WTIU CAB Minutes - September 2015
CAB Members: Tom Bunger, Mike Conway, Tim Decker, Mark Edwards, Alexandra Etheridge; Gary Hallum, Mike Hefron, Will Murphy, John Nash, Martha Nice, Lynn Schwartzberg, Sally Gaskill
Staff: Perry Metz, Brent Molnar, Nancy Krueger, Scott Witzke, Marianne Woodruff, Eva Zogorski
Meeting started at 11:30am
Update on adult content underwriting
Brent reminded CAB members that adult product retail networks would not be accepted as underwriter’s of WTIU at this time. Last meeting concluded with 25% of members against the proposal which is too high of a percentage. The complete list of prohibited adult underwriters was read off with mention that any can be revisited at another time.
Membership video on demand
Eva first gave an update on the August Membership campaign. This one brought in 365 new pledges and received over $70,000 in donations which bumped it up 5% since the last campaign.
Membership video on demand or “Passport” should be stressed as an additional benefit to members, not as a replacement for a pledge premium. Passport will make reruns or logged content accessible to viewers, and PBS is currently working on obtaining rights to show PBS signatures such as NOVA, Mr. Selfridge, American Masters, etc. To be able to launch the service with the redesign of PBS.org and also the Season 6 premiere of Downton Abbey, Passport will at first be accessible in a web browser only. It will soon after be expanded to existing mobile apps and streaming devices to meet our consumers expectations of watching a show wherever and however they like. This service is really beneficial to viewers who miss an episode and don’t catch the reruns on TV.
Will WTIU local content be available nationwide or local only?
- This is a station decision so we can choose that.
They may not be able to obtain the licensing but PBS is trying to make the deep library of content that includes PBS originals a part of Passport, which is another benefit to being a member.
Is it acceptable to wait for service? How long would you guys be willing to wait?
- Should be ASAP
- People wait for Premium so it’s fine
Most agreed that a reasonable amount of time for turnaround is one week, but all agreed that instant access is best. Exclusive content not available elsewhere is what will buy patience for a longer turnaround if need be.
Original content on air will not be changed to our TV audience.
CAB members also expressed a concern to make sure that news and children's programming were free and accessible. This aligns not only with our mission of being open and accessible for the sake of our community but also to our funding sources.
Sesame Street announcement / impact
Perry spoke about Sesame Street moving to HBO and how that will affect our station. HBO will now cover all costs of Sesame Street programming instead of our 10% contribution. However, we will now be receiving the show after HBO shows it. Essentially WTIU now gets more episodes at a lower cost.
A surprise comment was made when Perry announced that WTIU received a $600,000 grant to create a statewide news service. There are 12 public broadcasters that have matching funds. It’s a two year grant that will incorporate radio, TV, and online. New staff members will be needed including a Web director. The station is very proud and commends the achievements of the WTIU news team.
Scott and Nancy announced that CEO and President of PBS Paula Kerger will make a visit to Bloomington as part of the IU Media School Speaker Series. She’ll be speaking at the Buskirk-
Chumley Theater on November 10th at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and Scott and Nancy recommended that CAB members come to hear her speak as Kerger is a motivating and charismatic individual. Perry added that he is not one to gush about anyone but that Paula Kerger truly is a remarkable person and worth going to see.
Columbus focus groups
Scott Witzke announced a marketing plan to extend focus and reach into Columbus, IN.
The Marketing Department will conduct focus groups in the area to hear their interests first-hand so WTIU can provide desired programming.
Todd Young lunch
Brent recapped the Indiana Broadcasters Lunch with Congressman Todd Young, which was similar to his encounter with him at the Summit this past February. We reminded him that his constituents are also our viewers and asked if any issues his office hears would be forwarded to WTIU so we can show content of interest to our viewers. His office said that more than half of the concerns they hear are about the needs of Veterans and the V.A. system.
Brent is still accepting open emails from CAB members or anyone else for pressing issues that they hear from people so he is able to pull appropriate programming of interest to our local community. The goal is always to please our local viewers first.
CAB members mentioned EPA cleanup, climate change, coal gasification plants, and any other issues concerning health versus economy.
The spectrum auction will not be able to be discussed publically after December or after Perry makes a final decision. Perry explained to CAB members that the issue and Spectrum as a whole is difficult to comprehend, but in general the issue is that electronic waves need to be bought out, and it may affect small stations like WTIU. Station’s don’t have to participate in the auction. If you do enter the starting price will drop and potentially at a fast rate, which is why Perry noted that he has done much research on what’s best for the station before entering. The options for each station are: share your channel, move to a high V, or don’t bid at all.
Questions concerning the Spectrum.