PRIMA BOARD MEETING MINUTES
September 27, 2022
Meeting convenes at 2:30 pm ET
- PAUL MAASSEN
- NEENAH ELLIS
- DAN SKINNER
- REGINA DEAN
- STEVE SCHRAMM – leaves at 3:00 pm
- STEPHEN WILLIAMS – excused
- MYRNA JOHNSON –
- NICO LEONE – ABSENT
Meeting convenes at 2:35
Steve Schramm says he will not be able to attend the October meeting. He finishes his tenure at Michigan Radio on November 30. A search is underway and Steve asks the board to contact him if they have any candidates in mind. He expects to stay involved to help with the transition.
Paul announces that Patricia Cervini is stepping down from Eastern Public Radio and from running the Superregional Conference to pursue other opportunities. (she replaced Georgette Bronfman) As a result, there is no plan yet in place for a Superregional Conference for next year. There was discussion on this board to have the conference every other year but there as yet has been no system-wide conference planned. This is a new development and not sure that it’s public info yet, so please keep it under your hats until it’s announced officially.
Schramm: when PRIMA has a conference, the super regional feels less urgent. That brings us continuity of our membership. Having our own conference has more value and more “stickiness” than the super regional.
The quality of the content at the PMDMC has improved greatly under Joyce and it’s marketed well after the fact. They have mastered the art of conferences. Attendance has been good – about 1100 this summer. Probably the best-attended in the country.
PRIMA conferences can be more purposeful for people of similar geography.
Schramm says he recently told NPR president that the regional fly-ins of years past were of good value to NPR. They were more intimate opportunities. Stoke the fire with NPR to hold those.
Dan doesn’t feel the need for the super regional either.
He says PMDMC has a manager’s track, too, and that’s helpful.
He feels that the interaction is better at the smaller conferences.
Regina feels less interested in the really big meetings, too, and prefers the smaller groups and getting to know the other conference attendees, which is harder at the super regional. As managers, we are connecting at the smaller conferences to talk about our own issues. The SR conference hasn’t evolved into what I thought it would be. Not shedding tears over losing the SR conference.
Myrna says there are a lot of conferences and the SR needs to figure out its niche. I didn’t go this year, she says. People choose two a year – maybe we should take one off the table. She notes that marketing needs will become about station size rather than region. Maybe the regional groups provided connectivity and closeness but maybe it’s worth thinking about another way to organize.
Paul – are we just jaded as experienced managers? Maybe for the newer people, it has more meaning and importance.
He notes that PRIMA is not comprised of the largest stations so we tend to speak for the medium and smaller stations. Probably the same for the other regionals as well but all the regionals are different. I think we should try to foster the collegiality of the regional conferences. Maybe moving to an occasional basis makes sense. We’ll see what the other regional organizations say.
Regina – sounds like PMDMC was big – 1100 – how many came to super regional?
About 250 says Paul. It was re-booted three times because of Covid.
WHAT ABOUT FLY-IN around the new NPR discussions?
Myrna – not clear about the pressing need at the moment.
Regina – maybe we should do it to get our membership actively engaged in the discussion about the future of our relationship with NPR.
Myrna – I’ll reach out to John Lansing’s chief of staff to say we are available for a spring event if it makes sense. I see that we’re all gonna be looking at the menu of things available to us, how to shape the marketing pieces, etc.
Regina – if we could find a way to dive deep into it, we have a good microcosm of the system in PRIMA and if we got a grouping of hotel rooms, PRIMA could subsidize hotels, so it opens up to people who might not have the money. It’s too late to do it this fall anyway. If we could go back to our members pretty soon and say here’s what we’re thinking about – maybe they would respond. We can make it easy for our members to come together. There are so many stations who don’t participate, we could make it possible for them.
Paul – our annual meeting is in the spring. We can point our efforts in that direction and work with NPR to collaborate/plan/etc. We’re gonna have a power vacuum in PRIMA, too. Schram leaving, Paul will become immediate past president.
An in-person gathering in the spring seems appropriate and timely. Maybe we can do some happy hour zooms in the interim.
There is a concensus.
Regina notes that membership invoices for membership are coming in the month of October.
Meeting adjourns at approx 3:20 pm ET.
Neenah Ellis, PRIMA Secretary