Attempts to mediate the months-long dispute between Southern Oregon University and the Medford-based Jefferson Public Radio network were put on hold last week after Gov. John Kitzhaber requested that the parties renew negotiations after a 90-day cooling-off period. Members of the board of the JPR Foundation, a sister organization to JPR, voted June 22 to approve the hiatus and the renewed attempt at mediation. The university also agreed to back down from threats of lawsuits against individual members of the board. An adviser to the governor told the Medford Mail Tribune that the governor made that request to the chancellor of the Oregon University System. “That allows mediation to be resumed without a gun to the head of the foundation,” says Ron Kramer, JPR executive director.
Southern Oregon University’s law firm threatened the Jefferson Public Radio Foundation board with “expensive” lawsuits in a letter addressing issues of ownership and control of the pubradio stations, the Mail Tribune in Medford, Ore., reports.More than 12 phrases in a six-page March 22 letter from the Portland firm of Miller Nash LLP, obtained by the newspaper, suggest or threaten potential legal action, and describe “in great detail,” the newspaper said, possible legal strategies against JPR Executive Director Ron Kramer and the board — including the potential of dissolving the JPR Foundation entirely. Kramer oversees both JPR and the foundation; OSU terminated his station duties on March 25, effective June 30 (Current, April 9). The parties reached a tentative agreement this week following mediation on the issues, which surfaced during an OUS audit calling for greater separation between JPR and its fundraising foundation.
… Citing a conflict of interest between Kramer’s role as station chief and his oversight of the separate nonprofit Jefferson Public Radio Foundation, license holder Southern Oregon University terminated his annual contract as JPR executive director….
When three unlikely partners — a conservative newspaper in the nation’s capital, a blue-state Republican organization and a public broadcasting station in a quirky, liberal city — set out last fall to change the tenor of GOP primary debates.
A unique local-national hybrid talk show on Southern Oregon Public TV proves that a passion for bridging philosophical divides and a (sometimes shaky) Skype connection can lead to Immense Possibilities. The Jan. 10  episode of the half-hour weekly roundtable introduced four local activists, two from the Tea Party on the right and two from the Occupy movement on the left. They found common ground on the air and are now working together on the ground. Funders, too, have pitched in.