By Karen Snider
CKLN will address the recommendations, outlined in a report adopted by RyeSAC’s board of directors, says station manager Conrad Collaco.
He said the radio station already started working on some of the concerns raised by the committee before the report was presented to RyeSAC’s board of directors two weeks ago.
“[We will] definitely respond to the recommendation,” Collaco said.
RyeSAC’s board struck the committee to look into the council’s relationship with the station after rejecting CKLN’s referendum proposal to increase students’ levy by $6.
The report calls for the station to “make reasonable progress” toward achieving the recommendations or the “existing fees/lease agreement between RyeSAC and CKLN” may be in jeopardy.
While RyeSAC’s president David Steele — who worked on the committee report along with v.p. development and finance Vladimir Vasilko, general manager John Fabrizio, health and safety commissioner Jude Shawera and student groups director Maia Garriques — doesn’t think the council would have to terminate the lease agreement and funding to the station, he said “there is a possibility RyeSAC could act” if CKLN refuses to address the recommendations.
Although this is a worst-case scenario, Steele said the report was not designed to set CKLN up to fail but to help them.
“If they don’t follow and implement the recommendations, it will put them at a great advantage,” said Steele.
But before CKLN can begin working on another referendum proposal, RyeSAC wants the station to: include Ryerson students in its mandate; do “everything in its power to ensure adequate Ryerson student representation, accountability and participation” in the station; include more Ryerson content in its programming; announce the university’s name in its call signals more frequently; and capitalize on advertising.
Collaco said the station has been trying to get more students involved over the past two years and groups such as the West Indian Students Association at Ryerson, the Community Food Room and the Ryerson Women’s Centre have become more active.
Collaco said CKLN is trying to organize a campus concert for this term and has started distributing 10,000 programming guides around campus.
In September, Collaco said CKLN wants to organize a jazz concert and form a stronger presence on campus during orientation week.
Besides working to get more students involved, the report said “CKLN needs to create more Ryerson content including but not limited to; a Ryerson community radio program with Ryerson content, reflective of the Ryerson student experience and Ryerson student issues.”
But Collaco said the station’s “spoken word programming tends to be about bigger issues,” such as increasing tuition, TTC fees and student job prospects. He said he has recommended RyeSAC create a proposal for a show dedicated to Ryerson sports.
Another concern outline in the report is that CKLN “does not actively associate itself with the university as demonstrated through the resistance to name Ryerson on call signal identification.”
But Collaco disputes this claim. He said the station mentions Ryerson twice a day at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., the official times required by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. And he said the station also mentions Ryerson each time it gives out its Web address.
“We’ve been promoting Ryerson as much as we can,” Collaco said. “There is no reluctance to connect ourselves on-air with the university. Most of our listeners know we are Ryerson’s campus station.”
The report also mentioned a concern that the station wasn’t capitalizing on its potential advertising space, turning away potential advertisers for political reasons. But Collaco feels the committee’s assessment is “incredibly misleading.”
CKLN turned down advertising with AT&T, which Collaco alleges is connected with selling weapons, because the station felt it would lost credibility with listeners. Instead, Collaco said CKLN chose to go with a local Canadian company, from whom they got the same deal as AT&T was proposing.
“It’s not something that cause d the station to lose one cent,” said Collaco. “If we went ahead with [AT&T] we would have likely lost money because listeners would have been less likely to donate funds.”
CKLN has until September to address the committee’s recommendations. At that time, RyeSAC’s board of directors will review the station’s progress and then decide whether CKLN will be allowed to submit another referendum proposal.