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K103 Radio hits financial woes

Cheryl Deer said she will be spending time with her family following her layoff from K103. (File Photo)

The radio station announced this week that it had laid off station manager Cheryl Deer, by mutual agreement with the board of directors.

K103 board member Heather Bauersfeld was mandated with ensuring that the books and financial matters are administered and stabilized, according to the press release.

“Well, the radio station is an independent station that generates its own revenue so every number of years it experiences rough financial times,” said Bauersfeld.

“Especially in today’s day and age of social media where a lot more messages and advertisement is being put out there, and people are not turning to radio for advertising.

“We are going through one of those times right now, and the board was made aware of it within the last couple of weeks and decided just to take an overall look at the operations to do an assessment, and to see how we can streamline and maintain things on a permanent basis,” she said.

Bauersfeld is a former station manager and has served several terms on K103.7’s board of directors over the past 15 years.

She will complete a full assessment of the station’s current financial and operational status. And she estimates the endeavour to take anywhere between two weeks and two months. She is expected to provide the board with recommendations.

“The assessment that is underway is to re-evaluate spending procedures to see if and where costs can be trimmed,” she said.

“It is tightening of the belt in terms of the finances because we are in a very thin time right now where cash flow is about to become an issue. So we are being proactive in that regard.”

Bauersfeld also said that Deer was not “let go” and that, in fact, prior station managers have also laid themselves off before staff, to save the station money.

“She came to the board and proposed that she take layoff to cut back on cost and the board accepted that proposal,” said Bauersfeld.

Deer was employed at K103.7 for two months shy of 23 years.

“It is time for new ideas in there. I ran out of steam,” said Deer.

“I’m going to take it easy for a few weeks and enjoy my grandchildren for now. Although I loved the time I dedicated to 103.7, it was, at times, very stressful. As for the station, it’s important for the community to remember the only source of revenues are bingo and advertising. It continuously needs your support,” she said.

“I don’t think she wasn’t qualified to do the task,” added Bauersfeld. “I think the board wanted to be more involved at this point only because we want it to be a long term change of administration so that we don’t find ourselves in this situation again in another three or five years,” she said.

Current board member Tonia Williams echoed a similar explanation and said that it was an administrative decision taken by the board to enhance the overall long and short-term objectives of the station.

“Everything needs examination at some point in order to make improvements. And the board is doing just that. We want to see this vital community service to survive and thrive, and for that, decisions had to be made to examine how certain things are functioning and what improvements we can add to that,” said Williams

As part of the changes, program director James Java Jacobs said several programs had been cancelled due to audience metrics.

The situation has also caused an unintended temporary delay in the board of directors’ elections for three seats, until the end of March at the latest, according to the release.

Electoral officer, Angus Montour said, “it won’t be fair for the new board to come in and have to deal with whatever situation is at hand.”

“K103.7 is a vital resource for the community in terms of having access to immediate news and information. And it has always been able to deliver on those needs and will strive to continue to do so,” said Bauersfeld.

“But we need support. We need people to support the station and to spend money on advertisement and to play bingo, and we will be okay. We just need to recalibrate,” she said.

Bauersfeld will not be running for re-election.

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