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WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting

The Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center, Metz Conference Room

March 28, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

Notes Prepared by Shayne LaughterÂ

Attending: Lewis Ricci, Miah Michaelsen, Laura Ginger, Mary Hall (phone), Lynn Schwartzberg, Alain Barker, Charlotte Zietlow, Beth Watson (phone), Pam Davidson, Todd Nation, Daren Redman, Sara Peterson, Janet Stavropoulos. Staff: Will Murphy, Eva Zogorski, John Bailey, Shayne Laughter, Brent Molnar, Perry Metz

Absent: Matt Pierce, Catherine Hageman, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas

Lewis Ricci called the meeting to order.

Minutes: Laura requested that January minutes reflect her absence. Eva requested that the listenership statement in the January minutes be corrected to match John Bailey’s statement. Motion by Laura, seconded by Charlotte, to accept minutes from January 11, 2016. Accepted with corrections pending.

Introductions: Will Murphy introduced Lacey Hawkins, a new CAB member from Bedford. She runs a bookstore called Inklings, just off the Bedford square. Introductions around the table for Lacey.

Nominating Committee report: Miah reported the Committee met in January. Nominees for new CAB officers are: Lynn Schwartzberg, Secretary; Sara Peterson, Vice Chair; Miah as Chair. Charlotte moved to accept the nominations and approve these as officers. Alain Barker seconded. Lewis calls the vote, all Aye, new officers are approved.

Miah took over the meeting as new CAB Chair. She thanked Lewis for his years of service.

RJC and ATC. Perry Metz reported that a CPB grant has allowed WFIU to create a Regional Journalism Center for statewide coverage with 12 partner stations for Radio, TV and Web. All RJC positions at the partner stations are now hired. The Digital producer at WFYI was the last role filled after 2 rounds of interviews. This young producer will be trained in skills not already owned. The RJC team had a Retreat 10 days ago, with the consultants who helped make the grant. The team came away with beginning plans for each beat: stories to follow, and a signature project. Some RJC stories are already aired on Morning Edition in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, West Lafayette and Bloomington. So, how to sustain RJC after the grant ends in two years? Perry reported the team is already working to make it a sustained operation. The worst thing to do would be to wait until the end of the grant to think about how to pay for the 3rd year. Perry is optimistic, and will keep CAB posted.

Perry also reported on the search for an All Things Considered host, shared between Bloomington, Indianapolis and West Lafayette. The 1st round did not bring a hire – and offer was extended but the person declined. The 2nd round did not produce anybody the Committee wanted to give an offer to. WFIU is evaluating that.

Charlotte asked what the ATC host position does. Perry replies that it ties in with the RJC, which creates 5 statewide beats, producing news in their areas, on Radio, TV, & online. The ATC joint host concept was that some stations cover ATC with FT staff, some use PT, some have a revolving door. So, can a collaborative effort attract someone with the experience and ability to stay for a longer period of time. Host introduces the segments. David Brent Johnson has been doing this lately. The hope is for a familiar voice, which listeners identify with the station. Host may also produce some local and regional material.

Audience survey: John B reported on how the national programs are changing, and how WFIU listeners responded to the survey about possible changes to the WFIU schedule. Radio Reader has ended -- Dick Estell is in hospice, couldn’t finish the final book. Classical music now closes out morning.

Garrison Keillor retires after this summer, putting A Prairie Home Companion into changes. Since the survey closed, WFIU has learned that APR has offered choices for APHC replacement. Package options from APM: There will be 13 new shows with Chris Thile. We can take just these, we can take these plus 39 Garrison Keillor reruns to fill out the year, or we can take the 13 new shows and 26 Keillor reruns and then take the summer off to try something new.  John B asked for input about what package to take. Discussion around price differences and possibility of auditioning replacement shows over the summer.

Car Talk has been in “best-of” curated re-runs since 2012; there are enough of these to get through 9/30/2017. After that, the show will offer straight reruns at a reduced rate.

There were 450 respondents to the survey, roughly 10 percent of membership, a very good rate. Most were Core listeners, averaging more than 2 hours of listening a day.

APHC: Just over ½ preferred that WFIU take Chris Thile’s new APHC show. 10% wanted Garrison Keillor reruns. 1/3 were Other. Keeping Keillor reruns negates the question about what programming we lead into on Saturday, as there would be no need to change. Regardless, about ½ response total wanted to keep the music that follows APHC.

Car Talk: A long discussion about the value of Car Talk, pro and con, since the show has been in curated “best of” re-runs since 2012. Other, similar programs are available, but nationally, CT is extremely popular, and a gateway to other Public Radio content, such as Wait Wait & Says You on WFIU. CT also runs the car donation program that has been a successful fundraiser for WFIU. There are enough curated re-runs to last through September 2017, and straight re-runs will be offered after that at a reduced price.

John Clark is a fan of CT, a car guy, and keep in mind that the internal combustion engine & auto structure is still in place, and won’t be changing anytime soon; the CT humor is terrific, and the advice is not that dated yet, might be so in 3-5 years. John B said, we have 1.5 years to think about the change.

More discussion of how to audition new programs while keeping CT on a Sunday night, but for a limited time. The Saturday AM time slot has heavy listenership, so what should go in there? Lewis R suggests a ½ hour of Weekend Edition, then ½ hour of something new. John B said the clock doesn’t allow that. Brent Molnar raised discussion of the new translator in Bloomfield, which would enable us to put the HD-2 feed on an analog FM station. Brent asked what the network importation fees were for that. John B replied, it varies from one network to another. APM charges half the regular program dues. Brent M suggests a vintage bloc of fan favorites, similar to what WTIU does with old British comedy shows.

Lacey Hawkins supports continuing CT as part of the education mission of NPR, since CT demystifies cars and auto mechanics, which may be more valuable than the currency of its car repair advice. John B noted that the CT social media feed is jokes, not related to the show content.

John C asked about HD 2 next to HD 1 as an analog alternative. John B defers to Will or Perry, as far as timeline. Lewis R said it makes sense to talk about a transition point for the station, when things are about to become different. Discussion about whether programming on the main channel would change. Having both channels counterprogrammed against each other in Bloomington might occasion a streamlining of schedules -- all music on one and all news on another. That’s not something we would pursue immediately, as it would need extensive analysis & conversation with stakeholders.

Radio Reader: John B reported WFIU is developing a locally-produced book show that will combine readings with information, more sound-rich and a greater variety of books. WKAR will not keep Radio Reader going, as the carriage was down to 11 stations. The half-hour show was hard to schedule, there was dissatisfaction with the reader’s delivery & the books were not always appealing. WKAR hadn’t tried to market it in some time. John C asked how it compares with CT. John B said that CT is still carried on hundreds of stations, and Fund Drive Pledge activity is quieter on Saturday mornings.

Will replied to John C re timetable for HD 2: the Seymour tower will be built, translators are scheduled to go online by Sept 16. Will M is cautiously optimistic about that date. John C said that as a listener with spotty reception of the HD signal, he wonders if there a fundraising potential here, to mainstream the HD 2 and push its programming.

Discussion of auditioning or “sampling” shows over the summer. The obstacle is, producers won’t allow a short run for free. WFIU would have to subscribe and then immediately drop a show in order to get access to a limited run. Alain referred to listeners’ habits and listening routines -- mixing it up in the summer and advocating for change would prepare listeners, set up audience involvement in change, making it easier to adapt. John B suggests using HD 2 to run a binge of shows back to back on Saturdays. Lewis adds that putting new shows on one signal across from the reruns -- one on analog and one on HD – would allow WFIU to track the migrations, and see the actual competition and listener movement. Lynn says the downside to summer experimentation is, listenership drops in summer because people are outdoors.

Miah asks John B whether another survey can get feedback on the experiment/audition idea. Brent Molnar recommends experiments that stay in the same genre -- for example, APHC is a storytelling program with music. If we have to drive our viewers to the web to test out the shows, we won’t get response. Miah asks members to email John B more thoughts so conversation can continue in June.

Fund Drive. April 7-13. Board Challenge is $2000 each. This is the 2nd time doing a Spring drive for CAB. Eva suggests that Sustaining Members provide a one-time gift on top of the regular sustaining member pledge. Let Nancy K know what you can do. John C asks to clarify “challenge.” CAB holds up $2000 as a matching challenge. Miah M asks that CAB members shoot for $2000. Will M says the goal for this drive overall is $100K.

Power outage. Lights, conference call, internet all go out.

Miah calls for adjournment. Accepted, 5:10 pm.

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