CAB MINUTES: November 2011
NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD
MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER 17, 2011
MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:
Tiffany Hall, Chair
Matt Bancroft, Co-Vice Chair
Joyce Lannert, Co-Vice Chair
John De Witt
MEMBERS NOT PRESENT (with prior notification):
MEMBERS NOT PRESENT (without notification):
NYPR BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND STATION STAFF ATTENDING:
MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC ATTENDING:
The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Tiffany Hall at 7:15 PM. The late start was due to significant transportation delays in downtown Manhattan for many CAB members. Tiffany had each person attending identify themselves for the benefit of visitors from the general public and attendees who are blind or visually impaired.
MAJOR TOPIC FOR THE MEETING:
WQXR – Progress since acquisition from the New York Times in October 2009
Graham Parker, WQXR Vice President, updated the CAB concerning the station’s progress during the past two years. In short, he affirmed that WQXR has maintained and significantly increased its audience since the acquisition and has had several successful pledge drives as a listener supported station.
He addressed several ways in which WQXR is using digital media to enhance and interact with the on-air audience. A few of these include:
- Weekday listener Noon requests solicited via phone or WQXR’s web site
- Extended web site interviews with musicians after brief on-air appearances
- Archive of on-air live concerts such as the recent John Elliott Gardner all Beethoven concert “Live From Carnegie Hall”
- Q2, emphasizing more contemporary classical music, 24/7 webcasts
- Special webcasts such as all Beethoven during November
Feeling that he does not have enough face to face contact with listeners, Graham has initiated informal lunch meetings with listeners and those attending Café Concerts. The station also has begun to reach out to schools and he cited an especially interesting project with students at one of New York’s charter schools during November’s Beethoven Awareness Month.
WQXR also has conducted a survey with over 2,000 of its listeners. There have been some comments regarding the station’s programming choices, some saying it’s too narrow. In particular, those who listen almost all day seem to think there is too much repetition. However, Graham pointed out that their programming staff is very aware of controlling repetition so listeners don’t hear the same piece of music in the same time slot too frequently.
There are continuing issues with WQXR’s signal strength and reach. One of the trade-offs when New York Public Radio decided to acquire the assets of WQXR from the New York Times, was having to accept 105.9 as its broadcast frequency rather than 96.3. The 96.3 frequency, being purchased by UniVision, became the only way that NYPR could afford to complete the complex three-way agreement which meant WQXR’s classical music format could be preserved as the last remaining all-classical station in the New York Metro area.
New York Public Radio is continuing to address how to extend its on-air reach where there are pockets with poor signal quality. There are very few feasible and affordable ways to increase the station’s reach via traditional FM technology other than translators and translators are not perfect solutions because of their inherent low power and reach.
Another approach is to promote more listening through WQXR’s web site and to make available applications which can be used via cell phones and personal portable devices. An “app” for the iPhone was recently released and has already prove to be a popular and portable alternative. Similar apps for Android devices is pending.
Several other points of interest:
- Average listener spends six hours per week with WQXR
- 15% listen via WQXR.ORG’s live stream
- WQXR’s newly appointed Music Director is Jennifer Hauser, a musicologist and graduate of Columbia University
- The Greene Space is increasingly being used as a small venue for live concerts
- Live concerts from New York’s major spaces continue with the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic, Orpheus, as well as “Live From Carnegie Hall”
Graham when asked by a CAB member to reflect on WQXR’s long term goals, said that he envisions WQXR to continue being the most listened to on-air classical music station in the United States and, in time, also the most listened to and influential in the world! The CAB enthusiastically endorsed the progress of WQXR and its future plans, some of which were not ready to be publically announced. They also applauded Mr. Parker for his equally enthusiastic leadership of WQXR since coming on board in early 2010.
COMMITTEE REPORTS AND ITEMS REQUIRING A VOTE
Joyce Lannert reported that the committee had met during the summer and early fall with the purpose of examining applications for membership to the CAB and resulting list of persons to be voted for membership during this meeting (see below). Principal goals of the committee were to nominate individuals who represent a broad range of interests and experience in order to increase the CAB’s size from its current minimum of 15 toward the current maximum of 25 and to balance the CAB with respect to geography and diversity.
Since March, 2011, 17 applications had been received by NYPR and the committee reviewed each one and selected eight to interview. Of those eight, five were chosen to present to the cAB for approval during this meeting as nominations for the balance of a three year term ending in June of 2014. For a variety of reasons, the screening process was not completed in time for the normal June election.
Election Process Committee
The committee met during the summer, but two of its four members were unable to attend the telephone conference call. A summary of the preliminary discussion points was presented to the cAB for this report and the committee will continue its deliberations and report to the CAB in January, 2012.
Strategic Planning Committee
Matt Bancroft, committee chair, distributed a report which was briefly discussed by those present. There was general agreement that its work, including gaining more details from some of the nation’s leading public stations regarding their community advisory boards would continue, with recommendations to be forth coming as our NYPR CAB continues to examine its purposes and functioning.
John De Witt, a member of the committee, pointed out that many of the other issues being addressed by other committees for approval by the CAB, will ultimately require changing the CAB’s By-Laws. When appropriate, this will be done in cooperation with NYPR’s legal counsel with presentation to and ratification by the Board of Trustees.
Communications and Research Committees
No current report
ELECTION OF NEW MEMBERS
Chair, Tiffany Hall asked members of the general public to leave the meeting while new member elections and reappointment of current members takes place.
Individuals nominated to become CAB members were:
Mr. Barnett is a New Jersey resident and a senior executive in charge of marketing at NRT, one of the nation’s largest real estate companies. He has expertise in internet marketing, social networking and web site development. Mr. Barnett sees public radio “…as a public service that transcends class and place … played by taxi drivers and its content discussed at affluent parties.”
Ms. Labrado is a PR professional, currently the press agent with the Paul Taylor Dance Company. She has implemented publicity campaigns that generated coverage in print, broadcast and online media outlets. Ms. Labrado is also a board member on the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company.
Ms. Moldover is a senior staff attorney at Lawyers Alliance (LA) for New York. LA provides pro-bono and low-cost legal services for non-profits and community groups that work with disadvantaged New Yorkers. She had also worked in the CBS law department. She has expertise in non-profit law and familiarity with radio operations.
Mr. Rapkin is also a New Jersey resident with a deep knowledge of and commitment to classical music. While a student at Harvard he was on the staff of WHRB where he did the classical programming. He is a VP at Drake Management, NY, where he is a software developer and quantitative analyst.
Robinson, MJ (MaryJean)
Ms. Robinson is an assistant professor of communication arts at Marymount Manhattan College. She has done research on municipal broadcasting systems writing her dissertation on the rise and fall of WNYC-TV. Ms. Robinson’s view is to look at “… media forms [in] … the ways in which they contribute to and create our world.”
The above slate was presented and the nominations moved by John De Witt and seconded by Beth Knobel. After a short discussion the vote was held and all candidates were elected unanimously. The NYPR Board of Trustees will be presented with the CAB’s election results and following vetting by the Board’s liaisons to the CAB, a vote will be taken by the full Board to ratify the slate during its December meeting.
REAPPOINTMENT OF CURRENT MEMBERS FOR A second THREE-YEAR TERM
Michael Bauman and David Tereshchuk were asked to leave the meeting while their reappointment to a 2nd three-year term was being discussed and a vote taken. Their reappointment was moved by Joyce Lannert and seconded by Mat Bancroft. They were unanimously approved for an additional three-year term without further discussion.
ADJOURNMENT AND NEXT MEETING
the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM. There is no meeting in December and the next meeting of the CAB will be held on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at a place to be determined with announcements on NYPR’s radio stations and the CAB’s Facebook web site.
Submitted by John De Witt, November 26, 2011