First, thanks so much for all the support. In my next post I will respond directly to the thoughts and ideas you all have shared.
I don’t know if you all heard Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast today. They interviewed me and then they spoke with Tony Brandon, who is president of the station and who led the effort to get of me. Quickly, I want set the record straight on one thing that he said which was a bald-faced lie.
He has constantly attempted diminish what I and our listeners did six years ago in raising funds to purchase what was then WJHU. He said on the air that we raised only 5% of the $5 million to purchase the station. I have all the records, and the old bank statements. We raised close to $750,000 after I send an e-mail asking listeners to support our effort to buy the station. $400,000 of that came in huge contributions of six figure. Four people gave $25,000 and numbers more $15, $10 and $5 thousand dollar contributions. Hundreds more gave everything from$5.00 to $1000.00. None of them (those who gave $25 thousand and less) were ever acknowledged or thanked by the station.
At any rate, in many ways this is beside the point. The money is not important. It is more important to them than to me. But it is important that the efforts of the listeners and early supporters not be diminished.
What is important is the future of public radio. What is important is that this is about integrity of public radio. It is about the corporatization of WYPR and of public radio.
When I raised the money from listeners I said I would return every dime to them if we did not buy the station. You trusted me. I met some people, like Tony Brandon, who I thought would be partners to build our community station. Instead it was hijacked.
There is a history here that I will relate to all of you over the next few days. Right now I have to go off to a lunch meeting so I can continue to ensure coverage of our world in print, audio and video on our blog and the Center for Emerging Media website.
So, I will share with you all our future plans, and my perspective on the history of the past six years at WYPR very soon.
Thank you all so much. I will back at you a bit after lunch and for the next few days.
Take care.. and thanks