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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

June 18 at 4 p.m.

Prepared by Mia Partlow

Attending: Katie Becker, David Bowden, Cary Boyce, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Becky Cape, Jane Clay, Laura Ginger, Nancy Krueger, Lewis Ricci, Ellen Sedlack, Janis Starcs, Janet Stavropoulos

Absent: Pamela Davidson, Marty Donnelly, Nan McEntire, Mike McGregor, Mary Hall, Peter Jacobi, Lynn Schwartzberg, Judy Witt, Lorinda Youngcourt, Charlotte Zietlow

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

Old Business

• Ellen Sedlack would like a copy of the SPEA report, “The Future of NPR.” Cary will send a link out to the group (he posted it on his personal website)

Operations

• Eoban Binder has been named Director of Digital Media. He has been working as a part-time employee largely in this capacity for almost two years.

• We have replaced faulty equipment, and since then dead air and other problems have been less frequent. When they do occur, it has been a result of human error.

Programming

Car Talk

• The hosts are retiring. Station Managers around the country are asking themselves what they’re going to do.

• The WFIU staff is divided

• They will continue with reruns, but NPR will not reduce the price, which is $20K per year.

• Boyce: Another consideration is that the program is a gateway to NPR programming, and most people cannot tell the difference between new episodes and reruns (as evidenced by other shows that have gone into reruns).

• The program brings in money: underwrites, fund drive pledges, the Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program (that alone brings in $12K yearly, or more)

• The program won’t finish production until September, which means if we put a new program there we’d only have a few months before fund drive to build the audience.

• Ginger: I say we wait and see how it goes.

• Cape: They might lower the price in a year or two if they see a lot of stations dropping it.

• Bowden: And during fund drive, you can make it a point—“we’re waiting to see whether you’ll still support this show.” Vote with your dollars.

• They’ll have reruns for 8 years, NPR has said.

• Ricci: the cars will just get older and older!

• Ricci also pointed out that if NPR drops the price, they’ll tack it on somewhere else.

• Boyce has asked for feedback in the July program guide, and eventually we’ll ask for feedback in promos placed around the program itself.

• Ricci thinks it’s pointless to listen to reruns, but Calloway-Thomas says she’ll listen, and probably won’t know the difference.

• Becker: If people are used to tuning in at that time, there’s an opportunity to put something new there and introduce them to it.

• Boyce: I believe there’s value in the program. But is it $20,000 worth?

• Bowden asked those who listen every Saturday to raise their hands; almost every hand at the table went up. Most people at the table would also listen to the reruns.

• Boyce says replacement options include moving Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me to 10am. It’s NPR’s second most popular show (after Car Talk, of course).

• Becker would like to see Dinner Party. This program is in beta and not available to our station yet.

Earth Eats

• We’re working to market Earth Eats for syndication, especially to current content partners Harvest Public Media, a consortium of public radio stations in the great plains states.

Friday Nights

• There will be a new Friday evening schedule, starting July 6

o 8pm Afterglow

o 9pm Standards by Starlight

o 10p Night Lights

o 11p Jazz from Lincoln Center

• Beale Street Caravan will move to Saturday nights.

• Bowden is very pleased with Dick Bishop’s Standards by Starlight. Says he’s a great radio host, and thinks that it will work better to have Afterglow preceding Bishop’s show.

Celtic Music

• Boyce: NPR offered us 50% off Thistle & Shamrock. But there’s no guarantee they would continue the discount, so then we’d be back to square one after a year.

• Several people at the meeting would like to see thistle come back.

• Other option: Chris Smith had been producing a celtic music show, has about 100 shows. We might be able to use that.

• Bowden: I think it’s a good idea. Chris’s work is interesting, and easy to listen to.

• Sedlack: I have a real objection to Celtic Connections. There is absolutely no sense of Irish history. All the music is light-hearted, and it’s not representative.

News

• Boyce: we’re working to get a news foothold in other areas of the state. StateImpact was a good first step.

• Boyden: I stop to listen when the StateImpact reports come on. I want to hear that kind of stuff. And the business news—that’s what I want to hear. I appreciate the increased efforts, and I’m seeing growth and development in those reporters.

• Bowden took issue with a report on the morning newscast Saturday, june 16 at 837am. It was about unemployment statistics, and he would have preferred to hear the actual statistics instead of just an “impression” of the stats.

Other Programming

• Starcs: You need to be careful with changes. Judy Witt had some wise comments at the last meeting.

• Bowden: If you’re going to move a show, you could add a rerun, then eventually take the original off the air.

• Cape: It’s true that I’m listening to Harmonia more on Sundays now than I am on Thursdays. It’s a good way to introduce people to new shows.

• Boyce reports that the daytime shifts in programming will not go forward at this time. Boyce doesn’t want to change too much too fast.

Mission Statement (please see statement at the end of the minutes)

• CB passed out a proposed mission statement, to consolidate those we use now (there are different versions in use).

• Key question: how has our purpose changed since we wrote the mission statement?

• Bowden: my perspective is that half of what draws me to WFIU is the music. It would be good to articulate that in the mission statement, that we provide a museum related to music. We need to say something strong about classical music.

• Calloway-Thomas: the use of the word “beauty” escapes me. What’s the end game there?

• Cape: I resonated with that word.

• Starcs: Public broadcasting grew out of educational programming, and what you get is classical and noncommercial music, including folk and jazz. It’s entertainment as well as enlightenment.

• Ricci: I’d like to see more references reflecting our community, the local. Ultimately that’s the value, and why people support it. we need to have a more active voice regarding the local programming and focus.

• Ricci makes the point that although WFIU now covers a large part of southern Indiana, listeners in every community identify with the station as part of their local community, not as a broader Indiana identity.

• Sedlack mentioned she would like to hear more from Greencastle.

Board Makeup

• Ricci: I would love to see a CAB member from the younger generation. Perhaps even a transient Bloomington resident like a grad student, or a young faculty member. Things that are meaningful to us might be meaningless to them.

• Becker: it would be nice to get some younger folks on the board, to see what might be of interest to students.

• Krueger: and while we’re talking about adding a member, we might look at the “job description” for CAB members. It probably needs updating. Cary will send it around.

• Boyce: we should look at the by-laws as well.

• Krueger: according to the by-laws, the board chair is a 3-year renewable term. Although it’s renewable indefinitely.

• Starcs: I’d be happy to cede the chair!

Funding

• Boyce reports that we had a good year, and are in a healthy position to grow a little.

• We’ll be adding part-time announcers.

• We can set aside funding for special projects, particularly those that involve partnerships with the university or local organizations.

• Sedlack asked for a clarification on what “partnering” with an organization meant.

• “Partnering” can take the form of a media sponsorship, which is a trade in kind for station logos and messaging in their publicity materials.

• It can also take the form of a content partnership, where a department provides content expertise and we provide production and distribution expertise.

Meeting was adjourned without setting a date for the next meeting.

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