By Danielle Vandenbrink
CKLN employees and board members have problems with the way one of the station’s new head honchos was hired, and some don’t think he’s even qualified for the job.
When former program director Tim May resigned at the end of December after eight years of working at the radio station, Tony Barnes, a former board of directors member at CKLN, was appointed by the board to the management position.
“Knowing Tony, I’m not sure he was the best choice for the position,” said Jeff Semple, a former CKLN volunteer and board member who worked with Barnes while on the board. “There have been outstanding complaints from volunteers and conflict of interest issues.”
Samih Abdelgadir, the current RSU representative on CKLN’s board of directors, said he missed the meeting where Barnes was appointed, and was shocked when he heard the news.
“I didn’t even know the position was open,” he said. “[Barnes] was hired for a management position without a resume and without any second or third interview, never mind the first.”
Semple said that while at board meetings, he would see Barnes yell at other members. “In some situations, he would bully people at board meetings,” he said.
“[CKLN] became a much more tense environment, more of a poison environment,” Semple said.
“[Barnes] was a large part of that.”
Chris Drew, RSU VP finance and services and a former member of CKLN’s board of directors, said that he has been receiving e-mails from volunteers that said the hiring “wasn’t done in a transparent and clear manner.”
One e-mail, sent by an anonymous source in the CKLN community, said that there was no opportunity for other candidates to apply.
The board never consulted with the station’s employees, volunteers or Ryerson community.
The e-mail also claimed Barnes was on the board when the program director’s position suddenly and questionably became vacant and when his appointment took place.
Drew said that since students pay about $10 per year toward CKLN’s budget, which is more than is paid to unions with the Canadian Federation of Students, they should be asking questions about the hiring process.
“I guess the board found that he was the best candidate for the job, but I don’t think so. I don’t think he was the best person to serve the students and to serve CKLN,” Abdelgadir said.
Abdelgadir said he asked interim station manager Mike Phillips why the program director position wasn’t advertised and instead given to Barnes.
“They thought since it was only a one-year position that it’s not forever,” Abdelgadir said. “They wanted to set the skeleton of CKLN and they decided to hire someone with the most experience at CKLN.”
“CKLN is going downhill with what is happening,” Abdelgadir added. Barnes refused to comment for the story.