Sunday, November 18, 2012

- $107,792 ~~ 10 Years of Deficits!?


Greece Central To Develop
'Corrective Action Plan'
For Failing Radio Station, WGMC-FM 90.1


“Does this jeopardize the radio station? No. I don’t believe so ... We are reaching more listeners, so our listenership is up, and donations are up and things are looking good ...We are just a small mom-and-pop organization. We have right-sized ourselves."~~ Rob Linton, station manager

SCATS ~~ The fact that it takes 10 years BEFORE anyone decides to take "corrective action" and that the station manager sees this as no big deal is quite telling about the mindset of those who run Greece Central! They simply do not care, as long as they get to continue on!! In this economy, if the situation can't be fixed immediately, it's time to dissolve this white elephant.
  

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should read the section of the article which addresses the over 50k that has been erased from the deficit in that time as well. Also, you should note that there were numerous years of surplus during that time which helped as well. Be fair. It's a great station, and community resource. Plus, how else would Scats hear the BOE meetings, seeing as they stay in "hiding." I mean a day without reporting from SCATS would be like a day without water!

SCATS said...

To 4:25PM ~~ I'm more than fair. The article states several times & in several ways the debt is CURRENT. For example: "Hoot said, as of June 30 — the end of the station’s most recent fiscal year — WGMC had negative equity of $107,792."

I attend some BOE meetings. Always have, always will.

Anonymous said...

It seemed to me, a casual reader, that the deficit has grown, will not be paid out of GCSD resources, looking for ways to raise the funds to sustain the station. Why are we always looking for the negative, the reason to argue, the bad in a situation? I didn't see that in the article at all.Maybe I am not as critical reader as I need to be.

Anonymous said...

EWhen they say no tax dollars here they conveniently ignore the almost $800,000 of public money used to buid the media empire at Olympia. The facilites for the radio station was part of that. Isn't the station manager employed by the school district and maybe by BOCES that is taxpayer money. The utilites are probably paid for by the district those are public monies. In any case there is probably a good deal of taxpayer money involved it is just not upfront. I doubt whether the station can be self-sufficient.

Anonymous said...

Typical media, misleading statements "ten years of deficits". Actually some years had deficits and others didn't.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and the GCSD probably pays the custodian who sweeps the studio. Can we possibly find more ways to excoriate the school board?

SCATS said...

To 7:32PM ~~ You are correct. The deficit has grown. The question becomes, at what point do we cut bait?

To 8:05PM ~~ You are correct. In fact, I'd be willing to bet the new media center was constructed SPECIFICALLY to house the radio station. Why do I think that? Simple, because WGMC moved in there before the BOE or even many of Olympia High School's own employees even knew the space existed. As far as other support is concerned, the article states that: "The district holds the radio station’s license and donates studio and office space." That's a pretty penny they are saved from paying. Must be nice, huh?

To 8:17PM ~~ I stand by what I wrote based upon the info given in the article: "Linton said his station fell into financial trouble in 2003, carving out a fiscal hole it has yet to fill..." Based on that, it sounds as though they were more than$150K in debt, since they are claiming they paid off about $50K of their deficit.

To 8:57PM ~~ And we're paying the utilities, parking spaces, wear & tear, etc. Our BOE needs excoriating. It's the only thing they respond to.

I find it really interesting that GCSD buries this little gem & its financial troubles like this: "Hoot said for budgetary purposes, the station’s finances are grouped with those of the Teacher Center, West Ridge Community Center and Professional Development into the “Enterprise Fund.” Each of the entities in the fund generates its own revenue. And, while the radio station’s balance alone is in the red, the aggregate Enterprise Fund is $442,517 in the black, he said.

All this despite the fundraisers that go against district policy.

Anonymous said...

OK Scats, I get it.

Big picture - WGMC is supposed to be self-supporting. They haven't been. Looks like the district did a great job of buring the issue until now.

SCATS said...

To 9:09PM ~~ Thank you! Yes, that's it exactly!

Anonymous said...

So no money has been spent from GCSD. Let's let the radio station find a way t0p pay for their operation or let them go out of business.

Anonymous said...

I have a question WGMC is supposed to be a community station serving Greece and maybe Monroe County, Why does it need a bigger antenna and a bigger transmtter (another significant expense) to fulfill this mandate. The only explanation is big egos

SCATS said...

To 9:31PM ~~ You are wrong. GCSD gives them free rent, free utilities, free cleaning services, free parking and God only knows what else.

To 9:56PM ~~ Excellent question. Your answer is probably accurate as well.

Charlie Hubbard said...

Lets not forget the TV studio the taxpayers built that is part of that addition to Olympia and 'no one knew'

Anonymous said...

You all are so silly. The new antenna was needed, and used to reach a broader listener base, in order to raise more funds. I am an avid listener of WGMC and supported the fundraising to obtain the larger transmitter. It has, based on the article described doubled revenue since 2004. As for the "hidden" studios, I as a taxpayer knew this was being built. Why? I asked questions during the public meetings for the CIP back in the day. Did you? As for the services the station receives, I would consider that fair trade for the air time spent on stupid BOE meetings, and also the services they provide for instruction. Yes, the debt is large, but give them a chance to make it right. I get all of your points, but let's look at it from another point of view. Lastly, if you will want WGMC to pay it's expenses (i.e. custodial etc.) then make community education do the same thing (which they don't.) It's the same thing.

Anonymous said...


One reason for their financial problems stems from the anticipated revenue from the proposed take over of channel 12 which was killed by the 05 BOE . The plan was to use the unknown, until then, the state of the art TV equipment located in the Walts' "media center" contained in the CIP at
Olympia by the towns of Greece Gates, Parma, Ogden and Sweden in conjunction with the district. That little known conspiracy, there's that word again, was rightfully torpedoed by the board members when they were approached by the conspirators as not being in the best interests of the district. Linton was to oversee the operation of channel 12 as well as WGMC.They were counting on those revenues to fill the anticipated shortfall . As a result, channel 12 was illegally taken over by Time Warner in violation of FCC regulations regarding operation of Public Broad Service Television.
Outlets.

SCATS said...

To Charlie Hubbard ~~ Yes, that's been mentioned. It's part of the "broadcast studio".

To 9:10AM ~~ You are giving us a chicken or the egg type reason for building a bigger antennae: "We need more funds so let's build a bigger antennae to reach more people so we can get more $$." There's NO guarantee that a bigger facility will draw more people! And in this instance, it was immediately apparent that they upgraded their equipment (studio and/or antennae) to a level that other stations still haven't. In my car, WGMC scrolls the song info on my radio!! Not many do. Nothing but the best for Greece taxpayers ;)

To 9:42AM ~~ Oh yes! I forgot about that scam!! Thank you for reminding us!

If any other business was limping this badly 10 years later, they'd be in bankruptcy! It's only because we are propping this pink elephant up in the budget that it still exists. In this economy, they need to pony up the funds through legal fundraisers (no more wine!!), or get eliminated. Period.

Anonymous said...

9:10 misses the point. The idea of expanding the audience is justified by the need to raise revenue for operations and expansion and vice versa it is a circular justification. The more basic question is who is the audience and what is the station for? It ought to be in my view a community station for those of us in the community and I am having a hard time seeing just how the jazz station with absolutely no community programs other than the school board meetings serves the community of Greece? What is the point of the station? Clearly it should not be broadcast so that someone in Toronto can get the station and send money to Greece.
I would also like to know if the station is paying for the ads that run on local television stations. Given the deficit how can that be justified?

SCATS said...

To 12:24PM ~~ Thank you for expanding upon and clearly stating my point. You've also a few more great points. Don't hold your breath about getting any answers though ;)

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of things that would be losers in the market but are important culturally and historically. Civics require that we invest in some of these things. Jazz cannot compete with the latest pop music. but needs to be preserved. I am fine with tax dollars going to the arts.

SCATS said...

To 1:01PM ~~ That's fine but NOT funded by a public school. Maybe if they sometimes aired smooth jazz or something more palatable for the larger audience, they could make a few extra bucks. What I usually hear them play makes my teeth ache.

Anonymous said...

Scats - Are you sure you are tuned to 90.1? WGMC only streams it's call sign and slogan on the screens. That capability comes standard with all radio equipment these days.

Anonymous said...

To 12:24 and Scats. THE DISTRICT IS NOT FUNDING THE OPERATION OF THE STATION! Know your facts please before you spout off.

As for community programming, how about the ethnic programming serving populations of Greece AND Rochester? You can't find those programs anywhere else on the dial. Try. You'll see.

Lastly, and as a funny - i'm sure they have been asked to broadcast town board meetings, but they likely don't want the risk of an FCC fine. :-)

Where's Captain Catterino in all of this? I miss him.

Anonymous said...

Shut it down. And shut down Brian Caterino's station too.

SCATS said...

To 2:28PM ~~ Neither of us said they were, so nice try at attempting to discredit THE FACTS! Why would they be fined if they broadcast Town Board meetings? They only last 10 minutes, on a long night.

To 2:48PM ~~ I don't think Caterino is using GCSD to prop up his station. Linton definitely is.

Anonymous said...

Why would they be fined? Try language etc. that can and has come out and the very lively town board meetings. Look up facts and rules at www.fcc.gov.

Using GCSD to prop up the station? I am beginning to think you have to wear boots to read this blog.

SCATS said...

To 3:57PM ~~ I guess I missed the REALLY good meetings then!

Yes, propping them up just as I explained in my comment yesterday: "Hoot said for budgetary purposes, the station’s finances are grouped with those of the Teacher Center, West Ridge Community Center and Professional Development into the “Enterprise Fund.” Each of the entities in the fund generates its own revenue. And, while the radio station’s balance alone is in the red, the aggregate Enterprise Fund is $442,517 in the black, he said."

Where else does this kind of protection from failure happen?

Anonymous said...

You didn't read it here,
WGMC is currently the beloved child of one Big Al former VP of McCurdys, Mr Mattress and Town Board member.

Big Al twisted a lot of arms for WGMC and their "competent" manager. He also looked the other way when a cellular tower company offered to erect the stick for WGMC to hang their antenna on in exchange for tower space for cellular, and made sure the Town of Greece got that cellular tower on town owned land. Did you ever notice how many towers in Greece are on Town owned land?

The new tower on the school was a big payoff for everybody from Union steel contractors to politicians. The town got the flagpole tower at DPW, WGMC got their tower and taxpayers got HOSED!

As long as Uncle Al likes WGMC it will continue to run along as it does. Figure on a new transmitter being needed in 5 years or so.

Anonymous said...

Bettere late than never. I wish them good luck. Hope they survive.

Anonymous said...

Who is Uncle Al?

Anonymous said...

Al Melutis Polka King

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Catterino. He just sold out as he is having financial troubles. Lock, stock and barrel his little TV empire is gone. News at 6.

Anonymous said...

Al Mielutis! Roger Boily and Don Riley creation. Used to be
A security guard at McCurdys until becoming politically connected with the above.

Anonymous said...

7:14, are you the same guy that asked "What's a Zebbs?"