Fall 2008: Pittsburgh

PRIMA Fall 2008 Conference

Thursday, September 11, 2008
4:00-5:00 pm
Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA

PRIMA President Cleve Callison
Callison called the meeting to order at 4:06 p.m.
It was determined that a quorum was present.
Cleve thanked Scott Hanley for hosting the PRIMA Conference and Christina Kuzmych for planning the conference.

Additions and Corrections were made to the agenda.
After corrections to the agenda a motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda. The Membership unanimously approved.

PRIMA Secretary Dan Skinner
Consider Minutes of Business Meeting March 11, 2008
A motion was made and seconded to approve the Secretary’s Report.
The Membership unanimously approved.

PRIMA Treasurer Dorie Vallillo
Balance in checking account 03/11/08          $22,591.50
Income                                                   $15,311.88
Expenses                                                $10,540.19
Balance in checking account 09/11/08          $27,363.19
A motion was made and seconded to approve the Treasurer’s Report.
The Membership unanimously approved.

PRIMA President Cleve Callison
Cleve acknowledged Richard Miles as the recipient of this year’s PRIMA scholarship. Cleve asked that station managers who are members of state organizations to promote membership in PRIMA. Cleve reported on the work of the Public Radio Regional Organizations (PRRO) Group and their role in monitoring and providing feedback to the NPR board. Cleve thanked Joyce McDonald for her help in facilitating communication with NPR. A question was raised about the PRRO Groups communication with CPB. Cleve reported that PRRO had communicated with CPB about how the rescission in funding was handled. A questioned was raised and there was discussion about inviting CPB and NPR representatives, including the new NPR president to the next PRIMA meeting. Cleve noted that the last two PRIMA meetings included NPR consultation meetings and reported that the board was leaning toward making the Winter 2008 meeting a PRIMA only event.

A. Future Meeting ideas (Christina Kuzmych)
Christina reported that the Winter 2009 PRIMA meeting will be held in San Antonio on February 4-6th. Hotel to be determined. Technology, Fundraising, and Management Training are on the short list of sessions. She solicited comments and Tim Eby suggested that SRG’s Growing the Audience project be considered for a session.

For Fall 2009, Chicago is being considered as a meeting place. Future meeting place suggestions include Memphis, Eagle Crest outside Detroit, Springfield, Nashville, and Louisville.  Additional suggestions are welcome.

A. None pending

A. Report on Nominating Committee Recommendation for Election Slate (Tim Eby, chair)
The following slate was offered:
Vice President:            Christina Kuzmych (1st full Term)
Treasurer:                    Dorie Vallillo
Board Position #1:       Al Bartholet (2nd Term)
Board Position #2:       Jon Schwartz (2nd Term)

Also the membership is ask to confirm the appointments of:
Dan Skinner, Secretary (Having completed half of first term)
Bill Wheelhouse, Board Position #3 (Having completed half of first term)

A motion was made and seconded to accept the nominations.
The Membership unanimously approved.
A motion was made and seconded to close the nominations.
The Membership unanimously approved.
A motion was made and seconded to elect the slate of officers.
The Membership unanimously approved.

B. Resolution from U-SA (see text below, and University Tenets document attached)

A motion was made and seconded to accept the resolution. After discussion about the language of the resolution and issues with some aspects of the Tenets, (see addendum below), to which it refers, a substitute resolution was proposed by Tim Eby. A motion was made and seconded to discuss the substitute resolution. Subsequent discussion resulted in Tim Eby withdrawing the substitute resolution. The membership indicated a desire to support the intent of the efforts behind the original resolution but was not comfortable with approving the resolution as written. The original resolution was tabled.

C. After further discussion and input from the membership, Scott Hanley proposed a new resolution. “The Prima Membership supports and encourages the development of a best practices document outlining the relationship between University Licensees and their public radio station.”

A motion was made and seconded to approve the resolution.
The Membership voted to approve.

C. Other

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 5:10 p.m.



WHEREAS:  The purpose of the University Tenets of Public Radio Station Ownership & Operations is to educate university administrators about the appropriate role of a university in its administrative interaction with the station in order to reduce interference in FCC-licensed broadcast facilities’ operation,

AND WHEREAS:  The Tenets is considered to be a much needed USA-generated resource with very favorable feedback from stations,

AND WHEREAS:  The Tenets has already been endorsed by the USA and ERPM,

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the PRIMA membership endorses the University Tenets of Public Radio Station Ownership & Operations.


Mission and Planning
The university* recognizes that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licenses the station to serve the community’s interests and needs on a daily basis. The station’s staff, board, university licensee, financial resources, and activities are focused around a clear sense of mission. The station’s programs, underwriting, fundraising, and other services effectively advance its public service mission and that of its university licensee. The station and university licensee demonstrate current and appropriate evidence of planning.

Fundraising provides a means for listeners, underwriters, major donors and grant providers to become involved and to express their support of public radio. The integrity of station membership data base should not be compromised. The station is bound by law to prohibit other entities from using its membership data base. Sometimes a university may have a “dual” relationship with a contributor. If this is the case, the university should not use the station’s call letters to assist with mail solicitations for other university departments or projects. Fundraising practices should adhere to nationally accepted professional standards. Fundraising provides revenue for identified needs and advances the mission of public radio.

Finance and Regulation
The station follows generally accepted accounting procedures and complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and Federal Communications Commission requirements. Resources are developed, managed, and allocated in a manner that advances the station’s mission and sustains its financial viability.

Human Resources
Station management must control the selection of on-air talent and program content. No person, apart from the university acting through its duly appointed station management and staff, has any right of access to station programming time. If students participate in the station’s operations, the station professional staff must be in a position of review and control as mandated by FCC regulations and in accordance with university policies. The station’s staff and volunteers have the appropriate education, training, experience, and support to accomplish their work. Staffing should be adequate to meet work expectations and needs. Responsibilities and reporting lines should be clearly defined and understood.

Programming and Public Service
With the FCC requirement that the station serve the community, the station automatically expands the university’s outreach and connection with the community daily. Public service and programs extend the station’s capacity to provide quality lifelong learning experience for the community.

There are firewall issues related to the news department. The independence of the station’s news department should not be compromised. The integrity of the station will reflect positively upon the university if it is seen as fair and impartial. Continuous evaluation ensures the relevancy and viability of all program offerings.

University Reporting Structure
The governance structure and processes effectively advance the station’s mission. The university and station administrations should have a clear and shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities and a commitment to the mission of the station and university.

*University – is a generic title that also includes colleges, school systems, and state agencies.

Respectfully submitted,

Dan Skinner
Secretary, Public Radio in Mid-America
September 19, 2008

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