authors of some of the reprehensible e-mails were members of the group
that calls itself Keep WYSO Local clouds the issue. Members
of the Resource Board do not necessarily know the names of each member
of the group that calls itself Keep WYSO Local and we are not interested
in finding out their names. We are, however, able to make a distinction
between those people who are attempting to support WYSO during difficult
times from those who would undermine the organization.
Vella said Keep WYSO Local has undermined the radio station by holding
the alternative fund drive which he identified as another example of reprehensible
behavior because it diverts money away from the station.
But the organizers of the alternative fund drive had no intention of harming
the station, said Goldberg, but rather sought a mechanism for registering
the support of listeners who dont agree with the programming changes
but still value WYSO.
We thought deliberately and carefully about how to best get our
point across, and to give current and new WYSO members a way to show that
they would give if they could, said Goldberg.
The effort grew from a feeling among many people that their attempts to
communicate opposition to the programming changes were dismissed by station
management as views of a small minority, said Jones, who stated that 500
persons have pledged in the alternative drive.
It was a way to give disaffected people a collective voice,
he said. Most importantly, said Goldberg, Keep WYSO Local hopes to reconcile
with station management so that the station can have the funds.
We really do want to turn the money over, she said.
News articles in the Yellow Springs News that examined Spencers
past difficulties as station manager at KOPN in Columbia, Mo., are further
examples of Keep WYSO Locals reprehensible behavior,
Resource Board member Nancy Nash said in an interview last week. She called
the articles an improper use of information. When told that
the articles were written by a News reporter and not by Keep WYSO Local
members, Nash maintained that Spencer was targeted unfairly
in the articles, and that other local business managers were probably
not given such attention.
Keep WYSO Locals use of the call letters WYSO in its
name and on its Web site is one of its brutish tactics, said
Daniel, explaining that WYSO is a trademark name and cannot be legally
used by other entities.
However, groups or Web sites frequently use the names of corporations
or other entities in their own names, and are protected in doing so by
the fair use law, said Ellis Jacobs, a Keep WYSO Local supporter
and an attorney.
Its a groundless charge, Jacobs said. Its
clearly and obviously protected free speech.
Keep WYSO Local would like to focus on ways to work together with the
WYSO Resource Board rather than reasons to stay divided, said all of the
group members who responded to interview requests for this article. Those
who attended last months WYSO Resource Board meeting felt encouraged
by the respectful, hospitable tone of the meeting, said Keep
WYSO Local supporter Al Denman, and hope that tone indicates a willingness
on the part of those who signed the statement to step back from the statements
harsh language and find common ground.
We want to reach a resolution to this conflict, Goldberg said.