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KMOJ’s Calvin Quarles: What happened at KMOJ-FM; the Ron and Don Show

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Join the team of Ronald A. Edwards and Don Allen on Wednesday, August 17 at 8:30PM for what will be a telling experience about what’s happening at KMOJ-FM Radio. We are joined by Calvin Quarles, former station manager. To tune in Wednesday night, copy and paste this link into your favorite browser: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theronanddonshow/2016/08/18/kmojs-calvin-quarles-what-happened-at-kmoj-fm-the-ron-and-don-show

By Don Allen – for BlogTalkRadio and Our Black News

Minneapolis, Minn. – What’s happening at KMOJ is reflection on Minnesota’s black communities. We have folks who do not live with us, shop with us or co-mingle with us (except in nightclubs) making decisions they know nothing about. Join award-winning co-hosts Don Allen (Our Black News) and historian and civil rights icon Ronald A. Edwards (The Minneapolis Story) as we are joined by Mr. Calvin Quarles, former station manager of KMOJ-FM to find out his side of a gruesome tale of what we allege is an act of retaliation with the dismissal of due process.

We attest KMOJ-FM former station manager Calvin Quarles was dismissed by an illegal board. Both Mr. Edwards and I worked for CCD/KMOJ-FM; he as the boards chair and me as Economic Development Direct at a time when the station was in dire straits. In 1989-90, I was the economic development director for the Center of Communications and Development/KMOJ-FM. I wrote a 5, 10, and 20-year plan for the station while bringing in more than the station had seen months before. When I left, went to another job out of state, the station board members got greedy and the money was gone, the plans were cancelled and all of a sudden payroll where being missed.

Our team managed to engineer KMOJ back to a winning status. Upon Quarles arrival, the station was developed and made into a major player online and in the community.

Background

The Center for Communications and Development/KMOJ-FM, per its bylaws is to have 13 community members on its board. A group of five (5) board members, not really associated with the black community, but who might identify as black made decisions, including what some sources say as the illegal termination of the station manager and a program manager.  This bad decision might cost Minnesota the Heart and Soul of the City…KMOJ-FM

The dismissal was led by the same person who was the executive director of the Minnesota Black History Museum (MAAM). That alone should send signals that something is seriously wrong. We still do not know what happened to over $3 million dollars in that situation (Prince is dead now people outside the black community will control archives filled with volumes of his historical legacy). As of today, the Center for Communications and Development/KMOJ-FM does not have a record of any board meeting where decisions were being made about the building, finance and plans for their current home.

Public inspection files are a requirement of the Federal Communications Commission. All existing TV and radio stations in the US, and all applicants for new broadcast stations, are required to keep certain documents relating to the station’s operation and ownership in a file, in a place where members of the public may have free access to it. These files may be maintained on a computer database accessible to the public, or as paper files, which are usually kept at the main studio of the station in question, or elsewhere in the community of license, such as the local public library (FCC, 2016).

I’ve asked and was granted permission to review KMOJ’s records (just as many time as I’ve been refused). They included board meetings that were over 10-years old and nothing past 2002. There was no record of board decisions, ongoing means, or any information that might make KMOJ seem like it’s board was trying to do the right thing.

Neither could I find copies of the following items:

  • FCC Authorizations
  • The Public and Broadcasting manual
  • Citizen agreements
  • Sponsorship Agreements
  • Donor lists for non-commercial educational channels
  • Lease/Rent Agreements
  • Financial Documents related to board
  • Deal between KMOJ-FM and the black Council (approval by board)
  • The board of directors for CCD/KMOJ-FM are responsible for these documents.

The station doesn’t even have the original documents of incorporation. The board that CCD/KMOJ seems to have, invisible, yet vocal is liable for the station accepting $250.00 for political campaign ads from a candidate for senate running against Al Franken. The candidate called the Independent Business News Network and leaked the fact that an employee in KMOJ’s sales force did get a Western Union wire of $250.00. The money was for ads on KMOJ, which by the way is illegal, pursuant to FCC rules and regulations on political advertising.

The challenge with KMOJ goes back when the developer started work on this new building. Nobody on the board knew anything about construction and KMOJ was supposed to show black Minnesotans what ownership looked like. Today they pay their rent to someone else versus owning the building.

The board that fired Calvin was/is illegal. The CCD/KMOJ board needs 13 (per bylaws) board members and a host of community navigators to make sure our culture is informed.

If KMOJ followed the plans, today they would be big as MPR with a television station and a newspaper. It’s too bad that some greedy board members continue to mess up the only broadcast outlet that might someday tell Black Minnesota the truth about the shape we are really in. Calvin must be reinstated immediately and an audit must be done.

Ronald A. Edwards and Don Allen are in support of Mr. Quarles and what he broought to our community as the station manager at KMOJ.

 

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