WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting
IU DeVault Alumni Center Metz Conference Room
April 8, 2013, 4pm
Notes prepared by Anna Coogan
Attending: John Bailey, Becky Cape, Pam Davidson: Marty Donnelly, Laura Ginger, Mary Hall, Peter Jacobi, Nancy Krueger, Perry Metz, Will Murphy, Ellen Sedlack, Janis Starcs, Charlotte Zietlow
Absent: David Bowden, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Jane Clay, NanMcEntire, Michael McGregor, Walt Niekamp, Gwyn Richards, Lewis Ricci, Lynn Schwartzberg, Janet Stavropoulos, Lorinda Youngcourt
Janis Starcs called the meeting to order at 4:05. Minutes approved.
Murphy: We need to normalize the tenure, selection and removal process. Are there any suggestions?
Zietlow: What about term limits?
Cape: There is still the issue of confidentiality, since the meetings are open to the public.
Murphy: The CPB suggests that we make the meetings public.
Starcs: If there are personnel or real estate issues we can remind members not to discuss them.
Zietlow: Will those kinds of issues ever come before this board?
Murphy: I don’t think so.
Sedlack: Looking at the old guidelines, absence from three consecutive meetings results in dismissal. That should be put back in.
Davidson: I’m thrilled that it includes station membership as a requirement, but it should also include gifts. Also, regarding the Development Committee, Nancy and I know what it is, but is that clear to anyone else?
Cape: Last time we also talked about audience development.
Starcs: Have we ever had a committee for that?
Ginger: Was it only appointed as needed? In the guidelines, it says they may be amended by WFIU management, and that does not make sense. If we do it and it can be changed, the guidelines are meaningless.
Murphy: Right. There has been a very free hand on the part of the General Manager in the past. Even though we can’t tell each other what to do, we need to work together. Should we strike the last line?
Murphy: There needs to be a nominating process for the three year terms.
Jacobi: The Friends of Music board has a nominating committee.
Davidson: You could say there will be three new members per cycle.
Donnelly: We have two problems: long serving members and the board does not resemble the community. Should we establish a first in, first out rule?
Davidson: Should the board be representative of the community or the constituency?
Starcs: I would imagine the WFIU listenership is not representative of very many communities.
Ginger: Many young people do not even own radios.
Jacobi: It seems to me that the nominations should come from this group, not from management.
Starcs: That’s why the board was established- there were complaints from the community and the GM wanted cover.
Zietlow: There was a change in programming and a strong community response- that’s why the board was started.
Murphy: Again, the board is also required by the CPB.
Zietlow: The CPB has a different angle on the board. They have different goals, to promote certain kinds of programming.
Murphy: The CPB requires community input.
Metz: It is also to lessen the chances of what brought this about originally. When you act, you get people’s responses.
Ginger: We have not just one city, but other counties. We need their input.
Jacobi: A lot of that has come about since the board was formed.
Murphy: We are making an effort to get more geographic diversity on the board. It sounds like you want the board in on the nominating process?
Zietlow: You can still make suggestions.
Ginger: We are more likely to know more people in the community.
Donnelly: We still need to know the profile of the demographic we serve.
Krueger: NPR does a national profile.
Murphy: We do have the ambition of putting together an audience survey.
Davidson: Is it a goal of the CAB that we be volunteers as well as advocates?
Murphy: the CPB wants to know how many volunteer hours we have.
Zietlow: What about the term limits- will those be worked out by the committee?
Murphy: I would like to trim the people who treat this as a “resume” board.
Ginger: Such as the Dean of the School of Music, who I assumed was an ex officio member.
Murphy: I’d like to pull members before the next meeting. The new guidelines now allow for 20 members, down from 25. The nominating process should start in the fall, for the next calendar year. I’ll put that clause in for the next meeting.
Starcs: Should we hold off on voting on this until next time?
Jacobi: We should officially approve the removal of members.
Murphy: Not necessarily.
Jacobi: We should approve a list.
Davidson: When this happened on another board, we sent letters to the members who had not attended and they were relieved to have the matter addressed.
Starcs: Do we have a consensus that you should do the removals?
Jacobi: I move that we give him the authority.
[Seconded by Donnelly]
Murphy: We have an agreement for a consultant to come in and do an audience survey. He as experience doing this for other public radio stations
Operations and Programming Updates
Bailey: We added the TED Radio Hour on Sundays. It is NPR’s largest program launch in decades, shoring up our weekend programming. We are looking at other programs from NPR and APM, including Ask Me Another, Wits, and The Dinner Party. These could be auditioned on Sunday afternoons. We will have gaps when Car Talk and A Prairie Home Companion eventually go off the air. We could run reruns of PHC, but we would rather not. The networks are addressing these upcoming changes with new programming.
Ginger: Could any of these programs appeal to young listeners?
Bailey: Possibly. Many of these programs began as podcasts are currently being offered at a discount.
Sedlack: What are the peak hours on weekends?
Bailey: Mornings. We will try the new programs midday.
Davidson: There is a great Harry Shearer program- it is almost like The Onion.
Bailey: It is called Le Show.
Krueger: Are we considering The Splendid Table?
Bailey: There is also America’s Test Kitchen.
Sedlack: Do you know Left, Right and Center? It is on WFYI.
Ginger: Will Thistle and Shamrock return?
Bailey: No, it was too expensive for its timeslot and there was not enough listener support.
Hall: What about web pledges? It is hard to tell what program those are intended to support.
Bailey: We can’t always tell.
Cape: Sometimes you can tell from the premiums they want.
Davidson: We could leverage that during fund drive- “If you want to hear Thistle and Shamrock, please pledge.”
Ginger: I can’t imagine anyone would miss Celtic Connections.
Starcs: I think Fiona Ritchie would inspire some calls.
Davidson: It would be great if she were to headline the Lotus Festival. Why is Talk of the Nation ending?
Bailey: NPR wants to invest more in news magazine content rather than call in programs. They are partnering with WBUR to expand Here and Now, and they are retaining Science Friday.
Davidson: But TotN was just like the Diane Rehm Show, and it is very popular.
Zietlow: There was a series a few weeks ago about people going on disability rather than unemployment. The disabled community was not happy with this coverage. I am on the Disability Connection board and received a lot of feedback. NPR needs to listen to this feedback.
Murphy: I would direct them to the NPR ombudsman online.
Jacobi: Getting back to the idea of appealing to a younger audience. ..
Zietlow: It’s the parents.
Bailey: We are not talking about undergraduates, more like people in their 20s.
Murphy: When we say younger, we mean 40s. Programs like Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! effectively use viral marketing and social media.
Starcs: Are we using more social media?
Bailey: Yes. For example, April is Public Radio Music Month. Pictures from Music Month events are going on Facebook, reaching our social media crowd.
Davidson: Do we reach out to the students in the Radio and TV building?
Krueger: TV regularly asks people to “like” things on Facebook.
Zietlow: Do we have focus groups?
Starcs: It’s something to think about.
Davidson: Philanthropy is a learned behavior, not a function of wealth. We should get students involved.
Bailey: We are looking at the expenses related to some weeknight programs. We will be dropping Pipedreams and Hearts of Space, which I would like to replace with classical programming to fit between the NY Philharmonic and Classical Music Overnight.
Murphy: When I started there were a lot of weekend discrepancies. These have been significantly reduced. In 2003 we applied for numerous translators all over the state. Now, the FCC is going through their application files. Last week we were given a short deadline to decide which translators we wanted. With the help of a consultant I know in Chicago, we finalized our applications for Greensburg, French Lick, and Seymour. We will find out if we get them by the end of the month. In Greensburg and French Lick, we would be able to run our second channel.
Mia Partlow has moved to the Underwriting staff. We have made an offer to a candidate to replace her, and today we received a tentative acceptance.
Zietlow: What is the job title?
Murphy: Radio Projects Coordinator. It includes office management and whatever else suits the skills of the person in the position. We have two new part-time announcers: Mark Chilla and Alexandra Morphet. In the newsroom, we are losing Shameka Neely, Julie Rawe and Dan Goldblatt. Jimmy Jenkins and Emily Wright will be stepping up to take on their responsibilities.
Metz: We have had two years with NPR on this collaboration. Last week we had an event at WFYI about the Common Core. Kyle Stokes and Elle Moxley led a civil discussion with substance. I met a very right-oriented member of the state Board of Education who had heard some of Shadows of Innocence and was so impressed that he sought out the TV version. Also in attendance were reformers, teachers, principals and Margaret Low Smith, VP of News at NPR and liaison for the State Impact project. She was very complimentary of Kyle and Elle’s work.
Zietlow: The reporters are doing a great job being impartial. It is difficult, because of the awkward situation that Glenda Ritz is in.
Starcs: Anything we can add to clarify the issue is helpful.
Metz: That is the goal. They also maintain a blog. Only the Republican members of the Senate Education Committee attended, and they were very engaged. Kyle and Elle’s work is being widely read.
Ginger: Are they heard all over the state?
Metz: There are seven State Impact member stations
Next meeting: Scheduled for July 1, may be rescheduled due to proximity to the July 4 holiday