July 17, 2019

Prima Board Meeting

July 17, 2019 
2:30 pm

In Attendance by Telephone: 

Paul Maassen

Neenah Ellis

Myrna Johnson

Dan Skinner

Regina Dean

Nico Leone 

Richard Miles (notified absence) 

Steve Schramm (absent)


  • NPR Compact discussion
  • CPB CSG review 
  • Treasurer Update
  • Super Regional update

Treasurer’s Update: 

Finished audit and turned in the 990.  Registered w/ state of TN.    $30,051 in checking account.  We have rebounded from the spring meeting when there were a lot of expenditures. 

Hoping for a good turnout from super regional meeting in the fall. We get money from the super-regional.  Each region gets the same amount of revenue in an informal arrangement. Treasurer reports that the income from super regional is not predictable

Treasurer is sending out dues notices for the coming year in mid-August.   We do this twice a year.  Schramm talked to prospective members and recruited some.  We currently have 62 dues paying member stations and 8 associate members (regional/national orgs or stations outside of our PRIMA region). 

Most on the membership rolls attend our meetings or participate actively.  Hope to pick up more at the candidate forum this Friday.   Treasurer thinks we might be the biggest dues-paying regional org now.

President Maassen says he is hosting the candidates forum on Friday on PRIMA’s behalf.

The format is that the nominations committee nominates individuals for the open seats and everyone votes to approve.  There is a write-in candidate this year. Former PRIMA board member  Mike Savage petitioned to be put on the ballot. 

NPR Compact Discussion:

There’s been a lot of participation this week on the a-reps list from smaller stations,especially.

Regina Dean is not surprised that there is pushback to the NPR proposal   She would like to know the criteria for the small-medium-large designation.  Concerned about the us v them attitude between stations  & NPR.

Nico Leone says we heard some of this same feedback at the PRIMA conference.  But there is some new info from Gemma and some  wild variation in fees within the cohorts.  Going to a shared risk reward model is a new development. Agree that us v them is not helpful. 

Myrna Johnson – on the areps thread there is some discussion about solving some of these issues with CPB involvement. I agree with Scott Finn – look to CSG to take care of some of this issue.  

Hope that stations can use the CSG money to raise money.  

Nico Leone – During the CSG process, the CPB is looking at reip-ndexing grants as a way to address issues esp. for small stations. 

Kathy Merritt has sent out summary of the issues they have been discussing.  (Nico is part of the CSG discussions)n  We endorse reorganizing around coverage area and there is a proposal for increase $ to base grants.  That’s the trajectory the talks are taking now.  

There is discussion about whether or not the restrictions on how the money is used can be changed or waived. 

Upcoming meetings could address how to shift money to smaller stations.  For example, how to get to a number than feels significant to small stations, you need to take a big bite from big stations.  It might be easier to do this with CSG rather than NPR fees.  I think there will be more clarity in 6-8 weeks but the math problem is the same with CPB and NPR discussions.

Nico assumes that larger stations will have a problem taking a hit with both CSG and NPR dues adjustment.   There may be more adjustment on the CSG side, but the says hat’s just a guess.

He believes the committee is representative of the system and doing a good job digging into data and opening a larger discussion at this point would likely be counterproductive.  Once the results come out, and a concrete proposal is on the table, there may be a need to explain to the stations. 

There is a desire to make change but the scope of the possible changes seems to be in flux.  

Paul says we could reach out to CPB and offer to do a conversation with the membership if there is a need.

There is an August 13 meeting for stations in DC for compact discussions.   One for music stations on August 20.  

Super Regional Meeting In New Orleans October 15-17.

Regina, Nico, Dan will be there for sure.  Neenah and Myrna unsure.  We might get the PRIMA board together at the start.  

Dean Baquet is the keynote speaker. Agenda is under consideration.  Attendance so far is good. There’s a slot for regional meetings but we don’t do our meeting during the super regional. We could meet with the membership during the time set aside, especially if it’s after the NPR presentation about the compact. 

Next meeting is Wednesday August 21, 2019, 2:30 pm. 

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