KTIM Radio goes dark amid changes, principals tangle

ST. GEORGE — Radio station KTIM-LP, erratically on the air since 2006 from various locations throughout St. George, ceased broadcasting their eclectic format on 95.3 FM in St. George Feb. 17 and has announced it will return to the air at 100.3 FM, using the newly assigned call sign KDXI-LP at a yet to be determined date. The station engineers are in the process of moving the transmitter site to Webb Hill, between downtown St. George and its Bloomington suburb, to allow for better coverage of the station’s low power signal.

The change, however, comes with resistance from those who have held, or may yet hold, positions on the board of directors of KTIM’s licensee Wastecon Environmental Inc., board members that Wastecon now lists as removed. 

Changing of the board?

After KTIM went off the air, three of the longstanding members of the board, Kim Ewers, Steve Ginther and Dennis Gregz, held a meeting Saturday at the St. George Public Library to discuss concerns related to recent changes at the station, including the termination of several employees and revocation of the corporation’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax status. Members of the public and media were welcomed to attend the meeting.

First and foremost among the concerns, Ewers said, identifying himself as board president, is whether the current board is still the board of record or has been replaced by a new board without their knowledge.

According to Summaries of Online Changes filed Feb. 16 and 19 with the state’s Division of Corporations, Ewers, Ginther (spelled Gunther in the filing), Gregz and Sandy Santoro were removed as directors. Deborah L. Holmes and Perry D. Holmes, were confirmed as existing directors with added seats, Deborah Holmes with two and Perry Holmes with three seats.

Ewers said that Santoro had “not been involved for at least three years, if not four.”

Kim Ewers and Steve Ginther, board members of Wastecon Environmental LLP, at a board meeting held Feb. 21, 2015 at the St. George Public Library. | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News
L to R Kim Ewers and Steve Ginther, board members of Wastecon Environmental LLP, at a board meeting held Feb. 21, 2015 at the St. George Public Library. | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

After KTIM’s morning show host, Tim Porter, was terminated Feb. 17, Ewers said, he logged onto the Division of Corporations website, and discovered he was no longer listed as president of the board.

Ginther and Gregz said they were surprised to hear that they were no longer listed as members of the board.

As far as Ewers was concerned, he, Ginther and Gregz constituted a quorum for the purpose of doing business Saturday. Ewers said the new board reflected online was formed improperly by Holmes, Wastecon’s founder and Executive Director.

Ewers asked Ginther and Gregz if they had been notified of any board meeting other than the one they were attending now. Both answered no, Ewers said.

“As far as we know,” Ewers said, “without our presence at a board meeting there could not be a quorum. So without that there could not be board action that either removed us from the board or authorized Perry to take equipment from our studio or engage an attorney or change the locks on our studio or turn off the transmitter.”

At the meeting Saturday, Porter said he was told by Morgan Skinner, a local FCC compliance consultant, that his services were no longer required.

He saw station equipment being dismantled and moved, Porter said, some of it being his own personal equipment.

Ewers said he witnessed Holmes “removing equipment from the station” and that Holmes told him, “we are relocating the station to the Dixie State University.”

Holmes, however, said in a statement released Thursday, that there is no deal with Dixie State.

“There were exploratory discussions of mutual cooperation and support,” he said, “which have not materialized.”

Wastecon’s nonprofit status

Wastecon Environmental was formed as a nonprofit corporation and according to Guidestar.org, a website that provides information on nonprofit organizations and charities, has had its exempt status revoked by the IRS for failing to file an annual reporting form for 3 years or more. Guidestar goes on to say that the organization is no longer listed in IRS records. Ewers confirmed this, saying that the 501(c)(3) designation had been revoked on May 15, 2012.

After discovering the company’s nonprofit status was revoked, Holmes said in a statement released Thursday, he was introduced to St. George attorney John Christian Barlow who agreed to review the issues and offer solutions “pro bono.”  Holmes said he then retained the services of Barlow to completely review the corporate and financial records and to prepare a Letter of Review of his findings to be given to each former board member.

Wastecon’s FCC compliance

Wastecon was in violation of certain regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.  Holmes said, in a statement released Thursday:

Changes were long overdue to revitalize the station and necessary to bring the station into compliance with FCC operating policies and procedures.

“Staff members were terminated after a number of long standing disputes over station policies and operating procedures which jeopardized the station’s license,” Holmes said in his statement, declining to comment further for employer-employee confidentiality reasons.

Barlow is now listed as registered agent for Wastecon and as the station’s contact for purposes of the FCC.

In his statement released Thursday, Holmes said the corporation’s attorney had emailed a letter to all board members, past and present, who were active or should have been active for Wastecon and KTIM, warning them of potential liability for assessments and damages associated with nonfiling of tax returns.

When contacted by telephone this week, Ewers said he, Ginther, and Gregz are being made the scapegoats in this matter.

“I wouldn’t at all be surprised. Once again we’ve been given no information about what’s going on. And inquiries are met with either no response or this is attorney-client privilege,” Ewers said, adding, “Those of us who were at the meeting last week are still completely in the dark as to what is going on.”

Association with other media

While the call letters chosen are similar to long time AM radio station KDXU, Cherry Creek Radio general manager Mark Crump said he’s not concerned.

“I wish them the best of luck,” Crump said. 

Related story

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  • SSTEED February 27, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    KTIM was the only good station in St. George; then they got the Radioactive Morning Show which essentially degraded it to commercial radio status. Other than that one show, the station was awesome. It was eclectic and diverse, it played everything from old time country to heavy metal and island music. But we live in a fascist state that is run by big corporations, so the IRS and the FCC do what they are told and shut down anything with any integrity. If you haven’t sold out to the big corporate interests and represent their status quo; there is no place for you here. That goes for any organization, be it a charity group, a church, or a sandwich shop.

  • anybody home February 28, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Whoa, there, your message is getting lost in the hyperbole. The IRS and the FCC shut down organizations that don’t follow the rules. And a lot of nonprofits thumb their noses at both. And then cry “foul” when they are the ones committing the fouls. If, as you say, one of the shows “degraded it to commercial radio status,” that would have been a big red flag. But I got something else from this article: a lot of in-fighting (also common with nonprofits) that essentially took the organization down. Nonprofits are notorious for this, too. Been there. Most of them need to cowboy up and do things right.

  • SSTEED February 28, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Tom Wheeler, the head of the FCC was a venture capitalist and a lobbyist for the cable industry. John Koskinen, the commissioner of the IRS was the CEO of Freddy Mac. If you think these guys left their multi million dollar jobs for a lowly government wage in order to be a service to humanity; I applaud your optimism. I have seen the revolving door from corporations to government so I know where their loyalties lay and I know who they are really working for. Its not for you and me. Lobbyists that work for giant corporations write the “rules” and they are designed to make it very hard for new companies to become competition to the big corps; and at the same time, remove any regulations from the big boys so they can freely pillage the earth. They are a bunch of dirty rotten scumbags but people don’t know that so they keep standing up for they are doing. We would naturally flock to anything with integrity and morals so everything of that sort must be destroyed.

  • anybody home February 28, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Don’t disagree about the corporadoes, but I know that shenanigans occur in the nonprofits as well. Power corrupts whether it’s for or non-profit. Nonprofits are businesses, just like big corps but many of them are not run well at all. When they get caught in their shenanigans they like to use the “but we’re a nonprofit” defense. Hard to find real integrity in very many places these days, SS. Churches often fall into this pattern as well and seriously abuse their “nonprofit” status. I think you can look around you and see evidence of that.

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