I thank David Forbes for his article regarding the current uproar at URTV [“Whose TV?” Feb. 25]. I and my wife, Valeria, have been URTV producers since before URTV even opened. To date we have submitted well over 40 original documentaries. Our productions focus on cross-cultural awareness.
From my perspective, the current issues with the board have been there from the start. The dismissal of the first station manager, who was widely admired, was the warning bell. The selection of the current manager was a confirmation of the warning. The station changed overnight from a welcoming, creative atmosphere to bunker mentality; from an inspiring, “can do” attitude to the severe schoolmarm explaining what “we can’t do.” It all became depressing as I watched the most creative producers look for inspiration elsewhere. Attempts to diversify the board failed. The board became more homogeneous, not even considering qualified individuals and expelling those who do not drone on in approved monotone.
Nowadays, I avoid entering the URTV building. I drop my programs in the basket at the door and drive off. What a change from the early days when Curt, Paul and Gen would take a moment to say hello and ask how they could help us to become more competent producers.
We are a city of forward-thinking and creative people! The URTV board and management does not reflect that creativity. Perhaps that is why URTV may not survive. That really would be a shame. It is time for new ideas, a new board and new management!
— Rainer Doost
Zamani Refuge African Culture Center