Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Right Winged Racists
The CityBeat blog picked up on Donald Shabazz's recent round of damage control -- which sounds nothing more like paranoid rants.

Check out "A Wicked Scheme Exposed."

Apparently, Shabazz's letter includes rhetoric like this:

"And what possible or legitimate interest could Ms. Pierce or CityBeat have in WAIF's records and files, except that they are part of the wicked scheme being hatched by a certain group of racist, right-wing political operatives who are trying to hijack our station and destroy WAIF as we know it?"


We will update if the whole letter becomes available.

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posted by Reform WAIF @ 4:03 AM   0 comments
Saturday, May 20, 2006
WAIF Board member Admissions
Here is an e-mail exchange between WAIF Board member and Treasurer Michael Wood regarding the recent City Beat editorial. I have omitted certain details that might compromise the identity of the source.

Date: Wed, 10 May 2006 12:38:01 -0400
From: "Michael Wood, Cincinnati"
To: arelyablesource@reformwaif.com
Subject: Re: WAIF and City Beat article

The CityBeat article is a re-hash of the charges and FCC complaints made by several former WAIF programmers in 2000 and again this year. The sources for the article include Bill Polak, Al Ringshauser, Lynn Wilson and a couple of others. It's the same old gang who nobody trusts enough to vote into the BOT, but they still want to determine the WAIF policy.

In terms of the "facts" as presented in the article, less than half the assertions are both true and accurate. There is nothing new about the charges, or the people making them. What is new is that a writer in a position to influence CityBeat has been shepherding the articles into print.

The timing of the leaks and article was calculated to do the most damage to WAIF -- made during the fund drive, so that it *could* (it didn't) hurt our fundraising appeal.

The chairman is the person who is the spokesman for WAIF. I didn't hear his show, but if he did characterize the whiners and saboteurs as racists, that's just one of their many sins against WAIF. However, some of the disgruntled former programmers and associated whackos have been making racially inflammatory remarks in telephone calls to programmers, ("We need to take back the station from the N****s " is just one of many things being said) so perhaps that is what he's talking about. I didn't hear the show.

The people making the charges have been involved in several different incidents over the past few years, and all those named either are, or have been (at one time or another) banned from further involvement with WAIF because of their unacceptable actions. Some examples of what I call unacceptable actions include: forging financial documents, embezzlement, filing a false application with the FCC, use of WAIF resources for political purposes, use of WAIF property for personal purposes, physical violence and threats of violence, intimidation, coercion, blackmail, stealing documents from the station, breaking into our records, hacking the computers, spreading dissension by lying to programmers about BOT actions or policies, and of course, the plain, old fashioned lying about WAIF to the press.

I don't currently have any underwriters making payments on your program. Am I missing something here? Who is your underwriter? All underwriting must be paid in advance, and all underwriting must be approved by the underwriting coordinator -- Asa Olusola, before being aired on WAIF. "


What I find interesting is that Michael Wood would even attempt to make CityBeat look as though they don't already know about the corruption at WAIF. Readers of this site should be aware that in 2003, Linda Kreidler, former Board member and secretary filed for a arts grant through the City of Cincinnati. The city awarded WAIF with a nice sized grant that could only be used for advertising and promotions. WAIF Board then decided to promote the WAIF Alert (which happens to be the stations newsletter)in CityBeat. After agreeing to distribute the newsletter, CityBeat publisher and owner John Fox began to have some concerns with WAIF and its payment for services. This in essence created a wedge between the Board and CityBeat. Not only was CityBeat done wrong, but the Board, Michael Wood in particular failed to properly report its use of the grant to the City of Cincinnati, therefore the grant was revoked, the board lost a good independent media friend and ultimately the programmers and members lost out as well.

As far as fundraising is concern, during the fall fund drive, when I was on the Board, it was noted that membership was down at least by 30%. The Board was least concerned by these facts and instead decided to go on to the next subject. It should be noted that "those disgruntled programmers" who Michael Wood refers to above, actually have experience and the education to run a radio station, unlike those current Board members who either in love with jazz or Jesus. We know for a fact that membership during the Spring Fund Drive is down. Michael Wood should admit this and move on.

I should also note that the original e-mail from our reliable source asked specific questions of Michael Woods. But notice at the last paragraph of his e-mail how he tries to turn the subject around and apply false information on this individual. This is the typical protocol used by Michael Wood when people ASK QUESTIONS!

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posted by Derrick D. Blassingame @ 4:51 AM   0 comments
The Arrogance of the WAIF Board
The effort(s) to reform WAIF is a result of failed and bad management, corruption, and out right disregard for the rights of its members by the WAIF Board of Trustees (BOT). This group of people are some of the most arrogant individuals I have ever met. They have totally disregarded the Policies and Procedures established by past boards which if you read thoroughly is written particularly to protect the rights of it's members.

Unfortunately the growing discord at WAIF has caused many on the board to grow either fearful that they will be removed for standing up for members rights, and for doing the right thing. It is unfortunate that the current board members has neglected their responsibilities as board members only to consent to the decisions of very few individuals.

In retrospect, you would expect the Board of a small community radio station to be willing to avoid conflict with their members. The BOT has yet to offer a meeting or hearing as to the allegations in City Beat, the Cincinnati Beacon.com and now at ReformWAIF.com. Nor has the Board been willing to even consider the validity of the cries and complaints of its members. Instead they have opted to remove, ban, and revoke the memberships of some of these individuals. Some have received absurd letters with false complaints and information contained in them. During my administrative hearing, the Board failed to protect my rights as a member by allowing Donald Shabazz, Howard Riley, and Michael Wood to run roughshod over the policies and procedures; using three different versions to satisfy their own ends.

Those of us who value and appreciate independent media cannot sit back and watch for something to happen. We must be the change we wish to see. The Board is up for reelection later this year but we can do many things NOW! To get the ball rolling. Their are many people willing to come forward but we must encourage them and stand together.

Stay tuned. There's more to come.

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posted by Derrick D. Blassingame @ 4:19 AM   0 comments
Friday, May 19, 2006
New Letters in CityBeat
The latest issue of CityBeat has two lengthy letters in response to the "Naughty Stepchild" cover story from a few weeks back. We wanted to take this opportunity to hightlight some noteworthy excerpts...

Several effects result from these authoritarian assaults. Over the years, countless talented and able volunteers have been drummed out or simply throw up their arms in frustration and walk away from the whole mess. Many, many others witness the potential for pain associated with board dealings and choose to hunker down and shut up and hope the whole thing blows over. Potential volunteers who might otherwise opt to put their shoulders to the wheel get wind of the tactics they might run afoul of and prudently decide to take their efforts elsewhere. Kindred organizations steer clear of the egoistic firestorms as well.

Meanwhile, morale at the station steadily plummets. And since imagination and creativity as well as energy are linked to morale, it might well be argued that the quality of programming suffers as well.

But the point is that belligerence and bullying steadily shrink the volunteer pool, and the spirit of what remains is effectively crippled. A kind of depression sets in, the station begins to neglect to brush its teeth and comb its hair and the thrill is gone.

As the article points out, responsibility for the work that needs to be done rests with the board. But they can't possibly do it all alone and yet, completely contrary to the very concept of community radio, they drive off potential workmates. It's almost a pathology.

Many volunteers, programmers and concerned citizens now agree that it can't go on this way any longer.

-- Bill Polak, Cincinnati


In another letter, Randall Reese asks why CityBeat would criticize WAIF when there are bigger media fish to fry. Not a bad point, but the fact that there is corporate corruption does not mean we should accept it at the community level. It is precisely at this grassroots level of community access that we should expect liberation from such corruption.

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posted by Reform WAIF @ 7:02 PM   0 comments
Right Winged Conservative Bloggers...
I was just in my car, listening to The Final Call News Hour with Donald Shabazz. He was going on a rant about these "right-winged conservative bloggers" who were trying to destroy WAIF. He also said these right-winged bloggers were racists.

Am I a right winged conservative blogger?

Is Derrick Blassingame racist?

This really isn't making much sense.

The whole time Donald went on his rant, I really wanted to ask him about The Mother Wheel.

But in all seriousness, I invite you to study some of the other posts on this site. Do these ideas sound like those of right-winged racists trying to destroy WAIF?

I continue to maintain that the threat of an FCC investigation is the real danger to WAIF. Therefore, I continue to call on Donald Shabazz to step down from the BOT. Perhaps then, when and if the FCC comes to town, they will suspend a harsh penalty against the station.

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posted by Someone @ 4:13 PM   0 comments
Monday, May 15, 2006
Why WAIF MUST Do Better?
Current national legislation (U.S. Senate Bills 1349 and House Bill 1549) threatens public access centers around the nation, including public television. This is a threat to all forms of independent media organizations.

WAIF is one of very few community operated radio stations in the country.

WVXU was recently purchased by WGUC and local independent programs are no longer part of the station. This is a threat to independent media organizations!

Independent Media is slowing but surely fading away. (Source: Alliance for Community Media).

Listeners and members alike, depend on our station to bring them information not reported by corporate media. We need and must be a leader in this area.

21st Century Technology is inevitable! With the FCC recently ruling that the telecommunications industry, including television makers, etc., must move into an ALL digital broadcast format, WAIF must be prepared for these changes.

Make our website an information navigator where programmers, members, and listeners may have access to station news and important information.

Nothing is impossible here at WAIF!
We have been through many things. Have seen many people come and go, but we still stand!

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posted by Reform WAIF @ 5:45 PM   0 comments
On Organization and the WAIF Website
Some tidbits on how to restructure the organization itself, as well as some advice regarding WAIF's online presence.

Organization:

Require four programmers meetings per year. Where programmers may be able to attend in house forums to receive updates, sign policy (as needed), etc. Organize the entire station files in order and proper sequence (office-by-office, meeting-by-meeting where board members, public and other individuals may have direct access. We may also need to appoint an Information Coordinator to coordinate and respond to public information requests.

Website:

Make website an information navigator where programmers, members, and listeners may have access to station news and important information.

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posted by Reform WAIF @ 5:41 PM   1 comments
Establish Committee for Technology & Digital Improvement
The current WAIF board still brags about the "new facilities" at WAIF. ReformWAIF.com believes the station can always work to improve the facilities, and that doing so improves community radio for Cincinnati. These simple objectives should be met.

Goals:

*To develop a plan to upgrade and improve station technology. This shall include research on the most cost effective and efficient means to fully equip the station with 21st Century technology.

*To explore the best options for WAIF to abide with the Federal Communications new HD Radio standards which force radio broadcasters to transmit their broadcasts in digital form.

*To combine and assess all technology and equipment already in station and make recommendations to improve, upgrade, or retire.

*To make recommendations as to the direction the board should take in order to upgrade the stations equipment and technology.

*To recommend a detailed budget for needed technology upgrade, improvements and or retirement.

*To set goals and objectives for a technology campaign and fundraiser.

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posted by Reform WAIF @ 3:21 AM   0 comments
Establish WAIF Committee of Business
This simple series of objectives, spnonsored by ReformWAIF.com, would immediately improve the business of the station.

Goals:

*This committee shall be composed of the Underwriting Coordinator, PSA Coordinator, Membership Coordinator, other members as directed by the Board of Trustees.

*To oversee WAIF business relations, public relations, and membership communication.

*Make recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

*To recruit underwriters for programming.

*To develop a "How To Underwrite A Program on WAIF" brochure for prospective businesses.

*To be the primary business contact for companies and business interest.

*Engage businesses with station.

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posted by Reform WAIF @ 3:20 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Wednesday on WAIF
This afternoon, Donald Shabazz, Chairman of the WAIF Board of Trustees, was subbing on WAIF. Some of his comments were quite noteworthy, especially given the purposes of our web page here.

Shabazz said that WAIF was not controlled by the Board, but by the station's members -- and that the will of the members is enacted by the Board.

Really?

I have a few questions, then.

I was a member when Derrick Blassingame's show was taken off the air. I was not contacted.

Was that the will of the members? It was not my will.

How does the board know the members' will?

Why hasn't the member list been made public? Can I contact the members and ask them myself?

Just a few questions. I'm sure Shabazz and Co. will never answer.

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posted by Someone @ 12:36 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Reform WAIF Now!
In order to protect the integrity of community radio, it's leadership and Board must be individuals who put the interest of the station before their very own. Unfortunately the growing discord at WAIF ("The Little Engine that Could") has caused many to either leave in disgust or be forced to leave by the WAIF Board.

As a former Board member, I can attest that the very nature of the WAIF Board is complete corruption. It is our hope that this website will serve as a beacon of light for those who love and respect independent media.

In the next few weeks, we will unravel and expose some of the most recent events at WAIF radio including exclusive Board documents, hit lists and financial records. Please join us in this fight for WAIF radio.

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posted by Derrick D. Blassingame @ 9:16 AM   0 comments
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Reform WAIF's Voting Procedures!
To protect the integrity of the WAIF members' votes, the WAIF procedure for electing individuals to The Board MUST be revised.

Any member is eligible to vote at the annual membership meeting, provided that the membership was purchased at least thirty days prior to the election.

However, WAIF is infamous for taking a long time to mail documentation. For example, it took several months for me to acquire my WAIF membership after paying my dues. Therefore, anyone becoming a member should acquire some sort of RECEIPT to verify one's membership standing.

Now, for the vote itself...

Typically, there is no oversight or sensible regulations surrounding the WAIF vote. It is very possible for the ballot box to get stuffed, etc. At last year's meeting, Michael Woods was just walking around asking people if they were members, and handing them ballots if they said yes. But who is to verify Woods gave only one ballot per member? And how do we know he didn't give ballots to people who are NOT members? (I do not mean to imply that Wood did any of these things -- but if there is a possibility of this happening -- either purposively or by mistake -- how can the WAIF voting procedure be trusted?)

These concerns can be easily alleviated, through following the example of political elections.

At the door, a WAIF volunteer should have a book with all members' names listed. When members arrive to the meeting, they should show identification, sign next to their name, and receive one ballot.

This would allow a higher level of accountability surrounding elections to The Board, and it would make sure non-members did not vote, and that members did not vote more than once.

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posted by Someone @ 7:12 AM   1 comments

WAIF in CityBeat
"Watching at WAIF," 2/22/06

"Letters," 3/01/06

"Naughty Stepchild," 5/03/06

"Letters," 5/10/06

"Letters," 5/19/06

WAIF at The Beacon
"Media Wars! WAIF v. CityBeat" 2/26/06

"Is Donald Shabazz Putting WAIF in Danger?" 2/28/06

"Complaints Filed With FCC," 4/01/06

Action Plan


*Technology & Digital Improvement

*Committee of Business

*On Organization and The WAIF Website

Updates in the fight to reform WAIF, a community radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio at 88.3FM.
About The Writers

Derrick Blassingame and The Dean of Cincinnati are former WAIF hosts. They know first-hand some problems inside the organization. Both decided to contribute to this site, in an attempt to save Cincinnati's community radio station!

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