Managment problems between WBAI iGM
and PD discussed at PNB, 3-25-06
The following exchange took place at the 3/25/06 Pacifica National Board meeting. Board chair Dave Adelson questioned WBAI interim GM Indra Hardat and Program Director Bernard White about how to improve their working relationship, which, previous comments had made apparent, is not good.
Two key problems mentioned are unwillingness to communicate and an effort to curtail the iGM's area of responsibility so that it does not include programming.
The transcription is thanks to Albert Solomon. Albert's full transcript of the entire hour devoted to WBAI (of which this is a part) is posted at: http://www.angelfire.com/planet/pactrans1. The entire thing is worth reading.
The audio is available at: http://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb060324/saturday/pnb060325g.mp3
Dave Adelson: The other thing is just one about gettin' along. You know [to Bernard White] I get the feeling there are a lot of people in New York who are really intensely supportive of you, who mobilize to defend you against what they feel are challenges to your role as Program Director. And I personally don't, know the situation in New York, and I know enough about Pacifica not to take what I hear from any side as the truth. But I don't see Indra as a person who is, you know, a representative of a faction. And I just, I would be willing to guess that some of the heat she takes is people who sense a challenge to you, who are angry at her about that. I could be wrong and you guys can correct me.
But, your getting along and having some open communication is to my mind right now the only key to de-escalating the fight in New York. So I'd like to hear from each of you what you're gonna do in the next couple of months for the benefit of the station and network and de-escalate this war, that I keep hearing, getting flack from.
Bernard White: You know, what I think happens and it's unfortunate is that you know at Pacifica when we discuss radio we all have our views about radio. Sometimes we can be quite passionate about it. You can't take that passion as a, you can't take if someone disagrees with you as an attack. We all have our points of view. We need to be able to express them. Umm, you know I'm not attacking, ah that's not my style I don't do that--
Dave Adelson: [inaudible] You guys don't have, my impression is you guys do not have a strong enough working relationship, ah, and what I'd like to know is what steps could be taken to make that relationship work in a way-- because when that starts to work better than it's working now, that's gonna tone down at least some of the conflict. That's what I want to see happen. I don't know what the rest of the Board wants. We can't mandate you to do it. We can't order you to do it. But I'd like to hear what steps could be taken in the next quarter, so that by the time we meet in your fair city, ah, things will be at a somewhat different tenor, and not this fever pitch that we keep getting. Indra, do you want to comment on it?
Indra Hardat: Yes uh I, beg to disagree about programming that because I do not have a show on the air, that I don't know radio-- I, think that's a fallacy. Managing our resources is what I'm good at. And, the airwaves is our resources. The radio programs are our resource. And we have to manage them in a way where we can maximize revenue. And in order to do that-- last time I checked with my job description it says my job is to oversee the entire station.
I was told the other day by a Board member that my job is to just organize personnel [laughter] and personnel issues. I don't have any business in the radio, department. And-- actually right now a movement is being organized to take away from my job description to manage the program director. So, they're trying now to change my job description. So, you know this is what I have to deal with - ah, no inclusion in programming. My job description says [sudden change in volume] I do have control and I think all the other managers will say that, the iGM or GM has control over managing the resources and I don't have that ability yet [both talking]. I'm working toward that.
Dave Adelson: I appreciate [unintelligible] but to me that confirms there's a gulf between you, but my question was what's gonna be done in the next quarter to bridge the gulf between you--
Indra Hardat: For it to work we'd really have to have a united front --
Bernard White: I think we have to do what I've suggested to Indra on several occasions, is we need to sit down and talk.
Indra Hardat: But you walk away every time we sit down to talk, you walk away and you, you, you exercise the pattern you talk about.
Bernard White: I walk away at the point that we both wind up repeating over and over our same positions. At that point it really [unintelligible], there's no exchange--
Dave Adelson: Would you each be willing to engage in some mediation, would some mediation be--
Indra Hardat: Absolutely.
Dave Adelson: agreeable to you?
Indra Hardat: Absolutely.
Bernard White: No question.
Dave Adelson: Okay. Thank you very much.
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