Timing is everything.
I’ve wanted to post some additional thoughts about the WOXY situation for a while. At the very least, to provide listeners an accounting of how things came to be, how events have transpired since our shutdown and perhaps, point a few fingers and name a few names because there’s plenty of blame to go around. Some diehards have gleaned information from other sources, if not contacted some of us directly, about what’s been going on. But, I’ve always walked to the ledge and turned back.
I think it's unfortunate that the station's loyal listeners haven’t been given the courtesy of any kind of ‘official’ status update and what, if any, future plans are in store for WOXY. For those of you who've maintained interest, you're owed a great deal of thanks even if that hasn’t been explicitly expressed. For that, cheers.
To be clear, I don’t speak for anyone else affiliated with WOXY past or present. I can accept the failure of WOXY as a business. Always have. But in the past 2+ months, I’ve been mad, frustrated and angry not so much at the failure of the radio station but rather, upon learning some the actions that’ve made the post-signoff lives of the staff more difficult than it should have been. There were some very simple practices that weren’t adhered to that can best be described as a failure of Business 101.
Whether I’m alone in believing this or not, I always wanted WOXY to operate as transparently as was realistically possible. So, earlier this week, I dropped a note saying that I’d have a WOXY update soon. For seemingly the third or fourth time in the past 6 weeks, I was ready to bring listeners the yet untold story. Again. Then, I think to everyone’s surprise, we received an e-mail from the principals at Future Sounds requesting to meet with the remaining-in-Austin staff this past Friday. So, I thought I should at least see this pow-wow through before going to press. Timing is everything.
In short, we had a cordial, professional chat with the guys. As was noted elsewhere, they've been working to make the situation right but held out no hope for an immediate resolution to WOXY’s operational status. In essence, the patient remains comatose. That the website remains is indicative of its life support. That there’s nothing to say speaks to the immediate plans and prospects. It’s totally on them.
For what it’s worth, it was kind of bittersweet to have the discussion turn to suggestions the staff had for ‘what if’ WOXY is resurrected. Between speaking from experience, recognizing lessons that could be learned and ideas that could be expanded upon, it was invigorating to detect not so much a desire to see the station live on, but the affinity for the ethic that WOXY stood for. To my mind, anyway, that was as much the attraction as the music itself.
But at the same time, the meeting provided probably as much closure as any of us will get about working for the Future of Rock & Roll. Future Sounds revealed that they have resumed the process of seeking a partner or buyer or something that would allow WOXY to resume operation. No one knows in what form that would be, including them.
How WOXY might be able to exist is the $64,000 question. Since September, the station employed 6 full-time staffers. Royalties exceeded $12,000 A MONTH with more listeners meaning more to pay. Some of the staff suggested turning WOXY into a listener-supported, non-profit. Surely, underwriters would see a tax write-off as a worthwhile incentive. (BTW, the number of listeners who came forward asking to donate money, post-signoff, was humbling) My opinion? Convincing a profit-minded businessperson to turn their investment into a non-profit is a hard sell.
I’ve skirted some of the b.s. the staff has had to deal with since we shut down because ultimately, it just isn’t productive. While I’d love to resume working in a similar situation or environment, I cannot in good conscience return to any entity helmed by Future Sounds.
And so, I’m on a full-time hunt for a full-time job. My previous experience includes working nearly 10 years for Toyota Financial Services, so I’m also looking in that field. Musically, I’ll still be in the mix. That you’ve found me here, it seemed a good transition to launch THE BIG BEAT. This’ll be my place, my outlet, which after all of these years, is all I really want: a place to do my thing. The blog will focus on music discovery, news, reviews, rants and raves. In due time, I’m hoping to get the apparatus together to put together a regular on-demand program of new music with actual DJ talk. Just like old times. I'm a beginning blogger so hopefully, for a while anyway, you'll be interested more in the content than the bells-and-whistles.
To be honest, I don’t know just how much light I shed on the WOXY situation. More than anything, though, I thought you should know more than what you’ve been told. As a listener, it’s what I’d want.
Thanks for reading this. Long live The Future of Rock & Roll.