Issue 179,  published October 2, 2018

Public Radio Management Shake-ups

Been following these two stories:

(1) Patti C. Smith, the interim general manager of Austin, Texas station KUT, abruptly resigned last Monday “amid turmoil following allegations that staff for years were mistreated by a newsroom leader and the surfacing of a recent recording in which a prominent host joked about the Spanish language,” according to a news report by the station itself.

To make things more distressing, later that week, the University of Texas at Austin, which owns and operates KUT, appears to have instituted a policy in which it will no longer pay out overtime wages to reporters, instead allocating it to a “comp-like bank instead,” according to a KUT reporter Mose Buchele. It’s a difficult situation, and it looks like the station’s workforce is bearing the brunt of the pain.

(2) In a completely separate situation, New Hampshire Public Radio’s CEO, Betsy Gardella, announced that she was retiring from the organization after “serious management, human resources and communication issues were identified by independent investigators brought in by the station’s Board of Trustees following complaints from employees.” Here’s NHPR own report on the matter.