WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting
Indiana University Radio & Television Center, Faculty and Staff Lounge
January 23, 2012
Notes prepared by Anna Pranger
David Bowden, Rebecca Cape, Jane Clay, Pam Davidson, Peter Jacobi, Nan McEntire, Lewis Ricci, Lynn Schwartzberg, Janis Starcs, Janet Stavropoulos, Lorinda Youngcourt, Mary Hall, Ellen Sedlack, Charlotte Zietlow, Cary Boyce (WFIU)
Janis called the meeting to order at 4:00pm. Minutes approved.
• CB: It’s running but there are still issues, we’ve addressed the Sunday failures by putting in the broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic and it’s worked well
• CB: There are still importer failures; we don’t know if it’s coming from the hard drive or satellite feed; receivers are being replaced, so that should help with some problems; we also have had weather-related problems
• CB: We had a glitch-free weekend
• Member: Some announcers don’t edit out their mistakes when automating their music
• CB: It will be addressed; we’re working on better training of announcers, conducting break audits
• Member: Is the HD signal more stable? It sounds better
• CB: The new transmitters are helping. We hope to turn up the digital signal so that it approaches our analog signal
Last Year and Going Forward
• CB: End of Year Giving promos went well and Fund Drive went well; we raised nearly $380,000 and the goal was $360,000 for the drive itself.
• We’re working on break audits and compiling a listener survey to get feedback; we’re fine tuning announcers with voice and announcing coaching. We’re also working on the break structure of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Prior to now, the announcer’s log has been cut up to fit stuff in, but it doesn’t parallel with NPR which makes automation difficult in the event of a holiday or emergency
• These changes will stabilize the log and further reduce errors.
• Growth has doubled again over the past year, which has required an additional server. Right now, one is a web server and one is for databases which has stabilized the system and lessened our failure rate considerably.
• JB: The newsroom is launching a daily newsletter with headlines of regional news. Not much exists outside of the Herald Times; they will come up with a daily digest of headlines at the end of each day
• Member: there are a lot of stories that post on Facebook as well
• JB: Younger people don’t even want to bother with email, they would rather have their information via social media or RSS feeds. We’ll send out an initial email to everyone and those who want to opt out will have that choice. The digest will include 3-10 thumbnails and synopses from the daily newscasts. Content will include what was posted to the website during the day and will cover information from local news, Network Indiana, and State Impact
• Member: Where is WTIU on integrated media?
• CB: WTIU is naturally pushing for a format that will run PBS elements such as COVE. PBS has been more forthcoming in offering their developments for free. NPR, on the other hand, is still divided in its methods and plans. NPR uses Wordpress on some of their more forward looking sites, and doesn’t know how to integrate them yet into their own platform. We’re in for interesting times ahead.
• State of the State on Jan 10, State of the Judiciary on Jan 14, State of the Union on Jan 24, I-69: Are We There Yet? will premiere on Jan 26; it was a joint effort between radio and TV. Pains were taken to explore both sides of the issue.
• New program: One State, One World as collaboration with Western European Studies department; it explores how Indiana is impacted by European issues.
• Earth Eats went to half-hour format; Chef Orr is satisfied with the new format, and we’re trying to expand participation by other local chefs.
• Member: Annie has become more active with Harmonia?
• CB: Yes, and it’s good to have a another voice for a few reasons: to keep the show sounding fresh and to not be entirely dependent upon one voice should Angela Mariani ever decide she no longer wants to work on the show.
• Ether Game is also going to a new format in March; we’re hoping to grow the audience with the new format. The old format was expensive for a few reasons and it was Christina’s hope to have a format that could be syndicated. We have a beta test ready.
• Friday Night Programming: We’re looking at finding new programs for Friday evening: Big Bands has been in repeats for years, comments say that Jazz Inspired is too much talk and not enough music, DBJ is looking into Jazz from Lincoln Center which costs money; JB is working on a series of New American Songbook shows, and the possibility of Dick Bishop working on a part-time basis. NPR is working on something to replace McPartland’s jazz show; Tony Kushner is coming in to do an interview for Profiles.
• Sylvia McNair is recording a Latin American Valentine’s Day special; she had previously worked on a Christmas carols project but it wasn’t ready in time for the holidays; the Latin American love songs is a collaboration with Carmen Tellez and the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble.
• There’s a continuity plan under way in all departments of the university. If a tornado or natural disaster were to hit, we should be able to be back on the air. We’re currently about 30% through the process and hope to be at 80 or 90% by April.
• The station license renewal is due in August, it occurs once every 8 years.
• We’re looking into purchasing an archival server. The grant-funded archival project in progressing right now for WFIU and WTIU.
• IPBS hired a new lobbyist and priorities are being assigned now.
• Provost Karen Hanson took a job somewhere else; chief engineer Brad Howard is retiring.
• MW: Our office sells for both TV and radio; takes care of underwriting, corporate challenges, and production support for on air and online; the economy has forced some supporters to reduce their support or remove support entirely. We’re finding ways to repackage products, e.g. finding a tree removal service to sponsor severe weather alerts. Team is made up of 3 full-time and one part-time person in Terre Haute
• Member: Have totals gone up for sponsorship?
• MW: Yes! November was a record month for both WFIU and WTIU, and we are performing to budget and ahead of last year.
• PRX income is up, in 2010 we were the #2 in the nation, about $6,000 in income
• Member: What is included?
• CB: Specials such as Earth Eats Thanksgiving, the Latin American Christmas special, various programs taken from our syndicated stock for Harmonia and Night Lights that have been customized a bit for various seasons or celebrations.
• Member: A potential funding source would be selling Indiana-related items at Indiana History Center and state parks, state museums.
• CB: TIU has a good revenue stream but it’s harder for radio because of rights issues for music. We’ve tried a couple of things like this, but it hasn’t worked very well.
• We’re getting some nibbles on the national funding front, but haven’t solidified anything yet. Website traffic is increasing and carriage is increasing; other stations have agreed to carry the radio feature, and we have a “memorandum of understanding” that will help put us on a better footing.
Weekend in Washington
• Took place over Veteran’s Day weekend; Ellen Sedlack met with NPR voices and personalities; interview with NPR CEO; sessions on reporting on Middle East; 2012 election, Journalism ethics.
• National funding is still intact and still hopeful, and we’ve received state allocations at least. There is a fear that even Republican supporters of public broadcasting may loose their seats.
• One member happy to hear Perry’s spots about gift planning