Greenstone Media Shutdown Flap, Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Rosie O'Donnell
Failed Femtalk Network May Leave Staffers Out In The Cold
What was expected to be a relatively quiet shutdown of the failed GreenStone Media feminist talk radio network has instead turned into a noisy flap over the way its founders are treating outgoing employees.
According to two new reports, the Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem and Rosie O'Donnell- backed outfit appears ready to ditch its staff without providing severance payments or offering other assistance.
In addition, there have been accusations that the firm is utilizing questionable financial tactics in order to avoid giving staffers their fair due. In fact, it isn't even following through on contractual promises made to key employees!
Eventually, the charges found their way to the New York Post's Page Six:
FORMER staffers of Green Stone Media, the defunct women's radio network, are grumbling that its founders aren't living up to their feminist creds. Women's libbers Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda are "putting their own reputations above their female employees' finances," one source told Page Six.
The recently shuttered station is "refusing to pay severance, and the founders won't file for bankruptcy protection because it would publicly embarrass Jane and Gloria." A spokesperson for Fonda told us, "This is pure speculation. There is no foundation to the accusations and the staff has been informed throughout."
Today, Fonda herself appeared on one of the network's final broadcasts to refute Page Six, but didn't seem especially convincing, even to the hosts, according to Radar:
The show's cohost was more interested in how much severance she and her female compatriots will get, and whether they'll have a chance to extend their health benefits until they land other gigs. Steinem, however, insisted on nitpicking the gossip item.
"The item was just backward," she said this morning. "We chose to dissolve rather than go bankrupt because it cost money to go bankrupt. It saved money for the staff." The idea is that, by avoiding bankruptcy, a company can sell off assets, and Steinem suggested that those dollars would be distributed to employees. But a source inside GreenStone tells Radar, "There are no assets! They rent a tiny space and all the equipment." GreenStone CEO Susan Ness told the staff that no one gets paid after Friday—"No severance, no extension of health insurance (COBRA), no honoring of personal contracts," some of which call for three months' severance pay, the source said.
When gently prodded by the morning show cohost, Steinem said employees would get some money but sidestepped specifics. "The important thing is that the [Page Six] item was just backward," she said. "If we'd have gone bankrupt then they'd have been paid even less," she snapped.
What's less than zero?
In fact, it was your Radio Equalizer that first reported GreenStone's ties to Air America Radio. Those "assets" that consist of leased space were actually inside Air America's Manhattan studios!
Meanwhile, today's Seattle Post- Intelligencer includes a column by Bill Virgin where GreenStone execs make excuses for why their project failed.
After years of being lectured about politics, family life, male- female relations and gender roles by these very people, it's now amazing to see Team Fonda- Steinem- O'Donnell stiff their supposedly "empowered" female staffers.
After this fiasco, why should anyone listen to a word they say?
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Technorati tags: talk radio GreenStone Media Jane Fonda Gloria Steinem Rosie O\'Donnell femtalk network fails greenstone fails air america radio liberal talk radio page six radar online