Recent events at JAZZ.FM91 have created a situation that threatens the station’s existence.

Save JAZZ.FM91 is a group of concerned donors that believes the current leadership of the station is on a course that will lead the station to failure. Save JAZZ.FM91 is seeking a workable solution that will save the station.

Background

In mid-March, 2018, a group of then current and former employees wrote to the Board of Directors, expressing concerns about the work environment that had developed at the station. Their concerns included sexual harassment, bullying and mismanagement at the station.

On May 30, 2018 the station announced that Mr. Ross Porter was stepping down as President & CEO and Mr. Charles Cutts would serve as interim CEO. No mention was made of the employees’ letter or the allegations, or the findings of a report commissioned by the Board  to investigate the allegations. The news release was posted to the station’s website, but never distributed to the media or members of JAZZ.FM91 Inc.

On June 7, 2018 The Globe and Mail published an article with background of the employees’ letter, its serious allegations, and the Board’s response. See here The article was published during the station’s Spring fundraising drive.

Many donors, members and listeners expressed their concerns at the allegations.

On June 14, days after the completion of the Spring fundraising campaign, the station dismissed seven long-serving on-air hosts and other key staff. On June 16 and June 17, respectively, a "news release" was posted on the website and an email sent to donors. The email to donors was the first time the station referred to the complaints from current and former staff  -- other than comments to media -- with the words, "As you will also be aware,..." assuming they had heard from sources other than the Board.

What started as dismay at the Board’s response to the March allegations became a tide of disbelief and anger from donors, members and other stakeholders.

Social media expressed negative opinions about the leadership of the station, and donors began showing their concerns by withdrawing financial support for JAZZ.FM91.

On June 29, 2018, a follow-up article in the Globe and Mail disclosed that a long-time major advertiser and supporter of JAZZ.FM91, Bay-Bloor Radio, had withdrawn its advertising entirely, having earlier pulled its support for Mr. Porter’s Saturday morning show that continued to air. See here

The departure of donors continues. And worse, many listeners have changed the dial.

 

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