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09 Jun 2015

VIBE 105.5FM Backlash: Community Organizes To Save CHRY Radio

PRESS RELEASE: Following the dismissal of volunteers by the management of CHRY Radio Inc. on April 30, 2015, and the subsequent announcement of the launch of VIBE 105.5FM, a growing number of York University students, former volunteers, and community members have expressed disagreement and dismay about the direction the station has taken, and the manner in which station management is implementing programming and organizational changes. 

CHRY served as an important outlet for artistic communities and political voices marginalized by mainstream media. CHRY was a unique and vital space on the York campus for collaboration between students and community members. As an organization, CHRY had a mandate to serve the community, and a stated commitment to social justice and anti-oppression. While VIBE1055 may retain aspects of the content we cherish as community members, the cultural and political context – the very ethos of the station – has been jeopardized.

The unilateral decision to dismiss volunteers, and the non-transparent approach to appointing programmers going forward, suggests a model that fails to encourage discussion in decision-making, and decreases collective investment at the station. After the dismissal of volunteers, a group of concerned York Students, former staff members, board members and programmers, along with Community Members, Business Owners and Donors, have begun the #SaveCHRY campaign to ensure that Station Management remains accountable to the Community, as well as to ensure that Community Access continues at CHRY. Below are some concerns raised at our Community Meetings (May 12th and May 27th):

1. Non-Consultation with Community Donors raises questions around transparency in the making of this unilateral decision.

“I have donated money every year and would like to know why the people who donated were not consulted before these changes were made? I view myself as a shareholder since I have consistently donated money every year, for many years” -- Donor

2. The Affordable and Accessible Advertising Rates to Community Organizations and Local Businesses that CHRY previously offered is no longer available, leaving them without access to their communities.

“Prior to the changes the advertising rates were affordable to local community business and cultural promoters. Vibe105’s new rates are now comparable to mainstream commercial rates. Community Radio is about the community and supporting the community and not about profiting off the community.” -- Small Business Owner

3. Coverage of current local and international events have been neglected at CHRY.

“Amandla: An African Perspective continues to get requests for interviews from activists in Toronto. The recent mass drowning of Eritrean migrants in the Mediterranean for example was to receive special attention on our upcoming shows. Now family members and activists have no outlet for their voices on Toronto airwaves.” -- Omme-Salma Rahemtullah. Programmer, Former Staff, Former Board Member

4. CHRY has had a home for local musicians, that space will now be lost. Community radio encourages the progression of Music Culture that crosses all musical genres.

"Musicians, Record Labels and local shows featuring exciting, modern, experimental music (across all genres) did not have to be restricted to a secluded existence on the internet. It had a home to support and encourage its progression via community radio. It wasn't just about supporting underground musicians before they became mainstream stars; it was giving listeners the chance to cultivate an appreciation for these artists who dwell within the realm of the avant-garde and the innovative. Now, there is no place on the airwaves to support these special, passionate musical communities.” -- Luca Capone. The Night Shift Programmer

We are inviting you to join our ongoing discussion as we continue to collect your experiences around these changes at CHRY. Join our campaign to ensure Community Access at CHRY, and to demand that the Station’s Management remain accountable to their community and its listeners. Are you a veteran programmer, a student programmer, an artist who got their break at CHRY 105.5fm, a donor, a listener, or a community business advertiser?

Many people were stakeholders at the station, and we are looking for comments regarding the relevance, and impact of the station on you! We understand the changing media landscape and we are open to CHRY adapting to them, but it must be done ethically and must be accountable to all station stakeholders, which include, York Students, Donors, and Community Members. The VIBE press release portrayed the campus-community model as unsustainable and mediocre. Let's counter that message to convey the power and lasting impact of our community radio station, and what we feel is threatened by the changes.

Please tell us your experiences with the new changes. Email your concerns to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

We continue to organize, our next meeting will be at: Driftwood Community Centre 4401 Jane Street June 10, 2015, 6:30pm.

Read 2703 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 June 2015 10:03
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