As a former presenter on Bute’s local radio station Bute Fm and one of a number of volunteers who resigned over management concerns since its launch in August 2009, I continue to hold an interest in the future of the station.
Waves of concern rippled across Bute after the station’s first AGM on August 9 2010, at which director and breakfast show presenter, Mike Blair, was ‘voted’ off the board of directors and promptly told to gather his belongings and leave the building.
The events following that day are well documented:
I was surprised recently to learn that the post of station manager was being advertised on the Bute Fm website.
Former station manager and director of Bute Fm, Iain Donald, was at the centre of the storm that surrounded the station after August 2010. Donald achieved great things in getting Bute Fm off the ground and that credit shouldn’t be taken from him. His handling of the Mike Blair situation perhaps highlighted his inexperience in the field.
However, his actions following Mike Blair’s dismissal raised eyebrows. He appointed his father, Alan Donald, onto the board of directors almost immediately after Blair’s departure. The companies involved are private limited companies and it may be the case that the community has no right to demand how they are run.
But when the existence of the station has relied on funding from public bodies and the time and generosity of volunteers and members of the community, people could be forgiven for wanting to know what was going on. And when the only salaried employee was Iain Donald as station manager – receiving a salary in the region of £14,000 for the period of a year’s employment thank to an Ofcom grant – some people felt that undemocratically appointing a parent onto the board of