The following press release was issued by the Pacifica Foundation.
|PACIFICA RADIO PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 22, 1998
BERKELEY, CA -- The Pacifica Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Lynn Chadwick has been named Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation beginning November 1.
Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Chair of the Board said, "After a national search, we feel fortunate to hire Lynn. Her record of service to community radio combined with her understanding of the mission of Pacifica promise to make the coming years a period of great progress for Pacifica."
"I am honored to begin my work as Executive Director as the network
Lynn Chadwick has served as the Director of Operations and Planning for the Pacifica Foundation since January 1998. She was President and CEO of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters from 1987 to 1998.
Pacifica Radio, founded almost 50 years ago, is the country's first
listener-sponsored radio network. Today, Pacifica operates five stations
- KPFA-FM 94.1 in Berkeley, WBAI-FM 99.5 in New York, KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston,
Why "NOT" a cause for celebration?
Lynn Chadwick's tenure at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) gives those of us resisting the loss of community involvement and the "NPR-ization" of Pacifica Radio cause for serious concern. The NFCB under Chadwick became an evangelist for the trend of "professionalization." Together with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which funded the NFCB's "The Healthy Station Project (HSP)," Chadwick has attempted to foist the same type of changes made by Scott at Pacifica on various community radio stations around the country. By and large, stations rebelled, and one of the results of this was the formation of the Grassroots Radio Coalition (GRC).
Marty Durlin of KGNU in Boulder, Colorado was
one of the GRC founders. Marty Durlin had applied for the Pacifica CEO
slot, and the fact that she was not chosen is telling in terms of the mindset
of the Pacifica National Board - more of the same. As an
example of the point-of-view Ms. Durlin would have brought to Pacifica,
here is a statement from the GRC website following the first GRC conference
Organizers are concerned that the original vision of public broadcasting -'giving voice to the voiceless' - has been eroded and in some cases, extinguished. The present world of public broadcasting includes conference sessions on 'High Impact Selling' and 'Power Selling.' Bills introduced by Congressman Fields and Senator Pressler would eliminate 'diversity' as a goal for public broadcasting. Licensees are being encouraged to sell noncommercial frequencies for commercial purposes. Religious organizations are snatching up noncommercial frequencies in order to propagate right-wing political views. Public radio formats are ruthlessly adapted to audience expectations.
For grassroots stations, this situation is brought home by the fact that community producers are no longer central to the missions of even NFCB or Pacifica, and Arbitron has become an acceptable tool for measuring the success of community stations.
Community broadcasting at its best is a dynamic interchange among members of a community, a fertile ground for cultural, artistic and political expression. While it has sometimes been amateurish and silly, it has always had a sense of purpose that was distinct from that of commercial broadcasting. That difference is now disappearing. If community radio becomes just another format, we will have lost a rich community resource and a precious opportunity to guide our own fates.
Below, we have compiled whatever sources we could
find on Chadwick and the HSP, to enable you to get a sense of what Chadwick
as Pacifica CEO is likely to reflect.
It is now common for NFCB administrators to denounce
the "old hippie paradigm" of diverse
programming and volunteer-based management. Paid staff, they suggest, should call the shots.
This came to a head in the late '80s, when the
NFCB and Public Radio International (then called
American Public Radio) launched the Blueprint Project, a CPB-financed "consulting initiative." When APR dropped out, the NFCB rechristened its efforts the Healthy Station Project. According to the
program's coordinator, David LePage, the HSP was simply "a curriculum designed to support and
create successful local stations," a "method of facilitation and training." It "brings no hidden plan or
agenda, no magic wands, no predetermined programming answers. . . . The HSP evaluates a
station's health based on its behavior and performance in relation to achieving its mission, not in
relation to any particular program format or organizational structure."
This was a half-truth. The NFCB's advice did vary
from place to place, depending on what content
it felt would build audiences in each particular locale. But the form that content would take was
distressingly -- well, blueprintish. The HSP consistently called for reducing the power volunteers
have over both station management and the content of their shows. HSP stations were also to
embrace predictable strip programming. Their music would be more homogeneous, more
"consistent." Oddball shows that didn't immediately fit the new format -- the new "mission" -- would
be dropped, no matter how popular they may be.
The idea, derived from the research of programing
consultants George Bailey and David Giovannoni, was
that listeners like predictability -- that if they tune to a station Monday
and hear Public Enemy,
then try again Tuesday and get a Gregorian chant, they won't come back. Obviously, there's some
truth to this, and many community stations have successfully gained listeners while maintaining their
eclectic identity by arranging a more logical flow from program to program. But it's also true that
variety can be a station's selling point, its niche, especially if those varied shows are hosted by
talented, knowledgeable DJs. Wipe out that variety and fire those volunteer hosts, and your station
will be headed for trouble.
One of the first testing grounds for the HSP was
WERU in Blue Hill Falls, Maine. Just eight years
old, WERU has only six full-time and one part-time paid employees, plus about 150 volunteers.
Important decisions are made by all -- one person, one vote. Its funding comes mostly from local
sources, although it also accepts CPB subsidies.
Enter the HSP, represented by LePage, Bailey,
and a handful of WERU staffers. It didn't take long
for the project to wear out its welcome. Cathy Melio, WERU's present station manager, recalls what happened: "It seems that their advice was that in homogenizing your programming, you'll have a lot
more listeners and thus you'll be more 'healthy.' And we challenged that. We said diversity is the
strength of community radio. Your community is not homogeneous, and thus your programming
shouldn't be." And: "Their advice was to let the staff make the decisions and volunteers follow them.
But we stood up for the volunteers." The interlopers were eventually ousted, and the station has
continued to prosper, recently moving to new quarters.
Less fortunate was KOPN in Columbia, Missouri.
KOPN had hit financial hard times, thanks largely to
problems that had beset its onetime cash cow, a fundraising bingo game.
It was widely agreed that some sort of change
was needed. But what kind of change? The station had operated without any
paid staff for its first two years; it then hired one manager. Then, from 1976 to 1980, the number of
paid workers jumped to 25 -- 23.5 of them paid out of grants. When the Bingo crisis hit, station
volunteer Jay Teutenberg pointed out that the previous "year the staff's salaries amounted to
$145,000, approximately half our budget. This year the station will carry forward a debt note of
$20,000, in addition to the other accounts payable. . . . [I]t has been their salaries and their decisions that have created this dire situation."
That was not the HSP's diagnosis. "They now use
[the budget crisis] as an excuse to take control
away from the volunteers and community," reported Teutenberg. "David LePage has laid it out in
black and white terms, either we can lift the budget to $400,000, or we can run at $100,000 with no paid staff or CPB . . . funding. No one has talked much about what it would be like to run without
paid staff, just left it as sort of an 'unspeakable horror.'" And so KOPN took the Healthy Station
road, displacing volunteers with paid hosts and homogenizing programming along "Adult Album
Different stations reacted to the HSP in different
ways. Back in the Blueprint Project days, WRFG,
a KRAB Nebula station in Atlanta, found itself in the unlikely position of being told to throw blues
programs off the air -- in the name of "multiculturalism." The NFCB also advised it to replace
volunteers with paid DJs and streamline its programming. These changes were unpopular with the
station's listener-subscribers, prompting the station to reverse some of the changes. The NFCB then
withdrew, claiming that WRFG "wasn't serious" about becoming healthy. At KVMR in Nevada City, California, the HSP may have been ultimately beneficial for the station -- but not in the way the
NFCB intended. As one staffer reflected, "One of the positive effects of the HSP was the
fundamental problems at KVMR were brought out into the open. This was not necessarily the
intention of HSP but the anxiety of the volunteer broadcasters about HSP resulted in several
meetings of broadcasters, staff, KVMR Board and, at one meeting, David LePage. The result was
loud and clear. Not only were the broadcasters worried about HSP changing the community basis of the station, but the broadcasters did not like the content of Board decisions, the manner in which the
Board made decisions and its arrogant attitude toward the broadcasters and the public." In other
words, by threatening to make KVMR less democratic, the HSP prompted a more thoroughgoing
Several people have praised specific aspects of
the HSP, particularly its requirement that individual
stations determine their exact missions. But as a whole, the program met resistance in almost all the
stations it invaded. Today, it is in remission, though HSP-like efforts continue to occur around the
country -- most notably, at the Pacifica network.
-- Jesse Walker Seattle, WA
at the Healthy Station Plan - from Radio Resistors Bulletin #9
As mentioned in the last issue of the Bulletin, issue #9
presents a bit more information about the
NFCB's Healthy Station Project. We reprint the cover article from the organization 's newsletter
Community Radio News. In this article the NFCB explains its expectations for the program
and provides some background.
Following is some research provided by KVMR's Don
Jacobson. Don talked with 3 individuals representing stations
that have worked with the NFCB. Their comments shed considerable
light on the NFCB's admittedly evolving curriculum.
The NFCB talks About Healthy Station Project
Reprinted by permission from the August 1994 issue of "Community Radio News", The newsletter of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.
(The August) cover story is an article on the NFCB's Healthy Station
Project (HSP). The project is about process, and the
HSP is itself an ongoing process. Each time we participate
station we learn, adapt, and adjust, always trying to make the HSP curriculum and the process serve the local community.
The Healthy Station Project is a curriculum designed
to support and create successful local stations. The
project is based upon the theory that a healthy station is: Mission Driven,
ly Designed, and Community Oriented. Each station functions in its own community. It must determine its own mission and decide how to best serve its local community. The HSP brings no hidden plan or agenda, no magic wands, no predetermined programming answers. The HSP is a method of facilitation and training. The HSP evaluates a station's health based on its behavior and performance in relation to achieving its mission, not in relation to any particular program format or organizational structure.
The HSP utilizes an innovative approach to training, providing
the Boards and staff, paid and unpaid, with information and process
design, in order to "train the whole station" rather
only individuals. HSP prepares the station for planned and designed decision and action, not merely reactive response. The HSP is a process that works with the station to develop an organ-
izational culture with effective leadership, a collaborative work environment and shared, realistic goals.
The curriculum and process strive to
create an effective inter-relationship of Governance,
Programming and Fundraising. There are three core curriculum components:
*Develop a clear and shared understanding of the mission
*Design challenging and realistic goals and principles.
*Create focused, measurable, and integrated performance
The HSP curriculum developed from years of NFCB staff work
in national training programs (NFCB Annual Conference, Building the
Winning Team With NPR, and the Blueprint Project with
APR/PRI) and the many contacts and on-site work with member and non-member
stations. From these experiences we were able to identify issues and concerns that require stations to plan, decide and focus. The role of the NFCB staff in the HSP process is to ask the questions and facilitate the process of answering: "What's your purpose? How will you achieve it? How will you measure success?"
A three-day workshop, called the Leadership Planning Workshop, is the core curriculum piece of the project. This process involves: clarification of the mission; establishing goals in the areas of governance, programming and fundraising; and setting strategies, benchmarks and work plans for the goals. The group involved in this initial process is the Board of Directors, the paid staff, and other key station personnel and volunteers. The process is then extended throughout the station.
A station can only be healthy if there is a clear and shared sense of mission and purpose, if it has a definition of its goals and a means to measure performance. Because the project directly addresses improving the areas of governance, programming and finances there is almost always the issue of change that is concurrent with the project. "We cannot become what we want to be, by continuing to do what we do now." If the current activities or programming are not meeting the station's goals and fulfilling the mission, then change is inevitable and in fact required. Change is always difficult, particularly when the change is in the station culture and behavior.
NFCB continues to develop and refine the curriculum
and content of the Healthy Station Project. The
actual program can be the three-day workshop, or an extended full
year of analysis,
planning, and implementation support. Of course the expenses for the different levels of the HSP vary considerably because of the variance in NFCB staff time and the related direct costs of trav-
el and accommodations. NFCB staff do not receive consulting par or extra income from the project; they are on an annual salary. All income from the project is directed to the NFCB's budget to cover our project- specific expenses, and contribute to the NFCB general budget for operations and services.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting's
Development Fund provided support during the past year
to fund "The Launching of the Healthy Station Project." The budget,
just under $30,000 per station included a pre-workshop station snapshot/audit;
the planning workshop; up to four on-site monitoring support visits;
and direct support or training identified by each station.
pating in the pilot were WERU, Blue Hill Falls, Maine (see RRB #8); KOPN, Columbia, Missouri (see RRB #5 and 6); and WFSS, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina. Each station identified its own goals for the year-long project and are in the process of implementation and evaluation. KOPN is recovering from the loss of bingo income and redeveloping a strong base of support from listeners and underwriters. WERU is clarifying internal goals and policies in order to create a base from which to develop their longer range implementation plan. WFSS, licensed to an historic black college and recovering from the loss of major funding from the state, is developing methods to integrate both their internal mission as an educational institution and their external mission of being a public radio service to the larger community, and create greater financial stability.
The NFCB was recently notified that the CPB's System
Development Fund will provide for the continued implementation
of the HSP. If your station is interested in applying to participate
if you have questions about the project please call us.
David LePage, coordinator of the HSP, encourages readers to comment him with questions or comments about the project. The National Federation of Community Broadcasters may be reached at: 666 11th Street, Suite 805, Washington, DC, 20001
Phone: 202-393-2355 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
# # # # # # #
"Experience talks" About the HSP.
The following is a summary of three conversations Don Jacobson, of KVMR, had regarding the Healthy Station Plan between May 24, and June 1, 1994. At that time the management of KVMR was considering participation in the HSP. All three stations represented by Don's research have had experience with either the HSP or its precursor, The Blueprint Project. Only David Freedman gave the NFCB's projects a positive evaluation, but all three individuals felt that the projects had both positive and negative attributes.
In an October e-mail message to the Bulletin regarding permission to use this research, Don Jacobson wrote, "One of the positive effects of the HSP was that fundamental problems at KVMR were brought out into the open. This was not necessarily the intention of HSP but the anxiety of the volunteer broadcasters about HSP resulted in several meetings of broadcasters, staff, KVMR Board and, at one meeting, David LePage. The result was loud and clear. Not only were the broadcasters worried about HSP changing the community basis of the station, but the broadcasters did not like the content of Board decisions, the manner in which the Board made decisions and its arrogant attitude toward the broadcasters and public."
Changes in KVMR's paid staff and Board members, as well
as an increased awareness about the station among
the com-munity and broadcasters, has pushed back concern about the
HSP. Now, as Jacobson wrote, "We
are paying for the sins of the last Board with financial problems
looming over our heads. I am hopeful that once
we get pulling together in the same direction that the financial
problems will diminish and we can move ahead to serve our community
in a more creative and
(This material appeared in an Open Letter to the KVMR Board and on the FOLK-DJ Listserv and elsewhere on the Internet.)
Chuck Taylor, manager, WTJU, Charlottesville, VA
WTJU is a college/community radio station owned by the University
of Virginia. The University pays for the two salaries, rent
and power. The remainder of the budget is the responsibility
the station. Education is one of the goals of the station and it is mentioned in the mission statement. Underwriting provides 1/6th of the budget. An interesting note about their underwriting
is that in the underwriting contract it states that underwriters cannot influence programming.
WTJU went through the first phase of the project but
decided not to go forward with it. They felt that the station evaluation
was a good idea and that the NFCB has useful resources and
networking opportunities can be helpful. One of the changes that worked for WTJU was hiring professional management. The station previously had no paid staff. Another helpful aspect of the NFCB involvement was the station evaluation. One helpful change that was implemented before the NFCB arrived was horizontal block programming Monday through Friday.
The differences of philosophy between Chuck Taylor of WTJU and David
LePage of NFCB is that LePage urged WTJU to be either
a college station or a community station, not both. Chuck
Taylor believes that WTJU can do both. Taylor believes
that education should play a large part in the WTJU's programming.
Taylor also supports the concept of diverse programming, and serving
the community that otherwise would not be served. He is confident
that if the programming is presented in an interesting,
intelligent way it will support itself, although it may not raise as much
money as six hours of Car Talk. There are people who will become
a member just for one program they like. He told me, "If money
is the driving force for your station, then your programming
change! Community support does not necessarily mean more money." What is important is having a large number of people who support the station as opposed to a few supporters with lots of money. LePage supported programming changes that would appeal to people with more money. Taylor stated that David LePage would want to "...cut the dead wood (from programming)."
Chuck advised KVMR to have a strong mission statement, and he noted that in the end the HSP would result in a report that may or may not be adopted by the Board of Directors. Finally, he added, "They came to our station to help, but we did not take all of their advice. We just have a difference of opinion."
David Freedman, manager, WWOZ, New Orleans, LA
WWOZ is owned by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.The station's programming reflects the rich cultural diversity found in the New Orleans area. David Freedman applied to become manager of WWOZ in order to insure that the station continued its commitment to serve the diverse community of New Orleans.
The history of WWOZ's involvement with the Blueprint Project goes back to 1990. In 1991 a report compiled by George Bailey was made available to WWOZ by the Blueprint Program. The manager at that time (Freedman's predecessor) held a public meeting to discuss the report's suggestions for sweeping changes. According to Freedman, the report was very derogatory towards the traditional music of New Orleans. The report was not well received by the listeners and volunteers in attendance. One of those people was David Freedman. It was that event that motivated him to apply for the manager position when it became open a few months later.
Freedman did, however, find the Blueprint Project to be "positive in influence..." and "...the outcome was good." However, he offered cautions for KVMR regarding the HSP. About the NFCB personnel, he warned, "I hope they have learned their lesson about recognizing the uniqueness of individual stations." He also cautioned that the HSP can be a used as a pretext for certain people to manipulate the station for their own ends. He said the NFCB can "...give you principles, but it cannot give you the soul of the station." Regarding the HSP he advised, "Take it a little bit at a time," noting that it can be only as good as the people at the station.
The major problem that David Freedman had with the Blueprint Project was that (the NFCB) wanted WWOZ to change to a single format from their diverse programming. WWOZ refused to follow that recommendation and kept the mix the station had been programming. The refusal to make that dramatic change occurred in an atmosphere of intense lobbying by the NFCB's Bruce Theriault (David LePage's other team member).
One change that did take place was with the morning show.
The Blueprint staff worked with WWOZ's David Freedman
to devise a new approach to the morning drive slot, which had been
woe-fully underperforming. The 5AM to 9AM shift was declared
a "construction zone" -- not belonging to any single programmer, but
to be developed by a team of five WWOZ programmers. The "new sound"
involved the use of a clock, the addition of traffic, weather
and brief news reports, and a format which emphasized a briskly-paced up-tempo
music mix, 25% of which was based on a common playlist of 25
CDs drawn up and refreshed by the entire morning team. Even
so, Blueprint / WWOZ did not get it right on the first pass -- the music was beyond reach for a station without a Program Director, and the AP wire service was a poor choice. The volunteers
continued to struggle with the project.
Eventually, a morning show emerged that had some of the original broadcasters back in place who worked with a single morning show producer who handled the "talk" part of the show, and local news was added. This new format changed the morning show from the least-listened to program to the most-listened to. About this experience, Freedman said, "Without Blueprint, we would never have had the impetus to look at the reality of the situation: a poorly-executed, poorly-devised misuse of radiophonic real estate, wasting valuable opportunities to build the station's listenership and revenue base without betraying our mission, which is the heart and soul, the raison d'etre of our station. But: the successful solution came from within the station. They (the Blueprint Project) should get out of the business of telling people what to do and they should be in the business of giving people information."
"We are fiercely local," Freedman offered about WWOZ. "Volunteer radio is the essence of community radio." He also noted that just because a radio station becomes financially successful, it does not necessarily mean that it is a success. However, if the station cannot pay its bills, then some serious introspection is necessary. He was concerned that KVMR was rolling down the HSP road before fixing the leadership / management problems.
Freedman shared his view of what the roles of staff should be. "A good Program Director knows radio and knows what makes the station unique. A good manager is a person who finds consensus, does not create an empire, and provides leadership."
Clarence Moritz, Vice President, Board of Directors, WRFG, Atlanta, GA
Clarence Moritz was the Chair of the Programming Committee at the time that the Blueprint project came to WRFG.
The Blueprint project evaluated WRFG and proposed a major
programming change from a diversified format to consistent
format in the time slot 6AM to 6PM. It was also recommended
that the number of listeners be increased as well as that the
station define its "target" audience. That process led the station
to try to change the racial mix of listeners from 30%
to 60%. When some of these changes were resisted, Moritz stated that David LePage responded, "You're not serious."
One of the helpful aspects of the Blueprint Project
was that it helped the station think about
what its mission was. (Once again, the importance of a strong
mission statement was emphasized by Moritz.) Also, the
evaluation of station policies was beneficial as was the assistance in
providing better flow from program to program.
... On the downside, the Blueprint Project wanted to change
the station's blues programming to R&B, eliminate
10 different blues programmers and replace them with a single programmer.
These drive time broadcasters were to be replaced
with a single paid broadcaster.
These changes were implemented for a couple of months and
were met with an angry response from the listener-supporters.
They filled a Board meeting room and presented a petition signed
1300 listeners opposing the changes. In light of that response, WRFG reversed some of the changes.
At that time the NFCB pulled out saying that WRFG was not serious about making changes.
Moritz offered some suggestions to improve
KVMR's (or any station's) health:
--Distribute specialized program guides to preselected audiences, i.e. a listing of all world music programs at a world music event.
--Better public acknowledgement of subscribers.
--Informal brainstorming among programmers to improve programming.
--Co-sponsor events to gain public visibility. Look at concerts etc. as public relations and not only as fund raising.
--Find out who your audience is. Arbitron ratings are
inaccurate because of the extremely small sampling.