List of suggested questions to ask about WBEZ operations

Posted by Mitchell - July 19, 2005 (entry 334)

Chicago Media Action had received a list of suggested questions that can be asked at the July 21, 2005 WBEZ Community Advisory Council meeting -- or at other WBEZ meetings. We repost that list here as a public service.

(1) Where can one get a report of the operations of this "public" station's operations? Ditto its budget?

(2) What is the financial state of the station? Why do they seem to be scrambling so hard for money -- with annoying solicitations (bragging about their efficient fund-raising) many times a day -- so soon after their "successful" fund-raiser week? How much of the station budget goes to these fundraising efforts?

(3) How can it be called a "non-commercial" station when mentions of "supported by" take up so many minutes a day? Don't the details of the car being offered in the current drawing (as inducement to "donate"), along with the details of the "generous donor", constitute an advertisement?

(4) How are decisions made about the running of the station? What is Torey's salary [referring to Torey Malatia, the President and General Manager of WBEZ]?

(5) How does one find out who the Board members are? How are they chosen?

(6) Do these public meetings have any effect? How does the public, "who supply over half the funds" have any impact on the what goes on at the station? Is it possible for "the public in 'public radio'", the donors (say, the $1-a-day folks) to find out how their money is being spent?

(7) What are the finances of WBEZ absorbing other smaller stations, including (though never named on the air) WLUW at Loyola? It's starting to seem like a conglomerate. Is that legal under its "public" radio status?

Since it is a public meeting, it is presumably legal to tape it.

Even notes of Q&A would be useful for further analyses of the situation.

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