January 17, 2017

Public Radio in Mid America
Board of Directors Meeting
January 17, 2017

Called to Order: 2:30 Eastern Time

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

2017 PRIMA Conference Planning

Dan Skinner presented a draft agenda for the conference as a starting point for discussion about the conference speakers and session topics. The board discussed the need to provide more time for addressing the NPR/Station compact and offered suggestions for arranging the alignment of sessions to facilitate dialog on the topic. The board hopes that by giving PRIMA members more time to provide feedback to NPR that it will produce tangible results.

It was noted that NPR’s digital plans will have a significant impact on the NPR/Station compact and needs to be discussed along with the financial implications. The conference needs to include time to hear Tom Hjelm’s vision for the digital future of NPR and stations. Hearing about NPR’s plans will help PRIMA member stations think about how they operate in the future.

The board also discussed the importance of discussing NPR collaborative fundraising going forward with key NPR staff. The draft schedule is NPR heavy, but since it will be the first opportunity for NPR to get out and talk about about the NPR/Station compact after its adoption it will be an important opportunity for NPR to get feedback from PRIMA managers.

Beyond the NPR/Station Compact sessions, we will plan for a government relations update with Mike Riksen. This is of pressing interest because in a few months, the new administration may recommend de-funding of public broadcasting – we should give Mike Riksen the time give us a comprehensive briefing. Other sessions on the draft agenda include an FCC update; a satellite system update; a programming panel, and Jim Tazarek will be approached to present a session on underwriting.

The board also discussed the social aspects of the conference including what form the traditional “PRIMA Suite” would take take. Paul wonders about the opening reception on Monday night. Can it be free-flowing? Say, between 6 and 8.  Also a  what about a board dinner and then a reception? Options will be explored and Paul Maassen will report back on what is possible.

Dan will provide an updated draft agenda to the PRIMA Board based on feedback provided in today’s meeting. Dan will begin approaching the prospective participants and discuss NPR participation with Gemma Hooley.  The board directed Dan to also reach out to CPB and invite them to the conference.

PRIMA Member Call-In on NPR Station Compact

Mike Savage is working with NPR’s Gemma Hooley to arrange a conference call for PRIMA GM’s to discuss the NPR/Station Compact. This session would be in addition to, and not intended to replace the one-on-one phone call sessions that NPR Board members will have with General Managers. They are looking at late afternoon on the 25th of January.  This will give NPR an opportunity to Frame what they’re doing for the bridge plan. Frame what is happening and what to expect and what the choices are for the interim pricing solutions and how we got there.   Talk about the cornerstones.  The General Managers will be interested in the pricing models that will be voted on by the board in February.

Meeting adjourned at 3:35 pm ET

Submitted by board secretary Neenah Ellis

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