Since the takeover of WRAS’s broadcast signal by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) last June, we have been working with the student managers of WRAS to help them engage GPB management in dialog about GPB’s role in WRAS’s future, and how student-created programming fits into that future. WRAS’s student managers have asked GPB’s CEO, Teya Ryan, for meetings and conversations, and have been granted exactly one face-to-face meeting with her. Students have asked for clarification about potential programs which they might create for airing on GPB’s statewide network, for example, but have not received any response. Members of GPB’s staff have been eager to speak and interact with students at WRAS, but they have been discouraged from having any dialog at all with the students by Ms. Ryan.
On Wednesday January 21, at a regular meeting of GPB’s board of directors, WRAS staffers (including WRAS General Manager Alayna Fabricius) and members of the Save WRAS community spoke directly to the board of directors and requested that Teya Ryan be removed as CEO of GPB.
Teya Ryan is an obstacle to student progress and impedes any kind of resolution, whatever form that may take. Ms. Ryan’s frustration and anger at WRAS’s student managers was on full display during the GPB board meeting. She tried to limit speakers to just one person, lashing out at those present when we insisted that all three of the pre-registered speakers be allowed to deliver their messages to the board. Ms. Ryan has little interest in working with students or the community. She has no interest in hearing the grievances of students or answering questions posed by members of the community. She has no interest in facing the facts of a failed attempt at adding a crown jewel to her statewide radio empire.
Ms. Ryan speaks of development and providing beneficial growth to the Atlanta market. This while upholding a deal rooted in secrecy; and while displaying a lack of understanding the needs or desires of the students and the listening public. Ms. Ryan is holding back any resolution or development that may help students and return them to a controlling interest. The fact is GPB is staffed by intelligent and creative people who, if given the chance, could create a true partnership with the students–one that includes healthy back-and-forth dialog and takes advantage of the inherent strengths of both organizations. To give these people a chance to make it work Ms. Ryan MUST be removed.
Please read this article by Max Blau in Creative Loafing. http://bit.ly/1JoMyth Mr. Blau attended Wednesday’s meeting in person. Ms. Ryan’s unproductive behavior and negative attitude toward students has escalated in each of the last three GPB board meetings.
Please contact GPB board chairman Michael McDougald and ask him to seek the resignation (or removal) of Teya Ryan so GPB’s destructive path to failure can be changed. Ask him to allow new leadership to create a new path for GPB.
We’re not giving up the fight and we continue to make progress. The students have made notice of their grievances to GSU and will be petitioning the Board of Regents for redress while continuing to pursue all possible venues for correcting this situation. It is still our intention to return WRAS’s broadcast signal to 100% student control. But until that goal is accomplished, we must make the working environment safe for the students at WRAS–both to maximize their career potential and minimize the damage being done to their careers in the present situation.
Your help is vital to our shared goals. Please reach out to Michael McDougald today.