signals from WYSO
Things continue to be amiss at WYSO. Now with members of the stations
Resource Board in the midst of a public war of words, it seems Antioch
Universitys public radio station needs a strong jolt of leadership
more than ever.
Of course, it is not surprising to observe the upheaval at WYSO. This
has not been a good year for the station, starting when one-third of its
volunteer-hosted programs were cut, sparking a long-running protest. This
was followed by news that WYSO ran up a deficit by the time its fiscal
year ended in June. The Resource Board, which is charged with overseeing
the stations operations and management, reacted to the heat it was
receiving by issuing a gag rule that said only the board president, Randy
Daniel, could speak to the media.
The policy seemed to be an effort to check dissenting opinions from board
members who did not like what was happening on the board and at the station.
Either the board has agreed to drop the policy or its members are now
ignoring it, because several board members have talked to this paper and
others in recent weeks. If the policy has been reversed, its all
the better for the board and WYSO. It was foolish to begin with and ran
contrary to Antiochs tradition of encouraging debate and respect
for different viewpoints.
This fall things grew worse when the stations news director, Aileen
LeBlanc, resigned over problems she was having with the management officials
at the station. Then last month, 7 of the Resource Boards 13 members
issued a public statement chastising Keep WYSO Local, a group of listeners
who have been critical of the stations management. Mr. Daniel said
the statement was a sign of the board members desire to move
forward. Given its hostile nature, however, the statement is a weak
attempt to do anything but fuel the conflict surrounding WYSO.
The statement was followed by the release of a counter-statement from
one board member, Char Miller, who said the Resource Board is being run
by a small group that does not speak for the entire board. She also said
it was an attempt to deflect criticism of the station onto Keep WYSO Local.
Ms. Miller has been at the center of some of this controversy since, last
summer, she criticized the Resource Board for being a passive body. It
certainly appears that Ms. Miller had at least one thing right: the Resource
Board is a reactive body more interested in criticizing its listeners
than actually working with them.