CFRC 101.9FM, Kingston’s only campus-community radio station and the longest-running campus-based broadcaster in the world, has seen a lot of strange things in its 90 years of radio history. But eliminating the radio station’s only revenue-generating staff position during a financial crunch must top the list of mind-boggling CFRC stories.
On October 2, CFRC staff were informed by representatives of the Board of Directors of the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University, Inc.(the AMS), that the station’s Business Manager, Ayanda Mngoma, was terminated without cause, effective immediately. The AMS Board has decided to eliminate the full-time Business Manager position, replacing it with a volunteer Sponsorship and Outreach position at 15 hours per week with commission. The decision was made by the AMS Board without consultation with CFRC’s Advisory Board, the body representing CFRC’s financial stakeholders (such as the AMS, the Society for Graduate and Professional Students [SGPS], Queen’s Faculty/Staff and Kingston community members) that is responsible for advising the AMS Board on station operations. The AMS Board also drafted and approved its own budget for CFRC, without consultation with CFRC’s staff or Advisory Board. The AMS budget increases projected ad revenues by $3000, while terminating the full-time employee formerly responsible for generating ad contracts.
CFRC staff and the CFRC Radio Club executive, representing the station’s 200-plus active volunteers, are shocked and disappointed by these actions and believe the new budget numbers to be arbitrary and unrealistic. CFRC has faced an annual operating deficit of $15,000-20,000 each year it has operated under the AMS. The current AMS Board plan will only place the station further in the red, threatening the ability of CFRC to continue serving Queen’s and Kingston communities. The unanticipated crisis within CFRC’s staffing structure already means that the station may need to postpone or cancel contractual negotiations with more than 15 local clients. Remaining staff may also be unable to deliver some of CFRC’s fall volunteer training program, affecting over 85 new recruits, a majority of whom are AMS members.
For more information and steps you can take to support CFRC, visit http://cfrc.ca. There is a public discussion to address CFRC’s funding and governance situation on Saturday, October 20 from 2-4pm in Dunning Hall room 12 at Queen’s University. All concerned Queen’s and Kingston community members are welcome and encouraged to participate.