CAB MINUTES: JANUARY 2015
NYPR Community Advisory Board
January 27, 2015
Steve Rapkin called the meeting to order at 6:30pm
In attendance: Ted Schweitzer, Sarah Lenigan, Steve Rapkin, Stephanie LaFroscia, David Sztyk, Ted Schweitzer, Merwin Kinkade, Matthew Ormsbee, Anita Aboulafia, Adam Wasserman, Catherine Arcure, Barbara Gerolimatos, Joyce Lannert, Melissa Williams, John Bacon, Gary Brocks, Renee Cherow-O’Leary, Helen van der Voort
TS moved for approval of the agenda and AA seconded. All in favor.
JL moved for approval of the minutes and MK seconded. All in favor.
JL suggested that members of the public be asked to “like” us on Facebook and leave email information to maintain contact.
SR introduced Jacqueline Cincotta, WNYC program director who spoke about how programs are chosen and measured. Evaluation: official measurement is conducted by AC Neilsen and paid for by the stations. In the past, people would keep paper diaries, but now use a PPM - Portable People Meter. It is actually worn by 4500 people and it “listens for you” with an encoder. Implemented 2010, it changed how the station thought about programs: people didn’t listen necessarily through entire programs. There are 17 million people in the “pool” of NYC radio listeners. Neilsen provides various cuts of the data on a quarter-hour basis and morning is the highest listening period. JC likes to look at month over month, year over year and think about flow of programs – shows before and after. The Listeners Services Department tracks every single listener comment and distributes them as appropriate, and the box on the pledge form asking for comments is read. Comments on the web are also followed for response or engagement. JC speaks to program directors at other stations on what they are listening to and looks at who producers are. A recent programming change brought a different show five nights a week at 8:00. The station wanted more of a cultural/story based bent rather than news and found the listening audience increased. Recently extended this programming to the 9:00 hour. The Program Director also thinks about the flow – what are people doing at a particular time of day and what do they need then. Also “seeds” programs as specials to see how they would work. MK asked if she saw CAB minutes. TS asked how they want to measure the audience – larger is better? And how does the PPM reflect the population? Answer that the PPM is supposed to follow demographics. The goal isn’t really to be the most popular but to be popular means the audience is being served. The Statin will run shows that may not get a large audience, but are important to present to the audience. SR asked if some shows are chosen to attract a certain demographic and the answer is no. MOP asked if there is a demo they are targeting. The Station wants to bring in everyone, especially younger listeners but not at the loss of current listeners. JL asked how the Station finds out what those that aren’t listening would want and was told through the CAB and community outreach, as well as advertising through non-traditional methods such as the Greene Space and podcasts. RC asked how podcasts are chosen and was told other producers were surveyed about what they were thinking of – Sex, Death and Money came from that. Other submissions are reviewed by Chris Bannon. BG asked if Neilsen data informs how they create the schedule. Yes for local items and special content. SL asked how digital presence is measured. There isn’t really a fool-proof method yet, but looking at numbers from streaming, subscription to podcasts, on-demand listeners, as well as Twitter, etc. MOP asked if they approach other stations who produce programs and was told yes, and as an example JC pointed to the Wisconsin public radio five part series on death that is being run now. MOP doesn’t like the music. JC suggested she listen to the AM station as it is more talk oriented, not music. Another MOP doesn’t like interstitials.
Steve then introduced Harry Clark, GM of Corporate Underwriting. The team works primarily with local corporations for things produced here, a national team, and then a digital team. Underwriting notices run for 15 sec 7 times per hour on WNYC and on WQXR for 15 or 30 seconds. SR mentioned that underwriting comes up quite often in CAB meetings with MOPS wondering whether underwriters have an impact on content. HC said he receives comments from public through the internet, etc and said there is no impact – completely separate from editorial. BG asked how much general underwriting provides to the budget and was told 25%. Grants are also a source but a different bucket of revenue. Membership is the largest source. TS asked if any underwriters proposed programming and would it have any impact. Absolutely not, “Its really important to us.” CA highlighted the perception from the public that there is influence. JC hopes that people will reach out through listener services with their concerns and reiterated that the Station will respond. Also some of the underwriting is through NPR and we are required to run that as well. And NPR has increased the time for these notices. CA reiterated that MOPS feel that their contributions are less important when so many underwriting messages are aired. JB complained about the “creep” of notices vs. commercial. DR asked why MailChimp was a sponsor of Serial and not a bigger, more well know entity. It was explained that there was no way to know how popular that podcast would be. MW asked if there is an industry that they would not take money from but was told not specifically because the Station does not take sides, unless it is especially controversial. There is a procedure within the Station to question potential issues and stop before problems arise. Also if anyone comes in unsolicited, the Station does due diligence and checks with the FCC. DS asked what the legal parameters are for underwriting, and whether there are limits to the type of sponsors. HC explained that for example no call to action or comparative language may be used. MOP asked how competitive the Station’s pricing is vs. a commercial station for the same time. WNPR tends to charge a premium and is considered to be quite competitive. SR thanked HC for his time.
The meeting moved on to a discussion of locations for Spring. We will be moving between Greene Space and Society for Ethical Culture. The April meeting will be at the Bronx Public Library. It was suggested Queens, SI and NJ but the feeling was to limit non-Manhattan meetings to two per year.
Discussion was held on topics for other meetings. The Brooklyn meeting was very successful – great speaker and there were people in the meeting from Brooklyn who had never attended a CAB. For the April Bronx meeting SR stated that he had contacted Lue Ann Eldar, who had spoken of Hillary Frank (the Longest Shortest Time) and Brian Lehrer as possibilities. MK asked whether there should be a formal invite and Brenda suggested we do that and provide Lehrer with a format. The Program Committee can work on it, and Brenda offered to act as a liaison with him as she has worked with him for many years. RC suggested a topic of “story” – how the programs are put together. And suggestions were made to revisit previous topics for updates.
For other meetings, SR suggested Elliot Forrest, who has said he would be interested. Possibly February or March. CA reiterated how important and helpful it is to have representatives from the station come to our meetings. The June meeting will be wrap up. SL/MW/AA requested a financial overview. RC suggested a talk on digital distributions. DR suggested we all go to “Ask Me Another”. AA wished they announced special segment programming better.
Digital committee will be meeting this weekend to discuss scheduling and communication.
Public response committee is awaiting feed back on proposal for handouts and parameters for public comments. They will update document to reflect Listeners’ Services as a point of contact for MOP’s issues.
SR – Member of the Board of Trustees will attend meetings going forward on a rotating basis.
JL reiterated the need to follow up on visitors through FB, and comments should be sent to Listeners’ Services.
DS moved to adjourn and TS seconded. All in favor and the meeting closed at 8:10.