WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting
The Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center, Metz Boardroom
April 6, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.
Notes Prepared by James Gray
Attending: Lewis Ricci, Carolyn Calloway Thomas, Miah Michaelsen, Laura Ginger, David Bowden, Mary Hall, Matt Pierce, Janet Stavropoulos, Peter Jacobi, Lynn Schwartzberg, Alain Barker, Charlotte Zietlow, Beth Watson, Sara Peterson, Will Murphy, James Gray, Zogorski, Joe Goetz, John Bailey, Nancy Krueger, George Walker, Perry Metz
By Phone: Catherine Hageman
Lewis Ricci calls the meeting to order.
David Bowden moves to approve the minutes. Carolyn Calloway Thomas seconds. Approved.
Miah Michaelsen: We met last week to talk about vacancies. We have a few names now, and we’ll pull some for membership.
Lewis Ricci: David, Peter and Janis will be leaving at the end of the year. If you have any more suggestions, please send them our way, and remember the importance of diversity.
Miah Michaelsen: Giver your recommendations to Will or me.
Lewis Ricci: Be thinking…Who will replace you?
Perry Metz goes over the forthcoming reorganization of Indiana Public Media. He explains the context of reorganizing the stations. He explains that there are new ways to look at media. We lead the state in what we are able to add with our website. There are opportunities to have a greater focus on cross-platform collaboration.
He goes on to explain that our short term goal is to increase our fund drive numbers. WFIU can build and expand their success. The reorganization will not take away from what radio does well, but it will focus the question of how we make radio in the future.
David Bowden: What are the options that you are looking at?
Perry Metz: There are a few options. One model shows the GM getting outside the building and working as a fundraiser. This model incorporates a content officer for internal productions. There could be operations directors and content directors, and there can be permutations of all of these things.
Alain Barker: Can we tie ourselves more closely to IU?
Perry Metz: Yes. Collaboration is powerful.
Lewis Ricci: Thank you, Perry. This is a nice segue to the strategic plan.
Will Murphy: I’ve been impressed by Sara Peterson. She has met individually with many people that have relationships with the station. Thank you for that.
Lewis Ricci: I would like to give the board the opportunity to endorse the plan today.
Sara Peterson: Thanks. You received a 1-pager and a 4-pager. A document for interpretation is forthcoming. The goal is to have a document that is aspirational and inspirational. The aspirations are the mission, vision and values. This document expands the current mission. The word audience is included, not listeners. Members are a subset of the audience.
Lewis Ricci: Looking over the document, I want to add that this document needs language about “values.”
Sara Peterson: The Code of Conduct is included.
Lewis Ricci: At this point in time, values should be reflected specifically.
Sara Peterson: This is noted. As for vision. We can’t talk too far ahead. We have two external connections. They are maintaining audience and creating a best-in-class experience. The two internal connections point to a compelling, regional portfolio and collaborations.
It should also be noted that the 4 bullets in 2a relate to different schools within IU even though they are not named specifically.
This document also includes the community. The station should provide a sense of place, encourage audience feedback, incorporate CAB participation, and ground the presence of the station in the area. There is also talk of community engagement. This shows up in our translator strategy, partnerships and digital community.
Section 3 looks at the bigger picture. It is the part about connecting us to the world and the world to us.
Alain Barker: I have a question about section 3, objective 5. Will there be a change in the streaming services?
Will Murphy: There has been a mandate for music and talk division. Everyone has their natural gravitation. This is a change in strategic mindset and a big shift. It is what people are calling for though.
Alain Barker: I see this transition putting WFIU at possible risk, if legacy audiences continue to expect a mix of thoughtful programming that includes talk, news, cultural offerings, and art music. I would worry about an assumption that audiences have mandated a separation of music and talk before thorough research has been undertaken. Also, even though it’s not the primary issue, there’s also the question in my mind of how Indiana University wants to be represented on air. Whatever direction the station takes, my hope is that innovation at WFIU will continue to be about the unique ‘voice’ of the station.
Sara Peterson: This would actually expand access to the station.
Lewis Ricci: Is it important to have a new type of mindset? Are we trying to fix something that isn’t broken?
Lynn Schwartzberg: WFIU is still WFIU. Let’s not pretend our listeners are acting in was they are not.
Miah Michaelsen: Also, we can go into other areas with this opportunity.
David Bowden: [Reads an email from LR praising the variety of programming] I believe we will lose listeners and audience if we make this division.
Sara Peterson: I think there are many points on both sides.
David Bowden: You said this works for other markets?
Joe Goetz: In Vermont, we initially took a hit, but soon we had more listeners, more money, and a stronger brand.
John Bailey: 35% of listeners flip back and forth.
Sara Peterson: We can look at other stations, and this has been a success. Any other questions or comments about the strategic plan?
Peter Jacobi: On the previous page, the word vibrant is used three times.
Sara Peterson: Thank you. That is noted.
Will Murphy: Please signal your comments/approval via email in the next few weeks.
David Bowden: Will there be a statement on values?
Will Murphy: I’m hesitant to reopen the document for significant revision.
Lynn Schwartzberg moves to endorse the document. Peter Jacobi seconds.
Opposed: David Bowden and Beth Watson
Will Murphy: I have a couple notes on programs. Sounds Medicine is coming to an end. April 29 will be their final program. We will then air Invisibilia in the short term. We do not have a final decision for what will happen July 1.
Also, Dick Bishop will be ending his time at the station on May 29. Who will be filling his shoes? We’re not sure. We will keep you apprised.
One more note, Sunday will be reorganized. It will create more consistency across dayparts. Nothing is final with that yet.
Will Murphy: We will be having a brief spring fund drive. It should run from a Thursday to a Tuesday. This is not unprecedented. We were $65,000 short on our goal in the fall. That’s our goal for this drive. We will probably do these spring drives annually. We’ve already received a couple of generous challenges.
The drive hours will run 6 am to 7 pm on Thursday. We will go late on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the drive we will be on the air from 8 am to 7 pm. On Sunday, we will be on the air from 8 am to noon. Monday and Tuesday will follow the same timeframe as Thursday.
Lewis Ricci: Any other business?
Perry Metz: WFIU is leading a station grant for a statewide news service from the CPB. What does this mean? It means more regional reporters and network use that involves dedicated editors and digital editors to bring news to the air from around the state. We are moving quickly.
Lewis Ricci: What is the date going to be for the next meeting?
Will Murphy: I have heard votes that July 6th is out. So, June 28th or July 13th, or 20th?
Will Murphy: OK. July 13th is the winner.
Alain Barker moves to adjourn. Miah Michaelsen seconds.
Next meeting: July 13, 2015