May 14, 2013

Public Radio in Mid America
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
May 14, 2013

Called to Order: 11:32 AM EDT
Board Members Present: Regina Dean, Tom Hunt, Christina Kuzmych, Paul Maassen, Karen Olstad, Dan Skinner

  1. Update on Super Regional-– Invitations are out and the hotel is accepting reservations. It is a resort/convention hotel. It is deluxe facility, brand new on the Potomic, but not near NPR or Metro. Question: Should we offer scholarships again? We have offered (4) $1,000 scholarships so that new stations or ones in financial hardship can attend. For PRIMA members that need assistance or non-members in our region. Last year we didn’t get any takers. (Was this decided?)
  2. President’s Report from NPR Board meeting May 8 to 10 – first meeting in new building. It seems to be flexible space for the future and staff is happy to be all together in same space. The new Development department is performing well, they have met all their goals, are willing to meet with stations who are ready to work together on joint fundraising. The Board approved a resolution for Dana Davis Rehm thanking her for her service. There was a resolution for the staff of Talk of the Nation, Neil was there to receive it. PRSS is doing well financially, needs new branding for marketing, was able to hire a firm to do it for them using funds from their auction. The NOC facility is nice. There was discussion with the NOC staff about the outages earlier this month, it was a double failure. It was more difficult to trouble shoot the problem of patching in digital and with the new facilities. It seems that there are still glitches to work out.
  3. Update on PRRO meeting with Joyce Mac and Bob Kempff about NPR Digital — After our meeting, Bob realized that he really needs to be in better touch with the station constituents. They have set up the cohort group calls so station representative can participate in whichever one they choose. Consensus from the PRIMA Board is that this would help. Questions remain about the long term plan for NPR Digital, specifically will it remain as a mandatory service/fee or will it become optional as was originally proposed.
  4. The Sutton article in Current April 29/13 – Regina commented that she applauds John Sutton for putting out a proposal for us to discuss. We need to acknowledge that the business model has radically changed due to digital disruption and this is the kind of discussion we should be having as a system at the regional meeting. A major concern is that stations are paying full cost for programs we no longer have exclusive rights to. Tom: Question is what is the role of radio going to be in the future? And what does NPR see as the role for stations? Radio needs to continue to reinvent ourselves to be valuable for future. Christine suggested that we should submit this as a topic for the super regional on the survey that they distributed and that we should discuss solutions, not just the problem.
  5. Wait Wait Cinecast Event – Consensus was that stations felt that they “had to do” it, there wasn’t much in financially it for stations, the value of spots donated for the event was not commensurate with the return to stations (only 10 tickets), the communication between the marketing firm and theaters was not good (theaters did not know about it, left to stations to make arrangements), no metrics or reports back to stations on attendance or effectiveness nationally. There was so much that WWDTM could do to make experience better for stations: more tickets for station use, tchotchkes to give away, bobbleheads or something for raffles, etc. WWDTM staff needs to return calls from stations about when WWDTM might come to our towns because our listeners repeatedly ask us.

Meeting Adjourned at 12:30 EDT

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Olstad

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