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I had the pleasure of attending part of CKLN’s annual meeting recently. For anyone not in the loop, CKLN is a Toronto radio station funded with hundreds of thousands of dollars taken from your fees to the RSU. Let’s get this straight. The RSU is doing a great job trying to keep things in line, but it’s hard to get a lot of unprofessional people to run a company professionally.

The annual general meeting was more of a circus than anything else. My numbers might be slightly off, but this year CKLN has seen three different boards of directors, aired a two-week audio loop for six months while the station was closed, caused its creditors (indirectly us students) to spend additional funds on hiring police to babysit them and kind of forgot they had to account for their money like the rest of us. Oh, did I mention about $150,000 in taxes that, as far as I know, still aren’t up to date?

To me, this is a circus.

Community radio is no doubt important, but not when you have a bunch of students funding a radio station that isn’t for its community. With my background in radio, I have some suggestions for CKLN.

The RSU and Palin Foundation should request the CRTC to shift the license to them as their creditors. Then, be polite and fire everyone. Pay for podcasting equipment so all the current personalities can podcast from home, be trained for that and create an “online CKLN.”

Have students play music to suit our community. Use voice-tracking software like the rest of the radio stations out there so it doesn’t interfere with class schedules. Go more mainstream like Western’s community station (which is excellent by the way). Sell all the advertising space to one of the big boys doing radio advertising. Subscribe to Neilson BBM so advertisers know what they’re getting.

Rebrand that station. I think CKLN is the only station left using its call letters.

Cut the studio space in half and rent it out as office space to provide the RSU with additional revenue. Account for what is spent. And most importantly, let us students who are underrepresented have a voice.

SpiritLive (radio and television arts’ online station) took what used to be the old Jazz FM studios and put in state-of-the-art equipment. They have talent that doesn’t cause a ruckus. Let’s create something amazing for the school. When nobody phones in for CKLN call-in shows, it makes you wonder if paying hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for people from outside the Ryerson community to talk to themselves is really worth it.

I would like to reinvent CKLN to be the top radio station in Toronto.

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