Columbus, Ohio: There is an uprising brewing in Columbus, Ohio over whether to keep jazz music on a community radio station as its music format or return the format to talk radio programming. This is Part Two of a series about WCRX-LP. Follow this story and discover just what the fuss is all about.
So what's all the fuss about and what is this talk of an uprising?
In Part One of this story, you were introduced to Bexley Public Radio Foundation (BPRF), the license holder of low power community radio station WCRX-LP. In this, Part Two of our series, we continue providing you the background that has led to an uprising amongst the team that provides the daily management, programming and operations of the radio station and their effort to Keep Jazz On WCRX-LP, Jazz 102.1 FM.
At BPRF, there were reports of mismanagement, abuse and disrespect of volunteers, constant arguments, management incompetency; as one former volunteer or disputed consultant called it, “a "phantom" and illegal board of trustees or directors as specified under Ohio law.” Repeated requests to meet with the BPRF Board of Directors had been denied during the life of BPRF, with the founder never allowing such access or meetings to occur, except as might have convened in private.
Incidents occurred and claims were made, such as a former station or operations manager pulling a gun on the founder; rumors and accusations of suspected money laundering by the founder have been alleged. The alleged money laundry activity was raised after the discovery of the establishment of at least 15 or more non-profit organizations by the founder in which public records show their creation all on the same day, April 10, 2000. Many of the non-profits created by the founder continue to remain in an active status.
It's been alleged that during the first four years of the station's operation, the founder entered into an agreement to use the studio of a "volunteer" without ever following through on promises to pay rent, utilities or any other expenses, according to the studio owner. After several operations and station managers came and went and the reporting of an on-air personality calling the community's mayor a Nazi, the "volunteer" studio owner eventually ordered the founder and the station to move out.
In early 2011, while the station went silent for a month, the founder moved the radio station into his small two room law office. During this period, he was convinced to add music content. After finding sponsors to pay for music licenses, the station added music programming.
Using a single load CD player, the station played Gregorian Chants, Monastery music, country music, a sampling of blues and jazz from CD's. There was no consistency or continuity, with frequent off-the-air breakups, poor transmission quality and on-air “bungling”. Better still and fortunately, there were few listeners to labor through it all!
Help is just around the corner!
Through the efforts of one of the station's on-air personalities, while searching for talent to interview for her weekly show, she met and recruited an experienced on-air personality to develop a music related show.
The prospective new personality met with the founder and beginning in June, 2011, agreed to sign on to do a mid-afternoon, 3 hour music program Monday through Friday. He would create content to include educating listeners about the various forms of jazz and play those jazz forms along with jazz flavored classic R&B, the music of local musicians and emphasize the educational aspect of music as it supports music education in the schools.
The new on-air personality debuted his show and brought along his automated personal playlist and content delivery system. He also programmed select jazz music to play during the early morning hours. Equally important, he reconfigured, organized, cleaned up the studio and created a more host friendly and efficient facsimile of a radio station studio environment.
This is Part Two of a series about WCRX-LP. Continue to follow this story and discover just what the fuss is all about.
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Next: Part Three - Real Leadership Arrives at WCRX-LP. A new jazz radio station is born!
Want to help Keep Jazz On WCRX-LP, Jazz 102.1 FM? No matter where you are in the world reading this article, if you’re a jazz lover and want to keep jazz on the radio airwaves, visit the Jazz 102.1 website and sign their online petition at http://www.myjazz102.com.
See ThisWeekNews August 2008 Article - "Station finds a home in Whitehall garage"
Part One - Introduction to the Uprising