Meeting of the KBOO Board of Directors, 2008/10/21

 

MEETING OF THE KBOO BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Tuesday October 21, 2008

Present:
Becky Chiao
Anthony Petchel
Joe Azevedo
Erin Brand
Judy Fiestal
Eric Robinson
Jamilah Bourdon
Genevieve Mathews
 
Ivonne Rivero, late
 
Judy facilitated 
Judy brought food
 
Meeting Called to Order at 6:16--we started with a check in.
 
Absent: Jay Thiemeyer, Scott Forrester, Mark Allyn
 
Public/Staff:
Arthur Davis
John Mackey
Cheri Blackfeather
Louis Sowa
Yvette Maranowski
Bryan Stevens
Aleigha Cantuell
Tom Wendt
Conch
Chris Merrick
 
Public Comments:
 
Yvette said that she was here because she had a past and current experience where people who should be role models have a pattern of ignoring people which impedes progress. She says KBOO has a problem with people being ignored, maybe we should have a policy that says you can’t ignore people if they have a valid question.
 
Aleigha said that she came today because Erin Yanke helped with a school project and she came say that KBOO was very helpful.
 
John received a communication that he read regarding his 2006 employee evaluation which informed him that the Board upheld the decision of the CRC. He also feels ignored because he never got a communication from the CRC and feels that there were mistakes in the evaluation. He wants to grieve his 2007 evaluation.
 
Cheri wanted to welcome the new Board. She said that she appreciates having it in the minutes reflected whether people who aren’t here have told the Board president about why they aren’t coming.
 
Judy said Ivonne is usually late because of a Tuesday work conflict, Scott said he couldn’t come but we don’t know why, we know why Jay isn’t here, but haven’t heard from Mark A.
 
Agenda Review—no additional items
 
Bylaws Typos—Judy asked if everyone can read them on their computer or whether someone needs a hard copy. Is it OK if we all review it for the November meeting? If people have questions Zale might be a good person to address questions to. Erin said maybe we can compile all Board questions and then send them together to the Governance. Judy suggested just copying everyone on any emails with questions.
 
Program Changes Update—Chris Merrick—KBOO is losing membership in January 2008 the Board set the goal of increasing listenership. There was a plan to make programming changes in stages—starting first with the evening schedule then moving to days. There was a process of community meetings, convening a committee, surveying listeners and non-listener. The changes started in April. We’re a bit behind schedule but 6 pm-midnight Monday-Friday changes will go into effect in November 3. Saturday will stay the same. Sunday might be looked at in the future. Arbitrons tell us a bit about listenership, so do membership drives a bit—how many people call in. The goal was to create blocks in the evenings, like the afternoons. He explained blocks vertical each day vs. strips horizontal similarities across days. We’re also going to broadcast a nightly syndicated show by Davey D.
 
The evenings is a smaller part of the schedule. The daytime has more listeners—7 am-6 pm. They are now moving to the am schedule—drive time gets the most listeners. We are going to be a little behind the original schedule due to working within a committee structure and working around the membership drives. (We’re going to have another in January to raise money we didn’t make in the Fall drive—a shorter drive). The changes are planned for March 1 with final changes in June or July.
 
Chris reference the NFCB review we had last year. The program committee will look at the recommendations. Some of the suggestions were pretty radical. We’ve got about 50% of listeners who like music 50% who like public affairs. Staff will come back with a progress report to the Board next week.
 
Judy asked whether we know what the response has been to moving Democracy Now! to 7 am. Chris said it might take a couple of pledge drives to know. We are working on advertising for Democracy Now! and Davey D to let potential listeners know about the programs.
 
Anthony asked whether we are doing ongoing surveying. Arthur responded that doing more market research is part of the capacity building grant, if it gets funded.
 
Chris said many people said people who like public affairs said they want more news-based content, which takes more volunteers to produce. Improving programming also takes more resources.
 
Joe asked whether we have IRs to promote Democracy Now! Chris said it is sometimes difficult to get people to volunteer to produce those types of spots. There have been a couple of people who have done spots and it is part of the pm new script.
 
Judy asked whether the station is writing letters to people who lost their shows. Chris said generically we will send letters of appreciation. There are a few people who are upset. There have been about 9 people removed who have had shows for 15-20 years. Not all of the responses have been negative/angry, even if they are sad. Chris recommended that it is painful for people. We are welcoming people to continue to volunteer with the station.
 
Arthur said that one of the first exercises we did in starting into the program changes was to set out the core KBOO values we wanted to hold on to in the process of change—we didn’t just look at what would bring in the most listeners. 
 
Joe pointed out that there were two different schedules sent out with different Friday night shows. Youth will still be on Friday nights the last week of the month.
 
State of the Station—Arthur Davis created a State of the Station report—something he does annually. Accomplishments: 1. Real change on the radio 2. We believe in treating people well. 3. We do a lot with a little. 4. We are a model for other community groups and media organizations.
 
Key trends to watch—Listenership down, funding going down, costs going up.
 
Strategic goals from last year—Improve Financial Stability, Improve Programming, Engage in Strategic Planning, Develop an effective decision-making process. Arthur submits that these should be our same goals now.
 
Questions:
 
Programming: The current mission of serving needs that are unmet is negative rather than positive. Can we shape a more positive mission—to reach across communities? What is our product, who are our listeners, our target listeners?
 
Financial: How do we balance the budget? How can the board get involved in fundraising?
 
Staffing: How can staff work more effectively, efficiently, what are the right staffing levels, staff mgt work? Staff wants to look at the whole staffing issue.
 
Decision making—how can we be inclusive but more effective?
 
Next steps—program changes complete this round, pending capacity building and quality improvement grant. Follow up on Budget, Staffing, Decision Making and Communications.
 
General Managers Report—moving Hood River translator is still ongoing. The Dalles relies on that. Fundraising, Sun is going to take over more volunteer supervision to free up Andrew for more fundraising. Grant for money for recording kits. Capacity Building Grant—we’re really looking at market analysis, mission development before doing targeted fundraising.
 
Anthony asked whether we’ve done calls for planned giving. Arthur said we’ve done that in the past. Eric mentioned that there is a Major Donor and Capital Campaign workgroup that met with Andrew and he talked to the Oregon Community Foundation about bequests.
 
Manager Evaluation: This is a Board responsibility. Judy described how we did it last year—by forming a group to work on it. Becky said she put up a survey last time on the bulletin board, asked people to return them to Chris M. Judy recalled that there were staff and volunteers who were interviewed about the Station Manager performance. Arthur said as of August 1, he will have been the manager for 2 years. We would look at the expectations for all employees and the job description. Becky said that she will get survey documents posted if Arthur emails them to her. We will ask for responses back by Monday the 10th. Erin will work with Becky to compile the responses which will be presented to the Board at the November meeting. We also asked Arthur to do a self-evaluations
 
Board Positions:      
 
Eric moved to elect Judy as President, Becky as Vice-President, Eric as Treasurer and Erin as at large exec. Genevieve seconded the motion. Everyone voted in favor of the motion.
 
On the contested position, we asked Jamilah to leave the room and we did a vote by hands. Seven people voted in favor of electing Jamilah as Secretary. Zero voted in favor of electing Scott as secretary.
 
President: Judy
VP: Becky (will continue to take meeting notes)                     
Secretary: Jamilah (will post documents on the web)
Treasurer: Eric                                    
At Large Exec: Erin
 
Committees:
 
We talked about the overlap of Nominating/Personnel/Governance Committees. Judy suggested putting all three together. Erin said that Governance and nominating overlap well. Becky suggested that the nominating committee be all of the Board members who are elected to 3 year terms and not meet monthly but be ready to work to replace Board Vacancies and work on elections. 
 
John asked for an additional Board member on the Engineer Committee. Arthur suggested that maybe Louis Sowa a former board member would continue on the Engineering Committee. Louis said yes. Ivonne said that there are Engineering/Tech issues, some are the translator-type engineering/license things and some are web/computer things. John said that the tech stuff has to do with computers but not web. There are Tech meetings separate from Engineering committee meetings, that is working well. Arthur said that he would be willing to go back to staff to ask about whether it makes sense to reactivate a web group/committee.
 
Committee Assignments
 
Finance: Eric and Anthony
 
Development: Joe and Genevieve
 
Program: Ivonne, Jamilah
 
Governance: Scott
 
Nominating: Genevieve, Erin, Joe and Becky
 
Personnel: Becky
 
Engineering: Mark Allyn (Louis volunteer liaison)
 
Conflict Resolution: Erin
 
Judy moved that we accept this slate and approve Chris Merrick as the Conflict resolution committee staff rep. Genevieve seconded. 8 people voted in favor. Joe abstained.
 
Frequency update:  John brought in Mike Brown of Brown Broadcast Services Inc. to talk about the new frequency application—a Pendleton station at Carney Butte. Mike has been working on lots of new applications. Of the 5 applications KBOO made, we have a chance of getting one. The potential frequency could reach 20,000 people, potentially 50,000 if we got into Umatilla/Hermiston which will depend on who gets the signals to the north. It is a low frequency 230W and won’t reach every radio at 1000W we could get more coverage. We are currently in an “MX” situation where we’re in an overlapping cluster with people who applied to the north. A station agreed to settle with us for their out of pocket expenses of $3,500 plus legal fees. If we do that and file a minor change application ($1000)/add a null which will have additional costs, we will be a singleton and will be granted permission to create a station. Mike estimates the total will be about $5000 to get to the point where we could build a station. We would have 3 years before we have to have the station built.
 
Anthony asked what is the potential listenership membership gain? Is there a reason for going into that area? John said that two years ago a frequencies work group studied where to apply when it was announced that there were new frequency applications being offered and the group recommended 5 applications. This is the only one of the 5 we have a chance of getting, but we would need to do the things described by Mike. The correctional institution, a community college and the Indian Reservation. Ivonne said that there is a large isolated Hispanic population there too.
 
John said if we are the singleton based on a voluntary settlement, we can sell the frequency with no waiting period. Mike said that there are PTFP grants that we can apply for in December. Judy asked is it just transmitting our signal from 90.7? Mike said we are asking for a full station waiver, and we could operate as a translator but a full-power station can’t be bumped where as translator permits can be.
 
Judy asked why other people didn’t apply for this. Mike said most of the interest was in the Tri-Cities this frequency isn’t a high power signal.
 
Early cost estimates--The monthly site costs would be $500/$600 per month including rent, electricity, phone. ($5000/year) To build the station would be $25K Antenna--$1,500. Transmitter $5,000. Install Feedline $3,500 ComRex $9000 Remote $2000 EAS $4000
 
Arthur said that he admires Mike and his work, but he recommends against this because it doesn’t fit within our strategic goals. Expanding geographically is not one of our goals. He’s worried about capacity. There are already criticisms that we aren’t serving the Corvallis, Hood River, Dalles areas where we have translators and we have a lot of technology requests for new equipment. Andrew estimated that we could get 2% of the population as listeners because that is what we currently have with a rough estimate of $4000 per year in membership income. At staff there was one yes some nos and some not voting.
 
Confederated tribes have their own low power fm station.
 
Chris said that we committed to applying for the frequencies and spent $16,000. Now we are close to getting one. He asked if we can wait until the next board meeting to look into a plan to develop this to determine whether it is economically feasible.
 
Becky said that she agrees with Chris that it would help to have someone look into the feasibility of this find out if there is a way to integrate a station there into our strategic plan and that we’ve already made an investment in getting a new frequency that we might not want to abandon at this stage.
 
Ivonne said that we might be able to use contacts and develop groups to work with and use the resource of community radio in this area.
 
Eric said that each application was $4000, so that is the sunk costs for Pendleton not $16,000. He would be opposed to building a station for $25,000K He doesn’t see that we have the capacity to staff a station there. The only thing that would make sense is just getting the permit and then trying to sell it to someone. He thinks even that is a long shot.
 
Mike said that he would be willing to be on a workgroup to help us locate potential buyers. Anthony asked what would the estimated sale price. Mike said it is hard to sell. He thinks we could get our costs back—engineering and atty cost.
 
Genevieve would like more time, she’d probably vote against it tonight. She is concerned about the coverage and capacity and wants to focus on the people who are already listeners.
 
Mike said that there is an expanding group of religious stations who frequently swap stations—that might be an option. Is there a place we’d like better coverage.
 
Erin would vote no, since there are other things KBOO could do better with the money.
 
Judy said it is so far away. We don’t seem to have much of a connection to that. She’d be happy to consider a new proposal at the next meeting. 
 
Louis said that he recommends that we could wait for more information, understanding that there is a risk of losing it if we wait but that we could ask for more information.
 
Mike said he would be willing to look into whether there are any community groups who are potential buyers. Arthur asked if the signal will get into the prison. Mike said that with a good radio it should, but not with a cheap radio.
 
Anthony moved that we put this off until the November meeting. Jamilah seconded it. Eric said that he would like a report prior to the November meeting. Anthony accepted this addition to the motion. Becky and Ivonne will work with Mike. 8 people voted in favor, Eric voted no.
 
Finance Report—FY deficit was 28K which was good since the budgeted deficit was $200K. There was more income and less expenditure. There is a plan for a Capital Campaign to raise money for improved equipment and new equipment. We have to figure out how to track that—a meter on the website? He asked if other board members wanted to work on that. It isn’t clear whether the major donor group will be separate from the capital campaign or not. We have $200K in an endowment in the Oregon Community Foundation. The endowment has disbursements which are like interest on an account. Eric met with our OCF representative. We can take the disbursements which would be about $7000/8000. We would count it as interest income (which may go down in other areas). The endowment amount wouldn’t go down, we would just be taking half of the growth. Taking the disbursal now would decrease the deficit and we could end the acceptance of the disbursal in the future.
 
Becky pointed out that we’ve been budgeting additional contributions to the endowment, but we haven’t actually put money in. Arthur said it is common to put one time money is while also taking disbursements. Erin asked when we get a bequest does it automatically go to the endowment? The answer is no. Erin said why have the endowment if we don’t use it.  Eric said that we can’t get the principle without the permission of OCF. They would look to whether or not there was an emergency or not.
 
Erin moves to approve the proposal to take the disbursal from the endowment. Judy seconded. 7 people voted in favor. Becky opposed Ivonne abstained.
 
Meeting time. Because of schedule conflicts we are setting the new board meeting time to the fourth Monday except December it will be the 15th. Next month’s meeting is November 24th 6pm. We need to publicize that. Genevieve will change the signs around the station. Jamilah will make a cart announcing who is new on the board and the date change.
 
Judy moved to approve the minutes—Anthony seconded. Jamilah has one correction. Minutes Approved by 8 with Eric abstaining
 
Final Public Comments—none.
 
Public Meeting Adjourned at 9:16 pm
 
Public Meeting Reconvened at 11:49
 
Devon LaCroix joined.
 
Judy said that she and Erin are going to draft a letter to Scott Forester on behalf of the Board in response to the false accusations he has made about another board member and other behaviors that have been harmful to the Foundation. The letter will ask for an apology to Anthony Petchel, ask Scott to attend an orientation meeting about expectations for Board members, and set out communication expectations.

 

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