The Corporate faction shows its hand

UPDATE: Board meeting tonight, Jupiter hotel.  Details below.

I am Theresa Mitchell.  The following is my opinion.

KBOO has been broadcasting since 1968, and has had various Board constituents since that time.  The current Board includes what I  call the pro-corporate faction, consisting of Hadrian Micciche (appointed), Paula Small (elected if I recall correctly), and Rabia Yeaman (appointed).  I call them ‘pro-corporate’ because they supported the Station Manager Lynn Fitch in her nearly-successful attempt last April to fire every one of the Staff, and because they support the replacement of the KBOO Mission Statement and Policies with a corporate boilerplate ‘Board Policy Manual.’  They also get that appellation for their usage of sneering language towards the strong Left faction at KBOO, and for supporting Lynn when she hired a union-buster versus the Staff.  That’s standard fare for corporate America, and of course, it is wrong acting, and it is a big reason why we have KBOO, as an alternative.

Since the firing attempt, I have been convinced that a small faction desired to remake KBOO as a toothless and inoffensive boutique station.  If the Staff had been removed in its entirety, this change would already be well underway.  So, I have fought ruthlessly, because I know that in this Jim Crow secret police state we call America, we cannot afford to lose a strong island of dissent, no matter how small.  I think that despite the occasional comment to the effect that “radio is dead” from the same crowd that would bleach out KBOO, the fact is, really, radio is powerful.  For one thing, KBOO’s broadcasts direct people to books and websites they would not encounter through random browsing or via corporate-owned news.

This morning, for example, I listened to Fred Branfman, author of “Voices From the Plain of Jars,” on Veterans’ Voice, the only radio program in the area generated by antiwar vets.  He spoke of the unspeakable horror of the bombing of Laos, and of the twenty million slain by US imperialism since 1945.  It was powerful and left me shaking.  Nothing like that will ever be heard on a station tied to corporations or major corporate-owned political parties.  So, my assumption is that some of the people offended by such truth would like nothing better than to end principled dissent at KBOO–by silencing the station altogether, if necessary.  Really, once I realized that the Winter Pledge Drive had been cancelled to create a crisis, I knew the fight was on, and that the core of the opposition intended to destroy the station.  Ironically, this fiscally destructive faction is the one that continually asserts that KBOO is failing financially.

Here, then, is a communication from the core of the corporatists:

 I’m a Board member of the KBOO Foundation. I invite you to attend the next KBOO Board meeting, where we will be discussing:

1. A Board member soliciting people to engage in illegal behavior.

2. A Board member who had no authorization to spend Foundations funds, yet did so, and wastefully.

3. A Board member who seeks to toss out all of the work done by consultants to KBOO, paid for by a foundation grant, which, if this is done, will put every granting organization on notice that KBOO will likely make poor use of any additional funding. So much for grants to help pay for items called for in the KBOO Strategic Plan, such as the Media Center. That’s $35,000 wasted on consultants and how much wasted on an unrealizable Strategic Plan?

4. A report from the Finance Committee that the Board is neglecting its fiduciary responsibilities.

5. A report that KBOO is on track to lossing its broadcasting license for failure to have a Community Advisory Board, as the FCC and our By-laws require, and that this failure of KBOO to follow its By-laws has been reported to the state’s Attorney Generals office.

 Plus, you can witness the disruption of the Board’s business by a small number of disaffected members, should that happen again, as it did at our last meeting. In addition, you may see people supposedly seeking to protect KBOO values again engage in name-calling, belittling, as well as a general failure by members to carry out their responsibility to let each other know when some are doing harm to another person or a group of people with such behavior, as well as the failure of the Board to ask such people to stop that behavior or leave, all in violation of the “KBOO philosophy. 

 The meeting is Monday, June 24th at 6pm (arrive early as the meeting may be standing room only). KBOO is located at 20 SE 8th Avenue, Portland, OR 9721

 Please contact me if you would like to see the Board agenda and related supporting documents, as well as background information about current events at KBOO, and the long standing disfunction of the KBOO Board.

Hadrian Micciche

All of Hadrian’s charges are trumped up or exaggerated, as will be seen.

The first accusation refers to an attempt to discover an anonymous blogger.  If that’s illegal activity, then all journalists are criminals.

The second is the latest attempt to get rid of Board President SW Conser.  He got some legal counsel some months ago, not regarding the Union by the way, in his capacity as Board CEO.  The counsel was vital to KBOO, and the accusation is that only the full Board could have authorized it.  However, long-standing nonprofit precedent indicates this is not so.

Third: it isn’t just one Board member that wants to toss out the disgusting corporate Board Policy Manual.  The money was wasted as soon as it was granted, because KBOO is a people’s organization.

Fourth comes a diatribe by the Treasurer that hypocritically ignores the fiscal disaster of the corporate makeover (see above).

Regarding the fifth accusation, it is not true that KBOO does not have community “advisement.”  Hadrian is attempting to entangle the FCC by digging up an irrelevant and obscure provision relating to licensing.  Not only that, he has attempted to bring in State law enforcement, thus guaranteeing the further destruction of the budget, following on the Station Manager’s cancellation of the Drive. If he were sincerely concerned with legal compliance, of course, he could have first put any real problem on the Board agenda, so that enforcement could be avoided.  But he obviously wishes to destroy KBOO.   His diatribe above refers to the May Board meeting, in which he infuriated an already angry crowd of KBOO supporters, by arrogantly stating that they were only there by gracious permission– and then walking out, breaking quorum.  If KBOO won’t go corporate, then it can go away.

I encourage you to call Lynn Fitch, Station Manager for KBOO, at 503-231-8032, and ask her if she supports Hadrian’s multilateral attack on KBOO.


UPDATE:  The Board will be meeting tonight at the Jupiter Hotel (adjoining KBOO) ballroom “Dream Box.”

KRAB radio in Seattle was once a flourishing community radio station–one of Lorenzo Milam’s projects, just as KBOO was. In 1984, however, the KRAB Board decided to sell off its transmitter, deciding that it was impossible to raise enough funds for its operation. KRAB became a memory.  Information on the sellout is sketchy and incomplete, but it is clear that Hadrian Micciche was involved at KRAB at the time.  Hadrian and Paula have made statements at the Board to the effect that the KBOO Foundation is not obligated to have a transmitter ‘in order to fullfill our obligation as a media resource center.’

“…Tom Robbins’ unforgettable Sat. night show ‘Notes From the Underground’. KRAB’s free-form, ultra-eclectic format was a revelation, an education and an inspiration. Lorenzo deserves recognition as a pioneer of community radio nationwide, and a true hero in the greening of Puget Sound culture in particular…..”

Was Hadrian a part of the decision to sell?

Some may be unaware that it is possible for the Board to put the transmitter up for sale, effectively ending local community radio.  This Board, unfortunately, under the influence of Treasurer Paula Small and Hadrian, has given full executive authority to an Executive Director, as if KBOO were some for-profit retailer.  KBOO has even taken on a corporate boilerplate Board Policy Manual  that forbids Board members from expressing dissenting views in public. The result has been a crash in Staff morale (after an attempted mass firing), a substantial (yet manageable) financial difficulty following the cancellation of the Winter Membership Drive, and the appearance of bitterly opposed factions.  It is clear, now, with Hadrian’s false charges outlined in the article above, and with his attempt to create fraudulent regulatory attention, that he wishes to destroy the Station.  Is this because he is not getting his way, or was it the plan all along?

KBOO members will indeed be attending tonight.  That’s not a bad thing–it’s the participatory paradigm that created KBOO as it is today.  I predict that Hadrian’s exaggerated and false accusations ( ) will fall flat, and that KBOO will (of course) endure.  (I must trust to KBOO members for that, as I must be at work this evening.)  If the level of attendance feels rancorous to some, it will feel empowering to anyone who cares about moving forward with people-controlled media.

One thought on “The Corporate faction shows its hand

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s