Friday, November 8, 2013

Houston Radio: A Classical Music Bloodbath

A controversial $9 million sale that saw Rice University's college radio station KTRU 91.9 FM come under the umbrella of Houston Public Media may have triggered a ticking time bomb that would eventually destroy any hopes of establishing a long-term 24-hour classical music station that highlights the local arts scene.

A source tells CultureMap that Houston Public Media's main classical music personalities, including veterans Bob Stevenson, Elaine Kennedy, Chris Johnson and Chris Hathaway, plus a handful of behind-the-scenes KUHA 91.7 FM employees, were laid off Thursday morning.

Lisa Trapani Shumate
CEO Lisa Trapani Shumate met with staffers individually to terminate their positions. Shumate provided a letter that promised a 30-day severance package.

Employees were told that lack of funds accrued from the recent nine-day fundraising campaign, which a source described as a colossal failure, was to blame. When the fundraising drive ended on Friday, KUHA was $74,000 short of its $200,000 goal while KUHF was only able to secure $800,000 of its $1 million goal — losses that had never before been experienced in appeals for funds in years past.

Despite the dismissals, Shumate has found money in her budget to create other jobs. She's hired more than 15 people since the summer for positions in customer service, finance, development and production. Shumate is reported to make $270,000 a year.

No comments:

Post a Comment