CAB Minutes: May 2006 draft version

7 pm, Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The New York Society for Ethical Culture

DRAFT version - subject to final approval by the CAB.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neal Zuckerman, Alex Senchak, Fred Friedland, Emily Gertz, Sallie Gouveneur, Judy Hellman, , Dave Hall, K.C. Sahl, , Basya Weisman, Shawn Williams, Toby Butterfield, Dave Weinstock, Inge Reist, Barbara Genco, Ed Sawchuk

APOLOGIES: Nick Arture, Mary O’Hara, Simran Sethi, Chris Small, Lisa Nam, John DiBlasi, Jenn Batterton

WNYC STAFF: Lori Ann Krushefski

WNYC BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Alan Weiler, David Caplan


NON–MEMBERS: Approximately 3 members of the general public attended.

Meeting Business

Neal Zuckerman called the meeting to order at 7:12. He asked for approval of meeting minutes from January, March and April. The group voted unanimously to approve all minutes.

Neal then went over the proposed meeting schedule for September 2006 – June 2007. The group unanimously agreed to the proposed slate:

  • September 13, 2006
  • October 11, 2006
  • November 15, 2006
  • January 10, 2007
  • February 13, 2007 (Tuesday)
  • April 11, 2007
  • May 9, 2007

The group then went on to discuss their new recruits. Dave Weinstock chaired the search, and reported that his search committee had selected four new people to recommend for approval by the Board of Trustees. One nominee is a counterterrorism

specialist at the MTA and a specialist in African art. Another is an artist who resides in Harlem. A third is finishing divinity school. The fourth is an accomplished mediator and arbitrator who is especially active in community groups that seek fair treatment of persons with disabilities.

The group then moved on to discuss their impressions of the meeting they held in Westchester in April. Toby Butterfield mentioned that he felt John DiBlasi and Basya Weissman did a great job of making the meeting run smoothly, and had put together a wonderful slate of speakers.

Ed Sawchuk said he felt the CAB’s outreach meetings were far more productive than their typical meetings. Sallie Gouveneur said she felt the specific format in that setting had worked well, but that she would have liked more time to ask questions of the speakers. Dave Hall said that many of the panelists said they felt there was very little coverage of Westchester on WNYC. Many also said they felt youth was not well served by WNYC and the media in general. Judy Hellman said it was interesting that no one on the panel was able to name a single media source they felt did a good job on reporting on Westchester issues. She went on to say that WNYC might consider filling that niche.

The group then moved on to discuss potential topics for their report to WNYC’s Board of Trustees, scheduled for the end of June. Recommendations were as follows:

  • Important to convey the CAB’s gratitude to Laura Walker for coming to their meeting and providing a great, very thorough presentation on classical music.
  • Provide details on the CAB’s two outreach meetings, two sets of program reviews and the CAB’s upgraded website.
  • Thank the station for their level of support and continuing to build the relationship between the station and the CAB.
  • Thanks for allowing the group to come to WNYC’s gala.
  • Review last year’s recommendations to the Board of Trustees for the purpose of continuity.
  • Note that the group is hearing a lot more diversity in voices on the station.
  • Note that the group members appreciate being included in the station’s Sound Affects feedback group, and that the group appreciates that Sound Affects is an initiative of the station.
  • Reference was made to Phil Redo’s request for the group to evaluate whether the station should have a reporter with a non-profit beat. There was discussion about reporting progress made during the Board of Trustees meeting.
  • The group discussed recommending the station hold a membership drive around the new building to allow listeners to feel like they’re part of the process and the station community. The group discussed they feel the performance space is one of the biggest and most exciting parts about the move.
  • The group would like to let the Board of Trustees know they’d like to move the location of their CAB meetings to the performance space once it’s up and running.
  • The group felt some recommendations should be about getting people under 30 to be interested in public radio.
  • Based on the assessment of shows done earlier in the year, it was suggested that the CAB make recommendations about the number of hours dedicated to some shows on the schedule.
  • The station’s website and ease of identifying shows for streaming was noted as being much improved.

Emily Gertz asked CAB members what their experience has been with different distribution methods they’ve used, and for any recommendations about where the station should go with new platforms, and why.

  • Alex Senchak suggested that segments be indexed and tagged so they are able to be found during online searches and research.
  • Dave Weinstock suggested charging for archive access. He also suggested the station put videos up of live performances in the new space.
    • Fred Friedland mentioned that Dave’s idea of charging for archive access brought up a philosophical question about whether WNYC is a money-making organization or a non-profit. He wasn’t sure the station should put any road blocks up that would prohibit the public from accessing WNYC’s information.
    • Dave talked about the ability to give something extra to members to make it more advantageous to become a member.

Inge Reist asked if the station is concerned about attracting youth audiences. A discussion ensued about opportunities, and whether this should be a goal. Judy Hellman said she’s found a variety of youth outreach efforts at other public radio stations about which WNYC would benefit from learning.

The group selected a subcommittee to draft the PowerPoint presentation for the Board of Trustees, and asked that the draft be circulated to the group ahead of time.

Neal Zuckerman then initiated an election of new CAB chairs for the 2006-2007 year. Sallie Gouveneur was selected as the new Chair, and KC Sahl and David Weinstock were selected as the new vice chairs.

The three retiring members of the CAB (Barbara Genco, Toby Butterfield and Neal Zuckerman) then spoke about what their involvement on the CAB had meant to them, and Dave Caplan thanked each of them for their service to the station.

Sallie Gouveneur suggested the CAB consider having emeritus members to call on for advice and special functions. She also proposed a summer get-together with a tour of WNYC’s new space and a dinner. Sallie will coordinate a date.

Former CAB Chair, Sari Roboff, said she enjoyed the quality of the conversation, and was pleased to see how the board had evolved.

The meeting was adjourned.