Saturday, July 21, 2007

A New Mission Statement for Colorado Public Radio--yet another reason I resigned.

One of the things that Mr. Bill Charney, CEO of Charney Associates, "helped" the Colorado Public Radio Board do was to come up with a new Mission Statement. Here is the current one:

"The mission of Colorado Public Radio is to create and distribute public radio programming for the people of Colorado, to be an educational and cultural resource for our audiences, and to reflect the ideas and concerns of listeners throughout the state."

I thought this original mission statement was pretty good. It was a bit long, but said the mission was to "create and distribute public radio programming." Of course, CPR has not done much of the creation part and does not seem to have a plan to create content. How can you when you spend thousands of dollars and six months of times in "governance" that is so bad it is withdrawn.

Mr. Bill Charney, for I assume thousands of your dollars, helped the board develop this proposed new mission statement. It is so long, I do not quite know what it means. I think nothing. But isn't that what happens when you use the passive voice and use three quarters of a page to say what the old mission statement said in a few lines?

If I remember my Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, the passive voice is rarely a good idea. How do you like "is made available" rather than "create?" You should be interested in knowing that management and the officers of Colorado Public Radio and Mr. Bill Charney "requested" that each Board Member fill out a questionnaire (it took about thirty minutes for the 16 or so on the Board to complete). We then spent a whole evening discussing it and another whole day, and this new mission statement is what we got.

But there is more. Wait till I tell you about the "draft" Governance Rules for the Board. I do not think in the pages and pages, the draft rules used the term "fiduciary duty" at all! Nor did they mention a responsbility of the board as being wise stewards of the resources of CPR. These rules, which were withdrawn in June 2007 after I raised a stink, were (in my opinion), created to give CPR Management close to unfettered control, and to keep the Board busy with process, and to distract us from the fact that Colorado Public Radio was creating very little new radio content.

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