The URTV board of directors will vote on new board members in a special meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4:30 p.m. in URTV’s studios, according to a notice on the public-access channel’s Web site.
The brief agenda for the meeting does not state how many board members will be appointed or who the nominees may be. A recent overhaul of the bylaws expanded the board by two board-appointed members, to a total of 13 directors. The move also comes on the heels of the dismissal of Board member Richard Bernier.
As Bernier had been appointed to his seat by the board, this means that up to three new board members could be appointed tomorrow.
The new appointments come at a critical time, as the last few months have seen sometimes contentious debates over the station’s direction and the transparency of its management, along with the removal of two board members — Bernier and Davyne Dial, who was ousted in a vote by the URTV membership. URTV’s management agreements with the city of Asheville and Buncombe County are up for renewal in 2010, and the PEG funds (a fee charged to cable subscribers to help fund public access) that provide much of its revenue may dry up if Charter Communications loses its cable monopoly in the area.
Another seat, this one appointed by the city of Asheville, was also opened with the end of board member Sandra Bradbury‘s term. Longtime URTV producer Dale Joyner has been nominated for the seat, but at its last meeting, Asheville City Council chose to delay the appointment so its Boards and Commissions Committee could examine board unrest.
Supporters of the station’s management have said that operations have vastly improved during their tenure, that Dial and Bernier weren’t dealing with their concerns through proper channels and that their actions have harmed URTV’s public image. The two former board members, along with their supporters, have said that they were trying to bring needed attention to issues of transparency and membership.
The URTV Board of Directors will meet at 4:30 p.m. in Studio A, located at 31 College Pl., Suite 20.
— David Forbes, staff writer