Mendocino County Public Broadcasting
Board of Directors Meeting at
Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation
499 Leslie Street, Ukiah
September 26, 2018
President Azzaro called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m.
Board Members present: Azzaro, Bushansky, Dow, Karp, Hulse-Stephens, Middlebrook, Polkinghorne, Tischler.
Also present: GM Parker, CAB member Fishman
Self-identified members of the public: George, Maria Galardin //sp?// (programmer), Kate Stornetta, Ed Keller
(former Board member), Tim Gregory (programmer), Margaret //? Fishman's wife?//, Jeff Blankfort
(programmer), Stuart Campbell (former GM, Board member); Dorothea; 3 other members of the public
A) Agenda approved, as amended (see item G)
B) Minutes of 12 September meeting unanimously approved
C) President's Comments: Principal subject for this meeting is discussion of proposed bylaws change to allow
for bi-annual rather than annual elections to the Board, but Azzaro wanted publicly to thank Vice-President
Dow for his extraordinary efforts to help myriad details—many confidential—in helping the station move
forward in its transition from first 30 years to its next 30.--Applause (not perfunctory).
D) General Manager's Report (attached): Parker comments on State Senator McGuire's wholehearted support
of Station's broadcast tower land rental negotiations with Cal Fire. McGuire wants to know the dollar amount
of staff salary cuts required to make our budget this year, as an argument for reduced rent of Cal Fire land.
Parker surprised the Board by saying that the station had built the tower and then gave it to Cal Fire (or
predecessor agency). General incredulity that the station is now paying rent on its gift. GM will document the
gift as part of argument for rent reduction.--Board member Middlebrook remarked that he hopes that any
collaboration between county-wide Emergency Services and the station produces more intelligible broadcasts
than the tests of the current system produce. Parker explains that those signals need to be terrestrial, for
unclear reasons, and probably account for the on=air unintelligibility.
E) Committee reports
1. Bylaws and Policies Committee.--Member Polkinghorne asks Middlebrook to report, since she was involved
with personal crisis during the drawing up of the recommended necessary changes. Middlebrook reports
that there are very few changes to wording, and that volunteer extraordinary Campbell has brought them
into proper form for the ballot to be mailed to the membership. Document attached.
2. Finance Committee.--Financial picture seems bad, but its clarifying. Our fund-raising drive fell short, even
though we extended it. In future, perhaps not announce a goal; just know what we need & realistically can
aim for. Hope that salary cuts are short-term. They were implemented 2 months later than planned.--
Bushansky segués to Dow's investigating a FEMA grant, where the station puts up 25% of (minimum)
$250,000 grant. Discussion of focused fund-raising for such a grant. Need careful wording so that we do not
have to return funds raised if we do not get the grant—that is, have a capital fund drive, some of which
could go to the grant, if our application is approved.--Bushansky remarked that some of our financial
difficulty stems from the $20,000 paid to a D.C. attorney to answer the FCC/CPB complaints of several years
3. Fundraising and Membership Committee.--Member Dow is encouraged by our new underwriting division of
labor into two districts, the “101 corridor” (including Anderson Valley) and “the Coast.”--Our new contract
person already has 2 new underwriters, and 4-5 likelies.--Our membership director now has an assistant,
and they are splitting the territory between them.--Grants and large donors. We have $15,000, enabling
News Department expansion. In the short term, matters are looking good. Plans afoot to have a donors'
workshop, so a few major donors can tell us what we can do better.
4. Long Range/Strategic Planning Committee.--Member Hulse-Stephens reports that the survey, to go out
with the bylaws ballot will invite station members to take a hard look at KZYX through the lens of our
Mission Statement: How are we doing?--H-S suggests we “put more juice” into our mutually-beneficial work
with local non-profits. We all gain from public exposure.
5. Community Advisory Board.--Member Middlebrook (Board liason to CAB) asks CAB member Steve Fishman
to comment. Fishman says that the CAB loses, in the move to bi-annual Board elections, in the sense that
the CAB questionnaire that goes out with each ballot mailing, is the best way to reach all the membership.--
He also reminds the Board that the CAB typically gets about a 30% response rate to its questionnaires,
which is a phenomenally high rate of response to questionnaires (typical good rate, 6-%). “That means,” he
points out, “that 70% of the membership is not angry with us.”
F) Public Expression
Blankfort: upset that the meeting of 2 weeks ago not announced on the air-- (Some discussion of the bi-
weekly meetings of the Board being posted on the website—the more general Board meetings, like this
one, announced on air, frequently)--Blankfort asks Howdo you listen to KZYX? (i.e., not all members have
internet access.) Blankfort mentions age groups: “We should know that we're old.” (Perhaps rueful assent
from Board members, & response that we want to accommodate to yourger listeners' access habits.)
Blankfort reports that feedback [on programming [i.e. time] changes is not good. Willits is not liking music
at 9 a.m.. He is worried that “11 is dead.”
George: More convenient to follow news with public affairs.
Dorothea: objects to the way it [schedule change] was done. People really upset.--Now it's hit or miss.--
What's Ralp Nader doing at 5 a.m.? [He's a crucial public voice.]--Executive arrogance throughout our
society.--Ask what the public wants; then the Board should consider it.
Karp(Board member): we're also trying to attract new members.
Gregory: Why weren't pay cuts announced? [Printed] cash flow statement part of openness.--[Bi-annual
election] 4 years [new term length] is a huge amount of time. Should be outreach & stirring-up of interest,
[to avoid?] homogenized Board . . .
Polkinghorne(Board member): our goal is to have fewer meetings [twice a month is burn-out pace]
Dorothea: more public affairs . . .
Gregory: [I'm] generally supporting of your [Board's] effort--
Dorothea: More back & forth. Quotes Bruce Anderson: “local news, local news.”
--End of public expression--
G) Bylaws change.--Motion to send the change to membership for approval by ballot. MSP.
H) Closed Session.--Personnel matter
I) Announcement out of closed session.--All parties satisfied.
--Unagendized final comments about possible FEMA grant: KZYX is the go-to Emergency Communications provider in the county.
J) Adjournment at 8:27 p.m.
draft of 1 October 2018