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Report Sheds Light on the Turmoil at WHYY

The report states that the radio station has lost half of its journalists since last February.

Eduardo Razo

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A report from the Philadelphia Inquirer shares the turmoil behind the scenes at the Philadelphia NPR outlet WHYY-FM (90.9). The newspaper states that the radio station has lost half of its journalists since last February.

The Inquirer says 34 journalists signed a note to management in February 2021 complaining of inadequate organization, lack of communication, and a priority on shorter stories. “Inspiration, communication, and morale are low, while burnout, siloing, and attrition are high,” the letter said.

A year later, the newspaper reports that half of those journalists have left the company. Since the beginning of 2021, at least 25 newsroom staffers have departed or have provided notice of their intent to leave.

“The desire to retain our talented colleagues was one of the many reasons we formed a union and fought so hard for our first contract,” a statement from SAG-AFTRA read. “But WHYY has not addressed all the underlying issues contributing to turnover.”

After completing interviews with those who worked or are currently employed at the radio station, the Inquirer says ten former and six current employees cited various reasons why they left or plan to go should a better opportunity arise. 

Low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, a directive for shorter stories, and a feeling that management is not committed to podcasts and new approaches to journalism are some of the reasons as to why they have left or are planning to do so in the future.

The Inquirer report points out that WHYY verified 19 newsroom departures in 2021. The station started 2021 with 51 people attributed to the newsroom. That works out to a 37% turnover rate. So far this year, an added six people have departed or are about to leave. That lifts the rate to 49% since Jan. 1, 2021

News Radio

Jay Weber: Media ‘Covering’ For Biden, Democrats On Border Crisis

“Biden and the Democrats are allowing it to happen. Allowing it! And the news media covers for them.”

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Many conservative commentators have maligned the interview President Joe Biden conducted with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes last Sunday, and have claimed he got a “pass” on the nation’s southern border. 1130 WISN host Jay Weber can be added to that list.

“Trust me, if a Republican was president, dozens of terrorists roaming America because of the president — intentionally — reopened the borders, it would be a huge deal and a relentless obsession by the news media,” Weber said. “Biden and the Democrats are allowing it to happen. Allowing it! And the news media covers for them.”

Weber pointed out a perceived hypocrisy in liberal circles, as many have claimed Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is guilty of kidnapping after sending illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, MA, but are ok allowing the southern border to remain open.

He continued by pointing out the southern border’s role in national security, saying it took only 13 people to attack America on 9/11.

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News Radio

Dan Mandis: There’s A Reason Greg Gutfeld Is Winning Late-Night Competition

“There are consequences for doing that. It is now well known that Greg Gutfeld, over there on Fox News, is beating the snot out of Stephen Colbert.”

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In August, Greg Gutfeld of Fox News overtook other late-night television hosts in the ratings. Friday, SuperTalk 99.7 WTN morning host Dan Mandis said there’s a reason for that.

After playing a recent clip from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Mandis said it was the chief reason why network shows are losing to Gutfeld. In the clip, Colbert’s audience cheers when the host brings up a Texas sheriff opening an investigation into the actions of Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for shipping illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, MA. Colbert called DeSantis “a body builder who skips head day” in his monologue, and Mandis found the comments offensive. He claimed shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX should be a place for all viewers, not just members of the “progressive left”.

“To me, Colbert’s show should be on CNN or MSNBC to cater to the left,” Mandis said. “But again, he’s on the network where he should be welcoming for all. There are consequences for doing that. It is now well known that Greg Gutfeld, over there on Fox News, is beating the snot out of Stephen Colbert. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Isn’t Gutfeld blowing off half of America?’ Perhaps, but he’s on Fox News, where people know what they’re going to get.”

Mandis then pointed out the difference in Gutfeld’s approach compared to Colbert’s, saying Gutfeld’s panel approach is easier to digest than Colbert’s solo monologue followed by celebrity interviews.

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Will Dahlberg New GM For WBHM

“I look forward to working with our team, our listeners and our supporters in the weeks and years ahead to put more ‘public’ in public media by better serving all our communities.”

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WBHM, the news/talk station owned by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has named Will Dahlberg as its new Executive Director and General Manager.

“Working at WBHM for the past decade has been the highlight of my professional career, and I am honored to serve as executive director,” Dahlberg said. “I appreciate the search committee’s confidence in my abilities to lead this amazing station and the talented and diverse team that works hard to serve our community. I am so grateful to the amazing WBHM team for their time, support and patience during my time as interim and throughout this search. I am also grateful to the many people at UAB who continue to support WBHM’s important mission.”

He also added how important WBHM has been, and will continue to be to the greater Birmingham communitiy.

“WBHM has done an excellent job as a public radio station since 1976, but it is important that we continue to strive to do more,” Dahlberg continued. “I look forward to working with our team, our listeners and our supporters in the weeks and years ahead to put more ‘public’ in public media by better serving all our communities. As Birmingham evolves, so should its public radio station, and I can’t wait for us to do that together.”

Dahlberg has previously worked as the Deputy Director and Membership Manager for the station. He has been the interim executive director since mid-2021.

“Will has more than a decade of experience at WBHM in a range of roles, including 15 months as interim executive director, and his passion for public radio and the people it serves is evident in everything he does,” said UAB Chief Communications Officer Jim Bakken. “WBHM provides an invaluable service to the Birmingham community and beyond, and Will’s commitment and vision will lead the station in delivering on its mission.”

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