Leaders meet to discuss WLRNís future. Instead they ask about diversity and coverage.
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Thread: Leaders meet to discuss WLRNís future. Instead they ask about diversity and coverage.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Solano County, California

    Post Leaders meet to discuss WLRNís future. Instead they ask about diversity and coverage.


    After a year of inactivity, Miami-Dade County school district leaders and an ad-hoc panel made little progress Wednesday in forging a path for the future of South Floridaís sole public radio news station.

    The conversation surrounding the School Boardís tenuous and often tense relationship with WLRN, as the owner of its broadcasting license, instead delved into and at times criticized the stationís diversity of programming, donorsí influence and coverage area.

    Four options are on the table and will ultimately go to the School Board for deliberation and approval: Stick to the status quo, which neither party seemed to favor; sell the broadcasting license, which would be subject to the districtís legal procedures; bolster the stationís community advisory board and increase its influence on the station, or create another nonprofit that would manage the station as a third-party entity.

    WLRN has a news partnership with the Miami Herald, sharing office space with the newspaper staff in Doral, collaborating on some journalistic work and sharing some content.

    A panel of community members and former journalists appointed by Superintendent Alberto Carvalho regrouped to go over the options since their last meeting in October 2017. The panel was created after the district in 2016 drafted a new operating agreement that would force 19 WLRN reporters and editors now employed by an independent nonprofit to reapply for jobs and work directly for the school district. It also opened the door for the district to dictate programming and broadcast content.

    School district spokeswoman and chief communications officer Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said the panel tried to meet in April but was still waiting for reports on the matter. She said it was difficult working around the schedules of Carvalho and the panel members.

    Friends of WLRN, the nonprofit fundraising arm for the station, has been in favor of either buying WLRN Radio or creating a separate nonprofit to manage the station. It commissioned a report with Public Media Co. that emphasized the importance of the stationís independence and valued the radio station at $12.1 million.

    Issues on the future of WLRN are at play here.

  2. #2
    Terrible situation. The best situation is in the last paragraph. The non-profit Friends group should begin raising the money to buy the station. There are lots of great examples around the country, starting with WNYC, but also most recently KPLU in Seattle. A Friends group raised $7 million to buy the station from Pacific Lutheran University. That wasn't easy to do, but it solved the problem. There are less traumatic ways to handle it, but it looks like those options aren't available.

  3. #3
    It's a touchy situation but in the end what does the Miami-Dade school board really want from the station? What exactly are the concerns they have over programming? Are they worried about the news department criticizing the district?

  4. #4
    It sounds like the school board meeting to discuss the four options in the OP will take place next month. Should be a doozy.

  5. #5
    There's nothing worse on WLRN as when they broadcast the school board meetings. <YAWN> And you have no idea who is talking.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Area Code 941
    K-Love would love to trade that horrible signal near Homestead for one that would cover the full market.

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