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WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting

Indiana University Radio & Television Center, Faculty and Staff Lounge

July 12, 2010 at 4 p.m.

Prepared by Josephine McRobbie

Attending: Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Becky Cape, Pamela Davidson, Peter Jacobi, Christina Kuzmych Mike McGregor, Perry Metz, Lewis Ricci, Lynn Schwartzberg, Janis Starcs, Janet Stavropoulos, Charlotte Zietlow

Absent: David Bowden, Jane Clay, Laura Ginger, Nancy Krueger, Nan McEntire, Leonard Newman, Walt Niekamp, Gwyn Richards, Judy Witt.

Janis called the meeting to order at 4:00pm. Minutes approved with two changes. Mike McGregor was present at the last meeting. Add an “a” to Indiana. Motion to approve, seconded.

New and Old Business

• Sara Wittmeyer has joined the team as WFIU/WTIU News Bureau Chief. She has vast experience hard news, arts news, and with students – she supervised 150 student reporters last school year. She will be instrumental in putting together a fully integrated newsroom and arts bureau. Sara plans to institute some changes right off the bat. For instance – we will now be doing live-reads of all local news.

• WFIU is currently producing an hour-long special about the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center. The program will include field recordings of traditional chants, interviews with Tibetan leaders, artists, and local monks, as well as audio from His Holiness’s teachings in Bloomington and Indianapolis

• Staff is working on holiday specials for the fall. We will use some from last year, and create a couple of new ones. We do generate some income from these productions by posting them on the Public Radio Exchange website for other stations to pick up.

• In early May, Pipedreams host Michael Barone visited Bloomington to dedicate the Seward Organ in Auer Hall on the campus of Indiana University. There was a weekend lunch and lecture with Mr. Barone, with proceeds benefitting WFIU. Mr. Barone also recorded a Profiles interview and taped some fund drive spots while he was at the station. This was a very successful visit!

• We have moved With Heart and Voice to HD2 and replaced it with The Score with Edmund Stone - a weekly excursion into symphonic music in film. We’re testing this out for now to see if people like it.

• We now have a crossword puzzle in the guide. Let us know if you like it. Lynn: This is the kind that frustrates puzzlers because there are a lot of dead ends. CK: We’ll pass that along ☺

Online Fundraising

• In June, the staff of WFIU’s Night Lights orchestrated an online-only fundraiser. A final count of $838 in contributions far surpassed WFIU’s modest goal of $600. This was a very quiet drive, with very little on-air asking. Audio tags were inserted in podcasts of the program, to reach our global audience, and additional pushes for contributions were done through the program website, Facebook and Twitter pages, and various jazz Listservs.

• A similar drive for the program Harmonia begins July 20, then we plan to try A Moment of Science. The other good thing is that when you have a macro, you can set it up for any program.

• Perry: We’ve never wanted to add more fund drives, even though we could do so and make more money. We don’t want to dilute the one great fund drive Christina has developed.

• Perry: PBS just did a survey of online traffic. 75% of people who visit PBS website do not watch PBS broadcasts. Average age of this study was much younger than of the on-air audience.

• CK: there has been a big change from date watching and listening to on-demand watching and listening.

• Janis: I’m on a schedule with my programs. I want to listen to them when they’re on.

• Lewis: Every time we meet, we talk about new ways to listen. We have no one on our board who fits within the younger demographic we talk so much about. I think we really need one or more than one person in that age range so we have some perspective. Maybe no one as transient as a student, but young.

• Pam: One possibility is Lesli Gordon, Columbus Regional Hospital. Her background is ITT, and she is in her 20s.

• Perry: It’s a great idea. She or he will tell us things we don’t want to hear, though ;)

• Lewis: Another possibility is Sarah Robbins (Intellagirl on Twitter)

• Carolyn: Will that person’s voice be heeded? We’ll have to respect their opinions. They’d have to have some consequence.

• Peter: We’re not an action board.

• Pam: But there are some young people who listen to WFHB on the radio. It’s unique.

Upcoming Station Events

• Booth at Fourth Street Festival on September 4-5th

• WFIU 60th birthday on September 30/October 1

• WFIU Benefit Days at Borders on October 1-2nd (tentative)

• David Sedaris at IU Auditorium on October 6

• WFIU Listener Reception planned for October 22nd

Harmonia Format Changes and Online Revenue

• Harmonia’s format has changed. It’s now a little more user-friendly, a little richer, and adds a news hole (1:00-6:00) that functions as an almanac for a date in history. Bernard is writing the almanac, too.

• We’ve also added our Harmonia online store. The programs that promote the online store will begin to air in July. This is another source of passive income, staff select items, marketing director puts site together, but then we go directly to someone else to ship the items.

• Perry: Takes a lot of commercialism to stay non-commercial ☺

• Pam: Would be nice to have somewhere to buy those items locally when the students get back. White Rabbit? During orientation? MAC gift counter?

• Perry: Selling DVDs of locally-produced programs has worked for TV. There was $70,000 from WTIU sales last year. Maybe design fall centerfolds for the guides with product lists?

• Market these DVDs to retirement communities, where mobility can be an issue?

• Perry: WFIU/WTIU Christmas packages: If we could have people select presents, we could do quite well.

• Janis: Joe and David could also do some stuff with Amazon.

• CK: Integrated is working on jazz playlists.

• Pam: I thought the Harmonia wedding CD was genius. I’m excited about passive income.

• Lynn: Some of us just love NPR product. Pam: I’m a big fan of blast emails, there are many ways to get the word out.


• PTFP (Public Telecommunications Facilities Program) funding was recently recommended for zeroing out by the Obama administration. However, there is positive movement in the House appropriations subcommittee that may slowly put the funding back on the map. PTFP is the program that provides matching funds for larger hardware/tech purchases like towers, etc. Much of WFIU’s tech acquisition has been funded by PTFP, and there are several projects pending right now that depend on the match.

• “Empty-pocket states” have, in many cases, pulled the plug on funding for public broadcasting and public media. Lakeshore Public TV and Radio just laid off 11 staff members.

• State budget: Committee met, we are at 50% cut for the upcoming year.

• Lewis: We’re at a literal 30% cut. Upcoming session is going to be extremely contentious. Whether they like you or not is not the point, it’s the discretionary part of the budget and it’s shrinking.

• Pam: They’re predicting another education cut after elections, and in early 2011.

• Lewis: In other states, some folks have figured out how to get out of that part and into a designated tax area. Arts and environmental issues have nearly identical people attracted to them. Lewis will send article. If we don’t get in these tax realms, we won’t have these funds. There hasn’t been any talk about this on the statewide boards. We should get some folks together to talk about these possibilities.

Mobile and PayPal Giving

• It is our dream to be able to use PayPal and texting for giving.

• Haiti was the big breakthrough with mobile giving. This American Life has had great success with this. People text a number on their cell phones and a small or large amount is charged to their cell phone bill. This reaches an audience right when they’ve heard something they like, at the end of a story, etc. Unfortunately, the IU Foundation has not authorized this kind of giving. Their logic is that accounting for microdonations would be a nightmare. They say it would cost more to process a $5 payment than it would be worth.

• A separate issue is taking PayPal for online giving. This is impeded the IU Treasurers Office. They are concerned about security with PayPal.

Discussion of New Bus Ad

• Christina shared a draft of the new IU bus ad, a green background with our logo and several logos for our flagship programs.

• Should we include ATC and ME? Or include local programs. Swap outs are expensive. We’d have to do a focus group to see how well they did.

• Lewis: It’s a flash, I’d do one big icon. You’ll only have about 3 seconds of attention

• But the buses are in idle a lot of the time.

• It’s not a good idea to put a photo of an announcer or host’s face, in case they retire or otherwise leave their position.

• Lynn: The side with the door is most important.

• Pam: Promote one news program, one arts and culture?

• Carolyn: But different people are attracted to different things.

• What about a pledge plea?

• Christina will go over these suggestions with Marketing.

Next meeting: Fund drive November 8th. Two shifts. We’ll send information in the months before the meeting.

Meeting adjourned.