Update – scroll to bottom to see most recent information
Since 2003, 103.7 WPVM has been a commercial free, listener supported, volunteer based radio station. Known as the the progressive voice of the mountains, this registered non-profit was founded to provide independent media to the Asheville community. Formerly licensed to the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN), the station was an integral part of MAIN’s alternative media vision to enable citizens to financially support non-corporate news, music, and public affairs programming. As of May 8th, 2015, an FCC transfer of the station was complete which means that WPVM is now operating as its own not-for-profit-entity.
Currently it appears that there is some discourse happening at the radio station. Run by a board of directors that includes Jacquie Hammond, Chris Lawing, Davyne Dial, Herbert Johnson, Carroll Anders, and Justin Harrison, it appears that major changes are taking place. The board currently listed on the website includes Davyne Dial, Herbert Johnson, Roger McCredie, and John Miall. It is troubling that all but two board members have appeared to left the station – but more concerning, is that only one board member has resigned. The rest of the members have been illegally removed from the board as of April this year. This troubling information continues to pull WPVM along a downward spiral as the board members struggle to regain their positions on a station that appears to be in jeopardy.
Davyne Dial, an Asheville resident and independent local activist, represents herself politically as independent. With WPVM being known as the progressive voice of the mountains, it is important that board members appear to align themselves politically with the vision of the station. However, elected board member Roger McCredie, who was illegally elected to the board in April, appears to lean to the right. Concerns arise as you dig into his past and find out that McCredie, who writes for the Asheville Tribune, has previously gone on record supporting slavery.
John Miall is the newest addition to the board, identifying as a democrat and having a long history in local office, including running for Mayor against Esther Manheimer in the 2013 election. Can a board this diverse and split politically effectively run WPVM and keep the station true to its progressive roots? It doesn’t appear that way.
Last evening, board members of WPVM took to Facebook to voice their frustrations and concerns. Lack of volunteer work*, racist undertones, and illegally removing and replacing board members* are just a few of the complaints. “Overthrowing the board and locking out members in order to hold meetings GUARDED BY APD! In order to unlawfully vote ineligible members.” a board member writes. “Remember URTV? It’s happening again!”
Dial, it appears, was a board member of local access channel URTV, and was subsequently removed from her position in 2009. Dial was also an active member of the Asheville Buncombe League of Women’s Voters, where she served as Treasurer and was pressured into resigning after issues arose with her recording Buncombe County Board of Education [BCBOE] meetings. Dial was informed that activists cannot sit on the ABWLV, presumably due to a conflict of interest.
Interestingly enough, it appears that Dial doesn’t put too much stock in such issues as her husband Herbert Johnson, also sits on the board with her. While having a husband and wife both serve as board members of a non profit organization is not technically illegal in North Carolina, it is viewed as a large conflict of interest. The majority of non-profits such as WPVM discourage and/or will not allow such conflicts to exist, to preserve the integrity of the organization.
What will happen with WPVM? AshevilleBlog staff will be following this story closely, and release more information as it becomes available.
*According to the bylaws of WPVM, Article 4.1 states “Members of the Corporation shall consist of active, committedvolunteers and staff. “Active” members are those who have paid their annual membership dues, and who have performed a minimum of two (2) hours ofvolunteer work per month, or twenty-four (24) hours per year, whichever is less. “Committed” is a written judgment of, or certification by, a Board-designated individual that the person has demonstrated commitment by his/her efforts, enthusiasm, cooperation, and dedication to the Mission during a specified period of not less than two months.”
*Article 4.2 of the bylaws states that “Members of the Corporation shall have authority to … modify or reverse amendments to these Bylaws by the Board of Directors, and vote to fill any vacancies on the Board of Directors. Members may nominate candidates for the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting, or as requested by the Board of Directors. Reference Article V11, Section 7.1.”
5/29/15 – Roger McCredie was illegally appointed as a member of WPVM on April 1st, 2015. He did not fulfill the membership requirements as stated in the bylaw articles above, and without quorum. On or around the 16th of April, McCredie was illegally appointed to board member during a meeting. “The meeting on April 1st broke out into violence and board members fled before the meeting was officially called to order. Two remaining board members took it upon themselves to vote,” explains Jacquie Hammond, WPVM secretary. “I as the secretary could not take proper minutes, and did not feel safe.”