MAIN hires media manager

The Mountain Area Information Network has hired a new manager who will help integrate the Asheville-based nonprofit Internet service provider’s Web site with MAIN’s low-power FM radio station, WPVM.

K.P. Whaley will start as media manager for MAIN on Sept. 1. Whaley has been working as the news and public affairs director for WORT-FM in Madison, Wis., a station known for its trailblazing work as a nonprofit, community radio station.

Wally Bowen, MAIN’s executive director, says Whaley has the skills and experience to help move MAIN and WPVM further into Web streaming.

“He understands radio is undergoing some monumental transformations and he understands the future is digital and in mobile broadband,” Bowen says, “and that’s exactly where we see it going.”

Earlier this year, Bowen outlined a new direction for MAIN, called “MAIN 2.0,” which includes providing wider access to mobile broadband Internet and a full-fledged community news operation. That plan also includes an integration of MAIN’s news Internet portal and the radio station. WPVM is licensed to MAIN. Working as “media manager,” Whaley will oversee that transition.

“Community radio must change or it will fade away,” Whaley says in a written statement. “I am excited to be working with an organization like MAIN that understands the challenges faced by community radio, and has the vision and technical experience to embrace these challenges and to help provide a roadmap for other community media.”

Whaley’s hiring is the latest in a series of changes at WPVM over about the past year. After months of tension between station volunteers and Bowen, WPVM announced changes in both its programming and the way it works with volunteers, including requiring contracts for producers of local programming.

Many WPVM volunteers and most of its local programming left the station. With Whaley on board, WPVM is now prepared to accept applications for new volunteers and ideas for programming, according to Bowen.

MAIN and WPVM will also be holding a mini fund-drive Labor Day week to honor working people, as well as mark the prospects for green jobs. It will feature interviews with Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, Van Jones, author of Green Collar Economy, and Robert McChesney, author of The Political Economy of Media.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor


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10 thoughts on “MAIN hires media manager

  1. robert

    I agree. I hope this guy googles “Wally” and “WPVM” to see he might be getting swooned into some kind of snake-oil-medicine job. On a separate note, I can’t believe MAIN is applying for MILLIONS of dollars from the Stimulus-Plan … this is OUR friggin’ tax-money… and probably our children’s.

    Good luck to the new guy … but yep 6 months before he gets swindled. Look at the very talented Jason Holland, Kim Clarke … oh and wait, remember the 50 formerly passionate volunteers who built the former WPVM which was unique & ever evolving despite the dysfunctional MAIN/Wally/Wally-board “leadership”.

  2. former WPVM/MAIN supporter

    Unfortunately, Wally Bowen undermined the opportunity he had to advance progressive media in WNC. With his shaky business ethics and heavy-handed management style, Bowen has managed to alienate hardworking volunteers, board members, and many others in the progressive community. He’s already learning that replacements aren’t easy to find. Burning too many bridges ultimately leaves one stranded.

  3. THANK YOU K.P. Whaley, for accepting the managers job at WPVM. Welcome!
    For way too long PVM was used as the personal microphone for a bunch of egomaniacs who spent their on air time yapping about their oh so uninteresting lives. They played a few songs here and there, but for the most part their shows were about THEM, not the listeners. WPVM was fast becoming the voice of Asheville’s seriously pretentious and shallow community.
    I do miss several of the really good shows (The good, the bad, and the ugly. Jesse Juniors jazz show. The Lark. The Dr. Filth
    show on Thursday night) that decided to leave.

    And thank you Siren’s Muse, Drop Beats not Bombs, Roots and Consciousness, and Your Moms Idea for staying on the air.
    Your Moms Idea is my favorite show. Thank you Becky and Lark!
    You are always a total joy to listen to! The perfect balance of fun
    talk radio and great music.

    It seems the shows that chose to stay at the station are the shows that really care about the listeners and the community.

    And as for all the cry babies that left in a huff : GOODBYE. I am sure you all will find outlets to let your hugh ego’s run wild.

    P.S.- Thank you Wally for carrying Democracy Now.

  4. Ed Cortright

    I wish MAIN and WPVM all the best. Both entities have offered a great value to this Community, and Asheville is all the better for having them here. My hope is they are united in a cause of informing the public with views that would others wise go untold.

  5. Barry Summers

    He does bear a remarkable resemblance. Whoever he is, I wish him luck. He’s gonna need it.

  6. Mister Blister

    Welcome… hopefully all this drama will end. I have never witnessed such fuss about a public access channel.

  7. Barry Summers

    “I have never witnessed such fuss about a public access channel.”

    The Media Manager position described here only applies to MAIN/WPVM, not the public access channel URTV. Although I wouldn’t discount the possibility that Wally has designs on it…

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