Sparks fly over internal static at CHLY

NANAIMO – Programmers and management at odds over multiple issues at Radio CHLY 101.7.

Internal static over policy and management issues at Nanaimo community radio station 101.7 CHLY FM has culminated in police ejecting programmers and their guests from the building.

RCMP were called three times to the station’s studio on Lois Lane recently to order volunteer programmers from the premises who had been suspended from broadcasting at the studio by management.

The dispute between volunteer broadcasters and management staff has been brewing for several months, but heated up in the summer with disagreements between Dave O Rama, host of The Lovecast radio program and station management over how technical issues affecting live broadcasts were handled. Several programmers have been suspended from broadcasting at CHLY so far.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said in each case people left the station voluntarily and without incident.

Matt Carter, host of Impending Loom, said there are underlying issues surrounding the dispute that involve society hiring and fiscal policies, plus issues concerning lack of respect by staff toward the volunteers who have decades of broadcast experience.

Also at issue is the CHLY’s license renewal, which goes before the Canadian Radio- television Telecommunications Commission for approval by early 2014.

Greg Boulter, Malaspina Radio Society executive director, cites an incident in which another university radio station lost its license when programmers took over its studios in defence of the decision to have volunteers banned from the premises.