Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Have a desire to be a WGBH "Community Ambassador"? Kool-aid drinkers only need apply

WGBH is soliciting "community ambassadors". Be aware that if you express "disappointment with our programming changes" you will be terminated from the volunteer position, as I was.

That I do not mind. What I do mind is WGBH is not disclosing they want unthinking clones who will toe the corporate line and not be allowed to publicly express their personal opinion.

The Facebook solicitation reproduced below was made by WGBH staffer Stacy Kasdin on April 15.

Stacy Kasdin

Stacy Kasdin WGBH: Interested in sharing your passion for WGBH with the Greater Boston community? Become a WGBH Community Ambassador! Applications must be postmarked by May 19-- check the link for details and apply today!
Interested candidates can download and fill out the Community Ambassador program application. Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, May 19.Use our volunteer sign-up form to let us know how you'd like to help. ...

The invitation should have been accompanied by fair warning that only kool-aid drinkers need apply. Anyone who disagrees with "public" radio/tv WGBH's management policies is excluded.

Last Fall I completed WGBH "community ambassador" training. I had volunteered for the program as a long time member who, as a Boston area not-for-profit folk/blues/Celtic music producer, had had a wonderful working relationship with program host/producers Naomi Arenberg, Brad Paul and Brendan Hogan. These three programmer/hosts had on their "Folk on WGBH" and "Blues on WGBH" programs artists I was presenting such as

August 18, 2007 Geoff Bartley
June 28, 2008 Mike & Ruthy Merenda & Lyn Hardy
August 09, 2008 Chris Thompson, Beth DeSombre, Ryan FitzSimmons
November 01, 2008 Jack Hardy and David Massengill
November 15, 2008 Mary McCaslin
January 31, 2009 Eilen Jewell & Jason Beek
March 28, 2009 Bob Franke
October 17, 2009 Jim Hurst

When the terminations of "Folk on WGBH" and "Blues on WGBH" were announced 11/6/09 I became a vocal critic of the programming change.

Read article from this blog - "WGBH drops foll and blues programs"
Facebook discussion group - "Supporters of folk and blues on WGBH"

Just a couple days before, in my response to a similar recent "community ambassador" solicitation addressed to me via email I inquired why I had never been contacted to give time to a WGBH event.

The reply:

from Joanna Rothman

to notlobmusic
date Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 11:32 AM
subject Re: Become a WGBH Community Ambassador

Apr 13

Dear Jeff,

Thank you for your inquiry about volunteering for WGBH. As listed on our volunteer recruitment page on (, we have listed among our volunteer requirements that our volunteers have: high energy and a positive attitude, a passion for public media, and great customer service skills. At this time, given your disappointment with our programming changes, we feel you may be conflicted about positively promoting us and our messages.

I wish you all the best of luck and thank you for the volunteer service that you have provided to WGBH in the past.

Joanna Rothman
Volunteer and Marketing Manager

Do I have....

"high energy and a positive attitude" yes
"a passion for public media" yes
"and great customer service skills
" yes....else I would not have graduated from the training program.

What I do not have is a willingness to drink the WGBH corporate kool-aid.


The "Community Ambassador" program from the WGBH website:

Community Ambassadors promote WGBH membership to the public at events held in our Brighton studios and out in the community. Volunteering for this position lets you participate in community events as a representative of WGBH, meeting new people while sharing your passion for public media.


  • Promote WGBH membership at events, both in our Brighton studios and around New England
  • Answer questions about membership, events, studio tours, and related WGBH offerings


  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Valid email address, to facilitate updates
  • Passion for public media
  • Access to reliable transportation to WGBH and local community events
  • Able to stand for long periods of time and lift 20 pounds

Time commitment

  • Commit to volunteering once or twice a month (for a minimum of one year)
  • Attend quarterly update meetings/educational opportunities
  • Participate in mandatory training program (next one is Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 6:30-8:30pm)

Interested candidates can download and fill out the Community Ambassador program application. Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, May 19.

Use our volunteer sign-up form to let us know how you'd like to help. Thank you!

Benefits of volunteering: Review the rewards of giving your time and skills.

No comments: