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Board Minutes 7-28-2020

MENDOCINO COUNTY PUBLIC BROADCASTING

MEMBERSHIP AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

July 28, 2020

5:15 PM

via ZOOM

 

Present: Tom Dow, Bob Bushansky, Kate Stornetta, Dina Polkinghorne, Len Tischler, Kathy Rippey, David Hulse-Stephens, Renee Vinyard

Also present: Andy Stein, Ed Keller, Richard Miller, and several others 

 

AGENDA

A.    CALL TO ORDER  5:17PM by Dir. Dow                                                              

B.     AGENDA APPROVAL  Approved.

C.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES of May 26 Board meeting. Approved.

D.   REPORTS FROM MANAGEMENT AND STAFF

a.     President’s Report

i.     President reported that the state of the station is good. General manager was given an -2annual review and received a 4.5 out of 5. We’re postponing looking for a building for a new station location: as more of the staff works from home and given that our staff and programmers are spread throughout the county, we might not need a large central location (station) in the future.

b.    General Manager’s Report

i.     See General Manager’s report below. In the past two months we received $4,000 in renewals and $1,500 in web pledges, which is good. The staff is already thinking about the fall donation drive.

E.    COMMITTEE REPORTS

a.     Finance Committee – Dir. Bushansky

 i.     The preliminary figures for fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, we had revenues of $871k, which exceeded our budget by 19%, due primarily the CARES Act and other grants. Our expenses were 4% under budget, resulting in a surplus of $238k. Our cash balance at year end was $244k (approximately 4 months of operating expenses). Current assets of $314.5k exceeded current liabilities or $91.7k, giving us a current ratio of more than 3 to 1. Our net retained earnings are $187k. 

 ii.     The finance committee should create a policy for a reserve account for the next Board meeting.

b.     MembershipFundraising Committee – Dir. Dow

 i.     Nothing new to report.

c.     Planning Committee – Dir. Hulse-Stephens

 i.     Nothing new to report.

d.     Programming/Publicity Committee – Dir. Rippey

i.     Nothing new to report.

e.     CAB – Chair Stein

i.     The findings of the recent listener survey were summarized. Of note, 85% of our listeners are over age 55. There were about as many accolades about programming as negative comments. Ft. Bragg listeners reported poor reception more than others. In order, listeners value local news and community programming, national and state news, and music. There were a wide variety of suggestions for improving the programming and being of better service to our community.

 

f.      Bylaws and Policies Committee – Dir. Polkinghorne

i.     Revised bylaws were sent out to the Board. They will be discussed and voted on during the Conduct of Business.

F.    CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

a.     Election of Board Officers

     i.     Election results:

1.     President: Tom Dow

2.     Vice-President: Kate Stornetta

3.     Treasurer: Bob Bushansky

4.     Secretary: Len Tischler

b.     Resolution to Authorize Renewal of $75,000 Line of Credit with Savings Bank of Mendocino County

            i.     After discussion the resolution was approved.

c.     Approval of FY 2021 Budget

             i.     After some discussion the budget was approved.

             ii.     The Board reviewed and approved IRS Forms 990 for 2017 and 2018. 

              iii.     Discussion that we need a charter for the finance committee that commits them to certain responsibilities, e.g., overseeing that annual financials and the 990 are completed and brought to the Board in a timely manner.

d.     Approval of Revised Bylaws

                i.     After discussion the new Bylaws were approved.

G.   COMMENTS FROM DIRECTORS

a.     No comments.

H.   PUBLIC EXPRESSION

a.     Ed Keller praised the Board for its efficient meeting.

b.    Richard Miller gave a report about the Covid-19 situation in the county. We don’t have enough staff and rooms in the local hospitals if the situation gets worse. The testing is useless – it takes 10-14 days to get results. The hotspots are hotels and RV parks, and our agricultural workers are at high risk. New research shows that two layers of 600 thread cotton masks provide equivalent protection of the R95 masks. Soon the county might have a $40 test that people can take at home and get results in 15 minutes; that would help a lot. He was impressed with the conduct of the Board meeting.

I.     NEXT MEETING: September 29, 2020, 5:15pm. Location TBD, but likely by Zoom.

J.     ADJOURNMENT: 6:45PM.

MANAGERS REPORT FOR JULY 28, 2020

KZYX-Mendocino Voice environmental reporter Lana Cohen has been here for nearly two months now, and hopefully you’ve heard some of her reports. Alicia, Sarah Reith and Rich have  pitched in to train her, and she got some great story ideas from Ecology Hour host Tim Bray. Lana also reports and writes stories for The Mendocino Voice. She comes to us through Report for America, a national service program that places emerging journalists into local newsrooms across the country to report on under-covered issues. Our agreement with RFA requires some fundraising to pay for Lana’s salary, and we’re looking for options. We’ve received $5K from the Community Foundation’s environmental fund, and RFA contributes about $4K every quarter.

Evaluations: Over the past month or so, the staff has self-evaluated their work performance, followed by a session with me to discuss any concerns. We are lucky to have talented, committed people moving the station forward on its important tasks. Hopefully the staff will be able take some time off in the next few months — but it’s hard to “get away.”

New studio in Ukiah: The plan is to start training programmers and producers in the studio in mid-August, after the staff is sure everything is operating correctly and any kinks are worked out. As you know, we trade with the Mendocino Office of Education for the space and Rich and Eddie have been installing equipment for the past month or so.

New building: Tom, Rich, Len and I looked at a large building (4400 square feet) in Ukiah as a possible new home for KZYX, and explored the idea of trying to acquire it. The option brought many factors into focus, including how/where to maintain a presence in Anderson Valley; our financial situation; and what the station will really need in a future where working remotely may become more of a norm. We already know that satellite studios are a necessity in this large, sprawled-out county, so it may make more sense to find a smaller space for the “mother ship.” One thing we confirmed: the Ukiah valley is a good place to send the signal to our transmitters, and relocating there could facilitate a stronger signal into Lake County.

Pandemic plan: The staff is working on a “worst case scenario” pandemic plan. Painful but necessary.

Budget: The Finance Committee has approved a pared-down budget for next year which you will be asked to approve at the meeting. Our CPB grant amount has not yet been confirmed.

Fundraising in this uncertain time: We are considering how to conduct our membership drive this Fall, and whether we can again do a Silent Drive followed by a Flash Drive.

Breaking online records: Some of our COVID coverage has broken KZYX records for online listenership.

Technical Projects: Generator should be temporarily wired by Tuesday and fully hooked up within a couple of weeks. Thanks to Tom, Rich and Doug Livingston. Telemetry project is 1/3 done, work done by contract engineer Brian Henry.

Thanks for your support,

Marty