Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY – The front door is locked, and only select individuals are being allowed to enter and leave Humboldt State's Feuerwerker Building as university officials dismiss the radio station's staff.
In a long-rumored overhaul of the station's staff and programming, the university has fired most of its core staff and will become an NPR outlet, at least for the time being.
UPDATE 1: According to Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications Frank Whitlach and the KHSU website, just two employees will be retained at the station, Interim Director David Reed and Morning Edition Host Natalya Estrada. Gone are Jessica Eden, Lorna Bryant, Mark Shikuma, Kevin Sanders, Wendy Butler and Jeff DeMark.
Whitlach said the university is mindful of, and regrets the loss of employment by staff members. He said the station's Community Advisory Board has been "indefinitely suspended."
For the time being, according to Whitlach, the station will essentially serve as an NPR outlet, with local programming possibly added back at a future date.
Listeners report some chaos in the station's programming, with fragments of a staff meeting at the Feuerwerker House being aired.
UPDATE 2: The affected employees were notified at a "mandatory" morning staff meeting. When they arrived, Estrada left to take over broadcasting. Reed did not attend.
Eden said she had asked to remove some of her personal files from her computer, but was told to wait for an IT manager to come and oversee the process.
Eden and Bryant were uncommonly chipper as the mass dismissal took place, posing ironically for a photo, left.
UPDATE 3: Whitlach said that among the key changes in the offing is stronger integration of KHSU into the university's curriculum. The station will better serve as a training site for students.
More photos from this morning's activity at the Feuerwerker Building: