CAB Minutes: May 2005

Preliminary minutes, subject to approval by the CAB.

The New York Society for Ethical Culture

7 pm, Wednesday, May 11, 2005

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neal Zuckerman, Barbara Genco, Nick Arture, Alex Senchak, Shawn Williams, Fred Friedland, Dave Weinstock, KC Sahl, David Rahni, Inge Reist, Chris Small, Ed Sawchuk, Toby Butterfield, Emily Gertz, Lisa Nam, Mary O'Hara, Sallie Gouveneur
WNYC STAFF: Lori Ann Krushefski
NON-MEMBERS: 16 members from the general public, WNYC Board Members Alan Weiler & David Caplan

Executive Summary - action items in bold

    All sets of minutes from past meetings were passed. Neal Zuckerman and Toby Butterfield were appointed Acting Co-Chairs through September 2005. Inge Reist, Ed Sawchuk and Fred Friedland were reappointed for another 3-year term. Requires confirmation from WNYC's Board of Trustees. Meeting dates were scheduled for the 2005-06 season. Dates will be posted to the CAB portion of WNYC's website A summer event was scheduled - CAB members should RSVP to Toby Butterfield. Content for the CAB's presentation to WNYC's Board of Trustees was finalized. The station will inform the CAB of the date by which material must be provided to be included in the package distributed to the Board of Trustees in advance of their meeting. Meeting accessibility for disabled people will be reviewed with the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

Opening Comments from Members of Public:

A man said that both before this and last meeting, he'd called WNYC's Listener Services phone line and got an answering machine with a confusing menu. He suggested the station consider allocating additional resources to Listener Services on the days preceding CAB meetings so that the phones can be answered in real time.

Meeting Business

Neal asked that minutes from October and December 2004 and February and April 2005 be approved. All sets were approved.

Neal announced that Kelly Wachowicz had resigned her position as Chair of the CAB. He stated that the CAB appreciated all her work for the past 18 months. He then proposed that he and Toby Butterfield , the current Vice Chairs, act as Co-Chairs through September, at which time formal elections would take place. The CAB voted in favor of this plan.

Next on the agenda was the reappointing of existing CAB members whose first 3-year term had expired. The CAB voted to recommend to the Board of Trustees that Fred Friedland, Inge Reist and Ed Sawchuk be appointed to a second 3-year term.

Proposed meeting dates for the 2005 - 2006 season were discussed and approved. Meetings will be held on the following dates:

    September 14, 2005 October 19, 2005 November 9, 2005 January 11, 2006 March 8, 2006 April 12, 2006 May 10, 2006

In prior meetings, members of the public had asked the CAB to look into whether the meeting location (The New York Society for Ethical Culture) was accessible to people with disabilities. The venue does have a portable ramp for this purpose. The CAB will speak with the NYSEC to see if the building's guard can keep an eye out for disabled people and/or leave the ramp in place on evenings of future meetings. Toby Butterfield volunteered to host a summer potluck at his home on July 12 th . All CAB members should RSVP to Toby.

The group then began discussing proposed content for their June presentation to WNYC's Board of Trustees. Discussion focused on recommendations to the station in the areas of: diversity of coverage (deeper coverage of local issues in all boroughs from reporters), diversity of voices (reporters of different backgrounds and perspectives and sounds other than that for which public radio is known), cultural programming (music programming recommendations), technical and distribution recommendations (podcasting and blogging ideas) and promotional recommendations (low cost ideas on advertising).

Closing Comments from Members of Public:

Another member of the public said in response to the group's discussion on recommendations to the Board of Trustees that he would recommend that diversity-related stories be integrated into overall programming, not segregated in their own programs. He also suggested that the existing amount of available air time may not allow for the amount of diversity desired. He liked the idea of having people with different ethnicities, currently featured on WNYC's on-air branding campaign, say a tag line in the foreign language they speak.

Another man suggested framing the CAB's planned recommendation for a 30-minute program of local news as a "metro section for the air".

Another member of the public commended the CAB on doing a very good job during this and the past meeting on grappling with issues to be discussed with WNYC's Board of Trustees.

Another member of the public, in response to a question from the CAB about blogging and podcasting, said that if the CAB chose to recommend that WNYC publish more blogs, that WNYC staffers didn't need to create something new so much as to point out existing pieces on the internet of interest. In regard to podcasting and streaming, she suggested that the station offer downloads for a fee so that the station could pay royalties and gain some donations. She suggested this could also be offered instead of t-shirts and caps, etc.

Another member of the public asked if the station had ever hired a public relations firm to review whether advertising would be effective.