New York Public Radio’s Community Advisory Board

Monday, November 25, 2013

Judith Cholst, Vice Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:35

Steven Rapkin, co-Vice Chair, introduced the program, turning our attention to WQXR.

Two Board members were present, welcomed by the co-chairs.  Keith Thomas and Ellen Polaner

Corrections to the minutes were received, so adoption of the minutes was deferred to the next meeting.

An agenda was received, and it was suggested that Public Comments be reserved until the end of the meeting.

Joyce mentioned that there will be no meeting in December and that the January meeting will be at the Society for Ethical Culture, 64th @ Central Park West.

Graham Parker joined the meeting at 6:40 to update the CAB on WQXR. 

  • Most listened to station in the US most months in 2013.
  • Founded 1936, owned by NYTimes 1944-2009, now part of NY Public Radio.
  • Growth in WQXR stream sessions. “Holiday stream” is next “pop-up” stream which begins Dec 1.
  • Promotion thru apps has been great partnership.  New music stream on Q2, with some “marathons” getting audience reaction.
  • Operavore.  F/T Opera channel.
  • Greene Space programming.  Including the new children’s broadcast.
  • Carnegie Hall Live is a signature series, live broadcast, total partnership with Carnegie Hall (including sharing expenses and selecting programs.
  • Proms. From the series at Royal Albert Hall, broadcast by the BBC with some new music for Q2
  • Partnership with Symphony Space to broadcast 5 operas from the Royal Opera House
  • Festivals, beginning with Beethoven Awareness month, 2011. Cardinal rule: never make fun of the music, then: Bach 360 (everything Bach wrote end to end for several weeks).
    • Month of Mozart
    • Wagner
  • Connections to live events and online “fun” connections and YouTube of shredding Bach and Mozart.
  • Pricing learning.  Initially tried to keep the prices modest (e.g., $10 or $15) but they sold out quickly, so raised to $40, or $50.
  • Rebel In Radio, Elliot Sanger was mentioned as a source of information
  • Goldberg Variations sponsored by the artist, which permitted it to be free.
  • Conducting pledge fundraising on-air IS the best way to raise the sponsorship needed.  Question from CAB: does it have to be so slick? 
  • Choral music stream possible?  Conversation with American Public Radio about their choral stream.
  • Goals are adjusted annually.  WQXR has high % of digital streamers. Not clear about how the growth in these compare to other stations.
  • In October 27% of audience was non-white.  54 years old, slightly more male than female.  Listening among immigrant communities is mentioned as a significant factor.
  • What is driving the purchasing of terrestrial stations?  105.9 was not as strong as 96.3, so the signal did not have the prior reach.  Committed to extending the reach to the original contours which lead to the acquisition in West Chester.  How to balance with reach of digital?  Long Island east is an area of interest.  “Repeaters” could also be an option.
  • Aggregate numbers were requested, but not offered.
  • Conversation about the instrument drive, and conversation about the prospective relationship with listeners and students.  Grassroots campaign in February 2014.  CAB requested to assist with spreading the word.  Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation will be the fiscal agent for the effort. Modeled on the Colorado Public Radio program.  What to do with instruments that can’t be accepted?  Venue for distribution event is needed.  Kathleen Drohan ( will project manage this for the station.  Budget:  Low end $210,000.  If more money were available, it would go in to advertising.  Could spend 2x’s that.  Schools will be qualified by Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation:  Title I schools only; that have had a music program for past 3 years
  • Local radio station, but developing a global brand.  NY is one of the top 3 music cities in the world, and the station has this in mind in growing both the local and the digital “faces” of the station.
  • Sarah Lenigan reminded CAB members to “like” the CAB FB page and to check the assignment sheet she emailed to us.  It includes a schedule for posting comments and responding to increase activity on the page.
  • Steven and Judith lead the discussion about Committees.  Proposing the following:
    • Social media --Anita, Andrew, Sarah
    • Recruitment (Center for Public Broadcasting has a new criteria for diversity, effective September 2014, Brenda Walker will connect here)--John, possibly Harriett
    • Event with WNYC (Dean Capello mentioned an effort on health, and Joyce will be meeting with him next week and will email the CAB) Gary, Renee, Joyce, Mike, Sue
    • WQXR (including instrument drive)  Ted, David, Gary, Judith, Lue Ann
    • Public Comment (Brenda Walker is the liaison with the Station and will follow up)
      • A listener reports that the schedule on the website is not updated with the special programing.  To show only the standard offerings is not helpful.  Growing the digital audience must connect with the website. E.g., Maddow Coins program was not mentioned.  Listener Services apologizes when the listener has called, but that action doesn’t seem to get the message to station leadership.
      • New Business –discussed the possibility of meeting in Brooklyn or the Bronx without resolution
      • Start time of 7:00 discussed, but decided to continue at 6:30



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