NYPR Community Advisory Board

Minutes of the meeting on May 18, 2015

Society for Ethical Culture


In attendance: Sue Hornik, Merwin Kinkade, Anita Aboulafia, Sarah Lenigan, Stephanie LaFroscia, Lue Ann Eldar, John Bacon, Helen van der Voort, Gary Brocks, Steve Rapkin, Judith Cholst, Catherine Arcure, Harriet Olson, Renee Cherow-O’Leary


Report from Recruitment Committee – made by LAE. The Committee chose 6 new members this year. She thanked the CAB and Brenda Williams and Community Listener Services for being helpful accessing candidates. The proposed members are diverse regionally, highly digital, international and multilingual, and some are sustaining members. She introduced the new members with “memorable quotes”, and those present spoke briefly about themselves. Steve thanked committee members Lue Ann Eldar, Barbara Gerolimatos and John Bacon and Catherine Arcure.


SLF moved to approve the agenda, SL seconded. Motion approved.

MK moved to approve the minutes of the last meeting, SH seconded. Motion approved.


SR announced that Jim Schachter will be joining us at the next meeting to update us on the health program and new programming. Jim will also be discussing election coverage for next year and may have questions for us on what the public will be interested in.


SR opened public comments. He explained that he sends a report to the Board of Trustees on each CAB meeting based on the minutes. MOP asked how that report is different than the minutes. MOP complained about the fundraising period and described it as a blight. SR explained that the station gets most of its funding through pledge week. MOP asked if there wasn’t a “high net worth” individual that could underwrite to avoid it. JC wondered whether there is a method to how they present – “gentle at the beginning and then more aggressive as the week moves on”. It was suggested that one can listen to WQXR without hearing the fundraising using a code on-line. GB and most agreed that the two people talking was most irritating.  They would prefer having someone state his/her business and move on. CA suggested that they let the public know the total they are looking for. SR suggested that we invite someone next year to talk about how they make these decisions. MOP said we don’t feel like partners from the fundraising perspective. JB said that giving a goal is not effective because then you can sell yourself short. MOPs suggested including ways to comment when donations are made. SL suggested sending a CAB calendar to members when they make a donation. MOP commented that his reception of WQXR in Manhattan is poor and asked if the upgrade to WQXR had been completed.


Statements from 2015-2016 officers:

LUE for Chairman, Adam Wasserman for Vice Chairman, and Barbara Gerolimatos for Secretary.


LUE talked about the 4 pods in her approach to communicating with people.  Know our purpose, use the meeting format, create engagement opportunities to capture info, know how to incorporate the discussions into feedback.


In AW’s absence, SR read the following statement: “I would like to submit for your consideration my name for the office of vice-chair during the upcoming CAB term. 


I’ve enjoyed my first year of the Community Advisory Board tremendously, and have been grateful for the opportunities to hear reports not just from the people responsible for creating the radio programming we love, but also responses from those members of the public for whom NYPR is similarly indispensable. 


I am convinced that engendering a rapport with the listening public — actively encouraging a robust public attendance and response at our meetings — can and should be the single most effective means of fulfilling the CAB's mission and achieving greater recognition of our role by the station’s management and trustees. My enthusiasm for the CAB, and my passions for WNYC and WQXR, have made it clear to me that facilitating an ongoing and constructive conversation with the public about how NYPR can meet its needs is perhaps the most vital thing that we can hope to accomplish. Our ability to solicit public response during our meetings is, I suspect, proportional to the attention such a response will be given by the stations’ employees and board, and in the coming year I would like to help the CAB make an significantly increased, multi-pronged effort to encourage the public to attend our meetings. As radio lovers, it’s obvious to each of us that listening cannot be a passive experience; actively hearing the public’s concerns and making every effort to relay them to station management and its trustees is, I believe, fundamental to fulfilling our mandate.  


I believe that my professional experiences regularly engaging with the trustees and board members of performing-arts organizations — and also my involvement in programming and producing live events for audiences — can be significant assets in helping to plan next year’s speakers and also in fomenting an increased board presence at our meetings. My commitment to attending these meetings (I’ve only missed one prior to this evening), speaks for itself. If given the opportunity, I would appreciate the chance to increase my involvement with the CAB.”



In BG’s absence, SR read the following statement: “I am interested in running for the Secretary position for the 2015-16 CAB. Since joining the CAB in Sept 2014, I have attended almost all of the monthly meetings,  joined the nominating committee and participated in the selection of the 2015-16 candidates for the CAB, and volunteered to record the minutes for the April 23rd Bronx meeting with Brian Lehrer.  I have some thoughts about how we might make the recording of the minutes an easier, perhaps more efficient, process.  For instance,  I am interested in exploring the use of  an app that transcribes spoken words to capture the minutes, the addition of an Action Item/Responsibilities section to the minutes  to allow for easier follow-up month-to-month, and the development of a simply format that would allow for public comments to be captured and then forwarded onto listener services, the staff of Public Radio and/or Laura Walker, as appropriate.”


SR said that if anyone has interest in running for the additional Vice Chair position, please let him know.


SR put forward the possible schedule for next year. Next year, we have agreed to 8 meetings including one in Queens and one in NJ. SR said the schedule is only preliminary, and already there is a move to swap the suggested dates for New Jersey and Queens.


Report of the Public Response Committee: CA reported no update as they are waiting for legal to approve proposal for public comment period.


Report of the Digital Committee: SL reported it continues to manage the Facebook feed and is looking at expanding to Twitter. SH asked about posting to Facebook with station topics and suggested that we master Facebook before we move to Twitter.


The rest of the meeting was concerned with CAB goals going forward.


MK said that having Laura Walker as an annual CAB kick off is a good thing. SH said it would be good if we advertised more to get more of the public. LE said we should speak with Listener Services to see how we can get more public attendees. It was pointed out that Brian Lehrer spoke one week after his anniversary event so there was poor turnout. SLF said we need more dynamic tools for outreach. GB offered that we take photos/sound segments to advertise ourselves. Question whether that would be on Facebook or station page. LE pointed out that we need a coordinated strategy in alignment with our purpose. With regards to non-Manhattan meetings, RO said our topic should be relative to the location, and we should look into contacting groups with natural connection to our interests such as the Center for Communication. SR said we should contact them about our next meeting with Jim Schachter. RO also suggested we give an incentive to attend. LE asked about what other CABs do, and the response was that it really depended on the size of the station. SL said that the relationship between station and CAB seemed to be getting more comfortable. RC thought it may make sense to look back at some of the large stations. It was suggested that we be proactive to ask the public what they would like to talk about through our Facebook page. JC wondered if we should rely less on the station for speakers in the next year, however SR said that most of our speakers have been willing and interested in coming. RO suggested we focus on kids such as radio rookies and other less obvious station representatives. AA would be interested in someone from NJ to talk about the election. GB wondered whether it was necessary to slant the non-Manhattan meetings to that location – the audience is interested in WNYC generally. CA suggested we focus on constituencies for example, teachers -- thematic meetings rather than issue-based. SL thought we should look at our goals and then determine speakers. SR wondered whether there should be a program committee but SL said that we should determine our goals first. SL suggested a mission statement. MOP responded to GB comments re geographic issue. She feels it is significant and would be helpful to the station to hear from locals. SH agreed. MOP though it would be interesting to find out from NJ residents what would be interesting for them. SL thinks it is a good idea to review mission statement and tighten it up to one sentence from the multi-paragraph version. LAE and MOP suggested having an “off-the-record” meeting as a working session. CA talked about a “mentorship” arrangement to help new members for direction. HC suggested putting the long-version mission statement on the agenda to help the committee focus. MOP thought this would be helpful in on-boarding new members.


LAE moved nomination of new members to the 2015-2018 class of CAB and MK seconded.


RO moved to adjourn and SL seconded.


Meeting adjourned at 8:30.


Respectfully submitted,

Helen van der Voort