February 24, 2021

PRIMA Board Meeting
February 24, 2021

Meeting convened at 2:30pm ET.

Paul Maassen, president
Steve Schramm, vice president
Neenah Ellis, secretary
Regina Dean, treasurer
Dan Skinner – leaves at 3:05pm ET
Richard Myles
Nico Leone – leaves at 3:00pm ET
Myrna Johnson – absent


1. NPR Board Meeting update 

2. Super Regional meeting update

  1. Maassen:  NPR Board meeting last week and 2 questions came up. 

Financial information –  sounded like the situation is pretty good.

Nico  – sponsorship revenue starting to rebound.  Measures put in place are working and they may make it through without more cuts.  It’s been a rough year, still a lot of pressure. Expect to continue to keep many of the measures. It’s a fluid situation. A good fundraising year.  

There have been some questions about the measure that was passed defining stations status regarding fees. An amendment of the by-laws. What’s the takeaway?  It affects only a small number of stations, only those who hold multiple memberships. Bringing governance into alignment with current practice.  

Nico:  DEI efforts will increase – and will continue it along with stations. Investigations unit with a lot of station-facing effort.  

General mood of the board:  similar to local boards.  Tired and frayed. Losing cohesion when you can’t be together. 

  • Super Regional Conference – set for mid-November in Denver.  15-17. (perhaps too close to the NPR Board meeting?)  Feeling is to go ahead with an in-person conference with the realization that not everyone can come, but there may be enough desire/ability for people to attend.   Content ideas:  a different kind of conference, PRIMA board hopes for a more interactive/discussion based conference.  1. “A general managers university” to provide information seessions, training etc for new managers and those being groomed to be managers.  2.  Sessions for more seasoned managers.   Create some training and info to reinforce the current managers and open the door for future leaders. Each regional org would help to structure the content.   The conference will hire someone to execute the plan, but the content and direction will be dictated by the managers groups – and a steering committee as well.  

Nico:  I really like the focus on new managers but maybe a third organizing principle  could be added.  What are the conversations thtat we need to have since we haven’t met in 2 years.  Public Media Women in Leadership should be brought in. She is building a training curriculum and could be engaged around this topic.  

How many new managers are there?   Regina is concerned about whether stations can bring more than one person.   Travel is expensive. There will be so much going on .  Will people really be coming. 

PM:  Not just managers are coming.    

CPB might be willing to give scholarships for the second person. 

PRIMA  has paid for travel/hotel for the second person. We might be able to do the scholarship  again. 

PRIMA can afford to help this situation.   

PM:  This is an approach, if done properly, can provide valuable service to the system. We don’t need the traditional presentations that we’ve had from NPR and so much sponsorship activity- maybe we can find a more mission-driven purpose for the conference.  A fundamentally different conference from all the others. This is a vacuum area in the system.  It will require our PRIMA Board input in ideas and participation to make it reach its potential. We can play an important role.

There is a hope that all the other regional orgs are ready to step up as well. 

The Board member should start thinking of session topics.  

Steve Schramm will offer a cheat sheet of topics that is evergreen.  

There is an out date in August for the conference date to be changed or cut.

The idea of a  hybrid conference has come up, but it’s expensive and complicated. A layer of capacity.  Maybe the keynote event or some other events could be offered to those who can’t make it. It might be doable in the future. 

For this year,  some of the other conferences might want to do a session or two.  Development conference, program directors, U-SA etc.  PRRO will query the other orgs to see if they are interested.  They would have to provide something that would service this purpose.  Development conference and PDs will be virtual, too.  

PM will tell the PRRO group that the PRIMA board feels we are moving in the right direction.  Ask to up the scholarship quotient.  

For the next meeting:    Mike Riksen is retiring.  We should send him something.  Create a resolution. 

Meeting adjourned at 3:30 ET.

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