WMNF layoffs taken back

06/30/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

Last week we reported that this station, WMNF 88.5 FM, was forced to lay off three employees because of a severe budget shortfall. But shortly before broadcast tonight, station manager Jim Bennett announced that because of voluntary staff benefit reductions and a generous donation unrelated to the layoffs, Bennett had notified the three employees that the layoffs were retracted.

"Good news has come to WMNF after more than a week of controversy. Yesterday WMNF received a large one-time gift which will enable us to rescind the announced layoffs of three staff members due to a financial crisis at the station. The donation was not solicited as a result of the layoffs. The timing was coincidental but couldn't have happened at a more critical time. As of this afternoon, Julie Scheid, Lee Courtney, and Linda Reisinger remain on staff at WMNF. We are very grateful for this amazing gift of financial support that allowed this to happen.

"While this timely legacy bequest allows us to avert the crisis and the layoff of three valuable staff members, it will not avoid future crises. WMNF’s future financial health is dependent on expanding our membership base. On July 13 we embark on a three day drive where we hope to add 1000 new or returning station members.

"We appreciate the concern and input from the many listeners who contacted us in response to the layoffs. It is important to us to know how much you care about WMNF. We are happy to have our WMNF family back together."

Music director Lee Courtney is one of the three employees who were affected. He also is a DJ on Monday afternoons and is better known by his on-air nickname Flee.

The only full-time employee who got word of a layoff last week is receptionist Julie Scheid.

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Well done

Welcome back, Friends! Does a legacy bequest mean someone passed and left some money to the station? If so, may who-ever-you-are Rest in Peace, friend.

Get to work my friends!

O.K. We have a last minute save - we can not think that this will happen again. We need more donors; more listeners that understand why to donate; and yes, maybe even make changes that we all don't like - but must be done. Also, let's ask for more input before these changes are made. But mostly I want to say welcome back you 3! You are loved!

I hope this makes the news...

Anyway WMNF can get publicity. It still BOGGLES my mind when people say they have never heard of the station...


Let us know what's going on. I plan to be more assertive about how important this station is to the people I know. This crisis was not handled well. I'll get over it after I gargle.

I ain't Paying One Thin Dime

I will not support MNF (again) until it changes its political stripes. Why does a radio station have to concern itself with politics?

her majesty

News reports-- some of which are political-- are one of the most important aspects of WMNF. This station often airs stories that are glossed over or completely ignored by mainstream media. Even though my favorite WMNF broadcast is probably Saturday Asylum, which is essentially two straight hours of indie rock, I'm still grateful for programs like Democracy Now and the Evening News. Even if you aren't a "liberal" (and let's be honest, WMNF is definitely a left-wing station) it's still pretty obvious that 88.5 brings intelligent, detailed and thorough news stories to their listeners. Contrast this with other radio morning shows or the nightly news broadcasts aired by major cable channels and maybe you'll see the importance of community radio stations talking politics. Or hell, maybe you won't. But this station still cares about its listeners, good music, and the community. I'm glad everyone was able to get their jobs back and I know I'll be donating again next time around.

love - money - talk - music

I would be interested in understanding the numbers re: investments w/ HD Radio. After a bit of study, I've become a skeptic of the entire venture with this new technology. And I'd rather have the talk on the AM dial anyway, (while enjoying the music on the FM at the same time... rawk out when the tune/mood strikes!)

HD Radio

I'm curious too. I don't even know how to receive the new broadcast(s). Is it a new frequency? Do you need a special radio? I have no idea but I'm guessing I need a new radio. Like I'm gonna buy a new radio to listen to Supreme Court hearings. I don't think so. WMNF, get your mind right now and stop all the left-wing politics. Only old people like to talk politics.

Organize Now!

This is great news but we need to learn a lesson from this sad experience and organize to protect our jobs and wages! Let's invite a union in to organize our efforts! Let's practice what we preach and organize. With a good union program, what jobs we do have will be safer and with oversight in the workers' interest, there may even be more jobs available at higher wages as cash flow permits. Has anybody looked into this? Socialism works, my friends.

Speak your mind

Politics is part of life. WMNF provides an alternative view, one that you won't find anywhere else in the area. I love the music, but don't take away what makes us unique.It's about community. All views are heard. You can hear HD through this website, or you do need an HD radio.

Politics is Self-Indulgent Theater

You can hear the same sort of alternative view news on CNN. Or that other one with the cute girl, Mika. Radio is for music.

access is the key

No, you can't hear *local* alternative views/public affairs on CNN. I appreciate the local public affairs programming on WMNF because I'm sure as heck not going to find it on Channel 8 or WQYK. Radio is for what we make it. Music is part of that, but so are underrepresented voices.

Welcome back staffers

This is all great news, but doesn't solve the underlying problem: we have a station manager who does not have a handle on the budget. The station has weathered 30 years of economic ups and downs, but only now has the idea of staff reductions come up. If anyone should have fallen on his sword over this, it should be Jim Bennett. The next station manager needs to come from within, not as a castoff from some other station (KPFA, the most dysfunctional community station on the planet).

close shave

Hey Jim, it's nice to know you were able to pull a rabbit out of your hat, but if you were able to play this card now, imagine what you could have done if you prepared properly. Sorry to say Jim, you lost trust and did damage, and if you really want to be accepted here, you will need to reach out to people. Two ideas: One, Jim, be a guest on Radioactivty. Now that then 3 are back, you can use this as a platform to explain where we actually are, and what we need to do to get there. Two: Flee, good to see you back, even if I dislike your show. I say, run a bloody fundraiser to fill the holes left by the last two marathons going south. That way, nobody will ever question your value to the station ever again (money talks), and you can get a bit of cushioning for your job, as well as lindalu and Miss Julie.

It's Not Jim's Fault

The financial hardship being experienced is a result of people voting with their pocketbook and withdrawing support because of the station's left-leaning politics. The election of a socialist buffoon has many people reevaluating their beliefs, regretting their previous actions and boycotting WMNF. That's it in a nutshell.

Jim's fault

If anything, most of the people who pay this station the big bucks think Obama has not gone far left enough. They would cheer if we had REAL regulation of the banks, REAL protection of our environment, and if the people who are responsible for two tragic, wasteful wars (by lying us into them)were in JAIL where they belong. As far as Buffoons go, the best you have offered is Sarah Palin, John McCain, and the Bushes, who do not have a brain cell to share between them. You right wingers have gotten your reprieve because Obama listens top much to the "center", but once the REAL shoe drops, once Florida's beaches are black, and the fat cats eat steak while we starve, then you will see real anger, that makes the dreams of even many real socialists look like a Disney cartoon!


It stills boggles my mind that you hired this idiot,He reminds me of George W Bush(Jim Bennett) and if you keep him around he'll do as much damage to the station as W did for our country,he is untrustworthy,uncaring and just a plain idiot,I've seen him resume',he is basically a Radio Tech from a not so good radio station from California with limited experience in management,so I ask you why did you hire this man,You had Arlene in house willing to take this job who was a viable candidate,I know everyone makes mistakes but it's time to clean up one before more damage is done,please get rid of this man,he doesn't belong there!!!!!

This is excellent news!

I'm very pleased to hear that this bequest came through at just the right time, and I'm pleased that Julie, Flee, and LindaLu are coming back. It still is a short-term fix though, and I fear that WMNF might face layoffs again next year if events and Marathon don't make up their revenue lines. This ain't over folks... for those dedicated listeners and supporters, please keep supporting your favorite radio station!

Change Now

I personally know three people who were former supporters who now say they cannot, in good conscience, continue to support a station that unwittingly helpd America's enemies and actively works to undermine conservative values. I am reluctant to say that I will be joining them. Sorry. This is a great radio station as far as the music and the community goes but I'm afraid it has become a pawn of the Left.

Get Counseling Now

Scott, not Staff Scott, you sound pretty rabid. Maybe you should see a counseler or something. Are you the guy that keeps calling in a one o'clock and sputtering about Bush?


Hi, ARe there not enough conservative radio stations out there that you want them all conservative? We need a liberal point of view that has intelligence and class. Some of the conservative shows like interrupting, loud talking, debating rudely and I can't even tolerate that nonsense. Not to mention Fox News talking about watermelon when Obama got elected. What kindergarteners they are.

Of Course Not

I can't stand those arrogant right-wing jerks either. Who's that loud-talking guy on Fox? The real mean one that interrupts everyone and controls the conversation. I forget his name but I understand what you're saying. No, I do not want all stations to be conservative. I like WMNF and will continue to listen to them almost exclusively BUT some of their views --like encouraging listeners to bash religious people while at the same time sponsoring a weekly show by a Muslim is not fair. And their one-sided support of Obama. And other biased stories that I can't remember right now. WMNF is too one-sided (and sort of blind to anything but the most radical of views) and I can no longer support them (not that my measly $30 a year was of much help).

Only $30

I'd venture to say that it probably costs the station more to process your $30 contribution than it's worth! You're costing the station money, Roy! If you really care about the station (which I know you do not) you should be chipping in at least $100 a month. Most of us give more than that plus we volunteer. I gave over $3K last year.


Come on Jan, every penny does help. Yes, Roy is angry, he has a lot of people telling him he should be. We can appeal to other ideas that might relate to him, such as "hey, Roy, do you want Fox news to be the standard voice of your party?" You do not have to be a liberal to see that if Rush and Sean act like they are the voice of the right, all that swagger will sooner or later make a backlash, so the fact a right winger like Roy gives money can be a way of saying "hey guys, let's not crash the car by being reckless. We don't want to look like Idiots when we hit Tampa for the 2012 convention!" The point is Jan, we need everyone, because truth be told, we have an opposition that does not even care about discarding it's old guard (ask Charlie Crist.)

I'm not Mad

I just have common sense, recognize and understand that WMNF, although they support many people's taste in music, take advantage of a grateful listenership to spread a left-wing agenda. I don't know why. I don't think most listeners are angry, dedicated socialists or anti-establishment. I think most of us are middle-of-the-roaders who think both sides are extreme. But anyway, I'll stop costing the station money and let you continue as you are.

wmnf will stay progressive

The people posting who keep going on about how the station needs to stop "undermining conservative values" are not WMNF's base of support and never will be. The station is a progressive entity by definition with a listener base consisting for the most part of educated, artistic people who share the same values. That's why it exists, as an alternative to corporate-controlled media. So-called "conservative values" are based on greed, selfishness, and intolerance and have absolutely no place at WMNF. If the station begins to pander to the right it will be the death-knell of the station. Why don't all you conservatives go back to AM radio where you belong and let us have our little oasis in a desert of right-wing, corporate propaganda. Please!


I trust the move WMNF just made with this sudden donation that rescinded the layoffs as much as when Reagan came in to office in 1980 and the hostages in Iran were suddenly free,This is total BS! Next you'll be trying to sell off the Skyway bridge as a premium with a donation!Look if you make a mistake,just admit to it,make ammends and move on,leave the lies and drama behind,and hey blame the liberal ideas I learned on your news for debunking your garbage,how sad!

We Are the Base of Support

morty, although you would like everyone to believe otherwise, I and people like me are a big part of WMNF's listenership and by extension, support. I don't agree that conservative values equals greed, selfishness, and intolerance. In my opinion, conservative values are how my mom raised me to face the world and interact with others. And I assume it was the way she was raised. It's our culture. If WMNF was an exclusive club of elitest, educated, artistic snobs, as you claim, it would have never got off the ground. WMNF is for the people --not snobs like you.

Attn: Webmaster

Dear WMNF Webmaster. Was that really the real Noam Chomsky that posted the "Boggling" comment here? If so I really need to consider that. If not, or if you don't know, is there any way to block impersonations of prominent people in the comments sections? Would you please look into this & let me know either way? Thanks! Dana G

Liberal conservative tag team

I would like to liberally conserve my Intellectually, wait a minute did anybody see the skull in the Antsy McClain pic to the left and up ?


When I first heard the news of Julie getting canned via mass text messages from jubilant friends, I felt the warm tingle of happiness make it's way up my spine and across my face to force a long subdued smile. And now this...diversion. WMNF, you give my people nothing, your music leanings are bland and your idea of progressive has long been obsolete, at least give us this. Bring down the beast, send her from her garden for the world to devour. She and her kind breed contempt for this station. Eyes beckoning for free entry, mouths pontificating their own importance, aura casting darkness upon all light. Is this not a community radio station, let not these few Internet jive talkers steer you off course from the best decision this collective has made in some time. The communtiy calls for it. Sudden well wishing donations, grants from the heavens....please. The veiled and not so veiled threats of donation hold outs by these faux-liberals sunk this ship. So, we shall pack away our party hats and fire works for another day but, someday we expect our celebration. Send her out. P.S. Americana and it's sub-strains are not the end all of music and certainly not reflective of the Tampa Bay music "community". Maybe you could find a sturdier support base by supporting the actual community of artists and musicians In Tampa and not playing out the soundtracks to ex-hippies wasted lives. Regurgitation is not creation. Tampa has an awesome local music scene and that is certainly not represented by WMNF.


Roy, as I said in my post, there is reason for everyone in this city to get something out of WMNF. However, the truth is, the other points of view have much more representatives on regular radio. Granted, I do realize they do not speak for all conservatives, but that does not stop them from being blasted 24/7, so, in an age where ONE and ONLY ONE perspective dominates the airwaves, people will come to wmnf in the hopes of finding some shelter from the storm. Morty, I realize that you are tried of Rush and company, but if we are going to survive, we are going to need to try to engage the Roys of the world, to show that we do have common interest, and that the corporate machine does not have either of our interests at heart. If we just hide and think that the bulldozers will not find us, sure enough, they will, we have to engage and talk, because truth be told, the more people we win to our side (or at least show we are not their enemy) the stronger we will be. Finally to Hans, yes, I agree with you; this canot and should not be the time to sing kum by ya. We have revealed a flaw in this station, one that looks frightenly like the station KDKA where Jim came from (a culture we do NOT want to export to WMNF.) Jim, you need to enage the community, you need to talk to the people THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE to and work with them. Get Flee to do another fundraiser to secure the hole (I know he would do it). Get on radio active and take some calls. Show that you are able and willing to account to us. With all due respect to the donor (and I do mean respect) we cannot depend on some superman to swoop down and save us all the time. We are a community, one of the oldest in Tampa, and one of the few cohesive ones, if you work with us Jim, you will find we are resourceful, as we have grown a community radio that many so called "hip cities" would envy. Finally, to those that got hired back, congrats, but I would not carry on business as usual. You three are the ones that interact with the community the most, and there is a thought that if you three were picked to be canned (as opposed to the sacred news department) then you might need to talk to the community as well. If you read people like Kenny, you will notice that many of the people that we should have on our side feel alienated from us. Yes, there is a very definite high school clique atmosphere here at times, and yes, it does need to be dealt with. We cannot answer the community with either sneers or flippant shakes of the head, and expect to stay healthy. In short, if this was "A Christmas carol" this would be the part where we wake up, being sacred silly by the Ghosts (especially the Future one) and we get a chance to fix things we should have done, let's not blow it.


Ha! WMNF is BACK! You religious, racist Fox fans who want to change WMNF can crawl back in your holes! WMNF will never change!

Thanks Obama!

We made it through people.

Wake Up WMNF

The frequent and central argument used to defend WMNf's leftist slant is that it is the ONLY station or outlet for such views. That's not true. Both sides and the middle of any topic is presented in the news, on radio, and on the internet. There is more freedom of speech than ever before. That claim is ludicrous. This IS the best music station in Tampa though and it's being ruined by WMNF's insistence on catering to liberals. I won't support it until it becomes neutral. All you have to do is play music, present news and leave out the continuous sarcastic commentary.

are you serious

Do you honestly think that the blaring of right wing propaganda is equal to the little news station at WMNF? Please. The Right has their views very well defended, mostly by foreign money like Prince Alaweed (who owns half of Fox). Liberals made this station, with their pennies, as opposed to corporate dollars.

Yes, Really.

I didn't say the power of right wing propaganda and WMNF was equal. I said WMNF is unneccessarily divisive and I won't support them until they straighten up and stop supporting left-wing causes.

Let's Be Accurate

Let's be fair: Prince Al-Waleed is the world's 19th richest man and buys whatever businesses he thinks might be profitable. He owns or did own major interests in Citicorp, Citibank, AOL, Apple, MCI, Motorola, News Corporation, Four Seasons hotel chain and the Plaza Hotel in New York, London's Savoy Hotel and Monaco's Monte Carlo Grand Hotel. He currently holds a 10% stake in Euro Disney SCA, the company that owns, manages and maintains Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallee, France. In 1997, Time Magazine reported that bin Talal owned about 5% of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch's company which is now the parent company of Fox News. By 2010 Alwaleed's stake in News Corp. was about 7% stake at worth $3 Billion noted the 2010 News Corp. $70 million (9%) investment in Al-Waleed's Rotana Group, the Arab World's largest entertainment company.

You've Been Served. :)

wow. He told you, Yes, Really. :) You've been served.

fidlam bens

Please WMNF take that poor taste pitch of"Leave a Legacy of Love.....name WMNF in your will off your letterheads and station biz....this is not only really poor taste(Has this place fallen to so much squaller that you need to stoop to grave robbing to earn a living,you sound like a bunch of FIDLAM BENS!!!!!!)is also shows that your braintrust of financial aides down there have no creative and honest ideas to increase revenue,TAKE IT DOWN,NOW please!This is sick and classless!!!!!

excuses are petty

Mr Lorei,if this is the only response a longtime staff member can throw back instead of doing things with class and using creative ideas it really shows your true "Pseudo-Liberal" side that many of us longtime WMNF listeners really know of you,maybe the problem with WMNF is simply internal and new staff and leaders are needed,your poor rebuke just plainly proves this,Please for the long standing good integrity the station has had,please change for the good,come up with better ideas than "Grave Robbing"(remove that letterhead of begging off the near departed,you sound like TV Preachers or even worse the Catholic Church),use your brains or do you really have them?

News Director WMNF

Hi Jack, Looks like someone with nefarious intention posted the comment titled "we are desperate". It was not me. Unfortunately, people who lack courage can use pseudonyms to post messages on this site. I'll ask Matt to correct this and I'll flag this comment to be removed. I always encourage free speech- but I think using someone else's name to post a trouble-causing message is not in the spirit of the First Amendment. Hope you wouldn't think that I would write something like "we are desperate." Rob 813 238 8001 x115


Rob, in my own personal opinion. Your show has much more integrity and respect than that of Thom Hartman. Although his show is nationally recognized, I can't listen to his pompous attitude for 3 hours straight. You have a lot more tolerance for your guests and callers. You don't turn them down so you can talk over them and then cut them off so they can't respond. I would think that this station was more balanced. If you weren't providing this show. I wouldn't go so far as to call him the "Glenn Beck" of the left. He at least does provide some facts. However I can't help but assume that he is hurting his own cause by the way he portrays himself. We need more shows like Rob's who can logically take on real issues. We all know it shouldn't be about who can talk the loudest. Or who has a soundboard on hand so they can play people off like the freakin Oscars when they disagree.