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WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting

DeVault Alumni Center, Metz Board Room

Monday, July 15, 2019, at 4:00 p.m.

Attending: Sara Peterson, Pam Davidson, Sarah Taylor, Mary Hall, Laura Ginger, John Clark, Charlotte Zietlow, Janet Stavropoulos, Abby Henkel, Alain Barker. Staff: John Bailey, Perry Metz, Laura Baich, Will Murphy, Eva Zogorski.


Absent: Matt Pierce, Nancy Chen Long, Quinton Stroud, Daren Redman, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Quincy Robinson, Adrian Starnes, Catherine Winkler, Alexandra Chamberlain, Lacy Hawkins, Miah Michaelsen, Lynn Schwartzberg, Hilda Andres, Brent Molnar.

Sara Peterson calls the meeting to order.

Welcome & Introductions

Sara Peterson seeks motion to approve April 2019 minutes. John Clark moves, Pam Davidson seconds. Motion passes.

Public Comment 

No members of public are present to comment.

Fund drive: Spring recap, Fall preview

John Bailey: This April’s goal was 700 pledges, at an average gift of about $145. We did not meet the total pledge goal (missing by more than 100); but, among in-drive listener gifts, pre-drive activity, and individual challengers, slightly exceeded the previous spring’s overall dollar mark.
Dates are settled for this fall’s drive; it’s earlier than ever – September 24 through 30. That date range spans IU’s Bicentennial weekend – that’s the stretch in which we had already committed to focusing as much of our local programming as possible on IU themes; now those shows will be pledge specials. Drive is in September because we’re projecting softer pledge activity for FY20, and we want to leave sufficient space for an experiment: an intense, well-promoted one-day drive on Giving Tuesday, December 3.
Activity might be softer than usual because of tax law changes (donors giving less and/or only once/year via IRAs/Donor-Advised Funds because standard deduction has nearly doubled, meaning fewer people are itemizing); an election cycle in which more philanthropic giving is funneled toward candidates; and a feeling of economic uncertainty. The shape of our calendar-year-end efforts has yet to be determined.  
Perry Metz: TIU will need to come up with $800,000 to fund new transmitter technology. This will not affect Radio, whose budget is independent.
John Bailey: Because, for the first time, the fall drive will precede the October CAB meeting, the board may wish now to begin discussing its commitment to a CAB Challenge. Last fall’s was met: 35 pledges for $3,500 during the 8 a.m. hour of Morning Edition on the final day.
Sara Peterson: Encourages participation in a CAB Challenge at a level comparable to the past ($3500 last fall), as well as phone volunteering.
Abby Henkel: Let’s seek a larger combined figure, such as $4,000.
Sara Peterson: The board is good for about $6,000 in total giving each year. That could be a starting point. Recommend staff talk about how to structure a challenge and bring a suggestion back to the board.

Prospective property purchase  

GM update
Perry Metz: after an auditor’s review, WFIU and WTIU have had to revise their non-federal financial support figures and return about $40,000 to CPB. Following the completion of the review, the State Board of Accounts turned over the task of auditing state-owned stations to a private firm. Also, the campus now plans to hire out the job of preparing annual financial statements.
Re: his succession after his retirement on September 30, the Provost has convened a search committee (Alain Barker, Janae Cummings, Jay Kincaid, Anne Ryder) to be led by IU VP of Marketing and IT Brad Wheeler. The job has not been posted, nor has an interim been named. Sara Peterson expresses dismay that the hiring process is not underway, because a gap is almost a certainty. Perry assures he will be leaving a balanced budget and that the organization will not slow down on any initiatives.
Re: the letter of concern sent to the board by former employee Becca Costello. Perry reiterates the contents of his response to the board and his offer to discuss the issue with any concerned board member. Abby Henkel says she would like to learn more. Sara Peterson expresses a concern for the overall effect of the letter’s claims on the organization’s reputation.
Sara Peterson requests an update on diversity training, particularly in light of a letter just received from John Clower. John Bailey shares that “Brother William” Morris has offered to conduct a training session with staff later this year, and that the station will accept.

Manager’s Report – John Bailey

IPB News soft-launched its daily statewide talk show today on WFYI; it will be available to (and picked up by) all public radio news stations in Indiana September 30. It has been retitled from “Crossroads” to “All IN.”

Joining our roster of syndicated offerings on PRX as early as this fall: PorchLight; the Saturday edition of Soul Kitchen; Sylvia McNair.

NPR is planning to work with Amazon on rolling out a smart speaker edition of the latest hour of local stations’ broadcast of Morning Edition, including local content and breaks. It will not be available on podcast; it is just for Alexa; available each day until mid-afternoon. There is a monetization opportunity: one local and one national “preroll.” Station participation hinges upon its approval, and we have given consent. The audio will have PPM codes in metered markets, meaning listening will be credited back to that hour; in diary markets such as ours, audiences can report their public radio listening from any device. This is a response to the growth of smart speakers (now more than 53 million American adults) and to the decline of radio listening in the home (50% of 18-34-year-olds don’t have one at home). This is as close to a radio DVR experience as we have seen.

Next Steps & Other Business

Sara Peterson: six CAB members are slated to rotate off at the end of this year, barring any exception. It makes sense to except Lynn and to elevate her to board chair. The nominations committee should convene before the October meeting to suggest names to repopulate the board. Sara P requests volunteers for the committee: Abby Henkel is nominated by Alain Barker; Pam Davidson volunteers; Miah Michaelsen is nominated by Sara P.


John Clark moves. Pam Davidson seconds. Adjourned at 5:31 p.m.