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The State Hornet

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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Former CapRadio employees recount the company’s deep-rooted problems

Former employees were unsurprised by recent audit
CapRadio%E2%80%99s+downtown+Sacramento+location%2C+Thursday+Oct.+5%2C+2023.+According+to+a+Sept.+27+audit%2C+Sacramento+State+loaned+the+auxiliary+%248+million+to+aid+improvements+at+the+location%2C+a+loan+whose+payments+CapRadio+is+behind+by+over+%241.8+million.
Cristian Gonzales
CapRadio’s downtown Sacramento location, Thursday Oct. 5, 2023. According to a Sept. 27 audit, Sacramento State loaned the auxiliary $8 million to aid improvements at the location, a loan whose payments CapRadio is behind by over $1.8 million.

Former CapRadio employees have come forward about poor management within CapRadio’s administration dating back several years.

An audit detailing the mismanagement of funds and administration at Sacramento State’s auxiliary organization CapRadio was released on Sept. 27, exposing CapRadio’s mishandling of donations, over a year of unpaid rent for its on campus facility and a failure to repay an $8 million loan supplied by the university.

RELATED: BREAKING: CapRadio Board of Directors sees another round of resignations

Amy Quinton, the previous CapRadio state capitol and environmental reporter, detailed her experiences with the company’s poor treatment of personnel.

“I saw people who were not promoted, people who were denied promotion even though they were perfectly qualified for the job, and already had been doing the job,” Quinton said. “I heard firsthand from people who were discouraged from applying for a promotion and told things like, ‘you’re not the right fit.’”

Quinton said that employees felt directionless. She mentioned how low salaries resulted in low morale for staff and that perfectly qualified workers weren’t getting the promotions they deserved.

In hindsight, Quinton said there were hints that CapRadio would eventually fall into some financial trouble, such as the high turnover rate of journalists at the station.

“Between 2015 until I left in 2017, there were about nine people that I remember that left the newsroom or Insight,” Quinton said. “Eleven more have left the newsroom that I know of, likely more.”

Nick Brunner, former CapRadio fundraising coordinator, was with the station for 16 years. Brunner said communication within the company was bad. Though he never sensed any bad intent, Brunner said he did feel a lot of the management was unplanned.

“It felt more of a lens of ‘we will wish our way into financial success,’” Brunner said. “Rather than actually seeing a step-by-step plan for what’s really happening and how they want to actually accomplish getting the funding to finish not one, not two, but three large construction projects all relatively at the same time.”

Brunner also said staff experienced sudden layoffs and cuts to their healthcare due to CapRadio’s mismanaged payments. He said some employees were suddenly promoted overnight without warning.

“The biggest slap in the face was when members of the radio station staff found out that their healthcare had been shut off, due to lack of payments,” Brunner said. “That’s when the avalanche of staff questions started to begin.”

Both Brunner and Quinton agreed that, while staggering, the audit was hardly a surprise. Quinton and Brunner share the sentiment that the people who worked for CapRadio were not contributors to its collapse, but the victims of it.

“Staff did absolutely nothing to make this happen,” Brunner said.

They said they didn’t want to see CapRadio disappear as a result of the audit, as the company offered a lot of learning opportunities for students.

“Staff did absolutely nothing to make this happen.”

— Nick Brunner

CapRadio Interim President Tom Karlo said being appointed in the midst of the audit wasn’t easy. Karlo was appointed Aug. 15 and said he aims to stabilize the station’s finances and regain the public’s trust.

“I will admit, it’s very challenging every day because there seems to be something new that hits us, not only from the audit but even the resignations of members of the board,” Karlo said. “My overall goal is to right the ship of CapRadio, make it something that is a significant plus to Sac State and the community.”

Karlo said he hopes those same educational opportunities can be returned to students in the new era of CapRadio. He said this way, CapRadio can become the same learning tool that Brunner and Quinton said boosted student success.

“I would hope to put us in a direction that we become an integral part of this education and student success,” Karlo said. “I believe we are the educators to the larger Sacramento and Northern California community.”

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About the Contributors
Julianna Rodriguez, DEI Editor
(she/her) Julianna Rodriguez joined The State Hornet in fall 2023 as a DEI staffer and is now the editor for DEI. She is a senior public relations major, and hopes to become a publicist or work for a PR firm after graduating this spring.
Analah Wallace, News Editor
(they/them) Analah is in their second semester at The State Hornet and their first semester as the news editor. Their passion lies in news reporting and they hope to use their time on the publication to bring back an appreciation for general news writing. Their overall goal is to make the public trust in journalists again, and they hope to one day be a journalist in a big city.
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