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WAMU 88.

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COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Council
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
WAMU Community Council Members Attending:
Kent Lynn, Council Chair; Barbara Bares, Vice Chair; Sharvell Becton, Rudy Burwell, Paul
DesJardin, Patricia Trisha Hartge, Rawn M. James, Jr., Larry McCarthy, Amy Nakamoto,
Daniel Okonkwo, Micaela Mejia Pond, Donald Quayle, Anthony Sarmiento, Eugene Sofer,
Thomas Walls, Peter Tannenwald, and Matt McCormick.
WAMU/AU Staff Attending:
Carey Needham, Interim General Manager; David Taylor, AU Presidents Chief of Staff;
Kathleen Allenbaugh, Kara Barnes, Douglas Bell, Sarah Cumbie, Tish Few, Anthony Hayes,
Doreen Hodge, Margo Kelly, Meymo Lyons, Mark McDonald, Michael Martinez, Wendy
Ponvert, and Anne Healy.
Members of the Public:
Glenn Ihrig, Rick Cato, Sallie Forman, Reginald Raglan, and Gar Young.
I.

Welcome Kent Lynn, Council Chair

Kent welcomed everyone to the Spring Quarterly Meeting of the WAMU Community
Council. He said that he was sorry to announce that this would be Amy Nakamotos last
meeting as a member of the Council. Amy is leaving the DC area and her position as
Executive Director of DC Scores this summer. She is moving with her husband and three
young children to Middletown, Delaware where she will be the Assistant Director of
Advancement at St. Andrews School. Amy joined the Council on January 1, 2010, and she
has been an active, involved Council Member. Kent thanked her on behalf of the entire
Council and the WAMU staff for her service to the Community Council and to WAMU.
Kent asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting of the Council which
took place on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. The motion was made and seconded and the
minutes were approved. Following the approval of the minutes, Kent called on David
Taylor, who served as Chair of the General Manager Search Committee, to report on the
status of the search.
II.
Update on General Manager Search David Taylor, Presidents Chief of Staff,
American University
David reported that the search is in its final stage. He has been working with Spencer Stuart
consultants Sally Sterling and Will Schutte and with a seven-member in-house committee
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which includes, in addition to himself, Walt Gillette, Lettie Holman, Chris Lewis, Carey
Needham, Sandra Pinkard and Terry Flannery, Director of AU Marketing and
Communications, to find the best qualified candidates for the position. The finalists have
been interviewed by representatives of the WAMU Staff, the Community Council, the
Development Advisory Council (DAC) and several University officials. David estimates that
we are within days of an announcement. (The appointment of J.J. Yore as WAMUs new General
Manager was announced on May 21st. He will join the station as GM on August 1st.)
III.

State of the Station Carey Needham, Interim General Manager

Facility Update

Carey began his report by noting that as of May 31, 2014, WAMU will have been in its new
facility at 4401 Connecticut Avenue for one year. Carey and members of WAMUs
Engineering and IT departments to meet twice each month to with AUs Facility
Management officials to review and discuss the building transition process from
construction close-out to the Universitys long term plan to provide on-going operations and
maintenance for our new media center. He reported that at todays meeting, they discussed
the following items:
Design flaws: noise levels due to air flow into the studios, low lighting, sun filters in
the studios
Construction issues: (elevator modernization and access control system
Potential safety issues related to construction/design (stairwell directional signage
and caution signage in potentially hazardous areas).
Carey explained that funding to address many of these items will come from the project
budget not the WAMU operating budget. Warranty management (non-broadcast systems)
is being handled by AU Facilities Management while Broadcast equipment Warranty
management is being handled by the WAMU engineering and IT departments. Carey said
that we are also in discussion with AU about the buildings exterior signage which is
inadequate. WAMUs sign is not easily visible from Connecticut Avenue and we hope to
agree on a workable solution to correct this problem
Financial Report

May 1, 2014 marks the beginning of Fiscal Year 2015 for WAMU. Carey distributed the FY
2014 and FY 2013 Revenue and Expense Detail by Unit as of March 31, 2014 and reviewed
it with the Council Members. (Please see attachment #1) Among the highlights: As of
March 31, 2014 WAMUs operating income is up 1.3%, or $225,000 compared to last year.
In April 2014, the station received its final 30% of its Community Service Grant from the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which totaled $1.1 million roughly the same amount
as last fiscal year). Operating expenses are up 8.7% or $1.4 million compared to last year.
Carey said that he expects that total revenue for Fiscal Year 2014 to land between $19.8
million and $20 million. Expenses will likely exceed $21 million. WAMU is projecting an
operating deficit between $1 million and $1.3 million.
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The approved FY 2015 budget is $23,425,000. WAMU plans to continue to hold back on
many of its spending initiatives in the coming fiscal year and will maintain expenditures at
the approved FY 2014 level ($22,125,000, or $1.3 million less than was authorized). FY 2015
revenue is currently projected to reach $21 million. Given the potential for a budget shortfall
in FY 2015 (approximately $1.1 million), WAMU will closely monitor its operating budget
and will work with AU to bring its operating budget into equilibrium by (no later than) the
next two year budget cycle. Several Council Members asked about the overall increase in
spending and Carey explained that WAMUs capital lease for our new facility and
administrative payments to American University are the primary reasons behind the
spending increase. In order to assist with our transition AU will purchase an additional
$200,000 of underwriting & will provide a one-time $500,000 program support grant to
ensure that WAMU keep its focus on solid programming and outreach opportunities. The
underwriting will focus on AUs graduate programs and will air in FY 2015.

III.

WAMU Directors Reports

Programming Highlights Mark McDonald

The results of the Winter 2014 PPM are now in and WAMU was ranked #2 in the
Washington, DC metro area for weekly listeners with a 7.2 share of the market and a total
weekly cume of 675,300. In the Fall 2013 book, WAMUs share was 8.2 and our total weekly
audience in the metro area was 717,000. Mark explained that the winter rating period
(January 2nd through March 6th) was all about the weather which was unusually cold and
snowy. With its frequent weather reports, WTOP reaped the ratings benefits moving to #1
in the market. Mark said that he hopes for a strong recovery in the Spring 2014 book. He
noted that in past years, WAMU has had the highest audience ratings in the months of April,
May, June and September. However, Mark pointed out that the market as a whole continues
to see a decline in both the number of listeners and radio listening in general. This is due to
the many media choices, technology usage (smartphones, tablets, social media, etc) and other
issues that take listeners away from terrestrial radio. Accessing content is shifting to digital,
and radio is branching out to other platforms.
Mark reported that the Winter 2014 book was an excellent one for WAMUs Bluegrass Country
which saw a 23% increase in its weekly audience from Fall 2013. Bluegrass Country is
reaching out to a younger audience through its channel on You Tube. The channel now has
5,055 subscribers with over 1.45 million views. Mark said he was delighted that Bluegrass
Country has begun using WAMUs new black box studio for concerts which can be
streamed live over the internet and to which listeners and supporters can be invited.

Meymo Lyons, WAMUs Managing Editor for News, informed the Council that the Edward
R. Murrow Regional Awards had been announced on April 22nd and WAMU picked up the
following five awards in the Large Market Radio category: Use of Sound: How the 1968
Riots Shaped Shaw by reporter Jacob Fenston; News Documentary: This Week in Metro
Connection: Shaw; News Series: Aging and Abuse by Rebecca Blatt, Matt Bush, Michael
Pope and Tara Boyle; and an award for best Website: wamu.org. WRAU received an award
in the Small Market category for Bryan Russos story Boxing Coach Works to Keep Kids
off the Street.
In closing, Mark said that he has been delighted with the ongoing collaboration between the
Kojo Nnamdi Show and the News team. Mark mentioned the Mayoral Debate which was
held here in our lower level space at our new facility and the team coverage of the DC
Primary as two outstanding examples of this ongoing collaboration.
Development Update Wendy Ponvert, Assistant Director for Leadership Giving
In the absence of Walt Gillette, Wendy gave the report for the Development Department.
She informed the Council that the May Mini Campaign will take place next week (Monday,
May 12th through Friday, May 16th.) The goal of this campaign is to bring in new donors and
Wendy said that we will continue to emphasize sustaining memberships. We now have
13,000 sustainers 25% of our membership. Wendy reminded Council Members about the
Deerbrook Challenge to raise funds to support our new media center. This Challenge will
provide $200,000 per year in 2014 and 2015 if we match the grant 2 to 1. To date, we have
raised $145, 395 with $254,605 and seven months to go. Wendy announced that Kara
Barnes, WAMUs Planned Giving Manager, will be leaving the staff to become the Director
of Planned Giving for American University. Kara has successfully increased planned giving
commitments to the station by 40% this year. As Ginny McArthur, Council Liaison to the
Development Advisory Council (DAC) was unable to attend this meeting; Wendy gave a
brief report on their activities. She reminded everyone that the DAC was created to be the
stations volunteer fundraising council and she announced that the Council has recently
added four new members increasing its membership to ten. The number of events the DAC
sponsors has also been increased and DAC fundraising has increased from $60,000 in FY
2013 to $240,000 in FY 2014.
Corporate Marketing News Anthony Hayes, Director of Corporate Marketing

Anthony began his report by informing the members of the Council that two new Account
Managers had recently joined his Corporate Marketing Team. They are Diana Starkes, a
seasoned media veteran who has previously worked with Radio One, WHUR and WGMS;
and, Valencia Milbourne, who has ten years of experience selling Executive Suites at
Washington Redskins and most recently at Monumental Spots/Verizon Center. Anthony
said he was proud to announce that four members of his underwriting team had exceeded
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their underwriting goal: Diana Starkes, Latisha Few, Althea Evans and Doreen Hodge.
Doreen was the top producer, exceeding both her WAMU and her BGC goals. Recent new
business has included the following: United Technologies 153,625; Metro Washington
Airports $81,650; ANGA (Americas Natural Gas Alliance $60,000; Wells Fargo $45,000;
and Turkish Airways $18,000. And, Account Manager James Barbour secured a $3000 buy
for Bluegrass Country from Time Life to promote the Hank Williams CD. Anthony said
that he and National Account Manager Debbie Morris would be travelling to Los Angeles to
meet with advertising agencies, and local Account Manager Latisha Few will spend a few
days in Ocean City with WRAU Host/Producer Bryan Russo meeting with underwriting
prospects and possible trade partners.
IV. 2014 Community Dialogues --- Barbara Bares, Community Council Vice Chair
and Chair of the Community Dialogue Planning Committee.
Barbara reported that the first of the three Community Dialogues scheduled for 2014 was
held on Monday, March 24, 2014. The topic for the off-the-record discussion was
Chesapeake Bay Watermen: What Will the Future Hold? The participants were Robert T.
Brown, Sr., President of the Maryland Watermens Association; Ken Smith, President of the
Virginia Watermens Association; Donald F. Boesch, President of the University of
Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES); and Timothy Devine, Owner of
Barren Island Oysters, Hoopers Island, Maryland. Bryan Russo, WAMUs Eastern Shore
Reporter and the Host of WRAUs Coastal Connection served as moderator. Barbara thanked
Delphine Peck and the other members of the Dialogue Committee who worked with her to
put this meeting together and Coastal Connection producer Tara Boyle who was very helpful
in suggesting and contacting the participants. The dialogue was held at 4:00 p.m. to make it
easier for the participants and moderator who had to drive over from the Eastern Shore.
Barbara said that she was extremely pleased with the turnout from Community Council
Members and WAMU staff. Eleven Council Members attended the meeting along with
fifteen staff members.
The next Community Dialogue will take place on Wednesday, June 18th, and will focus on
the continuing efforts to reduce the pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Barbara noted that we
will be turning from what we take out of the Bay to what we put in. The title will be The
Chesapeake Bay Watershed: What Will Clean Mean? Jonathan Wilson, WAMUs
Environmental Reporter will be the moderator.
V.

Old Business, New Business

Under new business, Carey reported that the 35th Anniversary Gala Celebration of The Diane
Rehm Show will take place on Thursday, September 18th at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium.
The invitation are scheduled to go out in late summer and the website, which will give
information on how to purchase tickets, should be up and running in the next month or
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two. Carey said that work on the program has not yet begun. Once again we are working
closely on all of the plans for the Gala with Carolyn Peachey, President of Campbell,
Peachey & Associates. Carolyn and her event planning firm have handled the arrangements
for Dianes last four anniversary galas.
VII.

Public Comment

Reginald Ragland, a WAMU listener and volunteer, asked David Taylor what qualifications
the Search Committee had looked for in the applicants for the General Manager position.
David responded that the committee looked for candidates who had extensive experience in
public media. He said that there is great awareness of WAMU in the public radio system and
of the stations outstanding growth over the past ten years. The committee considered a
large number of highly qualified candidates.
Gar Young asked about plans for the extra space in 4401 Connecticut Avenue. Carey said
the station will need to keep room for growth but that some offices may be rented out to
other public media organizations until the extra space is needed.
VIII.

Adjournment

There being no further business or public comment, the Chair asked for a motion to adjourn
the meeting. Don Quayle made the motion and it was seconded by Delphine Peck and
approved by the Council. The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m. The Community Councils
next meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 17, 2014.

Respectfully submitted,

Anne
Anne Slattery Healy