CAB Minutes: September 2006

7 pm, Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The New York Society for Ethical Culture

Shawn Williams, Dave Hall, Dave Weinstock, Lisa Nam, Jenn Batterton, Judy Hellman, Gary Schulze, Ken Stewart, Gina Fuentes Walker, Emily Gertz, Basya Weissman, Inge Reist, Fred Friedland, Sallie Gouverneur

Apologies: Ed Sawchuk, Alex Senchak, Gideon Pollach

Absent: John di Blasi, KC Sahl, Nicholas Arture, Mary Payton O'Hara, David Rahni

Brenda Williams-Butts, Jennifer Houlihan, Lee Compton

4 members of the general public attended

Sallie Gouverneur brought the meeting to order and opened the floor for comments from the public in attendance. One member of the public said he came "to connect with Gina Fuentes and to see what the WNYC Community Advisory Board was all about."

Sallie then read the Board's Mission Statement, and reminded the Board members and audience that “we have a great relationship with the Board of Trustees at WNYC.”

Sallie also reported to the board that the WNYC Gala would be held on November 13th and Trustee Alan Weiler had purchased a table for the CAB with seats for ten Cab members. These seats will be given to CAB members who had not gone to last year's Gala. The final list for the Gala is due in mid October. It is noted that the price for seats at the Gala this year are higher than last year and that it will be held at “Cipriani,” which is near Grand Central Station.

Ideas: David Weinstock passed recruiting to Shawn Williams to handle. Recruiting begins in February and the station's announcements will go out in January.
Things to do to orient new members:
* Give WNYC station tours. Need to talk to Jacqueline Cincotta to set up a station tour.
* Give out literature about the station [don't remember this-- anyone??]

Elizabeth Nam reported that scheduling an event in New Jersey for this coming fall has proven to be difficult, and that it will probably be more reasonable for ’07. Possible cities for an outreach event could be Livingston, or maybe Short Hills.
Themes for the outreach programs were then discussed. The idea for the session is to bring out the best things that Northern Jersey has to offer. Alex Senchak, co-organizer, had offered possible themes for an outreach event:
Education Speakers
Corporate Activities
Arts Communication
Local Government
Non Government
NJ Jersey History
Idiosyncrasies of New Jersey that people may not know about.

Possible venues were then discussed, including a private School near Short Hills, and Newark Academy.

Ken Stewart asked if we would be stepping on anyone’s toes if we were to hold an event in New Jersey, since there are public radio stations there as well. Sallie mentioned that we would only be talking about WNYC at these venues.
David Weinstock asked if we should contact any other CABs of NPR stations in New Jersey.
Elizabeth Nam: “I don’t think they’re related to the question of presenting New Jersey stories to New York listeners.”
David Weinstock: “We should poll Jersey listeners about whether or not they listen to stories from New York and WNYC in particular."

Brenda Williams-Butts made the point that 25% of New Jersey Public Radio listeners listen to WNYC; and of course the further out you go into N.J., the number of listeners goes down. Bergen County has the highest number of listeners of the 25% portion.

Elizabeth mentioned that more people along the river identify themselves as New Yorkers, asking, should we have an event in Hudson or Bergen County? Issues of access via public transportation, as well as physical access to venues for those with disabilities, must be considered.

Brenda Williams-Butts-“Doing things in New Jersey can be a bit of a challenge.”

David Weinstock-“Maybe we should do an event in Weehawken or Jersey City.”

Elizabeth Nam-“Money for a venue is a challenge.”

Judy Hellman asked: “What will be the format? Diversity? Will it be like the Westchester Model? Will there be audience peers?

Elizabeth Nam: “We need to be clear about what the purpose of the meetings will be, is it to pull out story lines?” It was agreed that New Jersey-based WNYC news reporter Bob Henley would be a great resource for planning the meeting.

Jennifer Houlihan stated that WNJN gives the station resources. Elizabeth Nam: “We should let them know we’re planning something.”

Sallie Gouveneur interjected for clarification. “We don’t have the resources for a joint meeting with WNJN. We should also give a courtesy call to NJN that we’re planning an event in their area. If they can be helpful, fine.”

Elizabeth Nam said that the event in Westchester was good and that maybe we should have someone from the station to talk about programming.
Sallie G. made the point that there needs to be a middle ground in terms of topics and promotion, for instance, addressing the question of why NJ gets bad press while also pointing out that NJ has wonderful secrets. Either way, we need to have broad topics that would draw people of New Jersey to come.

David Weinstock made the point that we have 6-8 meetings per year and that we should at least 2 per year devoted to outreach. Dave Hall proposed considering an outreach to the Aarab-American community in the city.

Ken made the point that access to public transportation for any outreach meeting is crucial.

Sallie made the point that we should table the discussion of specific topics for NJ and save time to discuss at the next meeting. In the meantime, there needed to be discussion of themes or topics to be discussed at regular meetings, which could be announced on-air ahead of time.

Shawn Williams made the point that we as the CAB need to take a step back before we deal with the themes that we present to the public. “What are we trying to accomplish?” “The Public is our resource group.” “What ARE we trying to do with outreach?”

Sallie reminded the board that we need to keep difference between the roles of the CAB and the station clear: CAB is not the station, and that the role of the CAB is Amorphous, situated between the community we represent on one hand and the station on the other.

Alfred Friedland offered the idea that we should talk about programming ideas for the station.


David Weinstock suggested that we contact other CABs to get an idea of what they have done to help us with more information on how we can move forward. Also we could produce a Survey Monkey
Judy Helman mentioned that she had seen a lot outreach programs going on at NPR.

The next topic on the agenda was promoting the “Celebration of the WNYC new space.” Sallie reminded the group that Laura Walker had encouraged anyone on the Board to share ideas about how to celebrate the space with the station.

Next topic was another offer from Sallie to the public for comments.
City Council Woman Gale Brewer, whose district includes the Ethical Culture venue, popped in to say hello.
Wyn Sung Wong, from John Jay College came to say hi and observe the meeting for ideas since he is starting a CAB from scratch at the college. Mr. Wong also wanted to state that he was a fan of the radio station.

Sallie reminded the CAB members that November 13th was the date for the WNYC Gala, and to let her know if you are interested in going by mid October.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm