May 10th, 2011 by Michael Clarke

Welcome to our new Blog created especially for the members of the NCPR Executive Council and the NCPR listening community.

If you take a quick look at our Bylaws, you will see that one of our roles is to advise the Board of Trustees of St. Lawrence University (the owners of NCPR’s license) and station management on whether the programming and policies of the station are meeting the specialized educational and cultural needs of communities served by NCPR.

As such, we are essentially an independent liaison between the owners and management of the station and the public in our listening community.  This blog has been created for you to provide input for us and is a forum for independent discussion.

We look forward to your comments, thoughts and ideas in helping to make NCPR an even better media experience in the North Country.

Mike Clarke, Chairman of the EC

Minutes: Executive Council Meeting 5/2/11

May 6th, 2011 by ncpradmin
  • Participating: Lee & Nancy Keet, John Rosenthal, John Ernst, Rod Giltz, Steve Hopkins (by phone), Janet Langlois, Marion Smith, Mike Clarke, Bob Sauter and Ellen Rocco.
  • There was approval of the notes/summary of the last meeting.

Update on NPR/NCPR funding:

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB was ultimately funded in the budget. Virtually none of the money actually goes to NPR. Most of the support is directly for local stations. There may be some funding indirectly for NPR because the stations buy programming from NPR.
  • PTFP was not funded. This was a program that provided subsidy for building public broadcasting infrastructure. 75% funding was normally available for new and upgraded broadcasting equipment. This program will be missed.
  • Some modest cuts from NY State are expected. NCPR gets roughly $60,000 per year from the State Education Department.
  • In the end, funding public broadcasting was not a partisan issue.

Update on personnel changes at station:

  • Jonathon Brown has left and Nora Flaherty was hired to replace him. In a few weeks, a reformatted “All before Five” may be back on the air.
  • Hired Julie Grant to sub for David Sommerstein beginning July 1. Julie will also work on morning news with Martha.
  • A replacement for Kelly Trombley has been hired. She had been re-assigned during the cutbacks at the University last year and applied for this job.

Update on service from “Radio” Bob Sauter:

  • Bob explained some of the technical issues involved with broadcast transmission at NCPR. Transmitters are licensed and as of 2007, the FCC has not issued any new licenses. Translators can fill in some of the gaps, but are much lower power.
  • We have just completed upgrades to transmitters in Cape Vincent, Lake Placid and Gouverneur. The next upgrade will be at Lowville.
  • Bob is looking into a studio transmitter link using microwave for some of the transmitters.
  • Because the FCC is not issuing new licenses, expansion would require the acquisition of another license, such as a commercial station.
  • A special committee was formed to develop a strategic overview of the broadcast issues, including a map of the current broadcast coverage, with population density. The members of the committee are Lee Keet, John Ernst and Marion Smith. They will report back at the next meeting.
  • The areas of future growth that were considered were Elizabethtown as a priority and the Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs markets.

Executive Council Elections:

  • As prescribed in the ByLaws, Steve Hopkins was elected as Vice-Chairman of the EC.
  • Additionally, members of the EC whose terms expire on June 30, 2011 were re-elected for a 3 year term ending on June 30, 2014. Those members are Michael Clarke, Linda Cohen, John Ernst and Mark Scarlett.
  • A Nominating Committee including Michael Clarke, Mark Scarlett and Rod Giltz was formed and charged with recommending potential new members to the EC.

Media Enhancement Program

  • Ellen briefed the EC on her discussions with the Adirondack Community Trust (ACT) Director Cali Brooks concerning a joint grant application to the Knight Foundation for funding the next steps in media enhancement. After a meeting with the Knight Foundation on April 29, there is some optimism that the proposal will get funded. We expect to hear back by the end of May.

Next Meetings:

  • Annual/Summer –July 28 at 4 pm at the Old Forge Arts Center. The Annual Meeting will be at 6 pm.
  • September conference call if needed.
  • Fall – October 20-22 to coincide with SLU Trustees in Canton.

Minutes: Executive Council Meeting 1/24/11

January 26th, 2011 by ncpradmin
  • Participating: Lee & Nancy Keet, John Rosenthal, John Ernst, Linda Cohen, Steve Hopkins, Janet Langlois, Marion Smith, Mike Archibald, Mike Clarke, and Ellen Rocco.
  • There was approval of the notes/summary of the last meeting. Ellen still has some follow-up to be done.

Update on personnel changes at station:

  • Kelly Trombley gave notice and will leave on 6/30/2011.
  • Susan Sweeney Smith has moved on to other things.
  • Ellen will devote more time to development, major donors and grants. Assistance will come from Kelly’s replacement who will spend 1/3 time supporting Ellen
  • Close to finalizing a replacement for Jonathan Brown amongst 3 finalists.
  • David Sommerstein is taking a 1 year leave of absence (unpaid) to live in Buenos Aires. Some of his work will be covered by expanded stringer group.
  • Agreement with WRVO to share the cost of a new stringer for the western Adirondacks area and in the Watertown area. Will finalize in the next few months.

Discussion of Juan Williams firing and NPR impact on funding:

  • Policies and practices of news personnel at NPR are being revisited to make sure that there is a level playing field and all are treated equally and fairly to maintain balance in news reporting.
  • Concern about the continuity of public funding for all of public broadcasting – CPB.
  • CPB funding to NCPR is $250,000 per year. While NCPR will survive if this money disappears, it will be very painful.
  • Discussion about the leadership at NPR and ability to make the case for continued publically funded news media. Also discussed the impact and success of the “170 Million Americans” campaign. Ellen will keep us posted on what and when our help will be needed

Media Enhancement Program

  • Ellen amplified the memo that she had prepared. Not only will this initiative have more people on the ground for greater new coverage but it also provides a new entry point for the next generation of correspondent for public media.
  • Knight Foundation grants are to partner with public media to develop further ways to disseminate public information.
  • There was support for this initiative and Ellen will report back on response from Knight Foundation.

Next Meetings

  • Spring – Monday May 2, 11 am – at Clarkes in Lake George. Directions will be forthcoming.
  • Annual/Summer – discussed July 25 or 28 depending on site availability.
  • Fall – October to coincide with SLU Trustees in Canton.