Our new website is born. So please spend some time with us here. Our endeavor is to create a new public media that crosses all the platforms and makes you part of all that is going on around you. We have archived our Peabody Award winning series, Just Words and the documentary series we produced on the Vietnam War that we taped here in the states and Vietnam. Our new programming, like conversations with folks from the Wire, Phil Donahue, Andre Codrescu and others is here, as well. There are also video, still photography, and places for your comments.
Speaking of places for your commentary, we opened forums for you to comment on anything that is on your mind. It's sort of like open phones on the web. Please join us there and send us some story and interview ideas. Tell us what is happening in your communities and things of interest you think we could share with everyone.
The Pennsylvania primary is tomorrow. Thank God, at last, we thought it would never get here!
I don’t know if you saw last week’s faux debate between Hillary and Barack on ABC. I do mean faux, it was just horrible. What is wrong with major media in our country? Is it just them or are we all becoming that shallow, uninteresting and banal? They are shirking their duty to all of us. Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos were pushing Barack Obama on his relationship with Bill Ayers, former SDS Weatherman who went underground in the sixties. They're focused on Hillary and her claim that she had to run under sniper fire which turned out to be false. The media created “bittergate” as they call it, and are pushing the capital gains tax! Well that fits, most of the big media stars are so well paid and run with such wealth that I guess they are worried about capital gains. What about the rest of us?!
Where were the questions about Iraq, the economy, health care, our infrastructure, home mortgages, the financial market, No Child Left Behind and our schools, veteran's benefits, Afghanistan, global warming, the environment and the future of this nation?
It is all about selling product and the drivel they think will sell to the masses. Well, give the masses some credit. Those who are involved and voting deserve better.
In Pennsylvania, they could have devoted the debate to the economy. What are their ideas about the financial markets? Do they believe that hedge funds and speculation of billionaires need the same oversight as banks? What role does the federal government play in stimulating this economy? Can we create a green economy and rebuild the infrastructure of America the same we did in the 30’s or in the 19th century when the federal government stimulated growth by building the canal system and then later the railroads?
Give us something! America is at a crossroads with wars, the economy and a 21st world that will be very different that the last century.
One small tidbit that I would like to share. I heard that management will be spending considerable money for an advertising firm to rebrand the station. It feels it must clean its tarnished image of the last several months. It must purge the identification of Steiner with WYPR.
They tried that before, spending at least $20,000 on the 5th anniversary for WYPR.
Oh, well…join me, join us at the Center for Emerging Media as we create a new public media for our community, for all of us, for the 21st century.
I heard from a number of people what occurred at the WYPR Board of Director’s meeting.
Dear Guests, WYPR's March 12 Board Meeting has been rescheduled for April 15 - it will still take place at 3pm. A location will be posted on the website by March 15. Thank you! ~ Alex Alexandra Price Associate Development Director WYPR 2216 N. Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218 ph. (410) 235-1446 fax (410) 235-1161 www.wypr.org firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a few short reflections after seeing what I wrote last night. I don’t want to fall into the trap of he said/she said quarrel of inconsequential detail. On some levels I have allowed myself to do that.
First, I realized when I spoke of the $750,000 raised that I inadvertently left out that $70 some thousand dollars of that amount was really contributed or in a sense forgiven by Johns Hopkins University. I realized after I sent it in to my blog that I left that line out.
Second, I want to be clear how grateful all of us should be to the original guarantors. Bill Clarke, Jonathan Melnick, Anne and Jane Daniels, Tony Brandon, Charlie Salisbury, Earl and Darielle Linehan, Tom and Barbara Bozzuto and Albert Williams. Without their guarantees we could not have saved the radio station for Baltimore. I just want to be absolutely clear about that.
Finally, the problems boil down to certain things that leadership of the station just doesn’t get.
This should have been a partnership between guarantors, contributors and members to create a board to oversee the fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities of WYPR
Martha Rudski, WJHU Marketing Director, came up with the name Your Public Radio because we believed we could create a truly powerful and unique institution that belonged to this community.
When we first started, the story around NPR was the amazing marriage between this conservative Republican corporate executive and a community activist talk show host known for his progressive leanings coming together to build a community radio station. My belief in the myth hurt us all.
All this is madness. There was never any concrete reason for it to happen. They keep changing their story as to what led to the end of my show because they are grasping for straws. There is no reason other than a deep personal and political dislike for me from Tony Brandon and a few others. They could not stand what I stood for, or that I was the face and voice of the station. Ray Blank, the station consultant, has said to me more than once that they see you getting all the recognition. They feel they deserve some. I always gave it to them.
So, all this is for what?
I have nothing left to say unless they come at me or at the public with more specious comments.
See you tonight.
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