Do the Right Thing–a Member of KHSU’s Advisory Board Demands the General Manager’s Resignation

Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.

KHSULet’s be honest – KHSU is in dire straits resulting from seriously bad management – a lack of team-building and leadership leading to an inexplicable firing, a toxic work environment, and historically low staff morale. Community confidence and financial support is at an all-time rock bottom. I can’t fathom a KHSU pledge drive in this atmosphere. I can’t fathom working in the face of continued dismissive and abusive behavior from those in power. Only dedicated staff and volunteers are keeping the station afloat – and their love of community radio shines through.


The KHSU Community Advisory Board (CAB) issued a vote of no confidence last month for current general manager Peter Fretwell. He needs to be let go – PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING and demand his resignation!

University advancement appears to have the decision-making power (including hiring/firing) and a hidden agenda for KHSU. Lack of transparency is troubling and only fuels rumors. Management structure needs to change. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING and transition to a diverse and representative Board of Directors as KHSU’s governing body.

Numerous staff complaints and accounts of harassment and disrespect are symptomatic of bigger issues. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING – in consultation with the CAB, contract an outside and neutral forensic organizational audit of the station’s culture and structure.

Those of us on the front lines have experienced manipulation, lack of good faith dialogue, and back room dealings. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING – accept that change is inevitable, that solutions need to come from our community, and that your long-held power over KHSU is over.

Finally – you have broken trust with CAB members, staff, volunteers, and the community. Regaining respect can come only from walking the walk – talk is cheap rhetoric and broken promises. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING – listen to us with an open mind. We have lived in this community long enough to know how important community radio is to our health here on the North Coast. KHSU concerned members are a bottom up (NOT top down) and grass roots movement. Our community concerns are NOT going away – you cannot make over the station in your image.

PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING! Step back, step down, hand back the reins to the community that is KHSU.


Hélène Rouvier

Member, KHSU Community Advisory Board



  • What happened, you found out the GM was a conservative?

  • The repeated use of the phrase “do the right thing” is nauseating.

  • Man I love community radio, but you keep telling me what to do, just like you don’t like. People need to step back and stop being so upset about things and eat more phsychedelics

  • I second that emotion!
    This is the worst climate KHSU has ever experienced, right up there with former GM John Stearns some years ago. Mr. Fretwell was hired as a “change agent”?
    I attended the last CAB meeting. Craig Wruck, HSU VP, handed out a paper with a vision list for KHSU.
    I spoke up and said that this list of vision points telegraphed is exactly what KHSU already does. So I am puzzled. What is this sudden attention to KHSU all about? There is a hidden agenda and it is being dictated from the very top of Humboldt State Administration who know diddley squat about radio. We were told that the Presidents” cabinet” manifested the list I just mentioned. I asked if any of those folks (cabinet members)were present at the CAB meeting, and the answer was no.
    Also, and this is real chicken poop, Peter Fretwell was not in attendance!!!!! My Wruck made the announcement about Fretwells absence and there was silence until I chimed in asking, Why is he not at this meeting??
    Mr. Wruck told us that poor Mr. Fretwell has been unfairly treated. So, Mr. Fretwell is the victim and Mr. Wruck said he will protect him. So , I say do the right thing and ask Mr. Wruck and Mr. Fretwell to retire now. They are not vested in our community. They have set in motion something awful and unnecessary.
    I spent more than half my life at KHSU , 37 years and I will be damned to let this current mess prevail.

    • TRUMPTASTROPHE for the GOP in November

      And I thought KHSU was already neutered more than necessary many years ago. How many hours a day does KHSU play elevator music, and why are they doing that? Because KHSU’s listeners love boring music? Hell no! Now they are going to get rid of any left-of-center broadcasters on top of that?

  • CLAUDIA Johnson

    What they have done is wrong The radio station been around for years and doing just fine Know all that gone Will there even be a station Maybe that is what the lady in charge wants

  • I agree with every word.
    I DID THE RIGHT THING and withdrew my financial support pending Fretwell’s dismissal. I cannot hold out for Ms Whiteside’s rehiring since she has found a job where she is valued. Dammit.

  • Sharpen your pencil

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa, I don’t believe employees should be treated as such! If your an employer be careful, you give instructions to a person of another skin tone and your a racist, bigot, or a sexist. You libs really need to grow the hell up! Heavens forbid another standpoint or political affiliation, and magically your the devil! There is no community around KHSU, it’s a culy. Be one of their mindless probes or move out! Do the right thing and act like an adult, not some spoiled three year old that didn’t get a sucker!

  • Reminds me of the fate of the Industrail Technology program at HSU.
    Hire an outside dean who is a total corporate a-hole. Drive morale into the dumper, then start dismantling the department. Classic strategy as old as time.

  • HSU has a serious public trust problem. This KHSU fiasco and Village lies (telling the public HSU had nothing to do with Amcal’s development when they were secretly meeting behind closed doors) has really soured my feelings about HSU. Not only do Fretwell and Wruck need to resign; Rossbacher and the other Administrators that lied to the public about the Village need to step down, too. I was thinking of leaving a portion of my inheritance to HSU, but after all of this dishonest behavior, I would never leave HSU any of my family’s money. The current Administration has irreparably harmed HSU’s integrity and trustworthiness!

    • HSU has been on a downward spiral for some time. The top tier is over paid. The classes are the pits and not offered on a regular basis. Too many tenured prof. They are losing their football team and now their radio station (?) all the while raising tuition and making the campus a shiny, socal mess.

  • Support all financial boycott by community members of KHSU at this time. I am just a community member at large and feel something a foot we are not privy to the knowledge of. I do not understand why an outsider was hired in Mr. Fretwell’s position. Were there no qualified Local candidates? That I have not seen nor heard any Support of him in his current position by HSU does sit with me.

  • Please do the right thing. Advisory board resign in mass. Stop the whining.

    • Neverwrong, I think you are completely wrong in this case. “Stop the whining”? So, you support two older, white men in power, who have mismanaged the radio station and harassed female employees at KHSU? That’s okay with you? You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • KHSU is being seriously F-uck-ed with!

    HSU VP Wruck (uck) hired Mr Fretwell (F) for the purpose of being his “change agent”. F is uck’s ‘bad cop’ and ‘enforcer’ to bring about the more sterile, mainstream NRP-clone station that uck seems to think is ‘grown up’. So those 2 men together plan to F-uck the station and F-uck the community.

    uck is not moved by the many complaints of harassment by F at KHSU. He is though concerned about people insulting F’s clothes and observations about his religion and politics. And! There was even ONE person who posted something nasty on a website about F. This made uck angry! (He apparently does not read the RHBB or LoCO, the local, vibrant, near up-to-the-minute sources of what is going on in OUR community, to know that trolls are a fact of life, and if you receive just one distasteful comment, you should feel lucky!).

    Also, in last week’s CAB meeting, uck couldn’t name locally based shows that he knew or liked on KHSU. Pres Rossbacher, when asked the same thing recently, reportedly could not either.

    It’s painful for the great staff at KHSU who are getting F-uck-ed right now! uck wants them muzzled. ‘Tow the line! ‘Dispel the rumors!’ That’s their marching orders. 3 more wonderful, talented, dedicated employees are now effectively on probation, at least 2 seem to being edged out.

    In the name of long term gain, STOP DONATING till this mess is cleared up!
    Contact the station to tell them you will not donate:
    Contact the HSU President with your feelings at:

    KHSU; The Village; Cutting the football program; Tearing down the nursing school to replace it with a parking lot; etc. CONTACT EACH OTHER! Many bad and detrimental decisions being made by ‘administrative’ comm-unity outsiders.
    Power in numbers! Let’s investigate them! And un-F-uck KHSU!

    • Things that make you go hmm

      I absolutely LOVE your comment 💪 ‼️ Power to the People ‼️ 💪 F-uck yeah 😄

      I am told that my characterization of, “3 more wonderful, talented, dedicated employees are now effectively on probation” is not accurate.
      While I specifically used the term “effectively” to demonstrate that I did not believe they were on a literal or formal “probation”, using that term seems to be considered incorrect. “Probation” is the word that I thought, from what I heard, sounded appropriate, stated simply, and understandably. I understand that may be a sensitive word in some cases of (esp. ‘at will’) employment.
      Apologies if this term caused any pain.
      What I can share from my first hand expEARience, from the July KHSU CAB meeting, and as stated by 2 Staff members there, both are now/recently being ‘cut out of important internal communications’. My conclusions to that critical piece of info is that F-uck is doing that to undermine their ability to efficiently do their jobs and/or as a means to diminish their positions/authority/influence.
      There is incredible pressure on the good, capable people who are working at KHSU! I feel very sad for them! And I take to heart that, while we struggle to prevent the usurpation of the valued community entity we love, the Staff are caught in the middle, wanting to maintain their jobs, and to continue to skillfully serve the community from their hearts. Give them love and support in ways you can!
      Yet know that this struggle is bigger than Katie, or any other appreciated individual. We are fighting for the soul of KHSU and the voice of the local community.

      PS: If people/parties who share my/our concerns (as overwhelmingly reflected at the recent CAB meetings, and in the majority of the comments to this RHBB news item) have different ideas about how to move forward with this struggle, the thing to do is to HAVE A STRATEGY MEETING SOON! Brainstorm to find common ways of acting, that will ideally protect the whole.

  • Alt Right For Life


    Just another lib making excuses for bring on unemployment.

    Once weed leaves Humboldt the libs will as well.

    Libs have done enough damage here and the dawn is breaking on a new day in Humboldt, free of weed and libs.

    May I suggest the Tide Pod Challenge to better prove your point?

    • Dream on Alt Right! “Libs” are here to stay!
      And what of the “damage” done long before the Libs ever showed up? Why are there no more fish in the rivers and streams? Massive erosion? Etc.?
      The Libs have contributed as much, if not more to this area, as any anglo-based culture has.

    • Please seek help. This has nothing to do with your delusional political agenda. You simply troll the same sad sh*t on every post. Go talk to someone. Seriously.

  • As is typical in Humboldt. The closed minded activist crowd cries foul in unison when one of their own is justly let go and the uninformed masses in the community blindly jump on the bandwagon. There is a whole other reality in the Whiteside drama. HSU will be far better off when the dust settles and they can really get back to work sans Whiteside.

    • Gee. Either you are inside Wruck (uck) or Fretwell’s (F) back pocket, or you are psychic!
      No one has publicly been told why Katie was fired. (People on the inside witnessed the harassment F subjected her to though). Since you regard her as “justly” let go, please, tell us what happened to cause F-uck to fire a beloved and dedicated employee of 22 years (and a volunteer of 10 years before that)? An employee who was not given instruction about how to better conform to KHSU under the new F-uck-er.
      While you’re at it, Mr Arcatan, please explain who killed JFK and MLK, and of course what happened to DB Cooper!

    • Since they cannot hold the usual fund raiser/pledge drive in this atmosphere of distrust, how will the station go forward, pray tell?

  • Tisk tisk tisk!

    I called to complain about a policy, I disagreed with at HSU, sometime back. I pointed out I will be a transfer soon, but am having second thoughts if certain programs are cut. I was told by the presidents secretary, “Well maybe HSU isn’t for you, then!” When I worked admissions at CR, I went above and beyond my way to help anyone wishing to attend. I would have specifically found out what program cuts might affect the student, so they can make plans for their future. I couldn’t believe this is what my sisters university has come too. Worst admissions service, EVER! I have always dreamed of attending, after my sister went for 8 yrs. The president apologized and the woman eventually apologized but the president was too late, I already decided to take her secretary’s snarky advice to heart. Maybe HSU wasn’t for me anymore, maybe I’ll just take my next 4 yrs somewhere els, whether they have the course I need or not.. Good job HSU & KHSU, keep on lowering that attendance, your doing a great job!

  • I do have a geneal sense that things are not running smotthly at hsu but would anyone care to explain whats happening at KHSU? Nothing in the letter is bery specifc and yherefore I have no clue why this manager stepping down would be te right thing. I know this is a letter to the editor type thing but im dissapointed to see this site publishing rhetoric without any context or even a link to something that explains what is going on. it all sounds dramatic but having read the letter and all the comments I have no clue what its even referring to or what has been allegedly going on behind the scenes

  • It’s not “bad management” per se but instead, this ILLUSION you and others involved with the station for years have created for yourselves. One in which you believe that KSHU is truly a community radio station and that final say-so for what goes and what doesn’t at the station doesn’t lay in the hands of the Board of Trustees at Humboldt State and to them alone.

    KSHU is watered-down pablum compared to other REAL community radio stations. And station management and the Board of Trustees has fought for years to squelch community voices and rid itself of those it deems too fringe to fit their corporate model of what the station should and should not be. You have people serving on the CAB itself who were intimately involved in the dramatic, petty paper-cutting of people to death, ruining lives and reputations over the years and that fact was alluded to in one of your most recent CAB board meetings.

    Arcata deserves a true community voice in radio, not beholden to the agendas and whims of the Humboldt State Board of Regents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *