Give Now  »

About Support

WTIU Community Advisory Board Meeting

December 3, 2020    12:00pm


In Attendance:

Community Advisory Board Members:

John Bailey, Nicole Bolden, Tom Bunger, Joan Curts, Pamela Davidson, Mark Edwards, Hope Flores, Sally Gaskill, Mike Hefron, Sara Laughlin, Cullen McCarty, Martha Nice, Lynn Schwartzberg

Staff Members/Others:

Laura Baich, Mary Ducette, Brent Molnar, Joan Padawan, Marianne Woodruff


Roll Call – Brent Molnar

New Executive Director

Brad Kimmel, formerly of WNIN-Evansville joined WTIU on Monday, Nov. 30th.

He plans to spend about three to six months getting to know the organization, and then may consider changes to our org chart.  He likes consolidating and leveraging resources for multiple purposes.  Brad has also indicated that within his first year, he would like to take both WTIU and WFIU through a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats) analysis and strategic planning process.

Brad values opinions and data from a variety of sources before making decisions.  While at WNIN, he approached his Governing Board as an Advisory Board and solicited their input regularly.

He likes harmony in the workplace, and for an organization to be a place where people are working well together.  Brad also indicates that he is highly collaborative.

This being day four, Brad wasn’t quite ready to be introduced to the WTIU Community Advisory Board just yet, but will likely join us in March, if not before.

A Mother’s Justice: The Trials of Lisa Montgomery Preview

Is Lisa Montgomery a monster who should be executed, or a vulnerable, tormented person who committed a horrific crime while in the grip of a psychotic episode?  Produced by WTIU News Team. A Mother’s Justice:  The Trials of Lisa Montgomery airs Monday, December 7th at 9:30pm, and repeats Friday, December 11th at 11:00pm. 

Spirit of Greene County Preview

Similar to WTIU’s other Our Town and Spirit of... documentaries, WTIU takes a look at life, and the beauty of, a small slice of rural America.  This program is being produced by Reuben Browning, a relatively new member of WTIU’s team, who used to work with ITVS on national series like Independent Lens.  Spirit of Green County is planned to premiere in August of 2021.

Documentary Fund and Planned Gift

WFIU and WTIU have received a one-time gift of $100k from an anonymous donor to establish The WFIU/WTIU Documentary Programs Fund. A new fund, also open to additional contributors, to support WFIU/WTIU produced documentary/special programs or series.

WFIU and WTIU have also received an unrestricted gift of $60k ($30k to each station) from the estate of Richard Rice. Mr. Rice, a US Air Force veteran, and committed listener, viewer and supporter of our stations, passed away in early 2020.

These recent major gifts, along with other financial gifts and pledges received in 2020, greatly aid the financial footing of WFIU and WTIU to continue vital regional content creation – key to our local relevancy. Our stations rely on financial gifts from committed members and public media stakeholders like Mr. Rise to sustain the level of local production WFIU/WTIU produce annually.

MetroNet in Indy

Currently MetroNet Cable carries WTIU in their lineup for our locations in Franklin, Greenwood, and Greencastle.

To make their lineup uniform, they plan to add WTIU to their service areas in South Indianapolis, Crawfordsville, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Zionsville, Lebanon, New Castle, and Connersville within the next few months.

This expanded coverage will align with where WTIU is already available on Dish and DirecTV satellite systems.

WIPB in Muncie was also extended this offer.

Giving Tuesday Matching Gift Results

Membership Director Eva Zogorski reports that WTIU approximately doubled its Giving Tuesday dollars this year, to $14,000 (plus a $10,000 match). 

Thank you to everyone on the WTIU CAB who helped to contribute to the $10,000 match.  We combined your memberships and contributions with donations from a few other friends of the station – and the ability for a member’s donations to be doubled on Giving Tuesday created a sense of urgency and purpose that our viewers, members and sustainers responded to generously. 

Identifying individuals and organizations who are able to contribute matching gifts continues to be a challenge for WTIU.  Please recommend philanthropic individuals and organizations who might contribute to matching gifts for future WTIU Membership Campaigns in the future. 

3rd Annual WTIU Conference on Aging Stats and Feedback

The third annual WTIU Conference on Aging was held online every Saturday at 10am from October 3 - November 21, 2020.

An archive of this year’s sessions and resource materials is available at:

Final 2020 Demographics:

(Not all segments total 251 as some people declined to respond to every question.)

At least 2 retirement facilities registered and offered group viewing in a common room.

1st registrant registered on 9/14/2020 and the last one on 11/20/2020.


251       Total Registrants

176       Session 1 – Medicare 101, Supplemental and Long Term Care Insurance

137       Session 2 – Strategies for the Sandwich Generation

114       Session 3 – Romance after 50

171       Session 4 – Saving for and Making Money in Retirement

148       Session 5 – COVID – 19

185       Session 6 – Resilience in the Stages of Aging

199       Session 7 – Social Security

149       Session 8 – Genealogy and Gathering Family Stories


175      Female

59         Male


14         Under 40

23         40s

64         50s

97         60s

40         70s


159       Download their own resource info

72         Requested packets be mailed


154       Full time employed

15         Part time employed

59         Retired

2           Unemployed


13         # of states represented (CA, FL, GA, HI, IN, KS, MA, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TX, VA)

221       Indiana

13         N. Carolina

17         Other

Compared with last year, this year’s virtual WTIU Conference on Aging grew by about 100% (doubled), and included a broader range of ages, more working adults, and a larger geographic area.

2018     75?

2019     125?

2020     270?

Exit surveys were slim, but positive responses – indicating the length of sessions was right, vast majority preferred the virtual format.  Not many suggestions for improvement.  Many of the suggestions we received for future topics are sessions that WTIU did the first three years. 

Next year’s sessions are likely to be “greatest hits” from the first three years.  (Social Security, Medicare 101, Dealing with Dementia, End of Life/Pallative/Hospice Care, Estate Downsizing and Planning, Staying in Your Home Longer, Family History/Stories, etc.)

Most attendees learned about the conference through WTIU e-mails and social media, but not many via on air promos.  On air awareness grew over time though.  Promos ran for two months.

What other marketing ideas should we pursue?

Continue to solicit Assisted Living Communities/Day Programs/Rehab Facilities, see if relationships/contacts through Corporate Development could help too, Community Foundations (esp. rural), Meal services/pantries, Center for Rural Engagement (partner, Kerry Thompson/Kyla Cox Deckard?), Insurance, Eldercare Atty., In Home Health, Downsizing Companies, keep running On Air spots too

Should the Conference on Aging continue to be virtual?  Or in person AND recorded?

Most felt doing the conference in person with a live feed would be ideal, if possible?  Or at least record the sessions.  After the meeting, Joanie commented, “I think it is hard to beat in person.  I understand the costs involved, but didn't we pay $20 - that's not much for an inspiring day.  Also I would avoid fall as football will probably extremely popular with people allowed in stands.”

Should the Conference on Aging have a ‘season’, or be ongoing/monthly?

Keep it as a season, and add additional topics for other seasons of the year.

Should WTIU open the Conference to other Indiana PBS stations?  Or statewide?


Would placing the conference simultaneously on ZOOM and Facebook LIVE gain us anything?

Not necessarily needed on more than one platform.

Are there other virtual seminars WTIU should pursue?  (Partner with Mini-U for life long learning?)

Make sure to include this idea in the new station strategic plan.

Other feedback:

Avoid Facebook because of privacy concerns.  ZOOM worked okay.

Consider other topics/needs for similar format.  Or standalone events/sessions?  Different audience?  Younger?  Diverse?

Consider resources and where you put them.  Is the conference worth it?

See if experts want to leverage the conference sessions in their work?

Life after COVID for next year?  Long term effects (physical, financial, etc.)

APTS Public Media Summit

This year’s Public Media Summit will be held virtually on Feb. 22-23, 2021, in the afternoon.

Because of the virtual format this year, WTIU intends to register for 10 seats to this valuable public media advocacy training opportunity. 

Brent, Brad, Lynn, Pamela, Sally and Martha expressed interest in attending APTS’ virtual training this year. This leaves 4 seats available for WTIU Staff who do external communications (Eva, Laura B., John Bailey, Marianne?) 

At Home Learning / Datacasting

Jennings County School Corporation (JCSC) and Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, Inc. (IPBS) have entered into a partnership that will provide datacasting technology to roughly 1,200 students in Jennings County who have little or no access to reliable broadband. Datacasting overcomes the unmet need for internet access by sending computer-based files over a television broadcast signal.

Jennings County is a predominantly rural county located in southeastern Indiana. Datacasting has the potential to change the remote learning landscape for children and educators in rural, low-income, and internet desert communities because of its ability to transmit the same instructional content and educational resources that would normally require an internet connection. 

Chicago News Coverage: 

Having been activated in late November, the datacasting signal is now operable through WTIU’s master control and transmitter.

Our signal strength study in Jennings County also provided better than expected results for this remote county on the outskirts of our broadcast area.

We’re now in the process of identifying educational content creators/distributors who can supplement content created by local school systems themselves.

WTIU Content and Service Survey Results and Discussion

When WTIU did a Brand Refresh Survey late last summer, we were also able to squeeze a couple of questions about what WTIU does well, and what we could improve into the survey as well.

I’ve attached the full list of responses from about 200 participants, in case you would like to look at them before Thursday’s meeting.  Please note, the survey was not super scientific, but it did provide valuable feedback.  Feel free to take a look at what they thought. 

For convenience, here is a summary of the responses to the questions (ranked from most common comment, to least common). 

What does WTIU do well?

  • National Programming
  • Local Programming
  • National News
  • Local News
  • Kids Programming
  • Community Building and Events
  • Reflecting Viewers’ Interests/Offering a variety of content

In what areas could WTIU improve?

(The good news is that a number of individuals couldn’t think of a specific area WTIU could improve.)

Several desire:

  • More local news (expand footprint in schedule), strengthen local news, do more local investigative journalism
  • More local content (series and docs) --including music, arts, events, biographies, and IU performances

Some would like:

  • More Masterpiece repeat airdates as well as more drama, mystery and entertainment series in general
  • More interesting Saturday night lineup (more BBC, drop Welk and Joy of Music?)
  • More community outreach, engagement, events (in person and virtual)
  • More frequent weather reports

A few noted:

  • Reception issues over the air and on cable
  • Expand broadcast footprint to cover Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Southwest Indiana

A couple also mentioned:

  • Content and marketing targeting people in their 20s and 30s
  • Increased marketing/awareness, in general

Fairly specific/one offs:

  • More interesting programming during fundraising periods, fewer reruns of older shows
  • Add promos/traffic breaks to ECHO to promote tune in.
  • Live social media news, entertainment and lifestyle interviews
  • More travel and music shows
  • Refresh production for underwriting credits (see WIPB as example?)

Most things on the improvement list could be addressed if we had more money and/or resources – or are able to identify areas from which we could shift resources. 

CAB Members agreed with feedback, and expressed interest in seeing a revamped Saturday night lineup also.  (No Welk.)

Future WTIU CAB Meetings (and COVID-19) Live, Virtual or Too Early to Call?

  • March 4, 2021
  • June 3, 2021
  • September 2, 2021
  • December 2, 2021

Zoom works for now.  Can start at 12pm; no need for early log in at 11:30am


12:40:50           From  Hope Flores : I'll email you the contact info for our assisted living, nursing homes, etc.  Our senior centers in Lawrence County are doing nothing now.  Mitchell's Senior Center was very vibrant, even attracting people from other counties.  However, they have lost a few key leaders in the last year.

12:41:49           From  Laura Baich : thanks, Hope, that would be great! we just have general contact info, but anyone you know there would be helpful!

12:41:54           From  Martha Nice : hoosier Uplands might be another great partner

12:54:33           From  Hope Flores : It might be too much on staff to have it all year long.  Agree with Sara.  Focus on areas then archive content.

12:54:54           From  Martha Nice : agreed 

13:00:17           From  Sara Laughlin : I'm sorry I have to leave now. As for the improvements ideas, I definitely would like to see the end of current Saturday night programming, especially Lawrence Welk, to be replaced by your excellent local content. And figuring out what a younger audience wants and will watch seems key, as a link to the future.

13:02:49           From  Pamela : Sara, WFIU's Saturday night is mostly local, except for Thistle & Shamrock, I listen that night, would WTIU programming be a competitor with that local programming on its sister station?  Do young people watch TV on Saturday night? 

13:03:31           From  Martha Nice : I love the term “ seasons” in relation to life— we started with the end; what season is next?

13:20:05           From  Martha Nice : wonderful news for Jennings Co students and teachers!

13:25:13           From  Martha Nice : fits perfectly. with PBS brand! 

13:30:48           From  Pamela : Love all of this.  I did watch Welk with my late Stepmom, and know that some nursing homes look forward to it.  But they could buy videos for that.  Have to leave in a minute for an appointment . . . I love the Jennings Co. story most of all!

13:31:44           From  Joan Padawan : Move Welk to an earlier time slot and open up Saturday evenings 

13:32:09           From  sally gaskill : Agree with Joan .. or move Welk to a different channel?