Mendocino County Public Broadcasting
Draft Minutes, Board of Directors' Meeting
564 S. Dora Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
17 October, 2018
Members attending: Azzaro, Dow, Karp, Middlebrook, Polkinghorne, Vinyard
Members unable to attend: Bushansky, Hulse-Stephens, Tischler
General Manager Parker present
Former GM & Board member Campbell present, as member of the public and historical resource
A) President Azzaro called meeting to order at 5:19 p.m.
B) Agendaapproved unanimously
C) Minutes of 9/26 BoD mtg. approved unanimously
C.a) In lieuof extended President's comments, Azzaro says that his individual theme for the rest of the year
is the station's 30th-anniversary year culminating in a 30thbirthday party at the end of 2019. The
station should integrate the count-down clock to be celebration in all its messaging.
D) General Manager's Report, e-mailed to Board in the afternoon of 10/17 & attached to these minutes. GM's
Additional comments: Susan Kelley & Diane Hering are working well as Hering transitions to contract status & Kelley works from an office in Ft. Bragg, where the phones are set up so that Kelley can see calls made to Philo & answer, if needed. Somewhat relieves pressure on the 4 staff members in Philo. The Ft. Bragg office (330 North Franklin St.) displays a small KZYX sign. GM reports “it's all upside for us.” --GM reports a little progress on the degredation of NPR's satellite signal. NPR's problem. They're working on it. Positive report on Jonathan Peakall's volunteer work with Culbertson on Operations matters. Sandra Chapin is enthusiastically at work on sponsors from the 101 corridor. --GM reports that we are now in the 180-day remediation period following the completed CPB audit report. --Last item: GM had just called P.J.Nielsen: we probably have the necessary 400 ballots for the membership to make our requested changes to the Bylaws, should the members agree with us. --GM's report unanimously approved, accepted.
E) Committee Reports
1. Bylaws and policies—Dir. Polkinghorne says her goals for the committee are to go through Bylaws & Policies line-by-line and propose revisions to the Board as necessary. The work will require monthly meetings.
2. Finance—Dir Middlebrook reports that Treasurer Bushansky favors the idea of a regular, budgeted
scheduled pay down of the “old debt” to NPR, but that he'll have no usable figures until the 21 October Finance Committee meeting. --GM Parker reports that we've offered to pay NPR “something” for current programming, and that negotiations are “delicate.”
3. Fundraising and Membership—Dir Dow reports that Chapin is “high octane” . . . that both she & Susan
are. Report briefly moves to their grant-writing skills, and Azzaro adds that Mari Rodin is also a skilled
grant writer. --Consensus: we're well-served in this area. --Dir Dow suggests that, with current BOD focus on fund drive, perhaps we do not need right now the underwriters' workshop. --GM reminds us that the
Library has a grants database, for state funding possibilities. --Realistic observation that grant situation is
not favorable for small counties. General surprise that we're so late in starting to pursue grants. “We need
to have a good, straight story, for effective applications. --Dir Dow concludes his report by saying that
major donors “are coming back,” in the sense that they're asking him for details of station finances &
plans. Takes time to cultivate major donors. President Azzaro says that Hering has a list of donors in
the$1000/2000 range.--Keep pitching!
4. Planning—dedicated volunteer Campbell initiates a somewhat free-form discussion of when to start our
30thbirthday events. Should actual events start in April, giving time for ordered roll-out? President Azzaro
eager to start before then. Secretary not certain we have a consensus.
5. Programming/Publicity—Dir Karp reports that there's a possibility of having a Farm & Garden Show live
from the Co-op, and possibly a jazz show from the Sequoia Room in Ft. Bragg, “the premier West Coast
venue for jazz.” --Also, we have 2 more in-trade slots at Space in Ukiah.
6. CAB—Dir. Middlebrook reads a report from Chair Ellen Saxe: “For now we feel that the CAB doesn't need
to give a report at your “working meetings.” We want you to keep us on the agenda in case this changes.
Meanwhile, please do anything you can to recruit new CAB members, especially from Fort Bragg, Willits,
[and] communities in those areas, and the South Coast. Thanks for your focused work.//Ellen [Saxe], Steve
[Fishman], John [Arteaga].”
F) Public Expression--”Hi! . . .”.--Dir. Polkinghorne remarks that Project Sanctuary (which kindly lends the BOD
this meeting room) recently had a fund-raiser at Nelson Family Vineyards: “It was low-key and a huge
success.”--General agreement that we should think about a similar event for KZYX.
G) Closed Session
H) Announcement out of Closed Session—BoD received reports & discussed sensitive personnel matters.
I) Scheduled meeting, 31 October, Cancelled.
Meeting adjournedat 7:41 p.m.
Attached (pasted): General Manager's Report
Mendocino County Public Broadcasting General Manager’s Report Jeffrey Parker 17 October 2018
Membership/Development Newly recruited Susan Kelley, who brings almost two decades of public radio membership, underwriting and development experience from Capital Public Radio, is rapidly finding her stride at KZYX, having managed the highly successful first “mailing house” mailing with Express-IT of Ukiah (the Bylaws Ballot mailing). The second mailing (Fund Drive Silent Drive) is going out today. We’re still evaluating the direct cost savings, but already the manpower savings are palpable. We’ll keep our Pitney-Bowes postage machine through the end of its contract in March, but will not renew. This alone will save almost $1k/month. The Express-IT costs, which include much cheaper postage than we were getting as a non-profit, appear to be less than our in-house costs even before we count staff time.
Susan reports that her “remote office” in Fort Bragg is working well. She can answer KZYX calls as if she were in the Philo office, and can transfer calls, switch to voice mail, page staff, etc, without the caller knowing where she is. I’ve visited her FB office in North Franklin Street and share her view that this could be a forward presence of KZYX in Fort Bragg. We should be thinking of hanging out a sign. Susan is coming to Philo as necessary, and will be in Philo for the duration of Fund Drive (31 October to 10 November).
Infrastructure Recently recruited tech volunteer Jonathan Peakall has begun working, spending his Thursdays at Philo to take on long-deferred projects that Rich has been unable to address. We’ve created a master “hit list” and are knocking items off quite steadily, including improvements to the FCC-mandated Emergency Alert System, our emergency backup power system and other mission-critical tasks.
We’ve purchased five Uninterruptible Power Supply systems financed by the $3K Community Foundation Save-the-Day grant, and have installed three in the Philo studio. These will keep us on the air during the minute or so between a grid failure and the start of our emergency generator. We’re schedule visits to the Laughlin Ridge and Cold Springs broadcast towers to install the remaining two UPS boxes. Also financed by the grant is a highly resilient computer to host our broadcast automation system (“The DAD”), which runs 24/7 keeping our broadcasts running all day and all night. We’re consulting with Puget Sound Systems in Washington and will order the custom PC in coming days.
We’ve been struggling to understand the cause of intermittent “dropouts” in programming that we receive via satellite, mainly Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Takeaway, The
World, Fresh Air and Democracy Now. NPR shifted their satellite transponders last Wednesday, and the problems commenced hours after that, so working with the NPR technical office, PRSS, to troubleshoot the problem. PRSS is overnighting a piece of equipment that should arrive on Thursday. We want our signal to be nice and clean in the runup to Fund Drive.
AT&T reported serious degradation of the T1 signal that carries our Tieline broadcasts to Philo from the Willits and Fort Bragg studios and also our VoIP telephone lines. Repairs were carried out on Tuesday 17 October, but the scare prompted us to ratchet up the priority of testing of the Tieline system over our new WISP internet service. (We’re locked into the very expensive T1 lines until May 2019, but we’re looking for ways to exit early if possible.)
Underwriting As of 12 October, longtime Underwriting Director David Steffen has transitioned to a contract, no longer responsible for underwriting sales but taking full responsibility for the many administrative tasks that keep the underwriting on the air. This has freed up newly recruited underwriting associate Sandra Chapin to ramp up a full-blown sales drive on the 101 Corridor; She’s set a target of $6K/week and is coming close to hitting it. We are recruiting for an other associate to sell on the coast. There are still some loose ends to tie down, but the transition is largely complete and beginning to function in a very encouraging way.
CPB Audit Now that the Inspector General’s Office of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has issued its Final Report on our Community Service Grant audit, our case has been transferred to the CPB Office of Grants Administration for the six-month “audit resolution process.” I’ve proactively arranged a call this week with Greg Schnirring, CPB Vice President for Community Service Grants and Station Initiatives, to agree a plan for implementing and reporting the corrective actions that we’re already taking.