Sep 23, 2011

Cancellation of English-Spanish show in Gary, Ind., causes dispute

Que Pasa!, a talk show in English and Spanish on WGVE, a pubradio station owned and operated by the Gary (Indiana) Community School Corporation, has been pulled from the air, reports WBEZ in Chicago. The host is crying censorship; management says it's a dispute over scheduling.

Lisette Guillen-Gardnerhas co-hosts the show with her mother, Maria Guillen. It runs from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, serving northwest Indiana’s Latino population.

“Last Thursday (Sept. 15) was our last show. We were surprised to learn that would be our last show,” Guillen-Gardner told WBEZ.

Guillen-Gardner said Gary schools Superintendent Myrtle Campbell and schools spokesperson Sarita Stevens, who is also WGVE’s station manager, spoke to her before a show in late August featuring Tony Bennett, Indiana's superintendent of schools. She said both told her not to talk about a controversial pending school takeover plan with Bennett. Guillen-Gardner refused. “I told them if Dr. Bennett allowed me to talk about that and allows me to do so, I’m going to ask him about that," she said. But the topic never surfaced on the air.

Guillen-Gardner believes her refusal prompted the show's cancellation. But Stevens said Guillen-Gardner refused to move to a new time slot. “It’s very unfortunate that [the co-hosts] have no sensibility in terms of where they want to be placed," Stevens said. "They don’t want to be placed in any other time bracket except for 8 o’clock. This is radio. This is media. Sometimes there have to make compromises. In media, sometimes your program is moved.”

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