As problems grip Turner and ASO, Atlanta’s image, and its sound, fade

By Tom Baxter

Between buyouts and lockouts, the visionaries who dreamed big about Atlanta’s future have to be a little dismayed right now.

Turner Broadcasting and CNN, like the Atlanta Symphony and chorus, were built on the upstart idea that a media operation based in a provincial city could compete on a global scale. The fates of all these organizations are now in the hands of much larger forces, and what happens to them will have a lot to do with the image Atlanta projects to the world.

When the history of the great technological disrupters gets written, Ted Turner deserves one of the first chapters. He scored big on the ideas that a local station broadcasting a baseball team not based in New York could have a national appeal, and that a 24/7 news channel could change the world of news. The disrupter has long since departed from the business he founded, however.

The big idea that now drives the company’s fortunes is Turner 2020, a corporate game plan to cut the work force and beef up paper profits to assuage investors second-guessing Time Warner’s rejection of Rupert Murdoch’s takeover offer.

Turner and CNN still make, by most standards, a lot of money,  but the hungry eyes of Time Warner’s bean counters have lingered with particular interest on Atlanta. The handwriting was on the wall earlier this year when CNN moved most of its on-air talent to New York, and this month Time Warner announced that Turner would be cut by 1475 employees, most of them based in Atlanta.

A company spokesman has said rumors the company intends to sell the CNN headquarters in Atlanta are “categorically untrue,” but the future for other Atlanta-based Turner operations such as Adult Swim remains murky.

Ironically, these cutbacks in Atlanta are taking place at a time when the network is facing increasing competition from regionally based news operations such as Fusion (Miami) and One America News (San Diego). Since they were announced, HBO has shaken the television world with its announcement that it will begin streaming content, followed the next day by the announcement by CBS that it would do the same.

So much for Turner 2020. The playing field is changing so fast that foreseeing 2015 is ambitious. It will take a while to know whether the changes being effected will improve Turner Broadcasting, but they are not good news for Atlanta’s national and international profile.

Neither is the prolonged lockout, the second in two years, which has silenced the city’s most celebrated sound.

Like the problems afflicting Turner and CNN, the symphony’s recent turmoil is part of the larger problems American orchestras are having staying afloat. But music director Robert Spano was also correct when he told the Washington Post recently that the conflict was “not a normal labor dispute.”

“This is a question of whether Atlanta wishes to preserve its legacy of having a great orchestra or having a minor league orchestra. It’s not a question of payroll or health care or anything else,” Spano said.

Since the days of Robert Shaw, bigness, for better or worse, has been wired into the identity of this symphony and chorus. It’s the gigantic, full-throated pieces with choirs and brass in the balcony which have wowed audiences in New York and Berlin and garnered a trove of Grammy Awards. A smaller orchestra would only call more attention to the deficiencies of the hall and be a harder sell.

If anything, both sides of this dispute should be talking about how to preserve at least the impression of bigness. Instead the struggle has centered very publicly around the question of whether the board of the Woodruff Arts Center can dictate the size of the orchestra, an issue which goes to the heart of what Spano was saying.

Federal mediation has so far produced little more than an exchange of accusations about who’s holding things up,  and the public dialogue is becoming increasingly bitter.

At times in a recent AJC interview, WAC board chairman Douglas Hertz seemed to be doing a bad Frank Underwood imitation,  suggesting that the putative public support for the musicians was really only their friends. But on one point, he was undeniably on target.

“If the public cared maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. When you’ve got less than 5,000 donors in a metropolitan area of 5 million, that’s my concern,” Hertz said.

The public should care. And particularly, so should those who have a direct stake in the impression Atlanta makes on the world.

Tom Baxter has written about politics and the South for more than four decades. He was national editor and chief political correspondent at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and later edited The Southern Political Report, an online publication, for four years. Tom was the consultant for the 2008 election night coverage sponsored jointly by Current TV, Digg and Twitter, and a 2011 fellow at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. He has written about the impact of Georgia’s and Alabama's immigration laws in reports for the Center for American Progress. Tom and his wife, Lili, have three adult children and seven grandchildren.

56 replies
  1. Andrew H Gee says:

    “If the public cared maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. When you’ve got less than 5,000 donors in a metropolitan area of 5 million, that’s my concern,” Hertz said.
    With the Symphony Musicians playing at their peak, even under adverse conditions, reaching out into the community and the schools as they do, the responsibility for the expansion of the audience and the donor base falls squarely on Doug Hertz, the Woodruff Arts Center Chair, Virginia Hepner, the President & CEO of the WAC, and an incongruously large administrative staff of both the WAC and the ASO management.Report

    Reply
  2. Andrew H Gee says:

    “If the public cared maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. When you’ve got less than 5,000 donors in a metropolitan area of 5 million, that’s my concern,” Hertz said.
    With the Symphony Musicians playing at their peak, even under adverse conditions, reaching out into the community and the schools as they do, the responsibility for the expansion of the audience and the donor base falls squarely on Doug Hertz, the Woodruff Arts Center Chair, Virginia Hepner, the President & CEO of the WAC, and an incongruously large administrative staff of both the WAC and the ASO management.Report

    Reply
  3. AdamDeSorgo says:

    I would argue that Hertz completely misses the mark. An institution’s donor base is the direct result of its board and management cultivating effective long-term fundraising strategies, not a reflection of how much a community cares. I believe a silent majority of Atlantans who care deeply about the Symphony and Chorus and are now being heard. In making that statement, Hertz merely admitted his own failure to steward one of Atlanta’s finest civic ambassadors.Report

    Reply
  4. AdamDeSorgo says:

    I would argue that Hertz completely misses the mark. An institution’s donor base is the direct result of its board and management cultivating effective long-term fundraising strategies, not a reflection of how much a community cares. I believe a silent majority of Atlantans who care deeply about the Symphony and Chorus and are now being heard. In making that statement, Hertz merely admitted his own failure to steward one of Atlanta’s finest civic ambassadors.Report

    Reply
  5. Brandrus says:

    The WAC stopped soliciting small donors years ago. The “5,000” number is a failure (seems intentional) to make any effort to expand community support.  This is all part of a long term plan to dismantle the ASO.  There is no longer any reference to the ASO in the WAC’s operating charter.  There is not much Atlanta can do about CNN’s departure, but we can save the ASO , preserving one of the institutions that define a truly great cityReport

    Reply
  6. Brandrus says:

    The WAC stopped soliciting small donors years ago. The “5,000” number is a failure (seems intentional) to make any effort to expand community support.  This is all part of a long term plan to dismantle the ASO.  There is no longer any reference to the ASO in the WAC’s operating charter.  There is not much Atlanta can do about CNN’s departure, but we can save the ASO , preserving one of the institutions that define a truly great cityReport

    Reply
  7. Bob Andrews says:

    This problem can and should be solved. Some people in the Atlanta Community are acting like current members of the Symphony are guaranteed their positions. That should not be the case. 
    I suggest that the Symphony have “open auditions” for every position. I’ll bet that there would be at least ten excellent applicants, for every Symphony seat, that would be willing to work within the Symphony budget constraints.
    Heck, we might even get an improved Atlanta Symphony Orchestra!Report

    Reply
  8. Bob Andrews says:

    This problem can and should be solved. Some people in the Atlanta Community are acting like current members of the Symphony are guaranteed their positions. That should not be the case. 
    I suggest that the Symphony have “open auditions” for every position. I’ll bet that there would be at least ten excellent applicants, for every Symphony seat, that would be willing to work within the Symphony budget constraints.
    Heck, we might even get an improved Atlanta Symphony Orchestra!Report

    Reply
  9. Brandrus says:

    Bob, this is an erroneous perception.  We have had many auditions where no one wins the job. To hire a player for this level is a very time consuming process. It can take years to find a suitable candidate. To compound the problem, the ASO’s reputation as a desirable job with a secure future has been  severely compromised by two lockouts in 2 years.Report

    Reply
  10. Brandrus says:

    Bob, this is an erroneous perception.  We have had many auditions where no one wins the job. To hire a player for this level is a very time consuming process. It can take years to find a suitable candidate. To compound the problem, the ASO’s reputation as a desirable job with a secure future has been  severely compromised by two lockouts in 2 years.Report

    Reply
  11. Bob Andrews says:

    Brandrus,
    I think that the ASO is looking only inward.
    We are in changing times! Almost everything is changing. Almost all changes have bettered our lives.
    The ASO much adjust to changing situations!
    re: “secure future,” no one has a secure future unless they adjust to change and perform well.Report

    Reply
  12. Bob Andrews says:

    Brandrus,
    I think that the ASO is looking only inward.
    We are in changing times! Almost everything is changing. Almost all changes have bettered our lives.
    The ASO much adjust to changing situations!
    re: “secure future,” no one has a secure future unless they adjust to change and perform well.Report

    Reply
  13. SWK says:

    A major league symphony orchestra, like a major league ball team, doesn’t simply pick up ‘excellent’ players to build a team. There exists a core sound which these negotiations must seek to preserve. This includes preserving the complement that is responsible for the sound. When you listen to the Beatles, or Frank Sinatra, or hip hop or whatever you’re into, what you are tuned into is the SOUND. People who are tuned into classical music are tuned into that SOUND, and can tell a Chicago Symphony Orchestra recording from an ASO recording: because of the SOUND. This is why people brave ATlanta traffic instead of going to hear an orchestra closer to where they live … Because when they come to hear the ASO, they know they will hear something extraordinary.Report

    Reply
  14. SWK says:

    A major league symphony orchestra, like a major league ball team, doesn’t simply pick up ‘excellent’ players to build a team. There exists a core sound which these negotiations must seek to preserve. This includes preserving the complement that is responsible for the sound. When you listen to the Beatles, or Frank Sinatra, or hip hop or whatever you’re into, what you are tuned into is the SOUND. People who are tuned into classical music are tuned into that SOUND, and can tell a Chicago Symphony Orchestra recording from an ASO recording: because of the SOUND. This is why people brave ATlanta traffic instead of going to hear an orchestra closer to where they live … Because when they come to hear the ASO, they know they will hear something extraordinary.Report

    Reply
  15. SWK says:

    There is no evidence that WAC even wants to preserve the orchestra, having written it out of their charter. I find it very disturbing that the WAC racked up a$188M debt on projects unrelated to the orchestra but expects the orchestra — as its only revenue stream — to be responsible for it. Inept, inexperienced management, and a parent institution that is way over-extended have spelled disaster for what is one of the nation’s top orchestras. The musicians haven’t plundered their own assets, invested their own endowment poorly, alienated an entire generation of donors while going after a few deep pockets.Report

    Reply
  16. SWK says:

    There is no evidence that WAC even wants to preserve the orchestra, having written it out of their charter. I find it very disturbing that the WAC racked up a$188M debt on projects unrelated to the orchestra but expects the orchestra — as its only revenue stream — to be responsible for it. Inept, inexperienced management, and a parent institution that is way over-extended have spelled disaster for what is one of the nation’s top orchestras. The musicians haven’t plundered their own assets, invested their own endowment poorly, alienated an entire generation of donors while going after a few deep pockets.Report

    Reply
  17. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews ….how would you like to re-apply for your job every year against a nationwide candidate pool? Actually consider that for a moment. Would it somehow make you a better employee? Or, would it eventually drive you to start looking for work in a more secure environment?
    Much like regular people…musicians appreciate being treated in a professional manner.Report

    Reply
  18. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews ….how would you like to re-apply for your job every year against a nationwide candidate pool? Actually consider that for a moment. Would it somehow make you a better employee? Or, would it eventually drive you to start looking for work in a more secure environment?
    Much like regular people…musicians appreciate being treated in a professional manner.Report

    Reply
  19. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews  What precisely is “changing” about “the times”….have ethics changed? Has there been some kind of new meaning imputed to the word “stewardship”??
    Remember the gigantic concessions the musicians made during the LAST lockout? Pretty big adjustment to change right there. What changes did management make? What plans did they enact to reverse debt and increase revenue?  (“lock ’em out again” doesn’t count as a plan….)
    Oh, and how many Grammy Awards constitutes “performing well”….?

    Lockouts stink. They are the indefensible resort of bullies.Report

    Reply
  20. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews  What precisely is “changing” about “the times”….have ethics changed? Has there been some kind of new meaning imputed to the word “stewardship”??
    Remember the gigantic concessions the musicians made during the LAST lockout? Pretty big adjustment to change right there. What changes did management make? What plans did they enact to reverse debt and increase revenue?  (“lock ’em out again” doesn’t count as a plan….)
    Oh, and how many Grammy Awards constitutes “performing well”….?

    Lockouts stink. They are the indefensible resort of bullies.Report

    Reply
  21. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    I don’t think that this is an ethics issue. It is coming down to the issue of those that want to perform at high levels and also work within current budget constraints.
    Perhaps ASO Management and Performers should deeply consider the reasons the funding and attendance is declining.Report

    Reply
  22. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    I don’t think that this is an ethics issue. It is coming down to the issue of those that want to perform at high levels and also work within current budget constraints.
    Perhaps ASO Management and Performers should deeply consider the reasons the funding and attendance is declining.Report

    Reply
  23. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    Ms. Adams, I did not say every year. I do believe that if ASO Performers can not agree to a new agreement, then ASO Management must consider the idea of recruiting from a nationwide, if not worldwide, candidate pool.Report

    Reply
  24. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    Ms. Adams, I did not say every year. I do believe that if ASO Performers can not agree to a new agreement, then ASO Management must consider the idea of recruiting from a nationwide, if not worldwide, candidate pool.Report

    Reply
  25. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews – it absolutely is an ethics issue. Holy cow:
    the Woodruff Arts Center management has been very carefully steering monies away from the ASO, demonstrably neglecting what should be their mission (oh, and speaking of “mission”…de-emphasizing stewardship of the orchestra!), calling the musicians “crazy”….The WAC had well over a million dollars embezzled at a curious time in their bumpy financial road, and can’t even agree with ITSELF over how much was embezzled. (It’s a difference of nearly $300k).
    Lockouts are INHERENTLY unethical, Bob. It’s the act of a bully.Report

    Reply
  26. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews – it absolutely is an ethics issue. Holy cow:
    the Woodruff Arts Center management has been very carefully steering monies away from the ASO, demonstrably neglecting what should be their mission (oh, and speaking of “mission”…de-emphasizing stewardship of the orchestra!), calling the musicians “crazy”….The WAC had well over a million dollars embezzled at a curious time in their bumpy financial road, and can’t even agree with ITSELF over how much was embezzled. (It’s a difference of nearly $300k).
    Lockouts are INHERENTLY unethical, Bob. It’s the act of a bully.Report

    Reply
  27. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    Wow Ms. Adams,
    I do not believe that lockouts are unethical. Lockouts are a useful tactic to bring parties to the negotiating table.
    It sounds like some ASO Performers are not happy working for the ASO. Perhaps they should move on to greener pastures.
    By the way, “bullying” is a greatly overused and abused term in our Society!Report

    Reply
  28. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    Wow Ms. Adams,
    I do not believe that lockouts are unethical. Lockouts are a useful tactic to bring parties to the negotiating table.
    It sounds like some ASO Performers are not happy working for the ASO. Perhaps they should move on to greener pastures.
    By the way, “bullying” is a greatly overused and abused term in our Society!Report

    Reply
  29. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews – You know what? “Useful tactic” is not synonymous with “moral action.”
    And…you are feeling sorry for the WORD “Bully”…but not the ACTUAL VICTIMS of BULLYING?
    If you can possibly step into the musicians’ shoes for a moment: they WANT to negotiate, to be partners with management in forging a future for their organization.
    It’s Their Ship they’re sailing on!

    And if lockouts are such a “useful tactic to bring parties to the negotiating table”…why does one party keep stalling? (You know the answer, don’t you? Denying salary and medical benefits is a “useful tactic”.)
    Be ashamed, Bob.Report

    Reply
  30. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews – You know what? “Useful tactic” is not synonymous with “moral action.”
    And…you are feeling sorry for the WORD “Bully”…but not the ACTUAL VICTIMS of BULLYING?
    If you can possibly step into the musicians’ shoes for a moment: they WANT to negotiate, to be partners with management in forging a future for their organization.
    It’s Their Ship they’re sailing on!

    And if lockouts are such a “useful tactic to bring parties to the negotiating table”…why does one party keep stalling? (You know the answer, don’t you? Denying salary and medical benefits is a “useful tactic”.)
    Be ashamed, Bob.Report

    Reply
  31. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    Ms. Adams, so now You are a Victim. There are no real Victims here, other than the Patrons of the ASO.
    There is simply a dispute between ASO Management and it’s Union Employees. ASO Board Members/Trustees will get this resolved one way or another.
    There may have to be some dramatic changes during the process.Report

    Reply
  32. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    Ms. Adams, so now You are a Victim. There are no real Victims here, other than the Patrons of the ASO.
    There is simply a dispute between ASO Management and it’s Union Employees. ASO Board Members/Trustees will get this resolved one way or another.
    There may have to be some dramatic changes during the process.Report

    Reply
  33. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    Ms. Adams, surely the Musicians do not have total control over recruitment.
    I say open up every seat in the ASO, to recruitment. to move forward with the process of getting the ASO back in business.Report

    Reply
  34. Bob Andrews says:

    AmyAdams
    Ms. Adams, surely the Musicians do not have total control over recruitment.
    I say open up every seat in the ASO, to recruitment. to move forward with the process of getting the ASO back in business.Report

    Reply
  35. Burroughston Broch says:

    SWK I agree with you. The WAC Trustees have protecting the ASO endowment as their top priority and the ASO itself lower on the list.
    They seem unaware of their own hypocrisy. They portray a $2 million charge against the endowment as a huge problem, yet portray a $1.4 million embezzlement of their operating funds as of no consequence. Of course, the embezzlement reflects badly on their stewardship.Report

    Reply
  36. Burroughston Broch says:

    SWK I agree with you. The WAC Trustees have protecting the ASO endowment as their top priority and the ASO itself lower on the list.
    They seem unaware of their own hypocrisy. They portray a $2 million charge against the endowment as a huge problem, yet portray a $1.4 million embezzlement of their operating funds as of no consequence. Of course, the embezzlement reflects badly on their stewardship.Report

    Reply
  37. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews – it takes very little effort to realize that I am not an ATL orchestra musician. I am not a victim here, and never claimed to be. The musicians and their families (long without paychecks and insurance)….ARE victims of a shabby, small-minded approach to financial management.
    It also takes very little effort to realize, as you apparently have not….that the ASO board is essentially a fundraising donor group for the orchestra, and the actual decision-making during these times has always been in the hands of the WAC.
    That would be Virginia Hepner, Doug Hertz and the Woodruff Board of Trustees.
    I am in agreement with you, that the patrons of the ASO are also victims. Have you ever attended Atlanta’s concerts? I have not, being from Oregon….but I have listened to their recordings. And I have counted their Grammys. The musicians have done THEIR job with such finesse that they have 27. It is management’s fault, not theirs, that they’re in this state.
    The ASO budget for musician salaries is shockingly low by industry standards, around 25%. Cutting it further is an act worthy of Ebenezer Scrooge …before the ghosts come.

    I wonder, Bob…how do you feel about Georgia’s ranking in the United States for arts funding? Did you know that it’s in last place?Report

    Reply
  38. AmyAdams says:

    Bob Andrews – it takes very little effort to realize that I am not an ATL orchestra musician. I am not a victim here, and never claimed to be. The musicians and their families (long without paychecks and insurance)….ARE victims of a shabby, small-minded approach to financial management.
    It also takes very little effort to realize, as you apparently have not….that the ASO board is essentially a fundraising donor group for the orchestra, and the actual decision-making during these times has always been in the hands of the WAC.
    That would be Virginia Hepner, Doug Hertz and the Woodruff Board of Trustees.
    I am in agreement with you, that the patrons of the ASO are also victims. Have you ever attended Atlanta’s concerts? I have not, being from Oregon….but I have listened to their recordings. And I have counted their Grammys. The musicians have done THEIR job with such finesse that they have 27. It is management’s fault, not theirs, that they’re in this state.
    The ASO budget for musician salaries is shockingly low by industry standards, around 25%. Cutting it further is an act worthy of Ebenezer Scrooge …before the ghosts come.

    I wonder, Bob…how do you feel about Georgia’s ranking in the United States for arts funding? Did you know that it’s in last place?Report

    Reply
  39. Emily says:

    Bob Andrews AmyAdams Dictionary.com says: “Victim: A person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency.” I’m relieved to know that the Union Employees and their families are not suffering financially, emotionally, or physically by the action of the WAC to lock out its employees and cut off their health insurance. Phew.Report

    Reply
  40. Emily says:

    Bob Andrews AmyAdams Dictionary.com says: “Victim: A person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency.” I’m relieved to know that the Union Employees and their families are not suffering financially, emotionally, or physically by the action of the WAC to lock out its employees and cut off their health insurance. Phew.Report

    Reply
  41. Emily says:

    Bob Andrews AmyAdams Never mind the fact that no unionized orchestral musician would join a new Atlanta Symphony, and never mind the fact that nearly all orchestral musicians are unionized, and never mind the fact that any musician who would join such an ensemble would be effectively blacklisted for the rest of their careers… You can argue if that’s a good thing or not, but it’s true. I ask that you please learn more about the business before commenting further…Report

    Reply
  42. Emily says:

    Bob Andrews AmyAdams Never mind the fact that no unionized orchestral musician would join a new Atlanta Symphony, and never mind the fact that nearly all orchestral musicians are unionized, and never mind the fact that any musician who would join such an ensemble would be effectively blacklisted for the rest of their careers… You can argue if that’s a good thing or not, but it’s true. I ask that you please learn more about the business before commenting further…Report

    Reply
  43. John T Ruff says:

    Mr. Andrews, let me ask you something. How much is the Sistine Chapel worth? Feel free to Google it if necessary. Calculate the amortized value of that number and tell me if the public should pay that much as an entry fee to experience it live. How about the Crown Jewels in London? Same question.Report

    Reply
  44. John T Ruff says:

    Mr. Andrews, let me ask you something. How much is the Sistine Chapel worth? Feel free to Google it if necessary. Calculate the amortized value of that number and tell me if the public should pay that much as an entry fee to experience it live. How about the Crown Jewels in London? Same question.Report

    Reply
  45. KDR says:

    “…he was undeniably on target”? Mr. Baxter, do you have proof of the 5,000 donors? Was that part of your research? Let’s assume that figure is true. There is no symphony of this size and scope in the world that has only 5,000 donors. Donors must be cultivated, fed and watered regularly. Overlook one thank you note to a donor and they could walk. What do we know about current donors, previous donors, and what is happening to secure future ones? This is how a nonprofit is run. I would like to see just one journalist in Atlanta take on this topic. Talk to donors. Find out what drives them and what drives them away from the ASO. My guess is that no one at the WAC knows HOW to do this. Its board members know how to make money by selling a product; non-profits do not operate on earned revenue. Fundraising is challenging and you have to have the right people to do it.Report

    Reply
  46. KDR says:

    “…he was undeniably on target”? Mr. Baxter, do you have proof of the 5,000 donors? Was that part of your research? Let’s assume that figure is true. There is no symphony of this size and scope in the world that has only 5,000 donors. Donors must be cultivated, fed and watered regularly. Overlook one thank you note to a donor and they could walk. What do we know about current donors, previous donors, and what is happening to secure future ones? This is how a nonprofit is run. I would like to see just one journalist in Atlanta take on this topic. Talk to donors. Find out what drives them and what drives them away from the ASO. My guess is that no one at the WAC knows HOW to do this. Its board members know how to make money by selling a product; non-profits do not operate on earned revenue. Fundraising is challenging and you have to have the right people to do it.Report

    Reply
  47. AmyAdams says:

    Burroughston Broch SWK You know what else is very odd about that embezzlement? The perpetrator (originally hired as an air conditioning mechanic at the WAC but promoted lickety-split up the ladder) Only Admitted to 1.1 million. The WAC claimed 1.4 had been embezzled.
    And the WAC never, ever explained the discrepancy between those figures.
    The AJC noted it in their reporting at the time.
    So….THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, somehow not accounted for.
    I wonder if the symphony donors appreciate how well their money’s been handled. I wonder if the money they donate to the ASO…actually goes to the ASO.Report

    Reply
  48. AmyAdams says:

    Burroughston Broch SWK You know what else is very odd about that embezzlement? The perpetrator (originally hired as an air conditioning mechanic at the WAC but promoted lickety-split up the ladder) Only Admitted to 1.1 million. The WAC claimed 1.4 had been embezzled.
    And the WAC never, ever explained the discrepancy between those figures.
    The AJC noted it in their reporting at the time.
    So….THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, somehow not accounted for.
    I wonder if the symphony donors appreciate how well their money’s been handled. I wonder if the money they donate to the ASO…actually goes to the ASO.Report

    Reply
  49. Burroughston Broch says:

    AmyAdams Being the victim of an embezzlement, I know there is no incentive for a perpetrator to admit taking more. I suspect WAC wanted to minimize bad press, including how they had been easily duped for years. They might have claimed more and tried to collect more insurance money.Report

    Reply
  50. Burroughston Broch says:

    AmyAdams Being the victim of an embezzlement, I know there is no incentive for a perpetrator to admit taking more. I suspect WAC wanted to minimize bad press, including how they had been easily duped for years. They might have claimed more and tried to collect more insurance money.Report

    Reply

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