November 8, 2004
Mr. Chris Merrick, Program Manager
Ms. Kathleen Stevenson, AM News and Public Affairs Manager
Ms. Dennise Kowalczyk, Station Manager
Mr. Gene Bradley, President of the Board of Directors
Programming Committee Chair
Ladies and Gentleman,
I have made these comments before so they aren't new, but I want to reiterate them once more to see if you will take action.
I'm not sure of the dates but I believe Cecil and Celeste, Joe Uris, Barbara Bernstein, Ani and Melodie have all had morning talk shows longer than 11 years. I believe Ani and Melodie are the new kids on the block at 11 years, and that Joe and Barbara may have had talk shows for more than 20 years. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I think Alan Graf and Joanne Bowman have been on for at least a couple years now as well.
"The KBOO Programming Charter says: KBOO shall be a model of programming, filling needs that other media do not, providing programming to diverse communities and unserved or underserved groups. KBOO shall provide access and training to those communities.
KBOO's news and public affairs programming shall place an emphasis on providing a forum for unpopular, controversial, or neglected perspectives on important local, national, and international issues, reflecting KBOO's values of peace, justice, democracy, and human rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, freedom of expression, and social change. "
Our mission is to provide diversity in programming and diverse voices. How can that mission possibly be fulfilled when a handful of people are allowed to be professional pundits, opinion makers and agenda drivers in the KBOO/Progressive community for an entire generation?
Additionally, most talk show hosts have at some time, parlayed their positions of prominence and celebrity into board seats, staff positions and greater than average influence at the station.
The talk show folks act like they own their shows and time slots often taking off for extended breaks only to come back to their private seat. They don't seem willing to move on voluntarily.
I personally think voices like Barbara and Joe's can be found enough other outlets to be called mainstream. I resent both of them as partisan Democrats. I know opinions vary but there is mine. I'd like to see a show hosted by Greens.
Sure, our hosts are very seasoned and all of them have followings, but our community has far more opinions and agendas than can possibly represented by this small group.
No change means no opportunity. With change comes opportunities.
My suggestion is that shows should be required to reapply every 2 years for their timeslot in an open process and that we make announcements about such openings so that other folks can apply.
I have some other ideas as well but the goal is to end the decade long entrenchment of the talk radio hosts.
I know it takes awhile for things to happen at KBOO so I plan to check back in January to see if any plan of action on this problem is moving forward. Please let me know how I can help with these potential changes.
I look forward to your comments and reply.
Member, Volunteer and former KBOO Board member