Español
Prev Arthur Hyland Next
Contact Arthur Hyland
Listener Candidate for the WPFW Local Station Board
Statement
I am a longtime listener and supporter of WPFW. Public radio is important and local voices need to be heard, uninterrupted and uninfluenced. The music is paramount (to me) and I sincerely appreciate the expertise each of the volunteer DJs bring to their programs. Their song selection is guided by them alone and what is important to them that day, be it an artists birthday or some other reason that allows them to build set lists of music one doesn't hear often enough, yet most always brings joy and satisfaction (without commercial interruption!). Love that!

Local and national needs for the Black community and the nation as a whole are also a part of my WPFW listening, however I confess I do not tune in to many of these shows on a regular basis. I do not identify per se with all the issues brought forth however I do appreciate the need to be heard and that the station does its best to bring important issues to light.

What can I do as a board member? Well that's a good question and one I ask myself as I write this statement. My qualifications in radio date back to my college experience in volunteering at WUVT (Virginia Tech radio) as well as serving as an intern for WVTF public radio (Virginia Tech Foundation) where I helped with fundraising drives and publicity. So, short of being a music fan and radio listener, I do not have tremendous radio experience.

My career entailed serving as a professional fundraiser for many charities in the DC area (some local, some national in scope), mostly in healthcare (area hospitals and cancer charities). I also worked in the arts at the National Gallery of Art (still my favorite museum in DC), and finally, I served 10 years in academic medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences as a director of major gifts. I've worked numerous capital campaigns, built membership programs, served as a corporate and foundation fundraiser (including government grants) and as a planned giving officer. I've raised millions of dollars for the arts, for healthcare, for the Air Force Association and for scholarships and research programs.

I have recently retired and am at the stage in my life where I want to spend more time traveling, on my hobbies and trying to determine what is my next passion and how can it add value to my life and, if I can add value to it. Is it radio?

Local programming, fantastic music, strict independence from advertisers and corporate influences and a homegrown identity is what makes this station a DC gem. Can I add value to it? Perhaps I can.
Answers to Candidate Questionnaire
1. What experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the local station board to advance the station's mission?
  Fundraising experience, avid radio listener... that's about it. I have many development colleagues in the area and am still a part of that network so that may help with contacts and leads. It depends on what's called for and if/how I can help.
2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  The music, the DJ expertise, the Saturday and Sunday programming especially.
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  Operations? I don't know enough about it. I have seen some improvement in the website so that's good. I haven't looked too closely as to where the giving comes from, other than suffering (!) though some of the quarterly fundraising drives. I get it, it's part of how you do business but I'm curious as to what are the other sources of your gifts (if any). I also see issues with the technical side of some of the programming and I don't know whether that's a part of working with volunteer DJs or if the studios are in need of upgrading but I have to say the long silences on some of the programs occur too frequently for my taste.
4. Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
  I can help with some aspects of development. Other than that I'm not qualified to have other priorities.
5. Sustainability is an important part of any nonprofit operation. What are your thoughts on how the board can help to improve the station's financial footing?
  Hard to say as all boards operate differently. Is there a board requirement to give? Or to help get money? Perhaps there should be. What is the budget for development? How strong is the development office? What is the 3, 5 and 10 year plan? Is it a good plan and is it being followed? What is the relationship with Pacifica like and where is that going? When was the last time you did an audit? Etc.
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  I don't have an agenda, I am only a fan. Perhaps I can help, or you many already have your development operation under control. If so, good on you.

I have many questions, not only about your finances and plans, but also about your relationship with Pacifica. The emails I have received this summer (about the voting and such) have been prolific and confusing, to say the least. Am I alone with these questions or hopelessly naive? Perhaps a bit of both but I also understand radio operations are notorious for poor management and direction, and the propaganda I received this summer only reinforces that feeling.

This may not be the best public application for board service you have ever received but I hope it gives you an honest interpretation of me and my skills...and my concerns.
Prev Back to List Next