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WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting

The Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center, Metz Conference Room

April 3, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

Notes Prepared by Shayne Laughter

Attending: Lewis Ricci, Miah Michaelsen, Laura Ginger, Mary Hall, Pam Davidson, Daren Redman, Sara Peterson, Janet Stavropoulos, Catherine Hageman Winkler, John Clark. Staff: Will Murphy, Eva Zogorski, John Bailey, Shayne Laughter, Brent Molnar, Perry Metz

Guest: Beth Shaw

Absent: Matt Pierce, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Lynn Schwartzberg, Alain Barker, Charlotte Zietlow, Lacy Hawkins

Miah Michaelsen called the meeting to order.

  1. Welcome & Introductions – Miah

    1. Approval January Minutes




Unanimous approval.

  1. Board leadership and nominations committee update


Miah M reports that the Nominations Committee met once since January. John B compiled a long short-list of prospects. There needs to be a short short-list, but the Committee has not been able to meet in full. More name suggestions are welcome, reflecting the diversity of WFIU’s communities and audience, including representatives of various organizations, institutions and agencies. Miah M asks that the short list and a Leadership slate be ready by the July meeting.

  1. Spring drive and CAB challenge


John B reports that the Spring Fund Drive starts on Thursday 4/6/17 and concludes the next Wednesday, 4/12/17. WFIU is looking for 660 total pledges, figuring an average pledge of $150 should translate to roughly $100,000 from new and renewing members. The on-air message focus will be mission, not advocacy around the threat to federal funding. CPB provides 13% of WFIU funding, so listener donations are our most stable source of funds. CAB is asked to meet a challenge again, alongside staff. Attendees agree to a $2,000 challenge, the same as the last Fall fund drive. Some will be on the studio phones, as well. John C asks why the threat to federal funding is being downplayed.

  1. Report from the Chair – Miah


Omitted to proceed to III.

  1. Federal funding threat – John Bailey / Perry Metz


Perry Metz reports that “it looks dark, but the sky is not falling.” We aren’t out to scare the audience with prophecies of doom during Fund Drive. Public Broadcasting has a lot of bipartisan friends in Congress, including Republican Chairs of important committees. At the end of the day, it’s these people who write the legislation. National broadcasting organizations are cautiously optimistic. If there were a single up or down vote about CPB, we would win. The danger is the possibility that this cut could be hidden inside a huge package bill that has to be passed as a whole. To lose CPB would not kill WFIU, but it would kill some of the 225 or so smaller stations around the country who have been operating at a deficit for three or more years. If that many stations went under, the cost of operating a public broadcasting system would be spread among the remaining stations, and so the expense of broadcasting would rise – which would eventually kill off more stations. Individual stations would survive, but the system would not.

Pam D recalls what she learned while lobbying in Legislators want to keep their jobs, so citizens need to keep calling the legislators – and connect Public Broadcasting with its support of K-12 education. Janet S notes that if federal money goes away, listener support might go up. Perry M says many listeners don’t understand the difference between local and national programming they hear on WFIU.

John B offers three actions CAB members can provide: 1) keep calling Legislators with talking points he will send out. 2) Find “opinion leaders” to make statements on the importance (like financial return) of public broadcasting to the state and region. Perry M interjects here that the IU Provost Robel is recording a statement, and the IU lobbying arm is getting involved. Perry M met with Doug Wasitis in DC by phone. Wasitis agreed to deliver a message from all the universities in the state to Congressional committees about keeping CPB funded. 3) John B will send around an example newspaper op-ed from NPR, which CAB members could rework and submit to their newspapers around the region.

Pam D gives an example of small towns in the Midwest who suffered major disasters but never got word of it out, because their radio stations were all national commercial stations with no commitment to local news coverage. Brent M relates from his lobbying trip to DC that legislators like to hear about public broadcasting’s reach throughout rural areas for public safety and education. Perry notes that WFIU/TIU have auxiliary power sources so they can continue broadcasting in the event of severe emergencies.

Brent M reminds that when you call a legislator, you’ll be talking to a 22-year-old intern, so just use a couple of points. Brent M also suggests seeking out a teacher to send in one of the op-eds, because PBS has thousands of lesson packages that teachers use in their classrooms.

Perry M notes that Gov. Holcomb has included public broadcasting in his State budget. The proposed CPB cut was not included in the four-month continuance budget.

  1. Radio-TV social media policy – John Bailey


John B reports that the newly-adopted R-TV social media policy was adapted from the News policy and applies broadly to everyone in R-TV. Anything you post on Facebook or elsewhere can reflect badly on WFIU and R-TV. This is an internal station policy. Miah M asks whether posting this policy on the WFIU web site would demonstrate how a code of integrity. Lewis Ricci asks whether the policy applies to CAB as advisors to the station. Perry says CAB members are asked to remember that as an advisor you are affiliated with R-TV, and your positions can reflect on the station. Pam D compares the situation to keeping up one’s reputation in small town. So be careful what you do with your tote bags.

  1. Manager’s Report – John Bailey


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  1. Yael Ksander and the Arts Desk


John B reports that Yael Ksander has left WFIU for the School of Global & International Studies marketing and communications department. Will Murphy arranged for March 31, her last day, proclaimed Yael Ksander Day by Mayor Hamilton. This was read out at her going-away party. She will continue to co-host AMOS, and might appear elsewhere on air. Will Murphy will steer the Arts Desk while a new job description is written and the job is posted.

  1. StoryCorps


Jordan Bullard of StoryCorps is coming for a reconnaissance and planning meeting in late April, ahead of the May 25-June 25 presence. The airstream production trailer will probably be parked somewhere around the Showers Complex. Promotions for the visit will begin in late April, with appointments being taken beginning then for the month. We expect to get 240 stories, or 160 hours of audio, to be used during our Arts programming. Will Murphy is steering the project. Will M asks CAB for suggestions of local/listening area VIPs to recruit for stories. Miah M will remind CAB of this request when sending around the lobbying talking points.

  1. Muslim Voices


This program was started after 9/11, and has been dormant for 3 years but has more than 105,000 followers on Twitter. WFIU will try to revive it in some form. John B is talking to Hilary Kahn at SGIS about funding. John C asks if this could be syndicated. It’s possible. Catherine HW notes that the former organizer of the program has suffered harassment, hate mail and identity theft, seeing her name as a byline for hateful articles on radical blogs. So be careful.

  1. Station renovation update


John B reports that the four Radio production studios will get renovated over the next two months. Equipment and furniture will be updated, and Room 124 will be switched from storage to production.

  1. New logo


The new logo, designed by Emmy Beltre, suggests both radio and wifi. Miah M notes that this logo means new tote bags and water bottles.

  1. Fall ratings


John B reports good news – the Fall 2016 audience numbers were the highest in 15 years, nearly a tie for the highest ratings ever. Mark Chilla calls it the “Trump Bump,” but the addition of WFIU2 may have also factored in. Unfortunately the ratings algorithm can’t separate WFIU2 listeners from WFIU Main. Time spent listening is also up quite a bit, from 8 to 10 minutes per average listening session.

  1. Next Steps & Other Business

    1. Other Business




Nancy K reminds CAB that the WFIU News story about the Indiana restaurateur who was detained and deported went viral and got more than 200,000 views over just a couple of days. It has been picked up by aggregators like Buzzfeed. Perry M notes that a viral story like this crashed the IPM server during the Bush Administration, so we invested in an upgrade for just this eventuality.

  1. Next meeting:


Monday, July 10, 2017. Keep calling your Congresspeople!

  1. Adjourn


4:50 pm

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