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WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting

Indiana University Radio & Television Center, Faculty and Staff Lounge

May 2, 2011 at 4 p.m.

Prepared by Mia Partlow

Attending: David Bowden, Cary Boyce, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Becky Cape, Jane Clay, Laura Ginger, Peter Jacobi, Nancy Krueger, Christina Kuzmych, Nan McEntire, Mike McGregor, Perry Metz, Lynn Schwartzberg, Janis Starcs, Janet Stavropoulos, Charlotte Zietlow

Absent: Pamela Davidson, Leonard Newman, Walt Niekamp, Gwyn Richards, Judy Witt.

Janis called the meeting to order at 4:00pm. Minutes approved with following clarification:

• “Rescission” was misspelled.

• The sentence “On that scale, we’re looking at $250,000 cut from radio alone” refers to all public funding sources, not simply Federal funding.

Station Updates

• Christina is retiring from IU and moving west closer to family interests. Will work with Wyoming Public Media. Operations Director Cary Boyce will serve as Interim Station Manager while Executive Director Perry Metz begins a nationwide search for Christina’s replacement. Christina, you will be missed!

• WFIU is the second most-licensed station on PRX, a website used to distribute public radio content.

• WFIU is participating in the Impact of Government Project, an NPR pilot project. We were one of eight states chosen to participate in the pilot.

o There were more than 30 applicants to each new job; applicants are from across the country. Positions should pay in the low $40s.

• Lewis Ricci took a packet of information to Washington, and he spoke eloquently on our behalf. Thank you!

Programming Changes

• Changes will continue to roll out as set out in the January 24 CAB meeting, under Cary’s watch.

Federal Funding Updates

• Stations around the country have been having very good spring fundraisers; supporters are rallying.

• The federal outlook remains the same; we’ve got two more years.

• Charlotte Zietlow: You’ve been suggesting more frequently that people donate, so that’s a change.

• CK: Yes, the on-air spots are aimed at those that have never contributed.

• Bowden: I thought it was good that you responded right away, and went right ahead with the 170 Million Americans spots, I thought it was absolutely dead on.

• Becky Cape: How did 170 Million Americans do? I know it was slow at the beginning.

• CK: It started to pick up, Facebook has about 130,000 followers.

• Janis: The funding fight isn’t over though, it’s just postponed.

State Funding Update

• Perry Metz: Governor recommended that public broadcasting be zeroed out in the budget, but the legislature kept funding at the same level as the previous two years. This still represents a 50% cut from funding two years ago.

• Governor has a line-item veto for budget items; he could decide not to give money to public broadcasting, although revenue projects are up. The battle is not over.

• In two years, the battle will begin again.

• There are Republicans in the legislature who believe in public broadcasting, and if they are there in two years, they have indicated they will speak up on behalf of public broadcasting.

• Mike McGregor: Isn’t it time to put together a plan to fund public broadcasting without federal funding?

• Perry Metz: I’ve yet to see a plan that would produce 80% of funding. The increase we’ve seen in membership only covers about 20% of the gap, so it would have to be made up for in other areas.

• Perry: We will take advantage of the university’s early retirement, eliminate positions as staff retire, and substitute free programs for those we pay for, as Christina is doing now. And we’ll develop ancillary income, but that’s a slow growth model. All of that might get us half way there.

• Laura Ginger: You can say the program changes were made for budget reasons, just in case funding disappears.

• CK: And it might be that we repeat programs that are high generators in dollars, like Car Talk or This American Life.

• Laura Ginger: That’s hard for people who listen all day, it’s as if heavy listeners are punished. The 6am hours I have to hear again at 8am, and I hate that.

New Directions for WFIU

• Online:

o Cary Boyce: Traffic has doubled almost twice since January 1.

o Volume has been so high we had to buy a new server.

o Lynn Schwartzberg: what are people looking at?

o CB: AMOS is a big draw; there was an AMOS story picked up by a news aggregator, and it became viral.

o CK: People google topics and WFIU comes up, and that’s another way. The bottom line is that more eyeballs means more potential revenue, through underwriting opportunities.

o CK: I encourage everyone to take a look at the website; there’s a lot of substantive content there. We need to encourage our listeners to take a look at the site. The social interaction is not at the level we’d like it to be, because we don’t have the staff for it.

• Prospective new CAB members

o Perry met with Rep Brent Steele, who asked whether any of our board members were from outside Monroe Co, specifically his areas.

o Four people expressed interest. There is a lunch planned for June so Cary, Perry, and Nancy can meet with them and introduce them to the station/CAB.

Other Business

• David Bowden is very impressed with David Wood’s automation—how it is set up, the conversational way he introduces pieces. He is a gifted person, like George Walker.

• David Bowden: are there plans for further automation? I don’t really like it, especially on Saturday morning when there are 3-4 different voices, it’s a little disconcerting.

• CB: We don’t like it either, but it is cost effective. No plans to change programming into automation, except for technical reasons to improve the reliability of programming. We continue to work on Saturday and Sunday morning to move more towards a live sound.

• Nancy Krueger: IOG fundraising is under way; we need to raise about $100,000.

o The Al Cobine Fund has about $43,000, which the foundation invests for us at an impressive 12.7% return.

• Perry Metz: Thank you to Christina, who successfully grew the fund drive and maintained it at one per year. She also was among the first in the industry to take an interest in integrated media, and developed a website ahead of the curb.

• Christina thanked all of the board members for a wonderful run. There are two board members who have been with us from the beginning, Janis Starcs and Peter Jacobi, so a special thank you to them for 20 years of service! CAB members are critical to the operation of a station like WFIU. They provide candid insight that helps shape decision-making. They also serve as the station’s advocates to the public.

Next Meetings: July 18, 4p.m.

September 19, 4p.m.

November – Fund Drive

Meeting adjourned.

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