PUBLIC RADIO IN MID-AMERICA
Fall 2005 Conference
September 29, 2005
Westin Kansas City
I. CALL TO ORDER
PRIMA President Patty Wente. Meeting began with informal discussions. Called to order at approximately 2:00 p.m.
II. ADDITIONS & APPROVAL OF AGENDA
III. SECRETARY’S REPORT:
PRIMA Secretary Christina Kuzmych provided Minutes from meeting February 15, 2005 (distributed via the PRIMA website.). Motion to approve minutes from the May conference passed.
IV. TREASURER’S REPORT:
PRIMA Treasurer Dorie Vallillo reported. Balance in checking account 2/111/05: $16,300.94. Income $15,480.63. Expenses $20,335.06. Balance in checking account 9/29/05 : $16,446.51.
Vanguard Money Market Account balance8/23/05: $5,738.94.
Treasurer’s report was approved.
V. PRESIDENT’S REPORT:
PRIMA Board met in St. Louis this past summer to review the organization’s By-laws. Ernie Sanchez provided legal advice in updating the By-laws.
PRIMA’s Craig Beeby put forth a Resolution in support of the work and contributions of NPR’s Bruce Drake (VP for News) whose resignation was announced in the past week. Resolution seconded by Bruce Haines and approved by membership.
PRIMA Board members were thanked for their effort to invite PRIMA members to participate in the 30 th Anniversary meeting.
Southern Public Radio is having discussions about joining with Eastern Public Radio. Patty believes that the role of public radio regionals is to inform the membership and to seek input and support at all levels. The role of the President is to represent the membership.
Tim Emmons received a plaque for his service to the PRIMA Board.
VI. OLD BUSINESS:
Craig Beeby, Chair of the Nominating Committee reported. The PRIMA Nominating committee recommended the slate to fill expiring positions:
Patty Wente, President
Christina Kuzmych, Secretary
Bill McGinley, Board Member No 1
Dan Skinner, Board Member No 3
Motion to approve was made by acclamation, and unanimously passed.
VII. NEW BUSINESS:
A. Report on the By-law changes:
Several changes were proposed in the areas of PRIMA membership eligibility, dues levels, payments, and protocols, and the definition of what constitutes a quorum. It was decided that the By-laws would be reviewed again to reflect ideas generated by the discussion. They will be resubmitted to the membership for input and consideration. Revised By-laws should be ready for a vote of approval at the Winter meeting. Patty charged Jon Schwartz with the task of compiling a review copy for membership to consider. Ernie Sanchez will continue to provide legal assistance.
NPR ‘s Mike Riksen reported. There are more pressures on Congress to fund initiatives such as Iraq and Hurricane Katrina. It’s likely that public broadcasting may be targeted for cuts again. He encouraged all PRIMA members to continue talking to their representatives, and make the case for public support for radio.
Lobbying by both APTS (public television) and NPR was discussed. Riksen stated that there is a difference in approach. The basic principle and the purpose for lobbying is the same, however, the agendas are different. Community service is one area that is approached differently. Also, viewers in public television are approached differently in the area of programming, as much of the mission of public television is geared towards children.
C. Hurricane relief implications:
This year, our message to Congress should be: Don’t single public broadcasting out to pay for Katrina relief. We don’t mind being part of shared sacrifice, but we don’t want to be singled out. House and Senate members should not pick single programs to cut.
D. House and Senate strategies:
We have responsibility at local level to stay up and running in emergencies. This point should be stressed to lawmakers. For example, Mississippi public radio is the emergency communications signal for the state, and was instrumental in broadcasting during the hurricane. Our message should be: Now is not the time to cut down the only reliable source of emergency information. Suggestion: Fire chief in each community is the person truly eager to help with the emergency preparedness. Cultivating emergency personnel may be a good way to generate more community and lawmaker interest in public radio’s role in the emergency broadcasting chain.
We should review the perception issue associated with lobbying on air. Though we may be within our legal rights, the legislative perception may be different.
As a system, we should form a task force to look into action to be taken when there is a national development requiring lobbying. Patty wants to present this idea to the PRIMA membership.
It was noted that APTS tends to be more proactive in lobbying Congress. Often their motto is “go after Congress before it goes after you.” This may generate immediate exposure, but in the long run, NPR lobbying has been more low key and effective. APTS may be louder, and more inclined to get into trouble. Ernie: APTS has put forward a Homeland Security plan for television. As a group, radio should find a way of taking advantage of this initiative. Riksen: PTV interests are often driven by the digital mandate – find a reason for digital technology.
VIII. ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA
Thanks to ErnieSanchez for assisting with By-laws changes.
Thanks for Cleve Callison for a successful conference.
Craig Beeby: As this conference marks PRIMA’s 30 th Anniversary, we should do a resolution. Resolution was put forth by Craig to thank Vinnie Curren for his CSG work and seconded by various members simultaneously. Resolution:
“The PRIMA Membership applauds the efforts of CPB’s Vinnie Curren for the excellent service above and beyond the call of duty in relation to the CSG Review process.”
Bruce Haines received a round of applause for ending his tenure on the NPR Board.
Dale Outz was thanked for attending the PRIMA 30 th Anniversary conference.
Winter meeting: We don’t know yet.
Consensus: We should explore going back to New Orleans at some point.
Meeting adjourned at 2:52 p.m.
Christina Kuzmych, Secretary
Public Radio in Mid-America
September 30, 2005