July 16, 2014

Public Radio in Mid America
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
July 16, 2014

Called to Order: 2:30PM

Board Members Present: Dan Skinner, Mike Savage, Steve Schram, Tim Eby, Christina Kuzmych, Regina Dean, Karen Olstad, Paul Maason

Guest: None

  1. PRIMA Invoices –Treasurer Regina Dean reports that invoices for dues will go out end of July or beginning of August.
  2. Role of NPR Ombudsman –Board members recommend that Dan contact Kinsey Wilson on behalf of the PRIMA Board to recommend that NPR issue a formal statement regarding its position regarding the Ombudsman position so that we all understand what changes, if any, have been made to the job description. This issue has been raised in social media and has the potential to raise questions by other media organizations and listeners. Station managers need to know what the policy is and how to respond to inquiries they might receive. (Note: Subsequent communication from NPR management addressed this issue to the satisfaction of the PRIMA board, so Dan did not initiate any further communication.)
  3. NPR News Leadership Changes – Board members are concerned about the loss of institutional memory, global news knowledge and news chops with the departure of Margaret Low Smith.
  4. PMDMC Reflections –Dan, Christine, Mike, Tim and Steve attended and shared the following observations/takeaways:
    1.  Good conference, addition of TV makes a bigger conference, allows for higher profile speakers.
    2. With all the changes, systems and workflows are going to be more important than ever. The will be increasing need to standardize databases and systems (traffic and membership) to maximize efficiencies and take advantage of opportunities. It is going to present challenges for stations to do with existing staff.
    3. The percentage of new members is going down, stations need to work on retaining members
  5. New NPR President –-Appreciated that Jarl said that the “R” in NPR is for radio. Those who met with him privately said that he not only understands this history of radio but also the future of digital. Underwriting should be one of the first places that new CEO can provide leadership and make an impact on revenues for both stations and NPR through NPM.
  6. New Voice of NPR Credits – Steve reported that his P.D. who also chairs PRPD said that initial concerns PDs had have subsided. PDs are more concerned about the clock. Some board members felt strongly that PRIMA should express concern with both the persona and possibly the technical/engineering/processing issues with the new voice of the underwriting credits while other board members did not feel this was a high priority. It was decided that Mike will help Dan draft a letter from the board and share with board before it is sent.
  7. Spring 2015 PRIMA Conference — Plans are underway to develop a spring conference.
  8. Super Regional Conference – November 11/19-21 2014 Paul participated in conference call with other PRROs where they discussed whether to commit to a 2015 conference in San Antonio which was approved. Most of the other regional organizations don’t have an issue with not having individual regional conferences.

Adjourned at 3:30 PM.

Next meeting will be August 20th at 2:30 PM EDT.

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Olstad

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