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RE: WJUL "Lowell SunRise"

At 07:58 AM 10/6/2003, Bill O'Neill wrote:
>Aaron Read writes:
> > The resistance is in the form that the station management
> > (all students AFAIK) has apparently been attempting to raise holy hell over
> > this entire deal.  There has been many attempts at a PR campaign against
> > the deal..
>It's a bad deal for the students, the university and the community, at large,
>that's why.

That may or may not be true...but Dave was asking what the resistance was, 
not why it was happening.

> > I *have* to believe that this has forced the school to go into a defensive
> > posture and waste time & energy on creating good PR to counter it.  Time
> > and energy that could've been spent on getting more ready for the
> > show.
>Sezwuh?!  Do you honestly believe that even _if_ the school "went" anywhere
>other than the bathroom, that those people were even _remotely_ related to
>pre-production and design of the on-air product? Please.

Certainly they could have been.  If the whole deal looks like its kicking 
up a firestorm, Sun/UML administration could have decided to allocate less 
staff/funding for the project to hedge their bets.   Perhaps the hiring of 
the professional staff person was delayed because of the resistance...or 
that was one part of the reason for the delay.   There's two ways right 
there.  I could go on, but use your imagination.

>  (Rithy Uong) no doubt wanted to look good for
> > the voters, he weighed in saying he thought the deal was a
> > bad one.
>Rithy is a Cambodian immigrant.  He's the first ever from that community to be
>elected to the Lowell CIty Council, a city of over one hundred thousand very
>provincial people.  The Sun show threatened a morning show that was 
>dedicated to
>Cambodian and other SE Asian immigrants.  Rithy was responding to that.  To
>suggest it was purely for political capital <edited for television>.

Alright...fair enough, I was overly cynical of Rithy's motives when I have 
little fact to base my analysis on about them.  When you work in radio, you 
get cynical...I doubt anyone on the list would argue too much with 
that!  :-)    Anyways, Rithy might very well be concerned about the time 
shifting of the existing WJUL Cambodian, et al, shows.   But he's got to 
know that he has no influence whatsoever over what happens with this.  I 
grant you that he can't very well throw up his hands and say "I can't do 
squat." to his constituents....but the somewhat cynical bottom line remains 
that it's a win-win for him: he gets to look good while taking no political 

By the way, I've never once heard UMass Lowell or the Lowell Sun say they 
were going to cancel those shows that aired when the SunRise was going to 
air.  Their message was ALWAYS that the shows would remain; they'd just be 
rescheduled (which, by the way, is exactly what happened).  College radio 
schedules change every semester - why was this one so different?

> > Also, while the student management offered studio space for the Sun to
> > produce the show in, they have also been extremely nasty towards the Sun in
> > many public forums.
>Ibid.  What did you expect, a warm towel and fluffy pillow?

No.  But it's mighty damn unprofessional to be so nasty in a public forum, 
don't you think.  IIRC, our own listmom has chided members for posting 
public nastygrams every now and then, has he not?   (seriously, 
Garrett...was that this listserv?  I'm on several and I lose track now and 
then...)   I've known full well the WJUL management reads these posts about 
them on B.R.I.G. and no doubt any post about WJUL on any listserv.   I take 
that into account when I write and I don't post my personal feelings about 
individuals, except of course in regards to a person's professional actions 
(i.e. commenting on an announcer's delivery on-air).

>So, do you have Sun inside information to this effect?  Are you suggesting a
>link between the inflamed emotions by dedicated students?  Most of that 
>was over
>the portent loss of control over operations by a politically-laden newspaper
>riding on a no-bid state contract.  "Valuable experience and knowledge" and
>whatever the Sun can offer _radio_ constitutes a leap of faith.

No I don't have inside info on the Sun...how would I more than anyone 
else.  This is just basic logic, is it not?   If Joe Average says "Greater 
Media sucks!" over and over on a public message forum where Greater Media 
works, would you expect Greater Media to be inclined to work with him down 
the road?   Now maybe if Joe says "Greater Media needs a lot of work and 
here's why..."  they might appreciate the candor, and if his advice is good 
enough, they might even follow it.  But I haven't seen much in the way of 
that kind of dialogue.  It's mostly been in the vein of "the Lowell Sun Sucks".

I think we have a serious disconnect on our perspective here...you say 
"loss of control" by "politically-laden newspaper" on a "no-bid state 

I say there was no control to lose - it's UMass Lowell's license, not the 
students' or community volunteers'.  I challenge you to find me a newspaper 
that ISN'T politically laden.   And I ask who else would the bid go 
to?   What other organizations offered the same opportunities of ready-made 
content (well, maybe not so ready-made...but more so than most other 
content sources) coupled with a local presence and the opportunity to bring 
more funds into the University and boost the public relations?

I've thought a lot about that...really the only other way UML could've gone 
that would have offered that balance would be to partner with WUMB.   Now I 
don't think that'd be a good idea because it would mean WJUL would become 
yet another repeater for WUMB, and the opportunities for revenue for UML 
would be more limited.

>news show to the air.  Remember, the mission of the school, the problem it 
>to solve, was NOT to bring news to the Merrimack Valley, but to better 
>the university to the community.
>Bill O'Neill

I thought the exact phrase was to "maximize University resources"?   Your 
idea is great, but it requires a lot more money invested over a longer 
period of time to reap the same rewards.   The Sun deal - from a overall 
perspective including finances - has less risk to the University and 
quicker gain in PR and finances.  I wish that UML could do what you 
describe but I don't see it happening.  Maybe if the Sun deal goes well 
enough to encourage the University to do it by itself, but not so well that 
it makes no sense to not renew.

Aaron "Bishop" Read             aread@speakeasy.net
FriedBagels Consulting          AOL-IM: readaaron
http://www.friedbagels.com      Boston, MA