STLOG, JUNE 2, 2008
blogs.riverfronttimes.com lit up last week when news broke that KWMU's general manager Patty Wente had been fired after nearly twenty years at the helm of the NPR station. Staff writer Chad Garrison chronicled the station's internal turmoil in his feature story "Radio Active," published May 8, 2008.
Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
Patty Went: Wild applause for the current and previous staff members who sounded the alarm. If only there were more people like you in this world! And thank you to whoever it was within the University of Missouri system who decided to do the right thing, finally. Now that Patty Wente is gone, let's continue to hold the university's feet to the fire. Let's demand that the station and school be held publicly accountable. But meanwhile, let's give the station the financial support it deserves now. With Wente gone, and presuming her cronies don't follow in her footsteps, the station will be worthy of it. It's a great day for St. Louis and for public radio!
There is justice in the world! Thank you, University of Missouri-St. Louis, for not sweeping this under the rug any longer; nineteen years was enough. I'm curious if any charges will be pressed against Ms. Patty Wente. I call for total transparency at the university and KWMU, and setting up a real governing board. Disband that Friends of KWMU board. What a joke! Please, for any listeners reading this, support KWMU's staff during this difficult transition time. They will need your support now more than ever.
Fantastic! To all the employees, past and present who tried time and again to get someone to listen to them, congratulations. I know first-hand how horrible it was for you. Justice, though long overdue, has been achieved. To those of you who fought for what's right, even when it seemed pointless, I'm raising a glass to you all tonight. To those of you who enabled her, lied and covered up for her, and backstabbed your co-workers over the years: You should be ashamed.
A Former Colleague
It wasn't Chancellor George's idea to fire Wente. Hired by the university as a milquetoast feather-smoother, he was simply reading the tea leaves and realized that if he did not take decisive action (for a change) UM president Gary Forsee might likely can him for abdication of his responsibilities.
Thank you! We no longer have to listen to her annoying, gravelly, dog-barking, stupid-joke-making, smoker's voice during the pledge drive (or otherwise)!
Chad, your investigation forced their hand. Thank you! The article opened the floodgates, and the staff at the station (current and former) sailed right on through and landed in the review team's boat. Little did UMSL realize that everyone would spill the beans, current and past employees of the station, to the review team. UMSL never saw that coming. UMSL mastered the art of keeping Patty in her job, giving her bonuses every year and shuffling all the complaints out the door with the staff as they left their positions. UMSL was well aware of all the crap at the station and has been for years. This should just be the beginning of cleaning up the mess at UMSL — not just the station. There is power in numbers!
May The Force Be With You
In Kristen Hinman's May 21 feature story, "Deadbeats Ho!" we erroneously referred to Amber Boykins as a state representative. In fact, Boykins is a former state representative.
At the thirteenth annual AltWeekly Awards luncheon in Philadelphia last weekend, Riverfront Times contributor Malcolm Gay won first place in the arts feature category for his September 19, 2007, feature "The Case of the Shanghai Shamus." The piece is about the Chinese-born Qiu Xiaolong, a St. Louis poet who has written several highly acclaimed detective stories set in his communist homeland. Gay also took third place for his popular food column, Keep It Down! His winning entry consisted of the columns "Top Ramen (Chicken Vegetable Flavor)," "Domino's Pizza New Oreo Dessert Pizza" and "Double Cheeseburger." All of the above stories can be accessed through our online archive at www.riverfronttimes.com.