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Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

Indiana Public Media | WFIU Public Radio - NPR | WTIU Public Television - PBS

WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting

Indiana University Radio & Television Center, Faculty and Staff Lounge

January 24, 2011 at 4 p.m.

Prepared by Mia Partlow

Attending: Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Becky Cape, Jane Clay, Nancy Krueger, Christina Kuzmych, Nan McEntire, Perry Metz, Lewis Ricci, Lynn Schwartzberg, Janis Starcs, Charlotte Zietlow

Absent: David Bowden, Pamela Davidson, Laura Ginger, Peter Jacobi, Mike McGregor, Leonard Newman, Walt Niekamp, Gwyn Richards, Janet Stavropoulos, Judy Witt

Janis called the meeting to order at 4:00pm. No quorum to approve minutes.

New and Old Business

• WFIU has a new Marketing Director, John Bailey, who comes to us with seventeen years of experience. He will be continuing our promotions work and will streamline online marketing and content.

• The search for the Director of Digital Media position (replacement for Adam Schweigert) has been suspended. Couldn’t find someone with the technical and managerial skillset we were looking for. WFIU is now hiring for a coding person who will work part-time.

• WFIU received a digital conversion grant, which will improve our HD1 and HD2 signals, and will replace very old equipment.

Programming Changes

• There are a number of programming changes that will be made between now and June/July. NPR programs have contracts that are up in July/August. For programs not from NPR, could change over at any time.

They will be rolled out slowly, with a lot of explanation. Some will be easier to explain than others.

• FRIDAYS

o 8pm: McPartland will be replaced with Jazz Inspired

o 9pm: Big Bands replaced with David Brent Johnson’s Indiana Jazz program, now in the proposal/development stages

o 10pm: Afterglow remains

o 11pm: Beale St Caravan remains

• SATURDAYS

o 9pm: Thistle & Shamrock will be replaced with Celtic Connection (a free program)

o 10pm: Afropop stays. We were considering replacing it, but it did so well during fund drive we don’t need to.

o 11pm: Night Lights remains

o Midnight: Parlocha remains

• Jane: does Celtic Connections host have a gorgeous voice like Fiona Richie’s?

• Lynn: I’m with you on the voice, but if they have drum and pipes and the program is well-produced, I’m fine.

• Lewis: So you would call this a major reshuffling. Have you thought about how you might roll this out?

• CK: very slowly, with a lot of talk and convincing.

• Lewis: Is there a way to offer the new programs as specials around the old one, so listeners have already heard it? I’m trying to keep us out of the same mess we were in 20 years ago.

• Carolyn: How many people listen to these programs?

• CK: not many, which can be fine if the listeners are loyal and enthusiastic. These programs don’t have a loyal listenership.

• Jane: I know you’re supposed to vote with your money, but I only vote once.

• SUNDAYS

o 11am: Living on Earth will be replaced with the Moth (a story-telling program with a similar audience to that of This American Life) and Radiolab or Changing World, on rotation.

• Carolyn: I don’t like This American Life, I do like Living on Earth.

• Jane: I’m not happy taking an environmental program away and not replacing it.

o Noon: St Paul Sunday will be replaced with Harmonia

o 1pm and 2pm stay the same

o 3pm Weekend Radio will be replaced with Travel w/ Rick Steves

o 4pm: staff recommended dropping INFocus, and we’re thinking of replacing it with The State We’re In, a show dealing with Human Rights

• The State We’re In could go in almost immediately, as could St Paul Sunday.

• Becky: That’d be easy because you can just say it’s not being produced any more.

• Lynn: my new favorite public radio show is The Story, it’s about people you would never know about, and it’s just the coolest show! Also, Splendid Table would be nice.

• Lewis: You want to prevent the perception that you’ve made drastic changes, and avoid the parade of letters to the Editor. If people perceive that you’ve made drastic changes, they’ll say it because you took of their favorite program.

• Lynn: or they might perceive that we took money for programs and then cancelled them.

• Jane: how many of these changes represent cost savings?

• CK: they all do; this amounts to a savings of $10,000-$12,000 per year.

• Lewis: you can’t say that right up front, could be seen as cheapening programming.

• Jane: could say that in anticipation of funding cuts, we are bringing in new high quality low-cost programming.

Budget Cuts

• CPB will be cut or decimated, there is almost no doubt about it. We need to plan ahead for a $60k-$250k reduction.

• Perry:

o Governor Daniels is proposing zeroing out public broadcasting. That would mean another $30,000 out of WFIU’s budget. WTIU will lose more.

o The Governor also suggested that state universities’ budgets be reduced by 3%, which would be cataclysmic for Indiana and would be felt throughout the entire university. For WFIU, it would mean another $30K budget reduction.

o In D.C., Republican members are pushing speaker to call for a reduction of $100 billion from the current fiscal year budget, exempting the military, social security, and Medicare. This means a zeroing out of CPB and/or a recision of this year’s monies and a complete reduction next year.

o WFIU would stand to lose another $30k, if we lost the full appropriation. That’s another $30,000.

• On that scale, we’re looking at $250,000 cut from radio alone.

170 Million Americans Website

• This website is the only tool we have right now. We are promoting it on-air and online.

• We have changed the wording to be more personal to WFIU listeners.

• Jane: how can we assess the impact for the site.

• CK: last I heard, there were 45,000 people signed on. Less than half of stations have put it on website.

• Perry: please sign up online and on Facebook. The main goal now is to develop numbers.

• Perry: The danger now is not an up or down congressional vote, but an omnibus bill cutting discretionary funding of everything except what’s not the military, social security, and Medicare. These are drastic cuts that people may not fully grasp—a case of be careful what you wish for.

• Jane: this is the cultural equivalent of tearing down the Buddhas in Afghanistan.

• Carolyn: Bread and butter issues crowd out intellectual programs; faced with other cuts, I think people will choose to cut NPR.

• Perry: I met with Brent Steele, who circulated a letter to other state Senate Republicans asking to defund NPR b/c of Juan Williams. I wouldn’t say our meeting was successful. Steele believes tax dollars should be taken out of public broadcasting, but he might not push the issue any more. He also asked us how many board members are from Jackson, Lawrence, or Orange counties.

• Lewis: Arts and humanities and public broadcasting should team up. The arts advocacy group has software where you can email representatives, and 10,000 people in the state are on the list. Could we cooperate on state level? I can talk to folks from the Indiana Council of Arts for state and federal advocacy.

• CK & Perry: that would be helpful.

• Perry: Christina has urged we need to plan for tough times, to mitigate the losses; we’re not waiting for axe to fall.

• Janis: The Indiana symphony has a well-connected board; making common cause with the arts community would be a shrewd thing to do.

• Lewis and Christina will talk about the potential for this relationship.

• Nan: I do have arts-friendly contacts in Orange Co. if you’re looking for board members.

• Lewis: I could also give you names of people who have applied for arts grants in those areas.

Impact of Government Grant

• We have received a grant from NPR to be the pilot lead station. It funds two full-time reporters, one online and one in Indianapolis. They will be reporting on education for all IPBS stations statewide and also for NPR nationally. We are all very excited about this!

• More info will come as the project ramps up; right now NPR is being careful about how they unveil it, partly because it is partially funded by Open Society.

Other business

• Christina is under consideration for a position at Wyoming Public Radio. The news somehow ended up in Current Magazine, which is never done.

• Juan Williams issue is giving face to the legislative battles. NPR was a bit careless, another problem of perception vs. reality.

• Becky: Ellen Weiss’ firing is too little too late, and makes her look like a scapegoat.

• Janis: you might admonish George that it’s uncouth to play only one movement from a symphony.

Next meeting: May 2 at 4pm.

Summer meeting: July 18 at 4pm.

Meeting adjourned.

Indiana Public Media is a producer and distributor of public media from WFIU Public Radio and WTIU Public Television at Indiana University including your favorite programming from NPR and PBS.

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