Fall 2004: Saint Louis

Fall 2004 Conference
October 7, 2004
Westin St. Louis
4:00 p.m.



PRIMA President Patty Wente. Meeting began with informal discussions. Called to order at approximately 4:05 p.m.


Agenda approved.


PRIMA Secretary Cleve Callison. Minutes of meeting May 11, 2004 (distributed via email 5/24/04). Motion to approve minutes from the May conference. Minutes approved.


PRIMA Treasurer Dorie Vallillo. Balance in checking account 5/1/04: $9,725.20. Income $8,707.27. Expenses $2,103.20. Balance in checking account 9/30/04: $16,329.27.
Vanguard Money Market Account balance 6/30/04: $10,505.51.

Tim Eby asked if this is the year when the audit needs to be done. Dorie said that it has been done. Will be done again next year.


A. Program (Cleve Callison) –No report for this meeting.

B. Scholarships (Cleve Callison) — FALL 2004 recipient is Michael AJ Randolph, General Manager of WCBE in Columbus, OH. Michael welcomed to group.

C. Membership. Interlochen Public Radio is a new member. This brings PRIMA up to 75 members.

D. PRIMA.org web site. Dan Skinner reported that hosting of the PRIMA site remains a problem. Currently the site resides at WKSU. This creates an access problem for Dan or any future webmaster. Does PRIMA want to invest in an independent service provider Motion was made and approved to move the web site to an independent service provider. PRIMA will cover the cost. Dan will start researching providers and options.


Several retirements. Steve Meuche and John Monick have retired. Brad Swanson of WUIS is planning to retire soon.

There are many challenges coming up. As public radio broadcasters, are we prepared to deal with a future that includes XM, Internet, and other technologies This is a topic that should be a part of all of our future deliberations.

Thanks to Cleve Callison for assuming duties of PRIMA Vice- President after Greg Schnirring moved to CPB.


A. None stated.


A. Spring 05 meeting update (Cleve Callison) – The next PRIMA meeting is planned to take place in New Orleans, probably February 17 and 18. Exact dates still need to be finalized.
John Batson’s station will be hosting.

B. NPR Report (NPR reported on activities in a previous meeting.)

C. By-Laws (Patty Wente) – By-laws need to be reviewed. Past PRIMA presidents will be asked to participate in this activity. Patty asked for volunteers to serve on committee. Jeff Stoll and Tim Eby accepted.

D. Nominations (Jon Schwartz) – Jon not in attendance due to conflict; Patty reported. Nominations activity needs to follow by-laws which stipulate the timeline. During the nomination and voting procedure, Patty made temporary appointments: Cleve Callison was appointed as Vice President, Christina Kuzmych appointed as Secretary for the purpose of this meeting. Nomination committee will compile the slate to present to membership. A nomination committee was appointed at the May 11, 2004 PRIMA meeting in Arlington.

E. Craig Beeby reported on U:SA. Linda Carr not able to attend due to illness. Discussed Cost Benefit Module, which helps station s assign comparative dollar values common to all licensees. Alternative governance models. Asked members to forward names of university presidents and chancellors who understand and support public radio to become part of the leadership circle for U:SA. Send names to Craig Beeby. U:SA will be changing IT providers. Web may not be accessible for a few days. New resources have been added to the site. Craig reminded that U:SA will need financial support to ensure continuation.

F . American Public Media. Twyla Olsohn reported. Thanked stations for working with APR and for support. Goal is to serve better, to have close ties to people at all station levels, including programming, governance, fundraising. A new website is in development. Tours, tickets, program hosts, etc., available to stations. Fundraisers are out the door. Christmas specials are all free.

G . PRI. Cathy Twiss gave report. Programs specific to elections are available. Specials from BBC offer international perspectives on elections and related topics. Unveiled several new programs offered through PRI. By December 31 stations need to let PRI know their carriage plans in order to qualify for the 10 per-cent cost reduction.

Other Discussions: 

Tim Eby suggested a discussion about satellite radio. Some highlights:

Erik Nycklemoe (MPR) stated that needs of the program producers should to be factored in when considering satellite radio. It’s in the interest of program providers to reach as many listeners as possible with their product. Mentioned networks and individual stations who are already distributing programming on the satellite (WBEZ, WNYC, WBUR, and others).

Dan Skinner stated that the system needs to have a serious discussion about how to deal with the loss of program exclusivity. Though satellite carriage can help producers, it could hinder stations.

Cathy Twiss of PRI stated that PRI is providing content for sub channels.

Bill McGinley stated that PRI may need to rethink the fact that listeners won’t be able to discern a radio service from a satellite service when it’s all coming from the same receiver. Scott Hanley stated that we should recognize the fact that NPR is the only service that waits before putting programs on Internet. The idea of exclusivity will need to be explored from the perspective of the station, the producer, the syndicator. Our business model is still based on giving the product away—we may need to rethink this. We need to be considered the institution to be supported because of the nobility of our work.

Tim Eby– as a system we need to think strategically as to what we want to have on the satellite if that is another distribution vehicle. Repeat our programs, or start new content, or repackage existing content in new and interesting ways. The Howard Stern and Bob Edwards moves give us pause to think. Perhaps CPB should bring content developers together to find ways to develop our model.

Craig Beeby made analogy to the NBC Today show. Distributed mainly through local stations nationwide, NBC has also created MSNBC as a spin-off. NPR, PRI, need to ask when do we start spinning off products, and how are the profits shared

Erik: Are we in the business of broadcasting or datacasting?

Patty asked about the major gifts initiative.

Beeby applauded the efforts of all to bring partners together, and the fact that national organizations are trying to understand the needs of individual stations.

Erik – congratulations to NPR for posting information on website.

Erik commented about the conference agenda. We heard a lot from NPR, but should we not also discuss individual station experiences and share them Explore Best Practices, etc. There are few opportunities to discuss issues with other station managers. Cleve explained that a survey was sent out in June asking for agenda items and topics. Only about 21 members responded, which was disappointing. As we plan for February, please fill out the survey that will be coming your way. This is the way to let PRIMA know what to include in the agenda.


Meeting adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Christina Kuzmych, Board Member #2 for
Cleve Callison, Secretary, Public Radio in Mid-America
October 15, 2004

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