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Lost in Transmission: the Future of SOAS Radio

By Millie Glaister & Toby Oliver-Clarke

On Monday 31 October 2022, Fred Molin, the manager of SOAS Radio was told that his contract had been terminated, and that his employment had come to a close as of the end of that day, giving him less than one day’s official notice. Molin, who had worked as the manager of SOAS Radio for four years and had been involved in less senior capacities for even longer, was given this information through a video call with SOAS HR. 

On Wednesday 2 November, Molin was verbally informed that he had been suspended, with written confirmation not being provided until 11 November, according to a UNISON Spokesperson. A video made public by SOAS Justice for Workers on Instagram documented Molin’s removal from campus. In the video, Molin explains that his suspension from SOAS Radio was due to ‘missing audio from the radio’s Soundcloud server’; Molin then goes on to state that he had been ‘instructed not to pay the subscription for the Soundcloud.’ As of 11 November, all the content has been made visible again following the SU paying the Soundcloud subscription. 

The video also highlighted that Molin was not accompanied by a Union Representative when he exited the building, a measure which ensures that workers are made fully aware of the circumstances surrounding their dissmisal and to protect their emotional state. This precedent has historically been respected at SOAS.

Being under the employment of the SOAS Students’ Union, responsibility for the termination of Molin’s contract lies with them. When asked for a comment on the ongoing situation and the status of Molin’s employment, the SU responded: We are unable to comment on any ongoing contractual or personnel matters relating to SU staff and their employer’. Considering the actions taken against Molin were enacted by the HR department of the institution and not the SU, we also reached out to SOAS for comment. They also stated: ‘We are unable to comment on any individual employment status at SOAS’.

Questions have been raised as to what the future of SOAS radio holds without the expertise of Molin. Jared Harris, a Master’s student who re-established the SOAS Radio society, supported by Molin’s advice, told us that ‘Fred has a lot of ongoing projects with the radio at the moment, and without his support, I’m very much concerned with the direction the radio station will take in the future.’ 

Molin has served as the manager of SOAS Radio since 2018. During his time as manager, Molin led the training of many students and staff at SOAS in the fields of broadcasting and radio. Many of those who worked alongside Molin have gone on to work in related industries, including at the BBC World Service. Molin has long been woven into the fabric of the institution at SOAS Radio. A colleague of Molin who requested to remain anonymous, told us that Molin ‘basically was SOAS Radio for a long time.’ 

Molin’s departure also puts the status of the newly revamped audio suite into question. The studios, situated on the fifth floor of the main building at SOAS, were due to be reopened in the coming weeks, having undergone extensive refurbishment worth 30,000 pounds, according to Molin. This included top-of-the-range audio equipment that Molin was due to oversee the installation of this week. Those involved with SOAS Radio, including Harris, had hoped this would mark a ‘new chapter for the radio.’ 

As of 9 November, the SOAS Radio website has been replaced with a holding screen. When asked for comment on this development, a spokesperson for the SU stated: ‘At 12:42 yesterday (09 November) I received correspondence from a Senior Web Analyst in the IT Directorate of SOAS informing me that the website had been hacked and that it would have to be taken down once they had taken a backup. They informed me that they would put up a holding page until this is resolved.’ 

“The dismissal makes me question whether the institution really has staff and students interests at heart, or whether they see us only as a disposable cog in a wider machine.”

Molins’ departure from SOAS Radio follows nearly 500 redundancies made by SOAS in the past year, many of which were reported on by the Spirit at the time. Whilst the endpoint of this affair remains unclear, students at SOAS have made public the effect this has on their view of the institution. One such student, Kavi, told us that ‘the dismissal makes me question whether the institution really has staff and students’ interests at heart, or whether they see us only as a disposable cog in a wider machine.’

Previous articles relating to industrial disputes and SOAS News can be found on our website at

Photo Caption: Fred Molin in the SOAS Radio studio in 2017 (Credit: @SOASRadio on twitter).

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