Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Colorado Public Radio in Denver Westword.

Frances Koncilja, of Colorado Public Radio Blog, attempts--yet again--to put the public back into Colorado Public Radio. Read some of her latest comments about CPR's problems in Denver Westword News, by Michael Roberts. If you have any questions for Frances, you can email her at Colorado Public Radio Blog.

The link to the Denver Westword article is down, but here is the text, relevant to Koncilja's comments about Colorado Public Radio.

CPR for CPR: When last we heard from attorney Frances Koncilja ("Going Public," June 14), she had resigned from her position on the Colorado Public Radio board to protest what she saw as an attempt by CPR chieftain Max Wycisk and chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher to change organizational by-laws in order to ramrod through a host of dubious proposals. Since then, she's created a Colorado Public Radio Blog, which has quickly developed into the go-to site for news about the state's public radio stations, including CPR. Among other things, she's posted documents that shed more light on her concerns.

The next big day in Koncilja's battle to save CPR from itself is September 19, when the board is expected to meet for the first time since putting many of the plans she criticized on hold. Via e-mail, she writes that her preparations for the session will include contacting local officials who appear on the network to "ask them to inquire of management why there is no diversity on the board and on air." She's also requesting input from "previous board members" plus "current sponsors and underwriters." She adds, "Even though I was not asked to submit anything" for the meeting, "I have."

As she understands, silence isn't always golden.
-Michael Roberts


Anonymous said...

when, again, does she actually resign from the board? is the meeting open to the public, or is she still on the board? seems like she would have "walked out" the same day she resigned...

Anonymous said...

I need to say that these problems started many years ago, they are only growing.

It's the Max Wysick Radio network. Seems to me that if you're out empire building, and then conquering smaller stations (which Max did), you control EVERYTHING that goes out over the air. Max decided what happens at the station, and then hides under the guise of the board. Then, all of the "Yes, Men--and Yes Women" (those without a brain in their heads)cater to Max's demands, and makes his wishes their commands. It's a sick organization, that needs new management--all around. All of the Max clones need to go. Organization, reorganization can be a good thing.

Let freedom ring.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1,

France Koncilja "Went Public" back in June. See this link for the original article which appeared in The Westword.

The September 2007 meeting is not open to the public. CPR's meetings are seldom open to the public. As a staff member, I was actively discouraged from attending the CPR Board Meetings. The Vice President of Communications (and of Marketing several years ago) was primarily instrumental in scaring the staff away from any activities related to the board members, including the two or so "public sessions" that CPR had a couple of times a year.

It was only later (3 years ago or so) when the board members themselves asked for staff to attend informal "gatherings" at their homes, that the CPR staff had contact with board members. Even CPR Management about these "gatherings" was suspect. Seriously, we had staff "gatherings." God forbid, CPR leadership would ever use the word "party" to describe what we did at these "meetings." It was more like a "gathering" of sheep and the shepherds; a herd of animals.

Getting back to Koncilja, she didn't walk away to give up on CPR. She walked away to fight to make it better. Which is why, as Michael Roberts says, "silence isn't always golden."

Dave Pechman
CPR Employee

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2,

I agree. CPR is filled with some fantastically talented people, but most of them are not the executive managers. The reason the clones stay around so long is because the have little chance of getting similar jobs, at similar pay elsewhere. And the sad thing is that many of the executive managers have never work anywhere else. Thus, they lack expertise they might have gained outside the echo chamber created by their introverted President.

Dave Pechman
CPR Employee

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your insightful comments. You're right.

As an ex-employee, what I saw was dysfunction at its finest, with ill-suited, non qualified people in top managment jobs, all because they lacked the courage (i'm trying to be nice here) to take a stand on any matter. These "yes" men/women were promoted because they would line up with Max, and further his empire building. Anyone who challenged a decision wasn't there very long.

As far as board building, Max used to, and still might, sit on the nominating committee...what more can you ask for then to hand pick a group of people (mainly your friends) to further your the name of board duty? It looks transparent to funders.

What I can't get my arms around is that most organizations really look hard for talented people at the top of their game to lead departments, and CPR, does just the opposite. It looks for people with no spine, plenty of "yes" and the ability to mold themselves, and carry on the company line.

I'm sad that it hasn't changed in all these years, and that it's still an organization that dysfunctions so publicly.

Max is a power freak who needs to be in control of not only all of his employees, but all the programming, etc. If Max says "no" it won't happen. And every decision goes ultimately goes to Max. It's pathetic. Perhaps someday, it will truly be "public radio."

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