CAB MINUTES: MARCH 2018
Zeviel “Zev” Kane, Assistant Producer at WQXR
Jennifer Houlihan Roussel, Vice President of Corporate Communications at NYPR
- Presentation from Shannon Connolly
- Q&A with Shannon Connelly & Zeviel Kane
- Public Comment
- Community Advisory Board business
- CAB Member Nancy Wolcott: CAB does not exercise control over station staff, programming, policy (more)
- Brenda Williams-Butts, VP of Recruitment, Diversity & Inclusion, covered the acquisition of Gothamist and sister sites by WNYC and two other public radio stations (info)
- Shannon Connolly focused on WQXR growth initiatives, and noted that traditional programming will continue
- She defined WQXR Mission: To find a large and diverse audience for classical music by broadening “classical music” definition. Zev explained, “We want to create avenues for people to find new, unheard, unheralded music that can transcend genre.”
- New programming includes: New Sounds, Gig Alert and Soundcheck , which demonstrated an appetite for genre-agnostic discovery. John Schaefer’s New Sounds relaunches March 20 as its own 24-hour channel. This has been in public beta since November 2017.
- Education Initiatives: Music in Schools pilot will teach grades 3-5 at schools from last year’s Instrument Drive.
- Benefit of going to schools is that teachers and administrators can give insight specific to that student body. For example, “host this session in our cafeteria versus the formal and intimidating auditorium.”
- This is being done in partnership with Decoda, a Carnegie Hall-affiliate ensemble
- CAB member Marlene Birnbaum felt bussing students to institutions like Phil or Met was “transformative” and perhaps more inspiring than teaching at schools.
- WQXR priority is offering something new and supplementary to what exists (i.e., “field trip” programs)
- Live Performances in the Greene Space will continue; now WQXR is developing Family Programming, a series of Saturday performances at the Greene Space
Q&A SUMMARY WITH CONNOLLY AND KANE:
- Multiple CAB members and listeners were frustrated by presenters’ ambiguous definition of “classical.”
- Listener Aaron Isquith asked WQXR to stop playing excerpts. “We don’t just publish chapter 3 from a book.”
- CAB member John Bacon urges expansion of “classical.” For example, he suggested term include Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell.
- CAB member Merwin Kinkade asked about how commentary is created: Producers draft them, announcers refine.
- “3-Minute Opera” is being developed as a podcast
- CAB member Lisa Nearier cited accessible opera in Europe and suggested WQXR partner with NY Philharmonic Hall for performances in the Greene Space.
- CAB member Chad Bascombe asked why Music in Schools focuses on grades 3-5, and if non-instrument drive schools will be included. Connolly noted now the priority is building on instrument drive and to see response.
- CAB member Grace Clarke asked about pressure for marketing newness. Connolly noted that no one else is connecting past to present: the reason classical music was written, context, people it was written for is all very modern.
- CAB member Kathryn Tornelli suggested WQXR host a “battle of the bands” with local performing arts high schools.
- CAB member Marlene Birnbaum cautioned that though live-streaming and listening to a pod-cast provide opportunities to “see and hear the orchestra or opera” sharing the moment with the orchestra/opera live is an experience that is incomparable. She also requested that WQXR consider inviting public school classes to the Monthly Juilliard School Free performance held at The Greene Space (the first Wednesday of the month).
- Listener Jeff Kamp: the public should hear all the charges against Lopate and Schwartz, stating that since both have been fired, there will be no ramifications if NYPR releases those details. He asked CAB to issue formal request to release information.
- BoT member Mary White clarified that there are allegations (not charges) against Lopate and Schwartz.
- CAB member Anita Aboulafia expressed concerned that NYPR hired Proskauer Rose LLP, an employer-friendly auditor, to do the investigative report.
- CAB member Chad Bascombe inquired about public release of employee workplace climate report or code of conduct.
- NYPR communications VP Jennifer Houlihan Roussel stressed two-way confidentiality for both complainants and Lopate and Schwartz.
- Listener Suzy Winkler expressed gratitude that CAB passed on her repeated calls for NYPR which eventually resulted in an end to Williams Co. sponsorship of NYPR.
FOLLOW-UP FROM CAB LAST MEETING
Response to listener comments
- On request for details of Lopate and Schwartz dismissal: Ombudsman appointment and posting of Harassment and Hostile Environment Policies have not yet been decided. Listener Services looking to develop FAQ page for ongoing transparency.
- On suggestion that CAB have an ex-officio member on the Board of Trustees (BoT): Not allowed; by definition, CAB is completely independent of station and is ineligible to be on BoT in any capacity.
- On suggestion that BoT share relevant media reports with CAB: Approved, will come from liaison Mary White
- On request to make CAB web page easier to find: Updates have been made to WNYC main page.
Update on CAB initiatives:
- Recruitment. Accepting applications March 13 - April 5 via this form.
- Improved communication between CAB and BoT: All in agreement. Before each CAB meeting, BoT will share summary report of top feedback topics and public summary on membership and any fundraising.
- Better understanding of what CAB does: CAB sent BoT member Mayo Stuntz a memo.
- Updates to January meeting minutes
- NEXT MEETING:
- Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 6:30 PM, The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, New York (Google map)
CAB MEMBERS (ALPHABETICAL)
- 25 members of the public
- Brenda Williams-Butts, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Alex Murry, Manager, Diversity & Inclusion
- Mary White, BOT Liaison