The director of southern Oregon’s public radio network is stepping down after decades in charge. Rob Manning reports on what forced the leader of Jefferson Public Radio to leave.
Long-time director Ron Kramer bought transmitters in California to extend Jefferson Public Radio’s signal. But an audit of JPR and Southern Oregon University found that when Kramer bought other property, debt levels rose, and he improperly represented both JPR and its foundation at the same time.
Kramer’s contract with SOU expires June 30th, and hasn’t been renewed. Kramer didn’t return a call from OPB.
State Rep. Peter Buckley of Ashland says Kramer also is stepping down from the foundation out of fear he might be sued. Buckley says JPR’s governance issues don’t require dumping the person who made the station a “vital resource for the region.”
“I’m committed to trying to make that work, if it’s possible," Buckley says. "If Ron’s willing to look at that, if the university is willing to look at that, if the foundation is willing to look at that – that’s what I want to get done.”
Governor John Kitzhaber has called for mediation talks, with all sides agreeing not to sue.