Friday, March 24, 2006

Topic: So Alan says to his board of trustees, "Pimp my ride!"

And so the board did as it was told -- giving WAMC's CEO-for-life the keys to a brand new 'loaded' 2006 Subaru Forester.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Topic: WAMC-FM's Board of Trustees lacks legitimacy -- Let the members vote.

The ever-fawning press coverage by the Albany and Berkshire press of Alan Chartock and what the radio station boss insists on calling the 'WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network' always manages to avoid dealing with the underlying ethical problem plaguing WAMC-FM: that the paid listener/membership is not given the legal right to meet annually to vote in corporate-style elections for those who would serve on the WAMC board of trustees; for those who would serve as corporate officers; for the amount of salaries to be paid to those corporate officers; and for any other business that fittingly would come before a similar public group at an annual corporate shareholders' meeting.

Until WAMC's listener/members are given this simple yet basic right -- a right that is guaranteed at publicly-owned corporations -- then Mr. Chartock and his hand-picked 'rubber-stamp' board of trustees rightfully deserve whatever bashing and drubbing they get from critics -- and for the simple and obvious reason that Chartock and Company lack legitimacy.

Mr. Chartock rants ad nauseam about the Republicans 'stealing' the White House in 2000 and 2004, yet here is a guy that in 25 years of near-totalitarian control at so-called 'public' broadcaster WAMC has never once had the guts to stand for election before 'his' station's own paid membership. Even if you could ignore the obvious personal hypocrisy of the man, what kind of legitimacy is that? Who annointed this guy king of a public broadcaster?

And please don't counter with the stale (and phony) argument that "listeners already vote with their pledge dollars". That's rubbish. It sidesteps the real issue and is used solely to keep Mr. Chartock and his cronies in control. Just because listeners send in money to support the local NPR station or a particular favored program they want to keep on-the-air does not automatically translate into fealty to the same management team year after year. This is especially so as information surfaces as to just how listener dollars actually get spent, and about questionable (and even illegal) shenanigans that have occurred under the 'leadership' of Mr. Chartock.

If Mr. Chartock and his merry little board are ever to be taken seriously, let them stand annually for election before the paid members as happens at a growing number of other publicly-supported broadcasters. If they are doing a bang-up job then they should have no problem winning fair election, and Mr. Chartock will undoubtedly be voted rich compensation by the folks who actually pay the bills.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Topic: "Chartock defends $48,000 raise" -- Albany Times-Union

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Topic: Alan Chartock and control of WAMC's annual $6 million coffers: When is bilking not bilking?

New York's newspapers have reported extensively on how State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has charged former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso with bilking the not-for-profit NYSE. Understandably, the general public (and numerous editorial pages) have also been outraged that NYSE's Board of Directors could let Grasso get away for years with such patently outrageous compensation from a non-profit.

Other than the size of the actual paycheck, how is Alan Chartock's bilking of not-for-profit WAMC Northeast Public Radio's coffers any different than Mr. Grasso's actions at NYSE? (SEE: Chartock's $52,000 raise!) A crook is still a crook whether he steals $102 million or a mere $52,000. (The fact that Mr. Chartock is on-air/in print daily ranting against politicians -- usually Conservative Republicans -- he thinks are crooked only shows the degree to which Mr. Chartock's hubris has gotten totally out of control.)

Just as culpable in this matter is WAMC's Board of Trustees and its utter failure to act responsibly to keep check on Mr. Chartock and his excesses. Its absolute allegiance to Mr. Chartock can be pinned on the simple fact that for the twenty-five years of its corporate existence, Chartock alone has hand-picked each person who would sit on his governing board (at the same time being on the receiving end of that Board's generous largess).

(And remember, this isn't the first time the ignominious professor has engaged in bilking an inept and compliant bureaucracy. Until his recent early (read forced) retirement from the State University of New York - UAlbany, Mr. Chartock double-dipped for twenty-five years two weekly paychecks -- the first from SUNY, and the other from WAMC -- in direct violation of SUNY's anti-moonlighting, anti-double-dipping policy. SEE: "The Burke Memorandum". Why AG Spitzer isn't now seeking to recover from Mr. Chartock 25-years of ill-gotten SUNY compensation plus the hefty pension that goes with it plus interest makes one wonder whether the Grasso prosecution is just for show.)

At least at NYSE, the dues-paying member firms of the Exchange had the right to vote for the individuals sitting on NYSE's Board, the same board which then allowed Grasso's excesses to occur -- the money to Grasso coming from a portion of those few 'exchange fee' cents added each time a stock sale transacts over the Exchange. Whereas at WAMC, dues-paying listeners, those in the general public who generously fork over cash to support the station's thrice-annual 'begathons', cannot even claim this basic right of control over the radio station's presently non-elected, and inept, corporate board.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Topic: Should WAMC's dues-paying listeners have a say in how much the station pays its CEO Alan Chartock?

Also, do you think Alan Chartock's recent $52,000 (45%) pay hike is reasonable given that WAMC is a public charity supported by listener-members?

Note: Alan's pay from WAMC for the latest fiscal year was $166,101 (in salary plus employee benefit plan contribution) versus last year's $114,444.

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