Mark Becker is an Arrogant, Ignorant President

May 9, 2014 10:26 am

by Ed · 19 comments

UPDATE: President Becker seems to have a more measured tone in his interview with The AJC’s Rodney Ho. Still seems like the die has been cast and he’s OK killing Album 88. Which is not a good thing.

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He also seems to be actively trying to infuriate more people with his decision to kill WRAS.

Speaking to WABE, President Becker seems to be OK with killing Georgia State’s one student-run organization that has international acclaim. Good call.

“It’s happening. It’s not going to be reversed.”

“We’ll weather this. People get upset when there’s change.”

The reason people are upset is because WRAS was excellent. There was no burning desire from anyone (other than the bean counters and GPB) to switch to an anodyne public broadcasting station. Had there been some consultation or advance warning, this probably could have been handled slightly better. Now, apparently he wants to piss in the eye of everyone who was upset.

I could have accepted the decision from GSU to switch had he made even the slightest attempt at diplomacy. Instead, I now don’t want him to lead Georgia State anymore.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Ed May 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

I really hope this becomes the first link when a university starts recruiting him and they google his name.

Harry May 9, 2014 at 10:33 am

You’re in danger of becoming one of us. Unfortunately, most cookie-cutter universities would evaluate Becker’s liquidating of WRAS as a positive.

Ellynn May 9, 2014 at 11:30 am

Many who hire university presidents would find ‘Arrogant” and “Ignorant” fine qualities for their campus. Just saying.

greencracker May 9, 2014 at 10:46 am

Luckily for him, his constituency turns over every four years.

BTW, how about an Animal House-style stunt …? You know the scene where the parade float of the white hand and the black hand shaking hands splits apart?

Surely there’s some incendiary way to point out that with the relative demise of WRAS, if you want a radio station with an integrated artist roster, that will play a set of rock, rap, folk, J-Pop, soul, punk … SORRY!

Or …? Alt-latino? I heard this song this morning called “Psychedelic Quinceanera” and I’m about to download the album. This #JOBZ!!!!1!! #ECONOMIC_ACTIVITY does not happen when I hit other stations.

Ed May 9, 2014 at 11:17 am

I dunno about the constituency overturning in four years. There’s several people who have worked at WRAS for literally decades… as students.

greencracker May 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Uh…

You’ve graduated finally, right?

Ed May 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Yeah, both GSU and myself felt the penance for both our sins had been paid.

objective May 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

i’m a GSU grad student and fan of Album 88. but i favor the overarching partnership with GPB. based on the reports, though, i do think that the deal is too skewed for GPB, and that WRAS should retain some significant daytime programming, and get more TV/broadcast opportunities, with at least one non-digital weekly production opportunity.

Man from Atlanta May 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Objective,
I fear that this Becker guy and GPB have this type of model in mind for the long term, at least with a more talk radio bent: http://www.xpn.org/

Notice how much more commercial that station’s website is. It’s dollar driven and run by paid staff. Also, from what little I can gather, that university/public radio hybrid does allow some student interns but is a far cry from the student-run radio that made WRAS unique and so beloved by students and music fans. It is one thing to mature by doing, it is another to fetch coffee and learn by watching others. Even if that is not what is envisioned, it’s not far removed and won’t be for long.

South Fulton Guy May 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm

As a GSU grad from decades ago, I am disappointed the WRAS and it’s legacy are being gutted. Until now I did not take issue with Mark Becker’s leadership and great decisions like acquiring the Atlanta Life building and now Turner Field.

rohocop May 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I spoke with Becker, too. I don’t get the impression anything the alums or students do will make any difference. But I do them give credit for trying! http://radiotvtalk.blog.ajc.com/2014/05/07/qa-with-gsu-president-michael-becker-about-wrasgpb-partnership/

Ed May 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Thanks, I put a link to your post in the original.

Ed May 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I wonder if he became more defiant/entrenched when speaking to WABE because he heard more complaints. Helps to be the first sometimes, I guess.

South Fulton Guy May 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm

What Becker will not be able to quantify is lost donations from alumni over his boneheaded decision. The next time I get a phone solicitation from Georgia State, I will let it roll to voice mail or tell them to take me off of the list over WRAS….

Man from Atlanta May 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Has anyone submitted an open records act request? I’m curious as to what the email and correspondence train has been on this one, since the GSU Pres. said this has been discussed for several years. There certainly seems to be interest in the backstory . . . and whether GSU is willing to be transparent about the whole thing.

DrGonzo May 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Unfortunately, this is what happens when we allow our universities to be run like corporations. Education and the academic experience is no longer the focus; the focus is “how much money can we make?”

Baker May 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Yeah this is the rub. This would be a great move for a corporation, but GSU shouldn’t be run like that.

Man from Atlanta May 10, 2014 at 5:03 pm

My favorite quote about all this so far, a comment on the WRAS 88.5 Facebook page: “Apparently President Becker, Dr. Covey, and Teya Ryan know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Man from Atlanta May 14, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Looks like the GSU President and his cabal are not all that creative either. Public radio has been raiding college radio licenses for a while now.

http://www.cmj.com/column/on-air/wras-fight-continues/