Public Radio in Mid America
Annual Meeting Minutes
November 30, 2014
Las Vegas, NV
Call to Order and Determination of Quorum
President Dan Skinner called the meeting to order at 3:35 PM MST
Secretary Karen Olstad determined that a quorum was present
Approval of Minutes from 2013 Annual Meeting
Secretary Olstad distributed the minutes from the 2013 Annual Meeting held November 13, 2013 at the Super Regional Conference in Washington, D.C. There were no corrections. Motion and second to approve the minutes. Motion carried.
Additions and Approval of Agenda
President Skinner presented the agenda and asked if there were any additions. There were none. Motion and second to approve the agenda as presented. Motion carried.
Treasurer Dean distributed the balance sheet as of September 30, 2013. She reported that the ending net asset balance should be $47,868.35 rather than $47,944.63 as originally reported last year due to a correction. Motion and second to approve the balance sheet. Motion carried. She also reported that the financial statements for the year ended September 30, 2014 were not yet ready for distribution but would be shared with the board at a later date.
President Skinner reported that he attends the NPR board meetings and has found that it helps him better understand issues they are facing and so that he can share that with PRIMA members. He noted that there was a great deal of staff turnover at NPR because of the buy-outs and that he is concerned about the loss of institutional memory and loss of relationships that have been built up over years, but has faith that under NPR’s new leadership there appears to be a real commitment to collaborating with members. He also noted that there is a good representation of PRIMA members on the NPR Board.
President Skinner reported that PRIMA has scheduled a conference for members in May 6-8 2015, to enable members to interact in smaller groups following a survey of members. He said that NPR’s new Chief Operating Officer, Loren Mayor has accepted President Skinner’s invitation to address the group and that he would be asking for input from members for topics and/or speakers for other sessions.
President Skinner also stated that he was interested in receiving feedback on this Super Regional to take back to the Public Radio Regional Organization Officers to be used in planning future conferences.
Election of Treasurer
Chair of the nominating committee, Karen Olstad, reported that the committee unanimously recommended that Regina Dean be reelected as Treasurer. Motion and second to reelect Regina Dean as Treasurer. Motion carried.
1. NPR Board Update
- Kit Jensen, NPR Board Chair, reported the following:
- NPR approved balanced operating budget for first time in years so that it is no longer draining reserves.
- The public radio system owes a debt of gratitude to Paul Haaga for his service as Interim CEO.
- Regarding the NPR CEO search: Contrary to what some may have though, this position was highly sought after. Jarl Mohn knows how to generate revenue and understands stations after having chaired board at KPCC. He is an optimist.
- Mike Crane, NPR Board Member, reported the following:
- Just attended his first meeting, enjoys working with Jarl. During Executive Sessions Jarl was really transparent about decisions he has made.
- Supports the hiring of a COO, Loren Mayor who was the internal guide to shepherd the strategic plan.
- Excited about the Spark Initiative to increase audience for Morning Edition.
- Reassured members that digital is not an after-thought at NPR following departure of Kinsey Wilson.
- Mike Savage, NPR Board Member, reported the following:
- Really impressed with Jarl. He has tremendous vision. We need to support that vision. Decisions that are being made with great care. He is confident that we have the right person. As a system, we should give Jarl the benefit of the doubt.
2. NPR / Station Relations
- NPR Chair Jensen reported that the board is very cognizant of the implications for stations and opportunities to collaborate
- Mike Savage said that he has expressed to NPR CEO Jarl Mohn and Member Partnership VP, Gemma Hooley the importance of NPR repairing relationships with stations and the need for them to touch base with stations on a regular basis.
- Perry Mertz commented that a good place to start would be to have npr folks contact stations whenever they are in our communities so we can collaborate, cobrand and promote their work.
- Tim Eby commented that we (stations and NPR) are codependent. Two big chunks of revenue each: NPR–Station fees/national underwriting and Stations–membership/underwriting which are all under threat in next 5 years. How can we talk about this issue and address the business model?
- NPR Chair Jensen responded that:
- The timing isn’t good for that conversation, we need to address the delivery system issue first and business rules around it. But agreed that it needs to be addressed. The current system of subsidization probably won’t continue.
- NPR is reeling from layoffs and staff are sensitive to not doing as well as they would like. Encourages stations to give them time to adjust, but keep expectations high and contact Gemma if you have concerns.
- NPR has a strategic plan for the first time in 10 years. They are not used to having metrics to measure progress and accountability.
- Crane: There is a plan for revenue. Spark campaign should generate new revenue for npr and stations, also more major gifts like Kroc gift. Jarl plans to spend 50% of his time raising money and will do it collaboratively with stations.
- NPR Chair Jensen responded that:
3. Feedback on Super Regional
- Content has been good. Much better than last year.
- Mobile app is good.
- Suggest that we have presentation by NPM at future conferences. They need to be visible and interact with GMs.
- Good mix of peers and outside speakers.
- Get a higher level of speakers
- Faculty is too big for our size conference.
- We have a lot of meetings, so we really need to have a “Super Regional” every year?
- Could we pair with another conference?
- Does it still make sense to divide up geographically? Should we do it by station-type?
4. Motion that we direct the PRIMA President to broach the idea with other PRRO Presidents about dissolving regional organizations in favor of former smaller groups of stations with more in common.
- Discussion ensued, motion failed by show of hands.
5. 2015 PRIMA Spring Conference
- Session ideas/suggestions:
- Break into smaller affinity groups
- Somebody from outside who can talk about how they decide what media to buy
- RRC to talk about ratings
- Collaborative Journalism / Lessons learned from breaking news coverage
- Diversity, possibly Keith Woods from NPR
- Bob Kempf from NPR digital services
- New head (or someone) from NPM
- Address the issue with disparity of revenue growth between large and small stations
Motion and second to adjourn meeting. Motion approved unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 5:11 PM