More Messages: All That Jazz

Public entities are often just as secretive about internal strife as private ones, as the current turmoil at public-radio signal KUVO/89.3 FM demonstrates.

In recent weeks, a power struggle has been taking place at the outlet, which Jazz Week magazine designated as the top U.S. jazz station in each of the past two years. During the first half of November, employees received a memo from a KUVO board member informing them that the positions of Frank White, the station's longtime business manager, and Barbara Burdick, a business office staffer, had been eliminated effective December 31. A supervisory development position held by Tina Cartagena was also deleted, with CEO and general manager Florence Hernandez-Ramos directed to oversee the activities of development directors from that point forward. This plan didn't last long, however. On Tuesday, Hernandez-Ramos, a KUVO founder who's been with the station since its 1983 birth, resigned from her position. A blurb in the Denver Post says she'll remain until a replacement is found.

There appears to be a lot more to this story, with station insiders fearful that some mighty big changes, including a possible format switch, are in the offing. Unfortunately, no one's talking about such prospects on the record, and listeners may not know more until early 2007. So much for the "public" part of public radio. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts