Public Radio in Mid America
Annual Meeting Minutes
November 19, 2015
San Antonio, TX
Call to Order and Determination of Quorum
President Dan Skinner was unable to attend the meeting in person, but participated via conference phone hookup. Vice President Paul Maassen determined a quorum and called the meeting to order at 4:35pm CST.
Approval of Minutes from 2014 Annual Meeting
Minutes from the 2014 Annual Meeting held November 30, 2014 at the Super Regional Conference in Las Vegas were available via website. Mike Crane noted that his name was misspelled. Steve Schram moved to correct the spelling and approve the Minutes. Rich Eiswerth seconded. Minutes were approved with correction.
Additions and Approval of Agenda
Vice President Maassen presented the agenda and asked if there were any additions. Steve Schram requested adding a discussion item about FCC’s proposed requirement requiring Social Security numbers from University board members. Motion and second to approve the agenda with the addition. Motion carried.
Treasurer Regina Dean distributed the audited balance sheet as of September 30, 2014. The PRIMA checking account balance as of September 30, 2014 was $53,529.75. She reported that the PRIMA spring meeting in St. Louis basically ‘broke even’ with a small profit of $329. The annual financial statements for FY 2015 will be completed in early 2016 and will be shared with the board when the audit is completed.
Dan Skinner noted that he wished he could attend the business meeting in person but last week he started his new position as the Director of Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas Audio Reader Network in Lawrence. So taking a week off to go to the Super-Regional after only 4 days on the job just wasn’t possible. He thanked to Paul Maassen for assisting in leading today’s meeting. He also thanked the PRIMA board for all of the good work they’ve done this year.
During this year, Dan reported that he had the privilege of representing PRIMA at the NPR Board Meetings. When he was not able to attend, Paul Maassen represented PRIMA. Among the issues Dan raised at NPR is the language in the Program and Digital Services Master Agreements which are problematic for many university licensees. Specifically, the indemnity language. This year there was some improvement in the language of the Program Agreement, but work still needs to be done on the Digital Services Agreement. Dan will keep pushing NPR to fix the problem.
Skinner noted that after surveying our membership to determine the desire for a PRIMA Conference, a Spring Conference was held in St. Louis. He thanked Tim Eby and his staff for hosting the conference. A special “thank you” was also extended to the PRIMA Board for their work on the conference and to those who attended and made it a success. Based on the positive feedback received regarding the conference, PRIMA plans to hold a Spring Conference again next year. The Spring Conference will be a topic of discussion later in this meeting.
This year a PRIMA Membership Conference Call was held with Gemma Hooley and Loren Mayer so that GM’s could get an NPR update and ask questions. Dan currently working with Gemma to set up a PRIMA Membership Conference call with NPR President Jarl Mohn.
Treasurer Regina Dean reported the work of the nominating committee on behalf of Committee Chair Tim Eby, who was unable to attend the Annual Meeting. In accordance with the By-Laws, Dean announced the following slate of officers and board members:
President – Dan Skinner, WKSU; Vice-President – Paul Maassen, WWNO; Board Member #1 – Steve Schram, Michigan Radio; Board Member #2 – Mike Savage, WBAA.
Motion and second to approve the slate. Motion carried.
1) FCC proposal which would require Boards to provide personally identifiable information
Steve Schram reported that the University of Michigan, among many other public radio and TV licensees, have filed comments opposing the FCC’s proposal to require personally identifiable information (PII) about a licensee’s Board members. In addition, the University of Michigan sent an Associate General Counsel to meet with high level FCC staffers regarding the Commission’s proposal to personally explain the hardship this requirement would have on board members of public university radio station. Steve said he could provide the ex parte letters sent by UM’s FCC special counsel which summarized those meetings.
Based on those discussions, Steve said that there is little doubt at this point that the FCC is moving forward with this and that there doesn’t appear to be any interest in providing an exception for Non-commercial, educational licensees.
Nico Leone said that religious broadcasters are also upset that this seems inevitable. The question was asked about a timeline for implementation and Steve said it could be as soon as early 2016. He encouraged stations to file comments with the Commission regarding this issue.
2) 2016 PRIMA Spring Conference
PRIMA members responded well to the Spring meeting in St. Louis last year and based on our surveys, they want PRIMA to continue to provide its own meeting again next year. There was a discussion about the benefits of a smaller, less formal meeting where PRIMA members can meet with NPR and others in a setting more conducive to in-depth discussion and debate. Three PRIMA stations have offered to host a 2016 PRIMA spring conference: WWNO, New Orleans; KCUR, Kansas City and WFYI, Indianapolis. Pros and cons of each of the three were briefly discussed, including cities within easy driving distance for managers at many PRIMA stations, and/or easy & cheap airports and cities with ‘draw’, etc.
President Skinner said that he would put a brief survey online for PRIMA members to vote for their city of choice and he invited members to pass along topics and/or speakers they would like to interact with at the Spring 2016 meeting.
Motion and second to adjourn meeting. Motion approved unanimously and meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
Treasurer (Acting as Secretary)