WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting
The Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center, Metz Boardroom
October 7, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Notes Prepared by James Gray
Attending: Janis Starcs, Peter Jacobi, David Bowden, Lewis Ricci, Mary Hall, Lynn Schwartzberg, Becky Cape, Charlotte Zietlow, Janet Stavropoulos, Alain Barker, Marty Donnelly, Eva Zogorski, George Walker, John Bailey, James Gray, Marianne Woodruff, Phil Meyer, Perry Metz, April Erisman, Nancy Krueger, Andrew Bacher
Absent: Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Pam Davidson, Laura Ginger, Ellen Sedlack, Catherine Hageman, Raina Polivka
Janis called the meeting to order at 4:00pm. Minutes approved.
Will Murphy: Let’s begin by discussing old business and listener feedback.
Peter Jacobi: I am a listener feeding back, and I want to say that I have enjoyed the live events.
Janis Starcs: I second that.
Will Murphy: We have more planned. On the horizon, we have a lutenist, trombone player, and the possibility of covering the Pressler event.
David Bowden: I am grateful to have Pipedreams back on the air. I will be putting my money where my mouth is and matching donations for Pipedreams. We want to do what’s best for our community. This is an organ town. I want to send a letter to the 14 that left comments about Pipedreams. However, I still have questions about Earth Eats’ placement.
John Bailey: There were a few factors that went into making this decision. Adjacency and flow were considered. Earth Eats needs to be paired with another 30 min program, and it flows better when placed near a news magazine than with opera. We do not want to pre-empt local content during opera either. At Earth Eats’ current placement, listeners will be able to listen on their way to the farmer’s market.
David Bowden: Absolutely fabulous program. Annie is great.
Andy Bacher: Sound Medicine was not good at 7:00 am.
Becky Cape: What about Hearts of Space?
Will Murphy: The program is out of format for our station.
Becky Cape: My late husband called it yuppie elevator music.
John Bailey: it is out of format. It is not classical music.
Charlotte Zietlow: What is going on with the cost of the BBC?
Will Murphy: The price for the BBC rose from $11,000 to $14,000 for our annual service. This service allows for unlimited use of the BBC. Airing the limited number of newscasts and one hour at 5:00am was no longer cost effective. I want the BBC back on the air. I am eager to hear what the board thinks of this situation.
Charlotte Zietlow: Can we purchase any services from the BBC for less money?
Will Murphy: We could purchase the newscasts solely or programs solely, but there are service fees attached. It works out to be a similar cost.
Andy Bacher: You repeat an hour of Morning Edition.
Will Murphy: Yes, but we pay for the program. It does not cost extra to play the hour more than once.
Andy Bacher: We need an outside news voice.
Janet Stavropoulos: What about Al Jazeera?
Will Murphy: There are other options. I have considered airing BBC newscasts and no hour-long BBC programs.
David Bowden: Does that cost extra?
Will Murphy: They offered us a discounted rate for the newscasts. It would be a little less than half the price.
David Bowden: What about airing the BBC from 5:00am to 7:00am?
Will Murphy: It is possible…My argument is to keep Morning Edition and All Things Considered in blocks to maintain the integrity of NPR branding.
Janet Stavropoulos: What if we just air the newscasts at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 4:00pm.
Marty Donelly: What is the reputation of NPR? I don’t know how much we want branded as NPR. Is that what we want? I’m jumping ahead.
David Bowden: We have to address the cost effectiveness of this situation.
Marty Donnelly: What are other stations doing?
[John Bailey: Most run repeats of ME.]
Will Murphy: Hmm. Are you actually interested in Al Jazeera?
[Many Answer Yes]
David Bowden: I think it is best not to put Al Jazeera on the air right now. We have been in the spotlight too much recently.
Alain Barker: I think the international news source would be a good reflection of our community.
Peter Jacobi: Are there other sources?
Will Murphy: The AP?
John Bailey: As of right now, there are BBC and NPR services. The CBC does not offer a service.
Janet Stavropoulos: I think newscasts are great.
Will Murphy: Thank you for your input on the schedule. Let’s move on now to talk about resignations. Laura Baich has to step away to focus on issues at Girls, Inc.
Peter Jacobi: I want to step back to programming. The Writer’s Almanac has not returned to its 7:00 pm slot. I want it back.
John Bailey: Modules are difficult. They push listeners away. They are short, and they can be misleading to listeners that have expectations of hearing the beginning of a program. Also, 7:00pm is difficult for us in particular.
Janis Starcs: Returning to resignations. What about Niekamp?
Will Murphy: [As I understand it, Walt] has been given an honorary status.
David Bowden: I hate to run us off track again, but what is happening with State Impact?
Perry Metz: I’ll take this one. NPR has changed their contribution to this effort. Initially, they paid 70% of the annual budget. We were only responsible for the other 30%. Last year, NPR’s contribution dropped to 30%. No additional funding was raised, and IPBS stepped into the situation. They saw the value State Impact had in the state, and not just in our own community. They decided to help with the expenses. State impact will continue.
Janis Starcs: What is the price of State Impact?
Perry Metz: It is around $130,000 annually.
Alain Barker: I would like to add something to the “board changes” section of this conversation. The dean of Jacobs has asked me to join the CAB.
Will Murphy: Welcome! This is nice to hear.
Janis Starcs: What are we thinking of the listener survey?
Will Murphy: Carolyn Calloway-Thomas mentioned this. We need actionable metrics. We are seeking input on this. I realize there is a [survey] group on campus. We can also call on the knowledge of Peter Dominowski. What is the view of the board? Any questions you want included?
David Bowden: I’m interested in the opinion of those that do not listen. Will we need a focus group for this?
Charlotte Zietlow: We need to talk about where the station is going.
Marty Donelly: Are we not trying to grow our listeners? Who? Why? How?
Will Murphy: Let’s move on to Lewis Ricci’s email. I think it could be beneficial.
Andy Bacher: People pledge money. Aren’t you obligated to play what they pledge for?
Will Murphy: No. That seems to be a pay-for-play scenario, and that is illegal.
Charlotte Zietlow: It was made very clear to me that opera fans did not know that their pledges supported programs in July, but opera is back.
Lewis Ricci: I’ll go over the memo. It stated that we have to look at licensing and who we serve. What does it mean to be a public radio station? What does it mean to serve the community? How do we serve IU?
It is our mission that has gotten us into trouble in the past. We need to look at our vision, how the station would run in a perfect world, and our values, what is important to us.
We have a complex constituent situation. The general public pays the bills, but we also have listeners that provide taxes, donors, sustainers, and major donors. Some contribute or pay through taxes and don’t listen. Our listenership can be seen as a series of concentric circles.
We need an ongoing mechanism to measure their input. We need someone external and neutral to conduct our research. This is not something that can be done in one sitting, and it may cost money.
Marty Donnelly: We could look at SPEA and the Kelly school.
Lewis Ricci: We are an IU licensee. I would look outside of IU- maybe, someone from a different public entity.
David Bowden: So, we will need one to lead strategic planning and one to gather info.
Lewis Ricci: Yes, but research should come first. Then, planning can come second.
Will Murphy: So, the planner would help you learn what you want to know?
Lewis Ricci: The planner helps with finding the goal of the survey. We need the planner first.
Perry Metz: It seems there is a danger in casting too wide of a net. Any effort needs direction. We have decided to include music in our schedule against, likely, the greater appeal.
Lynn Schwartzberg: What is our current mission?
Lewis Ricci: I think everything needs to be looked at.
Becky Cape: The mission is different online.
David Bowden: It is my understanding Cary Boyce wrote the one online, and he did it without our input. This was a major change.
Marty Donnelly: Mission, vision, and values don’t change. Objectives do change. Strategy should be looked at. This exercise needs to include a thought about strategic values.
Will Murphy: I would like to hear the CAB’s opinion on their involvement.
Lynn Schwartzberg: I’m very concerned about the make-up of the CAB.
Lewis Ricci: Right. There are so many involved with the station in various ways. We need an objective group.
Alain Barker: What is the C in CAB? Are we the community or a community of those invested? I’m not suggesting we disband.
David Bowden: Maybe we could form a cyber-support group. The staff has young members. Are there young listeners? They could not be self-appointed.
Lewis Ricci: Can we ask for you as management to act on this?
Will Murphy: Yes.
Lewis Ricci: There is no rush.
Marty Donnelly: I agree, and I think we should start rotating members in and out.
Charlotte Zietlow: I don’t want to wait until next year.
Marty Donnelly: Can we afford this?
Will Murphy: I believe so.
David Bowden: I would like to see the institution donate some money toward this, As a formal resolution, we recommend that the university provide resources and money to provide for an audience survey and strategy without drawing on operational funds.
Marty Donnelly: I don’t think we need to go outside the university.
Charlotte Zietlow: I agree.
Lewis Ricci: Sarah Peterson is great.
Alain Barker: I agree.
Charlotte Zietlow: I second the motion.
Janis Starcs: All approve?
Janis Starcs: Approved.
David Bowden: Also, I want to say that you have made some great hires recently. Claire McInerny is great.
Charlotte Zietlow: Mark Chilla too.
Will Murphy: Thanks. I echo that.
Janis Starcs: Adjourn?
David Bowden: I move to adjourn.