WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting
In the Metz Boardroom, DeVault Alumni Center, and via Zoom
Monday, July 11, 2022, 4:00 p.m.
Attending: Lauren Dexter-Burns, Judy Stewart, Miah Michaelsen, Karen Gahl-Mills, Michele Bergonzi, Matt Pierce, Adrian Starnes, Sharon Sung Andrews, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Samantha Johnson-Helms, Nathan Watson, Brent Molnar. Staff: John Bailey, Amy O’Shaughnessy, Joan Padawan, Laura Baich, Marianne Woodruff.
Absent: Abby Henkel, Alain Barker, Sarah Taylor, Catherine Winkler, Quincy Robinson.
Lauren Dexter-Burns solicits approval of April 2022 minutes. Judy Stewart moves, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas seconds.
Lauren Dexter-Burns calls the meeting to order at 4:03 p.m.
Welcome & Introductions
No members of public are present to comment.
John Bailey offers an update on a handful of station developments:
Final proofs of the Radio-TV Strategic Plan are occurring this week, then off to the printer in advance of an all-staff kickoff event Tuesday, August 2. The station will be adopting project management software to track progress on the plan, which extends through Fiscal Year 2025. The report will be shared with the CAB. WFIU unit goals generally focus on renewing a commitment to localism in programming and events; diversifying staffing, audience, and programming; and being a leader in technology.
Also, NPR’s board on June 30 approved an initiative called The NPR Network aimed at doubling both the number of people directly supporting local stations each year, and doubling the amount of annual revenue within NPR, by 2030. The main thrust of the effort is to garner revenue from more of the 53 million public media content users, including some 20 million listeners only to nationally-sourced digital content, who are not donors in any form. NPR intends to launch the “NPR+ podcast bundle,” a sponsorship-free Passport-type on-demand initiative; to streamline station donation using Stripe; and to work with stations to cultivate major gifts. WFIU has not yet committed to participation.
WFIU-WTIU CAB Merger Prospect
John Bailey opens the floor to CAB membership at large to share questions and comments about the prospect of merging WFIU’s board with WTIU’s. John Bailey reiterates the key message points in favor of merging that he had presented at June’s joint-CAB meeting. Karen Gahl-Mills requests that a written rationale for a merger be shared with the board at large in advance of a final vote. Carolyn Calloway-Thomas asks management to consider a cap on the board size to ensure all voices can be heard. Judy Stewart asks whether the stations’ respective coverage areas will create challenges with geographical representation. Miah Michaelsen moves that the board approve the merger in principle, provided the management team deliver a merger plan to the board. Karen Gahl-Mills seconds the motion. John Bailey solicits a roll-call vote on the motion, which passes unanimously. John Bailey requests two members of the FIU board – Karen Gahl-Mills and Miah Michaelsen – to assist staff with creation of the merger plan, then suggests that Brent Molnar augment the committee with two members of the TIU board. The plan would be presented to the TIU board in advance of a vote at its September meeting. As deliberation continues, Sharon Sung-Andrews advises the stations consider the brand implications of a merged CAB. Adrian Starnes asks when the merger might take effect; John Bailey says final CAB votes would come this fall, and the merged board would begin meeting at the outset of 2023.