May 17, 2007 02:25am
Wankus' Responds to KSEX BS
Source: Wankus Live
by: Company Press Release
Wankus' Official Response to the KSEX Drama
To the loyal and wonderful KSEX Staff present and alumni; to an industry that has in general supported my creation and efforts in the development of KSEXradio over the last six years; to the awesome fans of KSEX, some who never left from the first week we launched, to the new ones we've enjoyed over the last few years; to the members of the adult and mainstream press who have provided years of plugs, stories, recaps and reviews... this is my official statement regarding my termination as show host and Program Director of KSEXradio.com.
While parting ways from KSEX may seem like a shock to most of you who have known me most notably for my dedication and contributions to the "little station that could", after my former partner sold his piece of the pie to Jon Belinkie and Company some time ago, I suspected early on that there was a very distinct possibility, based on a number of disagreements between Jon and I, that we may not be able to get past our differences and that our partnership could potentially have a lot of hiccups.
I'm going to do the best I can to keep this brief, without accusations, finger pointing or too much detail because unless it's truly necessary, I don't think slingin' mud in the public (outside of an all-in-fun radio presentation), accomplishes anything productive or professional. (not to mention, my attorney prefers less work.)
Despite what Jon designed to appear like a one sided, "I've had enough, he's gone" public employment execution, the truth of the matter is that both of us had reached a point that a change was necessary.
For me, there are various reasons I was fed up with our partnership, reasons that you could generically title "irreconcilable differences" in areas that included:
The image of KSEX the direction and future planning of the company What I felt was a basic lack of ethics in a variety of areas including how staff, clients and industry peers were treated a constant battle on simple office management like utilizing everyone on our staff in areas that focus on their strengths, applying this philosophy with all staff from tech crews, all the way to upper management. Disagreements regularly occurred in regards to day to day responsibilities and on an overall basis, I was unhappy quite frequently with what I felt was sketchy tactics and actions towards others, executed for faster success, yet frequently at the expense of others and continued decisions and actions of that nature would most likely taint the positive, fair and moral precedence that KSEX established when company founder Mike Rick first bought the dot com in 2001.
To be clear, since there are assumptions and rumors rampant around the web, I was a 20% owner of KSEX, and was awarded that percentage of the company based on the fact that KSEX was my invention, creation, continued creative contributions and invaluable efforts towards keeping the brand alive over the years even when financials were gloomy.
Also, under contract, I was collecting a trivial salary for my role in the company as a show host and program director.
As the tension between Jon and myself came to a head on Thursday, May 10, 2007, while we had an afternoon of heated arguments, our last conversation pretty much acknowledged a mutual agreement that we couldn't work together and it seemed and felt, probably to both parties, that one of us would have to figure out a way to move on, or at least give i n on some of the points that caused so
much tension between us.
The next thing I knew, I was receiving calls from scattered friends stating that the KSEX CEO, called into one of our shows, live on the air and publicly terminated me. I was later sent a termination e-mail, both pieces of information people were already posting around the web before I was even aware of it. I was told a final salary payment was made before the announcement was made yet I actually received that today and in his letter that was suppose to give reasons of "cause" for the dismissal, there were no points made that applied to anything I did wrong.
It was obvious that Mr. Belinkie made a heated, unprofessional decision either out of lack of control anger management or his intent may have been to smear my name a bit, as he knows I'm capable of starting a competitor for KSEX, especially with no Non Compete claus in my contract. Yet as a 20% owner, under cooperative, respectful and professional conditions, I would have no interest in competing with my own product.
At KSEX, my job responsibilities were very simply spelled out--despite what you may have read from the new KSEX spokesperson who not only knows nothing of the inner workings of a radio or television station on a professional level, but has clearly been misinformed as to who did and does what at the station.
My role as a show host was clear enough. Produce, perform and build a radio show that appeals to a vast audience, provide guests with a generous marketing platform for their product and keep the fans and industry informed of news, new KSEX products and a good variety of features and fun radio. Never an issue for the last twenty years in radio.
As a Program Director, aside from hiring, grooming, training and developing everyone else's shows, I would also write, produce, voice, sing, shoot, edit and present all audio and video elements from show themes to parodies to commercials to production music for live events and/or product. Nearly every musical note, announcer sweeper, jingle, character in a commercial or station promo consists of everything Wankus, from the concept to the finished product.
On top of those duties, nearly all of KSEX outside events, DVD productions (most notably the KSEXgames) and station contests were projects and tasks I also took on. Writing the press releases, for many years I published a weekly newsletter, wrote scripts, the rules to events, directing, hosting parties and even at times touching up photos for the site or adjusting schedules, booking guests for shows other then mine and staying on top of legalities with regards to comments coming out of the mouths of our many personalities.
Thankfully in the last year or so, I was given a little breather with the addition of my Assistant Program Director, Soxxx. He's a "don't go home till its done" kind of guy and he deserves a lot more credit (and $) then he gets.
To be clear, it was not my responsibility to bring new traffic into the station. It was my job to entertain them when they were there. And it was also not my job to maintain and improve a very stale, rarely updated website that offered very old interactive bells and whistles, so boring fans would email us and volunteer to improve it for us. While I did push for constant improvement, the web team was given so many "must have now" commands by Mr. Belinkie, that simple things like changing news stories, galleries and uploading video clips were always becoming secondary.
Through all of that, the site still had a respectable hit count but over the last couple of years, the players on the free side and the members side faced so many technical problems that the average person would sample us and leave. Again, something I had no control over.
And lets be clear about the traffic, listenership and viewership. A few misleading, inaccurate and somewhat slanderous accusations were implied at my expense recently with a horribly falsified stat report claiming that I performed my show to 10 users.
At KSEX's worst, the early days of 2001, we played to more then 10 users. It's been a long time since we've had an audience in two digits all together. There are stats, beyond Alexa that can prove this to you.
There are Three (Official) ways to get KSEX at its current standing. You can listen for free as a non-member. You can buy a monthly membership where you'll be able to watch the shows or if you're a member on the Camz.Com network, your membership gives you access to the dozens of feeds they have, one of them is KSEX.
On the KSEX site, we also have a chatroom. The chatroom isn't as popular as it used to be because the hosts are not chatting as much as they once were because it was becoming such a distraction, they weren't focusing on their shows. But even a 50-100 person chatroom, stats very common from a few years ago, those users represent a small fraction of the actual audience listening or watching the shows. KSEX has a large "at work" user base, military and college dorm. Many users now have hook ups that put their web cams on their television sets and are watching KSEX as a TV show. Further, the Camz network has over ten thousand users floating around their portal on a nightly basis. Quite a few of those users are tuning into KSEX, through the Camz network.
While we signed on with Camz to increase traffic so that we could raise advertising rates, in my opinion it may have been a hasty move (I had no control over) made at a bad time. The concept was good but we were actually doing quite well traffic wise and our Alexa rating at one point was down to 6400 and over the course of a year, we hung in there between 12,000 and 20,000.
By joining the Camz network, no one was coming directly to KSEX anymore. They were joining through a service that gave them a better variety and then when they did visit KSEX, we didn't get the credit because we didn't even know they were there.
The concept still applies today and I have pushed for a new gameplan time and time again to try to at least build on our own user base again. Also, when Mr. Belinkie took over nearly two years ago, with the advice of someone who knew not how the web works, he made a horrible mistake of switching everything to KSEX.com, including web access. If you know your Alexa, that put us back to square one in the millions for stat count and weeks after they finally realized I was right, they changed it back. Yet the rankings were already very damaged.
All technical talk aside, these are areas of the company that I had an opinion, but the responsibility for bringing in new users, fixing technical problems and marketing to new traffic wasn't my final call or responsibility.
Finally, it's amusing that in a recent post from the new marketing guru at KSEX, he claimed that it was time KSEX stopped playing to the industry and outstretched their marketing to mainstream America.
Not only has this been my point from before the arrival of Belinkie and company, but I have made dozens of suggestions by conference call, by email, by meeting and lunches. Suggestions of how to buy cable ads and market like Girls Gone Wild, which markets to start pushing in and advice that the website should be "less porny" and more like MTV meets Playboy... more soft and something people CAN open on their office computers.
The funny part of the new marketing guy's comments are that merely two weeks before my termination, I took a conference call with this gentlemen and Jon. Jon wanted me to hear his ideas on how he could help KSEX and was curious if I thought he may have something to offer the station. While bragging about his marketing skills, I stopped him and asked, "What kind of marketing specialties can you offer us? Who's gonna learn about KSEX?"
He responded, "Well I have connections at AVN, I can get us on LukeIsBack..." I interrupted him and said, "Yeah see, that's the problem. I can get us posted on all those sites. That's KSEX's biggest problem. We're always playing to the industry. We need a marketing guy who's gonna let that construction worker in Oklahoma know we exist, someone who gets us out of the industry."
Days later, I was ousted. He used nearly my exact expression of needed improvement as an example of why I needed to go. Insultingly laughable.
I invented KSEX. Like it or no, like me or no, this was my creation and with the help of many talented and dedicated industry personalities and staffers, this place was a very special place for many people. I am so embarrassed for KSEX and the staff that remains on board as I believe Jon Belinkie showed his true colors in a way that negatively reflects on everyone. Within moments of his public termination, he changed all locks at the studio, passwords and instructed his staff that Wankus cannot enter the premises without a chaperone. The night after the termination, he hired a security guard in case I stormed the building.
I'm still a 20% owner. I spent six years developing a product. Not only would I never vandalize or sabotage the studio, I certainly wouldn't cause any harm to the very people that gave me such great service.
And while an average deejay leaving a post and moving on doesn't normally warrant a goodbye show or any big focus, this is the house that Wankus built. Jon's actions gave me no goodbye to my fans, my staff, my favorite guests or a final sign off on a microphone that's felt inner core will probably reek of my breath for years to come. That still hurts me a week later and many other industry insiders read it for what it was as well.
Following that despicable public act, I received incredible support, offers, emails and found allies I never knew I had, contacting me and offering to help in any way. I really appreciate it.
I also got incredible support from most of my staff, many of whom offered to walk in support, some who actually did.
Let me say this for any remaining staff. While KSEX took a step in a direction that is So not KSEX, if you enjoy hosting shows, if you are getting your chops and timing down, if you like interacting with your fans and want to see KSEX do good things, then don't give it up because of my situation. Keep your eyes open, watch how they "do business" and make a judgment that works for you. The fact that you support me with your kind offers and frequent calls is enough to show me your character and your loyalty.
I am already knocking down doors in a variety of arenas and piecing together some really exciting things. While next years projected winner for AVN's Best Anal and Best Tattoos Pointing to his Ass may think my world is turned upside down and I'm done, I can guarantee you that not only is that far from the truth, in coming days, I should be hitting you with an absolutely incredible rapid rebound announcement.
Finally, with great public hugs I pledge my love and undying appreciation for my awesome honey, Tyler Faith, who has been ridiculously perfect through this transition. Your incredible confidence, strength and inspiration during this nasty chapter in my career has pumped me up and readied me for a successful life change. I love you very much babypants!
As final arrangements are agreed upon and executed between the split of Mr. Belinkie and myself, and my affiliation with KSEXradio.com, I will not be commenting further on the subject. I will also refrain (at this time) from elaborating on my earlier points regarding my discouraging relationship with the current C.E.O. As advised by my attorney, Paul S. Berra. Inquiries or legal issues pertaining to this matter can be made directly with him at 310-394-9700.
All the best,