date Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 4:26 PM
subject RE: FW: Cancelling my pledge to WBEZ
As I mentioned, we did not start new projects. “Right Now,” a daily program to have run Monday through Friday at 3 PM- 4 PM, never existed. It was in the planning stages with minimal staff and we ran a couple of pilots as specials to see if we liked various structures on the air. We reassigned the three people working on the pilots, the only staff assigned to the production team at the time, to other 91.5 FM shows and reporting duties because we new we could not go forward with hiring the rest of the staff needed to launch the program this year.
“Hello Beautiful” hasn’t had a permanent host since Edward Lifson left over a year ago. We had been auditioning people for the permanent hire on the air—just to see how the candidates sounded. Rather than hire a permanent host, we took the money for that position, as well as the existing staff working on the project and assigned them to producing more arts and architecture features for 91.5. Hello Beautiful was a summary program—that is, a program that essentially rebroadcast material that had run the preceding week. This readjustment allowed us to significantly boost production of fresh arts pieces. No dollars were lost from this project, but were reinvested in 91.5 arts production.
As for informing members of what we do with our money—we are entirely open with is. Our audited financials are available on line and are available to anyone who asks fore them. Our renewal letters frequently talk about the great projects we do outside of WBEZ daily broadcasting, and, of course, we are completely open about this in these e-mail exchanges or in public discourse.
I do have your attachments, but in fact they fully demonstrate that I am correct--that there is no distinction—other than marketing strategies—between MPR’s multiple stations and our situation. If you donate money to Minnesota Public Radio—they can use it for anything the 501 (c) 3 Board that governs MPR specifies as a proper general operating use (unless you have restricted the gift, of course).
Again, I see no problem here except perhaps in your assessment that this is not something you wish to support. And that is a point that cannot be debated beyond a certain level, as we are beginning to discover.
Have a great week. And get some rest, for goodness sake.
Thanks again for your candor and your time.
President and General Manager
Chicago Public Radio
WBEZ 91.5 FM, Chicago;
WBEW 89.5 FM, Chesterton;
WBEQ 90.7 FM, Morris;