WNYC-WQXR Community Advisory Board (CAB) Minutes

New York Society for Ethical Culture

The Adler Study

February 24, 2014, 6:30 pm




In attendance – Joyce Lannert (Chair), Lue Ann Eldar, Sarah Lenigan, Steven Rapkin, Anita Aboulafia, John Bacon, Gary Brocks, Renee Chernow-OLeary, Sue Hornik, Harriett Olson and David N. Sztyk (Excused Absences – Board Trustee Liaisons Ellen Polaner and Keith Thomas and CAB Members Judith Cholst, Michael Bauman, Andrew Greene, Swati Khurana, Theodore Schweitzer and Helen van der Voort.) WNYC Liaison - Jennifer Mack from WNYC-Community Engagement and Audience Development

Guest Presenter – Jim Schachter, Vice President for WNYC News

Members of the Public: Eugene Bronstein, Lynn Stoller, Catherine Arcure, Walter Tyszka, D. Rappaport, Electa Arenal, Fred Friedland and Sybil Oyman.





Joyce Lannert (Chair) welcomed members of the public and the CAB and opened the meeting by introducing the evening’s guest, Jim Schachter, who was scheduled to share information about the Health pilot and receive feedback about healthcare programming. Members of the public who had requested to speak at the top of the agenda were given the opportunity:


 Mr. Tyszka said that on both F.M. and A.M. stations, he is experiencing crackling sounds on his radio and wonders why this is occurring. He also observed that during Hurricane Sandy that it took a long time to get regular power to the a.m. station and he felt that Sandy stories were redundant—same stories, different people.


 Responding to Mr. Tyszka’s observations, Jim Schachter chimed in before his presentation and thanked Mr. Tyszka for listening so much for so long,” which is what the “station relies upon.” “We make it a point to repeat the stories…Most people listen in eight to ten-minute increments. We got a lot of praise on the way we stuck with the Sandy story and continue to stick with it in ways that others in the media did not. The work that we are doing is much more selective, noting how Hoboken was short-changed“ as an example.


 Other highlights of Mr. Schachter’s response included: WNYC is making significant investment in applications and web presence to build new audiences and that after Sandy, WNYC received funding to help toward these investments. There is also a film that chronicles the extensive damage to the station.


 Mr. Bronstein requested the inclusion of Jazz programming on WQXR.

 Having extended the courtesy of hearing the early public comments, Chairwoman Lannert said that the remaining public comments could be voiced near the end of the meeting.




 In his introduction, Mr. Schachter explained that when he came to WNYC from the New York Times in 2012, a Health pilot was in the plan. Given his family’s personal experience with a premature birth, he noted that often we feel by ourselves in dealing with the healthcare system and that everyone has a starting point. “We (WNYC) are trying to find storytelling on topics related to health such as the effects of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in the metropolitan area and by examining whether healthcare reform can lead to better healthcare.”


 Mr. Schachter explained that there has been a “journey of discovery and a long and winding road” to gain funding for healthcare reporting. More specifically, he mentioned that there are plans for a reporter to spend six months in The Bronx. There will also be other reporting that will look at the impact of a community health clinic, medical science and discovery in highlighting the most advanced research of NY and NJ from the perspectives of ethicists, scientists and researchers.


 Mr. Schachter talked about creating a new level of sophistication and setting new standards in radio storytelling and that WNYC has to reach people in their hearts and that it is an important job to reach everyone when it comes to healthy living.


 Mr. Schachter said that his Health team was curious about the CAB’s general thoughts and questions and that he was there to hear them and take notes.


 From the attendees, there were highly spirited comments and feedback on the Health pilot’s topics ranging from doctors’ bedside manner, customization and personalization of insurance benefits, type of music and hosts used in reporting segments, mental health, stress and DNA, concern of stereotyping –ethnic/racial/gender treatment disparities, danger of self-diagnosis (23 and me), epigenetics, medication, to an interest in having deeper reporting on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) works as well as the legal and social ramifications of various syndromes, diseases and medical issues.


 Mr. Schachter concluded his presentation by saying that the session gave him “immense food for thought” and that hosts and co-hosts will continue facilitative conversations with experts from government, academia and university research facilities on the subject of health. Mr. Schachter also mentioned that there will be an upcoming Sleep project to collect data for the metropolitan area and to report on the findings.




 In response to several public comments about timing of information about the CAB agenda and location of meetings, Ms. Lenigan noted that upcoming information could be posted on the CAB Facebook page.


 Ms. Lenigan went over the procedure to post on Facebook. There was some confusion and difficulty logging in as Administrator. Ms. Hornik suggested that we comment under our own names. Ms. Lenigan reiterated that it is important to go back and check posts, and then post in one’s own name so it ends up on each Wall where friends see it as well.


 It was suggested that we add a CAB e-mail address to the Facebook page so the public can contact us directly if desired. Ms. Lannert gave the assignment to figure out Facebook functionality and Ms. Lenigan indicated she would be available to help.


 Ms. Mack said that WNYC Listener Services would continue to work closely with the CAB and the public for better and more timely information about meetings.




 Following his e-mail of 2/24, Mr. Rapkin said that based on the work the Recruitment Committee did last year, constituencies that were sought are now represented on the CAB. This year the Committee, consisting of Messrs. Rapkin, Bacon and Ms. Eldar, will concentrate on where we don’t have people. In particular, Mr. Rapkin said that could do much better in recruiting from The Bronx, Queens and NJ. The committee is seeking strong ideas and recommendations with a goal of receiving all nominees by April 20th.




 Duly acknowledged by Ms. Lannert and fellow CAB members, herewith were the public listener observations/needs/requests voiced at the end of the meeting by Messrs. Rappaport and Friedland and Mmes. Oyman, Arenal and Stoller:


o Accurate and timely information on meeting location on website/Facebook/phone.

o Interest in hearing about both WNYC and WQXR at CAB meetings.

o Better coordination of e-mails and correspondence from prospective CAB members.

o Interest in reporting on Real Estate development in NYC and the effect on traffic, safety and crime.

o Restore newscast on the hour.

o Continue breaking stories (cited NJ Bridge-gate).

o Continued public, focus group and CAB feedback on healthcare issues for relevant reporting.




 Ms. Lannert said that the CAB is trying to be more proactive. The CAB is also helping with the WQXR instrument drive (3/28-4/7) by getting the word out and that there were flyers for distribution at the sign-in table.


 Mr. Rapkin addressed recruitment communication concerns.


 Next month, March 17, the meeting is going to be in the Greene Space and a WQXR representative is expected.


Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


Minutes submitted by: Lue Ann Eldar for Helen van der Voort