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.


Post a Comment

<< Home