Climate, kidnapping, and GPB

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This is good Mr President but why not step up and stop Keystone XL now? We won’t get the oil, Americans and First Nations will be forced to give up their private property to a foreign company, spills are sure to happen in our backyards, and all of us will suffer the climate effects of the dirtiest oil in the world. If you truly belief what you are preaching, act now.

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Why did the world sit on its hands for over two weeks before beginning to address the 300 girls kidnapped for the purpose of being sold as child brides? It is because they are black? Because they are Nigerians? I am holding Hamatsu Abubakar in The Light until she and all her friends are returned safely to their families. Abubakar means “noble.” Bring Back Our Girls

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There are two big news items from Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) and we’re only three days into the week. Chip Rogers was fired for violating GPB’s employment policies for much of his stint at the public broadcasting network. While Rogers stated his $150K per year job at GPB, the network hired a radio professional with decades of experience to produce his show. Did Rogers need help with his 30 minute show because he was also busy working as the Vice-President for Government Affairs at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association?

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Yesterday the Atlanta Business Chronicle announced that Georgia State University’s 100,000 watt, student-run radio station WRAS, will broadcast GPB’s programming from 5 a.m.to 7 p.m. The station’s Album 88 programming has a strong following, but those listeners will have to stream Album 88 during the day until it switches back to over-the-air broadcasting after 7 p.m.

And that’s not all. GPB is switching to a news and information format with programming piped in from National Public Radio, American Public Media, and Public Radio International.  A GPB produced talk show will debut in the fall of this year.

GSU has a license to operate the student programmed station but didn’t involve WRAS management and staff in the decision making process to fundamentally change the programming format. WRAS posted this on its Facebook page,”WRAS management and staff have had no part in the decision made by the university regarding our partnership with GPB. As a completely student-run/managed station, the administration of GSU acted unilaterally in making this decision. A statement from the staff on the matter will be made public soon.”

And he’s out!

Chip Rogers and Will "The Winner" Rogers In November 2012, Governor Nathan Deal and Gold Dome Republicans found themselves in an embarrassing situation after State Senator Chip Rogers hosted a presentation in the state capitol by an Agenda 21 Conspiracy believer. Rogers boasted he would host more anti-Obama, fact-less meetings for legislators.

Deal strong-armed Georgia Public Broadcasting and created a $150K a year taxpayer-funded job for Rogers where he would produce a weekly radio show on economics and jobs.

Ashley Wilson Pendley, a long-serving staffer, quit not long after Rogers was hired. Five months later Teya Ryan, President of GPB, hired Tonya Ott, a radio veteran with 24 years of experience, to work on Roger’s 30 minute program.

Deal denied creating Roger’s job at GPB, and he hasn’t taken credit for the Republicans wiping out all the funding for Roger’s job in the 2015 budget.

Last Friday reports surfaced that Rogers was cut loose from the state taxpayers’ payroll. Now he’s freed up to focus more attention on the other job he’s held while collecting a state paycheck.

According to news reports, Rogers has been showing up for his job as the Vice-President of Government Affairs for the Asian American Hotel Owners Association “regularly, for ‘one year or more.’ ” Rogers’ bio on the association’s web site makes no mention of working at GPB or his stint as Will “The Winner” Rogers.

Rogers’ former employer GPB is promoting a spring fund drive. When Rogers was appointed to GPB, listener/member donor dollars dropped considerably. I wonder if this announcement is intended to woo the members back who jilted the network a year ago.

 

 

GPB owes an apology to Fresh Air host Terry Gross

My love affair with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), at least as a donor, came to an end earlier this year when Chip Rogers was given a “special for him” job as a broadcast at taxpayer expense.

Now GPB has yet another problem with who has access to a mic.

Yesterday Adam Ragusea, the local host for WMUM, the GPB Macon, ran a promo voiced by Fresh Air host Terry Gross. Ragusea, a professional broadcaster, said afterwards it sounded like Terry Gross has a lisp.

I’m not a “Fresh Air” fan, but I am a fan of professional broadcasters being held to professional standards.

There should be zero tolerance for insensitive comments like this one broadcast on WMUM. GPB President Teya Ryan can begin to restore listener/donor confidence in the network by immediately removing Ragusea from all on-air duties and any teaching/mentor work with Mercer University students.

A handwritten apology to Ms Gross would be a good way for Ragusea to begin to learn what true professionalism entails. GPB should follow-up by broadcasting and posting an apology to listeners and educating all staff on acceptable on-air decorum.

Tell GPB you expect on-air professionalism by emailing ask@gpb.org or calling 800.222.4788.