Start of 3rd Quarter . . .
Organization Chart, August 6, 1989
As a Director, you are on the middle of the five levels of the volunteer organization that operates all-news WOBC.
Besides the ten Cabinet members, this structure allows as many as 81 Managers and 729 Staff. In reality, at this writing there are only 46 Manager positions actually defined and only 117 Staff positions.
Still, that's a total of 233 positions to be filled. WOBC had only 112 volunteer Members at last count. Obviously, each Member serves in two or three positions, often at different levels.
The Positions Directory near the mailboxes shows a list of the 233 positions, each with a three-digit number for the position and a three-letter set of initials for the Member who fills it. These are called the "position code" and the "trigram." Next to it, the Members Directory lists the 112 volunteers, each with a trigram, a phone number, and a position code for each position held.
Position 000 is the Station Director, appointed by the seven Trustees each spring to a one-year term that begins at the end of the College year in late May. Duties include the overall leadership of the station plus its relations with outside organizations.
The Station Director appoints the other nine Directors, whose position codes are 100 to 900. (The numbers are arbitrary; they don't connote rank.) Each Director can define up to nine Groups within his Division and can appoint a Manager to head each Group, subject to approval by the Station Director.
Likewise, each Manager can define up to nine Staff positions and can appoint people to fill them, subject to approval by the Director of the Division.
Here is the most recent list of Directors' responsibilities and the positions in their respective Divisions.
Duties of 120, Station Promos Manager
The Manager of this small Group is allotted one Staffer, position code 121. The duties involve coming into the station for about an hour in the evening, seven nights a week. It's suggested that 121 be assigned four nights, while the other three nights and the administrative duties go to 120.
The Group is responsible for filling five of the ten "PSA" cart slots and for providing written copy for the Anchors and program hosts.
On a given day there will be five carts in the promo slots, each with a different five-day usage period. Any given cart promotes programs scheduled for a given airdate, which we'll call D. The cart is prepared on the evening of D-6. It goes into the system that midnight and runs from D-5 through D-1.
Division includes Groups called Red, Green, and Blue
the Facilities Director has also served as
Campus News Director
Civic News Director
Activity News Director
At Cabinet meetings, the Directors discuss inter-Divisional problems. For example, the Program Director might want more time for phone-in talk shows, while the Anchor Director and the Campus News Director disagree, not wanting to take any more time away from the continuous newscast. Or the Facilities Director may complain that the Production Division's PSA editors are abusing a certain tape recorder. But actually, problems like this last one can usually be resolved on a one-to-one personal basis, with the engineer complaining directly to the editors. Cabinet meetings are best reserved for more general policy questions.
All the positions interrelate, of course. 733, a reporter in the Faculty Group, may prepare a profile on a new professor and give it to 110, the Features Manager, to be packaged. (If it's especially good, the Features Manager might request a promo from 121.) Finally, the Wednesday-evening anchor, 536, must play the feature as scheduled. But there's no need to follow a strict "chain of command" like this:
Nothing would get done that way. Rather, informal cooperation is necessary.
When a new person wants to join WOBC, he's referred to 420, the Personnel Manager. Through frequent conversation with the Directors, the Personnel Group maintains a list of open positions and positions where apprentices would be welcome. The Personnel Manager determines which apprenticeship would be best suited to the new person and makes the assignment. Then after three weeks, if everything works out, the Manager of the new person's Group will appoint him to a full-fledged position.
An outsider who has an idea for a long-form program will be referred to the Program Director, who has several options. He can reject the idea outright. He can accept the idea and arrange for the outsider to be apprenticed to someone, say the Blue Group Manager, who can help him develop his idea. Or if the outsider doesn't want to join WOBC, the Program Director may merely assign the idea to one of his Managers for development.
The plan of organization outlined above may seem complex and rigid to you.
Some degree of complexity is necessary if a large group of volunteers is to be coordinated to a operate an all-news radio station. There are many responsibilities, from mopping the floors to writing commentaries; each must be assigned to a specific person, and that person must be supervised by another person who can make sure that the job is being done correctly.
But although the plan is complex, it is not meant to be rigid. Positions from different levels of different Divisions need to work with each other daily. People hold multiple positions and may even be each other's supervisors.
Therefore, don't give orders to another Member simply because your position on the chart is higher than his. Cooperation is required. WOBC is a team, and every Member has a unique and important role to play. Remember the distinction between people and positions. The organizational plan is an ordering of positions and responsibilities, but certainly not of people.
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