June 21, 2017

Public Radio in Mid America
Board of Directors Meeting
June 21, 2017

Called to Order: 2:35 Eastern Time

Present: Regina Dean, Neenah Ellis, Paul Maassen, Mike Savage, Dan Skinner

Guest:  Nico Leone

Report on Latest CPB board meeting

Mike Savage attended the latest CPB Board Meeting and shared his observations. Mike noted that one CPB board member appears to be on a mission to deny that CPB needs federal funding.  Mike says it was concerning to him that what this board member is doing is overshadowing everything. He is talking as if it’s already happened. Mike said it was interesting to see how CPB interacts with staff.  Mike felt that there was nervousness at CPB about congress zeroing out funding.

Anecdotal reports indicate that support is as strong as ever.  There is the most bipartisan support they’ve had in many years but a lot of wheeling and dealing will go on to get the budget passed through Congress – and how powerful will CPB in that kind of process.  Mike left the meeting feeling less certain about the future of federal funding because there are so many unknowns.

Regina Dean reminded us that Patty told us at the PRIMA conference that this CPB board member is not held in high regard by the other board members.  She was clear in her approach.

The concern is whether this board member is working with someone else? What is his strategy?

Proposal for a fly-in to talk about NPR station compact.

Tim Eby has offered to host in St. Louis.   Nico could help host in Kansas City if that doesn’t work out.

Nico reported that he as talked to Regina and Tim about establishing a framework for the discussion with PRIMA managers.  He suggested we do some survey work to frame a conversation that stations could have.  The problem:  how to do a better job at articulating what we want as stations.  That came out of our conversation in New Orleans.  Regina and Tim suggest that there is not a lot of conversation about what the business model on revenue sharing might look like.  That seems where we could offer substance in a new compact.  Then we could supply feedback in advance of the Super Regional Conference. That could help move the conversation forward.

Maybe a survey followed by a meeting could be useful. Nico offered to work with Tim and Regina to make that happen if the group thinks it’s worthwhile. The board concurred with Nico’s recommendation.

Who to survey?  Start with PRIMA members preceeding a conversation in person. The initial would be to frame the conversation in person that we could present to NPR as a sense of what success could look like from the station perspective.

Meeting Adjorned at 3:05 pm.

Submitted by board secretary Neenah Ellis

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