Friday, April 19, 2024

Tempus Fugit

Yesterday , All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away     Now It Looks As Though They Are Here To Stay     Oh    I Believe In Yesterday     Suddenly      I Am Not Half The Man I Used To Be      There Is A Shadow Hanging Over Me     Oh     Yesterday Came Suddenly       Why She Had To Go      I Don't Know    She Wouldn't Say    I Said Something Wrong     Now I Long For Yesterday 


Help Aug 1965


After a few months away , holy smokes , where has the time gone ???

There is a whole story about my winter adventures but I have more pressing issues to share

Pleased to be back in the Grand Valley and perspective really does a body well. Plus , The Frontstrange really does suck on so many levels. There are a few spots to be desired but no thanx. Again , will fill you in later regarding that stint. 

For those of you long time readers , I missed you all dearly. As you all know , The Executive Director at KAFM single handedly created this despair. But today , WE HAVE HOPE !!! I present to you , the latest debacle at KAFM Community Radio Station 

Sent To The BOD 2024:

Now that the station has posted its audited financial report, balance sheet, and profit and loss statement for calendar year 2023, I have reviewed the station's financial statements for the past 7 years, from 2017-2023, to better understand how the station lost $115000 in 2023, and how precarious the station's current financial situation is. 

The purpose of this email is to report my findings and analyses to you, because I understand that 3 of you are very new board members, with little historical connection to the station.

While you may be new to KAFM, it is now your responsibility to right the financial ship. I hope all of you find this email helpful, because, as explained below, the station is in dire financial straits and facing a catastrophe if the situation is not addressed quickly and aggressively.

Please note that at the end of the analysis, I am asking for some information that I can not glean from the financial statements. Your cooperation in providing that information to me as quickly as possible would be greatly appreciated, so that I can better understand the station’s current financial situation and help to rectify the situation.

Although KAFM has a modest budget of approximately $500000, its revenue streams are somewhat complicated. The station gets its revenue from 6 primary annual CPB grant that now equals approximately $95000; other potential foundational grants; station fund-drives and memberships; station underwriting; station fund raisers; and station trade arrangements, whereby services are donated to the station in return for free on air promotions. In addition, the station occasionally receives miscellaneous donations, such as monies left in a will, which can be impactful but are few and far between and difficult to forecast in a budget. Lastly, the station's receipt of its annual CPB grant is contingent on the station meeting its NFFS requirements for the preceding year.

If the station fails to meet that NFFS requirement in a given year, and continues to fail to meet that requirement during a probationary period, the station forfeits its CPB funding, which would be disastrous.

In reviewing the station's financial reports for the period from 2017-2023, please not that the first 3 years, 2017-2019, were relatively normal years for the station; 2020 and 2021 were greatly impacted by Covid; and 2022 and 2023 are post-Covid years.

As one further reference point, Ramona Winkeller was the station's ED and in charge of underwriting from 2017 through 2019, when she transitioned to her full time UW position. Ginger Mitchell was the station's President and I was the station's Treasurer from 2018 until April 2021, when we both retired from the Board. Cyrene was hired as ED to succeed Ramona in that position in Jan. 2020. Marianne joined the Board in April 2021, and has essentially succeeded Ginger as President since that time. Accordingly, Marianne and Cyrene are primarily responsible for the changes in operations and performance of the station since 2021.

In 2017, the station received total revenues of $438,900, itemized as follows:

Trade. $119000

Fund drives and Memberships. $114700

Underwriting. $ 55900

Grants. $76500

Fund raisers. $ 25750

Raffle. $8300

Concerts. $ 20450

Other. $18500

The station's expenses totaled $384,800. Accordingly, the station's net assets increased by $54,120, and the station ended the year with net assets of $312,100. The station also met its NFFS requirement for the year.

In 2018, the station brought in $432,150 in revenues, itemized as follows:

Trade. $107600

Fund drives and Memberships. $96000

UW. $63300

Grants. $98100

Fundraisers. $37700

Raffles. $0

Concerts. $22500

Other. $7000

The station's expenses totaled $406,500. During the course of the year, the station sold 2 rental properties it owned adjacent to the station, and reported $33,600 in capital gains from those sales. The station used $93000 of cash reserves to pay off a carry back mortgage owed to the Arguellos, stemming from the purchase of its Ute Ave property, and refinanced its first mortgage with Alpine Bank. According to the station's P&L statement, the station's net assets increased by $36,600, to end the year at $348,650.

The station met its NFFS requirement, and the station had total financial resources available to meet expenses over the next year of $134,500 (since the station's expenses were just over $400,000, this meant the station had an approximate 4 month reserve at year's end).

In 2019, the station received revenues of $416,500, as follows:

Trade. $96,600

Fund drives and Memberships. $103,600

UW. $71,600

Grants. $93,100

Fundraisers. $14,700

Concerts. $32,650

Raffles. $4,300

The station's expenses totaled $397,200, which included payroll related expenses of $213,426. The station's net assets increased by $19,350, to $368,000. The station met its NFFS requirement and, according to the year end P&L statement, had $145,500 in available financial reserves to meet the following year's expenses (a 4 month cushion).

Lastly, the station's Alpine Bank mortgage balance, following the pay off of the Arguello carry back mortgage, was $265,000.

In the latter part of 2019, Ramona advised that she no longer wished to be both ED and head of underwriting, and asked to be transitioned to a strictly underwriting position. The board agreed to her request, with the understanding that Ramona would have to raise at least enough dollars in Underwriting to cover not only the costs of the ED position as she had been doing, but also enough dollars to cover the added costs of her new UW position. Ramona's income was set as a mix of base salary and commissions. It was understood she needed to bring in approximately $30,000 in additional UW to cover her base salary and costs. Commissions she earned on top of that would go to the salary she hoped to enjoy from the new position, equal to approximately $50,000, what she had been earning as ED and UW combined. Cyrene Jagger was then hired as the station's new ED, at a salary of approximately $50,000, which was what Ramona had been earning. It was hoped that Cyrene's experience in radio broadcast management and artist promotion would nicely complement Ramona's underwriting talents. The board felt that if Ramona could at least bring in enough new underwriting to cover Cyrene's ED salary as before, and the new costs of Ramona's base salary, the station would be breaking even, and would enjoy the benefit of an expanded universe of business underwriting support. If Ramona could bring in more than that amount of new underwriting dollars, that would be true additional cash flow to the station, and would increase Ramona's salary above her base to hopefully what she was hoping to earn. 

Accordingly, the Board viewed the risk of transitioning Ramona to full time UW and the hire of a new ED to be primarily on Ramona, given the base salary and commission arrangements involved.

Cyrene was hired as the station's new ED in January 2020, and Ramona transitioned to full time UW at that same time. Two months later, in March 2020, Covid reared its ugly head, which obviously no one had anticipated.

In dealing with Covid, the station assiduously adhered to all directives of the local Mesa County Health Department. For several months, no programmers came to the station, and all shows were engineered by Betty Ries, the station's operations manager and computer guru. Some shows were rebroadcasts of previous shows. Others were created from the station's digital musical library. After several months it was determined that programmers could return to the station on an every other day basis; during that period of time, live programming occurred every other day with Betty's engineered programming on the off days. The station returned to full-time live programming on a daily basis in the early spring of 2021. The station ultimately returned to full-time normal operations in the fall of 2021.

Covid impacted station financial operations in a number of ways. Although the station continued to broadcast music on a daily basis, the businesses that were underwriting shows or providing trade services were struggling, and their contracts had to be adjusted. Fund drives had to be conducted remotely from the spring of 2020 until the fall of 2021. Fundraisers were either cancelled or conducted remotely. Radio Room concerts were cancelled until essentially 2022. However, because Radio Room concerts had historically operated at a relatively small net profit level, the suspension of those concerts did not have a significant impact on the station's cash flow because the related expenses were avoided.

Although the station's cash flow from operations wasnegatively affected by Covid, the station received a massive amount of money from the federal government, in the form of CPB grants and forgivable PPP loans, throughout 2020 and into the spring of 2021.

As a result of those federal payments, the station did not have to lay off any employees during Covid, and the station was ironically in a significantly better financial position in the spring of 2021 than it had ever enjoyed.

In the spring of 2021, after the station had received its final stimulus payment, the Board addressed how to best utilize those monies. At that time, the first mortgage on the station's building had 16 years to go on a 20 year amortization schedule. The interest rate was 4.5%, but on a variable 3 year term, with the next adjustment in 2022. The Board was very concerned about the predictions of interest rate hikes caused by the government's stimulus packages, and the impact those hikes could have on the station's variable interest rate mortgage and monthly cash flow.

I, as the station's Treasurer, discussed the situation with the station's banker and mortgage lender (Alpine Bank), and Alpine (which had been a wonderful friend of the station from its inception, through good times and bad), offered the station the following arrangement: if the station could use $80,000 of the stimulus monies it had received from the federal government to pay down the station's $240,000 mortgage balance, the Bank would reduce the mortgage interest rate from 4.5% to 4.0%; reduce the remaining amortization period from 16 to 10 years; and make the reduced interest rate fixed for the full reduced 10 year amortization period. The monthly mortgage payment itself would remain the same, at $1800/month, but the allocation of each payment to principal and interest would be adjusted to be more towards principal, to reflect the shorter amortization period.

The Board felt the Bank's offer to be a wonderful deal for the station. At a minimum, it would save the station $48,600, reflecting the 6 years of monthly payments it would avoid due to the shortened amortization schedule from 16 to 10 years ($1800/mo x 12 months x 6 years - $80000 downpayment). The station also avoided the possibility of interest rate hikes over the balance of the 16 year term due to the underlying mortgage's variable interest rate. Given the significant rise in interest rates since 2021, from approximately 4.5% to 7.5%, that concern proved to be well-founded. I remember the Bank advising that, between the reduced amortization period and lower fixed interest rate, the station could easily be saving over $100,000 during the life-time of the loan.

Accordingly, at the April 2021 Board meeting, the Board voted unanimously to approve the refinance. Following the refinance, Ginger Mitchell, the Board Chair, and I left the Board, as our terms had expired. We left the station in very good financial condition, thanks in large part to the federal government's stimulus monies the station had received. Marianne joined the Board at the end of the April Board meeting, and essentially succeeded Ginger as Board Chair.

According to the station's audited financial statements, as of year end 2021 (and following the mortgage refinance in April 2021 and the station's emergence from Covid and return to normal operations in the fall of 2021), the station's financial condition was as follows:

Calendar year 2020

Trade. $84000 (down $12,000 from 2019)

Fund drives and Memberships. $49900 (down $53,000 from 2019)

UW. $8370. (down $63,000 from 2019)

Fundraisers. $10200. (down $4,500 from 2019)

Concerts. $6500. (down $26,000 from 2019)

Raffle. $4500 (same as 2019)

Federal stimulus grants and forgiven PPC loans. $231,650 (up $140,000 from 2019)

The station's total revenue for 2020 was $470,200, up $54000 from 2019. The station's expenses were $401350, slightly more than 2019. The station's payroll was $203,700, $10,000 less than 2019, despite adding on the underwriting position to the ED position. The station's net worth increased by $68840, to $436840, and the total financial resources available to meet expenses over the next year rose to $216570, an approximate 7 month cushion.

Calendar year 2021

Trade. $84600 (still down $12,000 from 2019)

Fund drives and Memberships. $80000 (down $23,600 from 2019)

UW. $111500 (up $40,000 from 2019)

Fundraisers. $11500 (down $3,200 from 2019)

Concerts. $6900 (still down $32,650 from 2019)

Raffle. $1500 (down $2,800 from 2019)

Other. $300

Grants and stimulus $226,250 (up $123,000 from 2019)

The station's gross revenues in 2021 equaled $569,000. The station's expenses totaled $437,600, including payroll expenses of $206,350. The station's net worth increased by $131,500, to $357,720, and the station had $228,350 in financial resources available for the next year's expenses, a 7 month cushion, after the station used $80,000 of stimulus money to pay down and refinance its mortgage balance, discussed above. The mortgage balance itself was $$154,250 at year's end.

As the station emerged from Covid at the end of 2021, these figures reflected several things. First, that the new arrangement with Ramona was working, as the increase in Underwriting more than covered her base salary, and was enough to pay her a fair salary including her commission income. Second, that the federal stimulus monies were providing the station with ample reserves and time to return to its historical revenue levels in the areas of fund drives, memberships, fundraisers and concerts as the economy emerged from Covid. And third, that the station needed to continue to keep expenses down and to live within its means in order to take advantage of the stimulus monies that had been provided specifically to enable the station to successfully emerge from Covid moving forward. In conjunction with my leaving the Board in April 2021, I wrote detailed financial reports to the Board and ED, explaining exactly that. Neither Cyrene nor Marianne heeded that advise because, in the 2 years since year end 2021, they have significantly increased expenses, failed to return most revenue streams to their pre-Covid levels, and have brought the station to the brink of a financial crisis, squandering the federal stimulus monies in the process.

The numbers again tell the story:


Revenues Trade. $67,550

Fund drives and Contributions. $148,340*

UW. $110,400

Grants. $98,500

Fundraisers. $24,870

Concerts. $18,920

Raffle. $0

Other. $90

*2022 revenues totaled $468,700. However, $60,000 to $80,000 of contributions were from a bequest from the Estate of Marla Payton, who was the station volunteer who digitalized the station's music library, and for whom the library has been named. Subtracting out that bequest means that the station's membership drives only totaled $68,340 to $88,340, $15,000 - 35,000 less than 2019, the year prior to Covid. Trade was also down $17,000, and concerts down $13,700, from 2019. Those are all areas under Cyrene's domain. Underwriting, under Ramona's domain, was again $39,000 above 2019 amounts, continuing confirmation that the new arrangement with her was working.

Expenses in 2022, which should have remained as low as possible to take advantage of the federal stimulus monies to help the station emerge from Covid, were $464,000, up $27,000 from 2021 and $67,000 since 2019. The biggest increases in expense from 2021 to 2022 involved a $12,000 increase in programming costs (from $6370 to $18500), an $11,500 increase in radio room costs (from $11,600 to $23,150), and a special event expense of $24,000 for which there is no related revenue stream. Radio Room concerts had a net operating loss of $4,500 in 2022, the first time I believe the RR has ever operated at a loss.

For the year, the station's net assets increased by $41,00, to a total net worth at year's end of $361,800. The station had $217,000 in financial reserves available to meet the next year's obligations, a reduction of $11,000 from year end 2021. However, if the station had not received the $60,000 - $80,000 bequest from Marla's estate, the station would have had a net loss of $56,000 - $76000 for the year, and the resources available for 2023 would have been $141,000 - $161,000, also down $56,000-$76,000 from 2021. In sum, the bequest saved the station from a horrible year, and made the year essentially break even.

In 2023, the station brought in $414,200 in revenues, as follows:

Trade. $88,000 ($74,00 less than 2019)

Fund drives and Memberships $66,000 (down $37,600 from 2019, and the lowest amount in years)

UW. $101,800

Grants. $100,100

Fundraisers. $39,200 (back to $2018 level)

Concerts. $18,900 (down $13,000 from 2019)

Raffle. $0

Other. $0

Expenses for 2023 exploded, to $535,900. From 2022, payroll was up by $17,000 ($204,000 to $221,500); the Radio Room was up by $4,000; IT by $5,200; professional fees by $5,700; and the Special Event expense, which first appeared in 2022 as a $24,700 expense, increased by another $20,000, to $44,600.

The station lost $122,000 in 2023, and its net worth decreased by $121,700, to $240,150. The financial resources available to cover 2024 expenses decreased from $217,000 at year end 2022 to $71,750 at year end 2023. Since the station's budget is now in excess of $500,000, that is only a 6 week cushion. The Board has essentially squandered its federal surplus monies on Radio Room and “Special Event Expenses with no corresponding increase in revenues.

Since the Board has refused to share the station's 2024 budget, we have no way of knowing how the station is addressing this shortfall in 2024. What we do know is that the Board did not even adopt a budget for 2024 until the March Board meeting, several months later than it should have been adopted, and that the spring fund drive, ostensibly celebrating the station's 25th anniversary, was an abysmal failure, bringing in approximately $16,000 against a low goal of $25,000. There was no article in the Sentinel highlighting the anniversary fund drive, even though the Sentinel is a trade partner and has highlighted the station's fund drives in the past. If the Board and staff cannot return the station to at least a break even enterprise, the station will be out of money by the fall of this year.

I cannot tell from the financial statements whether the station met its NFFS obligations in 2022 or 2023. The station may have done so in 2022, because of the bequest it received from Marla's estate. Based upon the revenues the station received in 2023, minus the federal grants the station received, I sincerely doubt that the station was able to do so in 2023. If the station cannot meet its NFFS obligations after a probationary period, it would lose its CPB grant funding of $95,000. Losing that funding would be very difficult for the station to overcome.

In addressing the station's cash flow situation, the Board needs to bring revenues from trade, fundraisers, fund drives, and concerts back up to pre-Covid levels, and to eliminate unnecessary expenses. The Board should immediately address the extra costs the Radio Room is incurring, and why the Radio Room is now operating at a loss, which was supposed to be Cyrene's strength and which I don't believe has happened before.

The Board should also address the "Special Event Expense", which cost the station $24,700 in 2022 and $44,600 in 2023 without any corresponding revenue stream. Hopefully, that is not an expense in 2024, or can be terminated if it is.

The Board also could consider once again combining the ED and underwriting positions. The problem with that approach is that the UW position is the one area that is performing well, and while combining the positions would save the expense of the underwriter, it would also eliminate the extra dollars the UW has been able to bring in, as well as the good will that comes with that UW support. I would strongly recommend keeping the underwriting position because of the dollars and good will it is bringing to the station.

If the station is in need of a cash infusion, the one asset the station has, that it can borrow against, is the equity in the station's building. My guess is the building is worth considerably more than its book value, and the mortgage balance is now down to $122,000. The station is blessed with a wonderful banking partner in Alpine. Borrowing against the equity should be a last resort, but may be necessary if the station cannot quickly rectify its significantly negative cash flow situation.

As I noted at the outset, I hope this review of the station's financial statements for the past 7 years is helpful to you. In determining how to bring the station back to at least a break-even budget, if not a profitable one as has historically been the case, you need to remember that in making the difficult choices that will be necessary, your fiduciary obligations are owed to the station and its members, not to the ED or Board Chair.

In order for me to better understand the station’s current financial situation, and to continue to suggest ways to bring the station back to a profitable cash flow situation, I am requesting the following information from you: (1) the exact amount of the bequest the station received from Marla’s estate; (2) an explanation of what the “Special Event Expenses” were in 2022 and 2023, and whether those expenses are now part of the station’s 2024 budget and if so, how much; (3) an explanation of how much the station has spent on its NPR arrangement in 2022 and 2023, where those expenses are buried in the audited financial statements, and what the station is supposed to receive in return for the expense; (4) whether the station met its NFFS threshold for 2023; and (5) a copy of the station’s recently adopted 2024 budget, so the I can see how the Board is attempting to address last year’s $121,000 loss, and to bring the station back to a profitable cash flow posture.

Lastly, I am reminding you that the new by-laws adopted in June of 2023 were a mistake, and that the previous by-laws need to be reinstated. Those previous by-laws provided that the Board would consist of a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 9 directors; allowed station members to vote for half the Board; specified that a quorum to do business would be one more than half the then current Board directors; allowed people who resided outside of Mesa County or Colorado to serve as directors; and allowed programmers and other station volunteers to serve on the Board. That was the dynamic for Board directors for the first 23 years of the station’s existence, when the station was operating successfully, and is the dynamic that is needed now to right the station’s financial ship. In the last two years, the Board has not only caused the station to operate at a significantly negative cash flow level, losing $121,000 in 2023, but has stripped members of their voting rights and denied programmers the right to serve on the Board.

Those uncalled for operational changes need to be reversed just as the station’s financial ship needs to be righted.


Hi KAFM Staff Members,

After much consideration during the past months I have decided to resign as Executive Director of KAFM. I informed the Board yesterday. My last day will be May 31, 2024.

As our team here at KAFM I want you to know how great it was to work with you and to build the systems and processes with you during the past 4 years. 

I wish everyone on the team much success in the coming years.


During the next month, I’ll do everything possible to wrap up my duties and train team members as needed. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help during the transition.


I wish you continued success in all of your endeavors.



Cyrene Jagger
KAFM Executive Director
t:  970.241.8801 x207
c: 951.303.7536
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Become a Monument Member

Cyrene just sent this useless blanket email today Friday April 19th and I will do everything in power to block any funds funneled towards payroll. ED should not be paid. The PD Katie should be fired today. The Board Prez Marianne must resign this Wednesday during the BOD Meeting , and their little boy toy J.S. should be flogged publicly. After All , The First Domino Has Fallen. FINALLY!! It has taken me four years now to right the ship and until today , I felt as if I was merely rearranging the furniture on the U.S.S. Titanic   


  1. Set Some Solid Goals 
  2. Charting Next Adventure
  3. Work With My Gate While Walking 
  4. Practice Practice Practice 
  5. Shooting For Uploading Photos Of Mine As Some Art Frame Worthy 
  6. Updating You All About The Band And Summer Tour Schedule 
  7. Sharing March Madness Stories From Vegas And WoW
  8. Adding Tales From Our Family Reunion And All The Good Aspects  
  9. Post Again On May The 4th Be With You 
  10. Hopefully Prioritizing My Time For Visiting With You All Again 

Miss You ,



  1. ...WOW, what a surprise. I thought that you were in jail or something worse!

  2. Glad you are ok! It has been a long time…no read!

  3. Welcome back! We've missed you! It sounds like you have been immersed in drama. :)