WFIU Community Advisory Board Meeting
DeVault Alumni Center, Metz Board Room
Monday, July 9, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Attending: Sara Peterson, Miah Michaelsen, Lewis Ricci, Charlotte Zietlow, Pam Davidson, Janet Stavropoulos, Matt Pierce, John Clark, Mary Hall, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Brent Molnar. Staff: Perry Metz, John Bailey, Nancy Krueger. Community: John Clower.
Absent: Daren Redman, Laura Ginger, Quincy Robinson, Catherine Winkler, Lacy Hawkins, Lynn Schwartzberg, Alain Barker, Abby Henkel.
Sara Peterson calls the meeting to order.
I. Welcome & Introductions
Approval April 2018 Minutes
Charlotte Zietlow motions to approve. Pam Davidson seconds. Motion passes.
II. Public Comment
John Clower distributes copies of a letter signed by representatives of various community organizations urging the WFIU-WTIU newsroom to conduct an in-depth journalistic investigation into why law enforcement agencies around the state have been inconsistent in reporting bias crimes in their jurisdictions. He says he anticipates similar letters from other groups to follow. Has been talking to a Media School professor, Radhika Parameswaran, about the possibility of a training next summer, available to student and professional journalists in the area, about implicit bias and unrecognized white privilege in newsrooms.
Sara P. recaps the recent history of this issue before the CAB: concerns were raised regarding the completeness of bias-crime coverage in the newsroom; staff furnished a list of coverage examples; CAB agreed it would not be directing further coverage, but did raise questions about the organizationâs approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.
Perry M. offers an overview of Radio-TVâs diversity-related philosophy: that the stations make their biggest impact through content; that they have tried to extend and expand the content that touches non-traditional audiences (e.g. on Radio, Soul Kitchen and jazz programming; a variety of guests on Profiles; Muslim Voices podcast; and various documentaries on TV that address the African-American experience). In terms of available resources, IU offers Human Resources and Affirmative Action; Radio-TV meets regularly about how to expand its minority staff, which is in line with the Monroe County average; Radio-TV managers are required to attend a legal compliance series that covers issues ranging from hiring practices to harassment; Radio remains concerned about diversity and inclusion among the CAB membership itself; and Radio-TV is working with IU HR on scheduling a customized session addressing these issues that all managers will attend.
Miah M. recommends that Radio-TV reach out to the signatories of the Clower letter to understand the depth of interest and commitment in the issues at hand; several CAB members agree.
III. New Business
a. Nominations Committee Report â John Bailey
Nominations committee has not met in some time, but will need to soon. The term of one board member (Lewis Ricci) will end this December and is not subject to renewal. Four others (Sara Peterson, Daren Redman, Lacy Hawkins, John Clark) are eligible for renewal at the same time. Six members will be rotated out in 2019. Committee hopes to introduce three new CAB members by October. Theyâll be focusing on communities outside Bloomington, particularly Terre Haute and Columbus, and in search of new names from the board at large.
b. Membership Update â John Bailey
Initial reports indicate a record year in membership dollars. The total received in Fiscal Year 2017 was just shy of $620,000; the FY2018 goal was $625,000; the estimated dollars received for FY18 was about $660,000, an increase of about 6.5%. Number of members: about 4200, up about 2%. About one-third of donors are sustainers; aiming at an industry benchmark of 40%.
c. Managerâs Report â John Bailey
The campus IT team is mandating a switch, for stated security reasons, away from WordPress, Radio-TVâs longtime content management system, to the Universityâs proprietary CMS, WCMS. WCMS-driven home pages are in beta testing now; content producers will be trained and the site relaunched on the new platform in phases beginning later this month and continuing into the spring. Itâs a massive project involving literally thousands of pages and posts, and a great deal of custom code to translate to a new platform that may be less versatile.
Tom Roznowskiâs PorchLight and a literary podcast, Readerâs Radar, premiere this month. Uncle Dan and Sophie Jam is a stage show held every two months at Jazz Kitchen since last year; WFIU is offering some promotional support, some technical and operational support, plus a monthly on-air special slot; it has aired on WFYI, but was replaced with the Andrew Luck Book Club. Also, Sylvia McNair will come in week of 8/6 to guest-host a week of classical music on WFIU2; air date is TBD.
Harmonia as of 6/28, just before launch, had 10 Public Radio International stations, including in Indy, Louisville, Oklahoma City, and Pittsburgh; FIU is accommodating others who are not PRI members. The station might see a dropoff with other syndicated programs because a first-year 50% discount is ending. Continuing to receive promo help from PRI on Harmonia, and targeting stations for all shows via email and through the annual PRPD conference.
d. MacFarlane gift to NPR
Seth MacFarlane, the animator, actor, singer, producer best known for âFamily Guy,â three weeks ago made a substantial gift to public radio: $500,000 to KPCC, and $2 million to NPR in support of collaborative journalism. He did it in response to a Tucker Carlson tweet suggesting no one needed any source of broadcast news other than Fox. NPR offered member stations talking points because of both the nature and the size of the gift; the messaging reiterated that the decisions made by the newsroom are independent of those on the fundraising side, and that a large gift made to the network does not mean listeners should give less to local stations.
The consortium of Indiana public radio and TV stations within which FIU sometimes shares programming and news (e.g. the Regional Journalism Center), with whom the station pursues efficiencies (e.g. a joint statewide master control), and which advocates for pubcasting at the Statehouse, is in search of a new director. Roger Rhodes is stepping away after a decade; six semi-finalists have been interviewed by Skype; three will be interviewed in person by the board on July 18; the hope to have someone new in the seat by Labor Day.
V. Other Business
a. Next Meeting: Monday, October 1
John Bailey says this space (the Metz Board Room) has been booked for October.