June 15, 2016

Public Radio in Mid America
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
June 15, 2016

Called to Order: 2:35 PM Eastern Time

Present: Neenah Ellis, Regina  Dean, Tim Eby, Paul Maassen, Mike Savage, Steve Schram, Dan Skinner

PRIMA Survey Results

  • The PRIMA survey was sent to 78 PRIMA members and 24 have responded to date
  • Of those who answered the survey, 62% attended the Indy conference
  • The biggest reason people did not attend was because of limited budgets
  • 79% prefer that the PRIMA business meeting be held at the annual spring PRIMA conference
  • New Orleans  is leading as the choice of venue for the spring 2017 meeting.
  • Overall all of the sessions at the Spring PRIMA conference received favorable ratings.
    • The Connected Car session received the highest rating
    • The FCC session had the lowest rating , but still received an 85% positive rating
    • Most said the PRIMA suite was favorable
    • The facilities and location were well received
    • The Colts reception was rated the lowest of the events,  but still received an overall favorable rating.
  • Survey Feedback about topics for future PRIMA Conference sessions included:
    • Future of smaller stations, collaborations
    • More info about connected car
    • More info about digital
    • Future of underwriting

The board agreed to move the annual PRIMA Business meeting to the spring PRIMA Conference based on the survey results. This means any board members up for election at the next business meeting will serve a few months longer due to the change in business meeting schedule.

The time formally allotted for business meeting at the fall Super Regional will be used to have a presentation/speakers for PRIMA members attending the event. The regional meetings are scheduled to take place at the beginning of the Super Regional Conference in the fall. The board suggested we invite members of the NPR Board to meet with PRIMA members during the Super Regional meeting.

Planning for the Spring 2017 PRIMA Conference

The board agreed to make a decision about the location of the 2017 PRIMA conference at our Board conference call in July. Meanwhile, Dan Skinner will solicit more input via the PRIMA survey to give members more time to provide feedback about locations. Since New Orleans is currently leading in the location survey, Paul Maassen will do some preliminary research into hotel availability, etc.

The board discussed the need to be flexible in planning the next PRIMA conference to allow time for the annual business meeting, and to adjust the length of time allotted to sessions depending on topic. The board discussion trying to find a date for the conference that will work for Jarl Mohn to be there.

PRSS Trustee Voting

Mike Savage asks if we can send out a notice to PRIMA members to vote in the PRSS trustee voting. PRSS has only received votes from 35% of representatives and need 50% +1. Dan Skinner will send out a notice to the membership and asks that everyone be sure to vote.

New Business

Discussion of Stations in States with Budget Issues

The board discussed and shared information about budget cuts at various stations due to funding cuts at the state government level. Several states across the nation are having budget shortfalls that have resulted in significant cuts to higher education and the public broadcasters associated with those institutions. As Kansas is one of those states dealing with a state budget crisis, the board raised the possibility that PRIMA pay for PRIMA President Dan Skinner’s attendance at the Super Regional if necessary.

Does NPR know stations are taking hits?  Mike Savage said he believes NPR is aware of the budget cutting happening in various states.  The NPR board wants to redefine the relationships – the board is focused on making the big change. The NPR board is sensitive to what’s happening  to stations but it’s having little impact on strategic planning. I think they will one-off remedies for the stations in crisis mode.   We will take care of  the folks who are hurting but they are not in the majority.  The board is looking at “do no harm principles”  looking at how to adjust formulas, but nothing is decided yet. We’re not too focused on those particular states who are having big problems right now. Looking now at the root causes of the strains  between stations and NPR.

Discussion of NPR / Station Compact

Tim Eby asked if NPR is starting to test the waters on new funding models?  Should PRIMA think of an opportunity for a conference call for PRIMA members?

Mike Savage said they have several models they are looking at.  He said NPR’s Gemma Hooley would the opportunity to talk to the PRIMA group to test some ideas and have more intimate discussions.  He thought making PRIMA available to her is a good idea. She may want to do a conference call with the PRIMA membership. Dan will follow up with Gemma Hooley about when she might want to do that.  He will also reach out to the new digital officer Thomas  Hjelm about participating with a PRIMA member conference call.


Respectfully submitted,
Neenah Elllis

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