August 21, 2019

Public Radio in Mid America
Board of Directors Meeting
August 21, 2019

Meeting Called to Order: 2:30 pm Eastern Time.

Everyone in attendance by telephone:
Paul Maassen
Neenah Ellis
Myrna Johnson
Regina Dean
Nico Leone
Steve Schram
Dan Skinner
Richard Miles

Approval of minutes from July 2019. 

NPR Compact discussion:

Maassen observes that the tiered system actually was harsher on the smaller stations and they seem to be expressing that.

Regina wonders why the chart wasn’t flip-flopped. Why don’t the bigger stations pay a higher percentage?

Nico and Steve offer the observation that the numbers would get huge, the bigger stations would end up paying a huge increase.

Nico says there’s no board or staff plan that hasn’t been discussed publicly. They are waiting for input from all the stakeholders.  There will be a little more work to get to a third draft.

The implications of the first model at all 6 meetings showed a big impact on the large stations without solving problems for the small stations.  They have focused on inequity on what similar sized stations are paying.  Trying to correct for that without doing a lot of damage. Nico guesses that based on feedback, there are big questions about why it’s impacting some stations more than other and answers will come once they answer those questions.

Regina wonders if the stations have stepped up and given the input that NPR has invited.

Nico says it seems like a good diversity of stations have been represented.

PM says it’s important to note that they are just talking about membership when they talk about revenue as it refers to fees.

Steve says that some of the larger stations have only a modest increase because of the way they define revenue now.

Nico says Gemma has shown a breakout of increases, average increase of extra-large stations is about 5%.  The larger stations as a group pay more, but there’s a lot of variation among them.  Same with small stations.

Myrna wonders whether they will stick with the membership revenue model.

Nico says they will be thinking about the wild swings among the cohorts and that membership revenue seemed to be the best metric to use over time.

Steve says the new model doesn’t bring in a lot of new revenue for NPR but it’s meant to make the payments by stations more equitable.

There have been so many changes in development at NPR, says Steve, that it’s hard to predict when they will stabilize and be able to raise more money, which we are all anticipating.

The timeline laid out by NPR is this:  September board meeting and further discussion in the fall at the super regional.  Hope to get guidance from the board in September.  The board might vote in November, or February at the latest.

Nico says in the compact discussions therewas more of an us v them among the small and large stations.  PRIMA can help to keep the tone from shifting in that direction. Pual agrees that we need to keep the conversations productive.

NPR Elections:

The board candidates’ forum went well, hosted by Paul.  There were five candidates. A good discussion.

Paul says a rotating schedule of regional orgs to be the moderators of the candidates’ forums from here on out.

Regina asks about progress in the selection a new President of NPR. 

Nico says the process has begun, he expects an update for the board in September.

Super Regional Update:

Georgette feels we’re in good shape.  105 attendees now. Tracks with previous super regionals.  There should be more sign ups by the end of the week.  Georgette urges everyone to get their hotel reservation in asap. Not all the sessions are spelled out yet. NPR has not announced the details of their sessions yet.

If there are enough of PRIMA board there, we could have a reception. TBD

PRPD 2020 might be in New Orleans next year.


Should we have one?  Regina says numbers are steady.  Myrna adds that having a deep topic is important. 

Nico adds that we won’t really know for a while what the big topic is. 

Steve asks about when the CSG review will be final.   Nico says the process might finished by calendar year end. And the Station Compact groups and the CSG groups are aware of what the other is doing.

We traditionally do it in May.  Let’s not do it in Chicago, says Regina. It’s costly.

Paul asks if Kansas City is a good option.  Nico suggests that they could do it if that’s the decision.  Paul says we’ve discussed Cincinnati in the past. Myrna suggests Milwaukee. Steve seconds. WUWM has a large conference room with a hotel immediately adjacent. They are near the Harley Davidson museum. NE mentions Louisville. They are not members.

Housekeeping items:

·       We’ve offered scholarships in the past to our own meetings.  We used to offer them to super regional but no longer.

·       There’s discussion going on among PRRO leaders about regional meetings happening at the end of the meeting.  Paul asks: Should they happen at the end of the conference tor not?  No strong feelings about this were expressed.

·       Regina wonders if we will put forward a candidate for the PRRO award. She thinks Greg Schnirring is a good candidate.  Dave Edwards has been nominated.  Paul says we could nominate someone as a group.

·       Next year we could consider Greg for the PRRO award.

Nico leaves the meeting at 3:28 Dan leaves the meeting at 3:30

Meeting is adjourned at 3:31 Eastern Time

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