WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting
In the Metz Boardroom, DeVault Alumni Center, and via Zoom
Monday, October 3, 2022, 4:00 p.m.
Attending: Abby Henkel, Alain Barker, Lauren Dexter-Burns, Judy Stewart, Matt Pierce, Karen Gahl-Mills, Michele Bergonzi, Adrian Starnes, Sharon Sung Andrews, Samantha Johnson-Helms, Brent Molnar. Staff: John Bailey, Amy O’Shaughnessy, Laura Baich, Marianne Woodruff.
Absent: Miah Michaelsen, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Nathan Watson, Sarah Taylor, Catherine Winkler, Quincy Robinson.
Abby Henkel calls the meeting to order at 4:02 p.m.
Welcome & Introductions
Abby Henkel solicits approval of July 2022 minutes. Alain Barker moves, Judy Stewart seconds.
No members of public are present to comment.
John Bailey offers an update on a handful of station developments:
The Radio fall membership drive ended September 20, finding the station at 94% of its goal of $125,000, taking in 737 calls, online pledges, and challenges or matches. 165 of those pledges (27%) were from new and rejoining members (84 of those 165 were new); 191 (32%) joined as sustainers. Email was twice as fruitful as last fall: 19 mass emails resulted in about $15K, or about 15% of total pledges. Two-thirds of the gifts were from Bloomington, but pledges came in from 9 states and 40 towns. The average gift was $194.28, up about $9 from last fall – this points to a nationwide trend of larger pledges from fewer donors. The end-of-drive CAB match was structured as 80 pledges x $65 per pledge for a total of $5,200. The station took in 53 pledges for $8,437 in listener contributions, and seeks fulfillment from most of the board, and for certain board members to hold their gifts over to be applied to a generous combined match on Giving Tuesday.
Also, in September the station received ratings data for Spring 2022. Morning drive listenership was back up to pre-pandemic levels; middays were down; evenings and weekends down sharply. And, the results of the tenth Public Radio Tech Survey arrived. Among the takeaways: the COVID recovery accelerating, but in-car listening and overall momentum were down. Digital listening is steady. Reliance on alternate news sources (daily news podcasts, newsletters) is up. And core values are intact – people are continuing to tune in for the reasons they started listening.
Finally, the station said goodbye to George Walker on July 29, after 45 years and four days of full-time service. He retired due to a progressive frontal lobe dementia that had begun to affect speech and movement. He did not want a public or private ceremony, but the station did find a few ways to honor him: on-air tributes from more than a dozen community members and colleagues past and present; a retrospective video produced for social media; a mayoral proclamation of “George Walker Day”; a gift of a music player; music library naming. And the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce produced a tribute video as part of a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation. Aaron Cain, former Morning Edition host and arts producer and current music director, has picked up the baton and is serving as host of Morning Music.
WFIU-WTIU CAB Merger Prospect
John Bailey offers for discussion a proposed timetable for a merger of the WFIU and WTIU Community Advisory Boards: in October, working with a “transition team” comprising two members of each CAB on a reconciliation of the two CABs’ bylaws; in November, placing a proposal in front of the board at large; and, on December 1, a special meeting to vote on the new bylaws. Public release of the merger would follow, with a first meeting of the converged CAB early in the new year. John Bailey solicits general feedback about the topics the transition team will tackle – including ideal board size, board leadership, and committee structure – and announces Miah Michaelsen and Karen Gahl-Mills will represent FIU in the transition.
John Bailey notes that have five members, some of whom began serving a decade ago or more, prior to the instatement of the CAB’s two-term limit, are rotating off in December, making this their last regularly scheduled meeting: Alain Barker; Carolyn Calloway-Thomas; Miah Michaelsen; Matt Pierce; Catherine Winkler. These five will be deeply missed.