Monday, 4 October 2010

Ego Gymnastics

Today, the official Resonance FM Twitter feed looked like this:



A casual observer might be tempted to wonder what prompted this message, so here's the background story:

On 26th August 2010, I received the following email from Richard Thomas, Content Manager at Resonance FM:



Happy to discuss the matter, I responded immediately with this email:



As Richard's original message mentioned that my show would be paused from November, I was keen to continue this conversation, at least as far as clarifying which specific date would be the last show before the break. Alas I never received a response, despite a couple of gentle prompts:



I continued to do my show, with the slight nagging feeling that, as November approached, I would really like to hear back from Richard, so that I could hear his response to the points I'd raised, but mainly so that I knew when to stop travelling in to the station in order to broadcast.

Three hours before what was to be last Saturday's edition of Rotogravure, a friend who works at the station called me up and told me that the show had been cancelled. I asked him to forward me the email in question, as this was the first I'd heard about it, so here it is:



Rather than the show taking a break from November as originally suggested, this word-of-mouth message revealed that there would be no more Rotogravure as of now, this being the start of October.

I took great offence at the fact that a radio station Content Manager would send me an email informing of plans to alter a long-running radio show, then fail to respond to a perfectly polite reply sent that same day, eschewing any further discussion in favour of dropping the show from the schedule without warning - a whole month before the original date suggested - and failing to let me know that this was happening, despite having five weeks in which to do so.

For this reason, among others, I decided to call it a day, telling Resonance FM that I no longer wished to broadcast my show. Apparently this constitutes "ego gymnastics".

More on "the Simon Cowell of radio"

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UPDATE 6/10/10 - Resonance FM apologises:

http://resonancefm.com/archives/5045

Also see http://post.ly/12G6S and http://post.ly/12VLi

21 comments:

Dan said...

That's a real shame. I've enjoyed the Rotogravure a great deal. I really hope it can continue in some form.

grahamdunning.com said...

I'm really sorry to hear that mate, and the backbiting, snide tweets make RFM look like exactly the kind of people I thought they weren't.

Anonymous said...

wholly unprofessional.

a matter of decency.

Sheffield Bleep said...

Shame. It's their loss though.

Anonymous said...

He's not what you might call a nice man.

But I'm sorry to hear about this. I think it's a shame for Resonance FM that they don't have more people involved. Obviously there are funding pressures meaning that they can only employ one senior member of staff, but it's a shame it can't be someone with a better attitude. Everyone loses out really.

It might be worth contacting the relevant officer at Arts Council London just to draw their attention to it. You never know, other people might have had similar problems.

Anonymous said...

That's sad - I really expected better from Resonance FM.

Anonymous said...

Hiya Ben, It's a shame when people you think are open minded end up being as conservative as Anne Widdecombe. And nasty buggers to boot! Sod 'em. You're too good for them.

Felix said...

I'm really sorry to read this; it reflects badly on Resonance FM and demonstrates a real lack of respect for artists and programme makers plus total communication FAIL.

I am really glad you spoke up for your show when vague allusions to changing it started being thrown around; when you've put in hours of programming time and shown a real commitment to what you're doing, it really sucks for someone 'from the top' to start screwing with what you're making.

It's such a shame Rez FM couldn't accommodate your vision, or at the very least, negotiate with you in a respectful, human way about how it might be changed.

Thanks for posting; makes me think twice about trying to get my own work on Resonance.

Anonymous said...

I'm wholly unsurprised. I've been in contact with this man with a view to doing a show to the point where he said he'd call me to talk about doing a pilot show..then I never heard from him and he didn't respond to my emails.

I know lots of others who have had the same treatment from Resonance.

I realise programme makers aren't "employed" by Resonance but that doesn't give people like him the right to treat producers and presenters like they're dispensable pieces of crap.

I've been really disheartened by the tweets of people involved with Resonance today regarding this...they will not accept they are in the wrong. They won't apologise for the offensive comment that came from the official Resonance twitter account, nor will they clarify what happened. They actually think Maxtundra is upset simply because his show was put on hold for a while!

And this isn't the first time i've seen nasty and offensive comments from that account aimed at competitors and others in the media. It's completely unprofessional.

I think you should broadcast on your own using Shoutcast, or approach 6music to do a 6mix - uniquely for a radio station, there are no arseholes in 6music. I'm sure a proportion of Resonance's 2 million (ha ha ha, where the flip did they pluck that ridiculously unbelievable figure from?) listeners will follow you.

Anonymous said...

fuck em Max, ur talented they aren't.

chin up, move on, next etc :)

a.fan

Anonymous said...

That's outrageous, the "masturbated by a guy for small change" is shockingly out of order, and in many companies would be grounds for dismissal, going public with such an insult, (and beyond that an appallingly school yard level "pun").
I won't be listening to Resonance anymore, and btw, "mastered by..." is the best UK album of the last ten years, so Richard thingy can stick that up his arse.

Anonymous said...

A real shame.

Not the first time some Mr Thomas has been guilty of some innaproriate comments by the seems of it - eg

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article20634.ece

Anonymous said...

Honestly, that "masturbated by a guy for small change" tweet is wholly despicable for an employer (or rather, a public outlet for the employer) to say about it's employee.

ruaridh said...

Surprise surprise, the offending tweet is already gone. Time to forward the image about so everyone can see :)

Tom said...

Resonance have apologised at last. The tweet is unforgivable but the other handling of the issue is likely to be born out of a heavy workload. I suspect it's physically impossible to manage all potential/active prog makers given the slim resources resonance has.

Anonymous said...

A real shame. None of us are perfect but I would have thought that a position of programme manager carries with it a level of responsibility and this time has revealed a real lapse of judgment. It is not the first time this behaviour has manifested itself, he dished it out to me once, fair and square but I dont hold a grudge. This is more serious and really he sould be sacked.

PoorFormNorb said...

Surprised to see such an attitude at RFM. Good luck with new ventures - I look forward to hearing them!

killerbob said...

They should fire that Richard guy already

doctor damian said...

shocking and disappointing! I want to be rooting for resfm, but some of the things i've heard, shatter my naive egalitarian fantasies that i have about the station ... Also, it seems to me, that the standards have gone down and some quality programmes have been lost with it's "need to refresh things and accommodate new programme makers" - just for the sake of it?!

Simon said...

This is appalling - my Saturday relies on messrs Tundra and Trunk in order to be harmonious - but clearly this Richard Thomas chappie is a feeble-minded cretin. With reference to the previously cited Sun story as to his previous rejection of a potential contributor, he cites being 'under pressure' and 'having a bad day' as mitigation for seemingly attacking the person concerned - one might understand the reaction had he been himself provoked and attacked but plain, unprovoked nastiness suggests at least a 'lack of insight' as the psychiatrists call it - for to undermine and lash out at your potential creative capital assets as a content manager suggests that the man is detached from his core purpose in the job - to cultivate these people. He may need to be selective in his programming choices at point of broadcast of course but to wilfully alienate producing talent seems nigh on sociopathically lacking in a grasp of even the basic enlightened self-interest approach that might be more effective in a position such as his. Clearly not a natural inspirational leader and clearly one Resonance can do without. I think it dangerous to excuse the man for other virtues he may have as it licences this kind of vicious off-handedness and furthers an essentially undeserving careerism inherent in such personalities.

Especially considering that the replacement show of his choice, Sicknotes, is the most desperate shit imaginable. Kids on radio is all very worthy and good but as Peter Shaffer wrote, 'Goodness is nothing in the furnace of Art'.

Maybe I'm being harsh.

So what?

Chris Evans said...

So sorry to hear about the demise of one of the few genuinely original radio shows left, and especially the shockingly unprofessional way in which the news was delivered. What is it with so many 'managers' that makes them feel obliged to tinker just for the sake of it? Mr Thomas, it is clear to everyone who the real wanker in this story is - and it ain't Ben.