The past year has been hectic for the University of Colorado’s Radio 1190.
The former general manager, Mike Flanagan, left the station last summer, which left student employees and volunteers running the station on their own for several months, changing the level of accountability within the station, according to student employees.
The Journalism and Mass Communication department hired a new general manager, Mikey Goldenberg, months later in mid-October. Student employees say they struggled to adjust to Goldenberg’s management style at first. However, three months later, things started to settle down for the station, or so they thought.
On Feb. 9, the CU Student Government’s Legislative Council passed a bill that laid out plans for a restructuring of the radio station’s internal framework. The bill demanded that Radio 1190 restructure its business model in order to restore the station’s esteem. The restructuring involves broadening paid student positions and job descriptions, as well as finding funding, resources and space for consultants to help make the station more efficient.
There were multiple problems within the station noted in the bill, including a lack of communication and accountability, a poorly managed budget and an attitude that the job is more a hobby than profession, according to an article in the Colorado Daily. Goldenberg also noted these concerns when he was hired, according to Isra Chaker, representative at large for CUSG and liaison for the 1190 restructuring.
Goldenberg worked with Chaker both before and during the legislative process. Chaker said that CUSG left the communication within the station up to Goldenberg.
“Mikey said that he didn’t want to talk to the employees until the bill went through its second passing,” Chaker said. She said that he had been weary of talking to employees about the restructuring until details were decided on.
“We recommended that students be involved from the beginning, but Mikey didn’t want to jump the gun,” Chaker said.
After several tries, Goldenberg could not be reached for comment.
Although student employees were supposed to be informed of the situation, many had no idea about CUSG’s decision until the Daily broke the story on Feb. 29.
“I had heard rumors of the decision,” Operations Manager Michael Odbert said. “There was this big plan, and things are changing, but I didn’t know what that meant.”
“There were a lot of details we weren’t allowed to be privy to until the decision was made,” Promotions and Web Director Alex Seguin said. “I knew about most of it, but I learned about the smaller details from the paper.”
Goldenberg has been working to rebrand the station since he started at Radio 1190, long before the bill was proposed on Feb. 1. According to Chaker, Goldenberg came to the CUSG with his concerns when he was hired.
“I thought the decision was an agenda brought on by the new GM [Goldenberg] rather than the student government,” Production Director Henry Moffly said.
Chaker noted that Goldenberg views the station not only as a place for students to learn about radio media, but also as a place that is trying to make it as a business. Odbert, Seguin and Moffly all disagreed with the bill’s claim that student employees see their job as a hobby instead of a profession.
“I didn’t come in for the seven to ten morning show because it was fun; I came in because I’m professional,” Moffly said. “I haven’t seen the station as a hobby but rather a profession since I’ve been here.”
Seguin said she was most disappointed that CUSG had made these claims without coming into the station to get to know the employees.
“It’s difficult to look at statements coming from someone who hasn’t met us,” she said. “I am attached to 1190, and I want to see it succeed. It’s not just a job, but something we all care about. I think liking your job, which we all do, makes you more professional.”
Although there was some miscommunication after the bill’s passing, Chaker wanted to emphasize that there was no ill will towards the station itself.
“CUSG is here to represent students as much as we can,” she said. “1190 has great potential with the restructure.”
Although there are points in the bill that are irritating to student employees, most agree that the rebranding will be good for Radio 1190.
“It’s rough because I don’t want to see downsizing, but it needed to happen,” Odbert said. “There was a lot of waste of money. The rebrand will be good for 1190.”
Even with the reorganization that must now take place, listeners don’t need to worry about the station’s independent identity. The restructure is purely to improve the standards of the station and not the station identity, Odbert said.
“We can maintain the same sound while becoming a larger part of the community,” Moffly said. “Being visible in the public eye will get us greater recognition.”
“We will be able to reach out to the community in ways we haven’t before, but we are still devoted to the people who listen to us now,” Seguin said.
Contact CU Independent Entertainment Editor Avalon Jacka at Avalon.firstname.lastname@example.org.