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WAMU 88.

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COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Council
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
WAMU Community Council Members Attending:
Kent Lynn, Council Chair; Barbara Bares, Vice Chair; Sharvell Becton,
Dr. Chris Berg,
Rudy Burwell, Paul DesJardin, Patricia Trisha Hartge, Ginny
McArthur, Larry McCarthy, Margaret OBryon, Delphine Peck, Donald
Quayle, Anthony Sarmiento, Thomas Walls,
Peter Tannenwald and Matt McCormick.

WAMU/AU Staff Attending:


J.J. Yore, Carey Needham, Kathleen Allenbaugh, Douglas Bell, James
Barbour, Tish Few, Debbie Galiber, Anthony Hayes, Doreen Hodge,
Lettie Holman, Meymo Lyons, Margo Kelly, Mark McDonald, Valencia
Milbourne, Wendy Ponvert, Eliza Saunders, Louisa Swain, Susan
Thomas, and Anne Healy.

Members of the Public:


Glenn Ihrig and Cathleen OBrien (Volunteer Hosts)
Rick Cato, Ted Bender and Gar Young.

I.

Welcome Kent Lynn, Council Chair

Kent opened the third quarterly meeting of the Council for 2014. He
welcomed JJ Yore to his first Community Council meeting, and he thanked
the members of the Council, WAMU staff and members of the public for
coming. Kent announced that he had listened to two segments of Kavitha
Cardozas Breaking Ground series on military children, which recently
began airing on WAMU. Kent said that he was greatly impressed with
Kavithas reports, and it made him feel even stronger about the outstanding
work that the station has done and continues to do. He urged anyone who
had not had the opportunity to hear it to listen to the series on the website.
On another subject, Kent noted that a profile of Council Member Virginia
Ginny McArthur appeared in the August issue of American, the
American University magazine. The article talked about her service in the
Peace Corps and about her devotion to and strong support of WAMU. Kent
announced that Ginny had recently become engaged, and he extended his
warmest best wishes to Ginny and her fianc Michael Higgins.
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II. Discussion with WAMUs New General Manager JJ Yore


JJ said that he was delighted to be attending his first meeting with the
Council. He explained that instead of talking to the members of the
Council about his initial observations and plans for the station, he
would like to listen to their observations and opinions. Prior to the
meeting, Kent had sent an e-mail to the Council Members asking them
to think about what they believed was currently going well at the
station and what areas could use some i
improvement. He also asked them to come prepared to talk about
their experiences and impressions as a Council Members, how they
thought their talents could be better utilized for the benefit of the
station, and to share any suggestions or recommendations they might
have about the stations identity and about any changes they would
like to see in the future. JJ said that since he arrived on August 1 st, he
had been having 1-on-1 listening meetings with staff members, and he
hoped to meet with every full and part-time staff member. (WAMU
now has a full and part-time staff of about 150 so this may take some
time.)
With regard to changes he would like to see, JJ said that he would like
to change the orientation of WAMU to have a closer relationship with
NPR in order to exploit the value of the NPR brand for WAMUs
benefit. He said he had begun this process by talking with NPRs
President and CEO Jarl Mohn. JJ said he also plans to undertake an
identity project with station leadership in an effort to evaluate what
we are doing now and what we might want to change. We need to
figure out who we think we are, what our listeners think about us, and
what the people, who should be listening and do not, think about our
station. JJ said he would welcome the Councils assistance with this
process.
Sharvell Becton said that she had taken an unscientific poll with about
25 people in her office and was surprised and pleased to find out how
many of her younger colleagues were WAMU listeners both on-air and
on podcasts. Delphine Peck asked JJ to clarify his ideas about moving
to a closer relationship with NPR. She said that in the Eastern Shore
area where she lives there are three NPR stations that the residents
can listen to. JJ explained that he is not suggesting that we add more
NPR programs to our schedule, but rather that we work together in
mutually beneficial ways such as joint fundraising efforts. He would
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also like to see more of our reporters presenting pieces on NPR and
taking advantage of training and other opportunities. NPR recently
offered WAMU a space in their new headquarters to host a Mayoral
Candidate debate. Don Quayle who served as NPRs first President
said that NPR and WAMU understand each others value and that he
thought it was a good idea to move to an even closer relationship.
There is already a certain amount of confusion about brand identity.
Peter Tannenwald emphasized that WAMUs great strength is its local
perspective. Trisha Hartge said that the only complaints she received
from the people she talked to were about the fundraisers. Kent said
some of his friends said they liked the special programming PBS
stations do during their weeks of on-air fundraising. Lettie Holman
responded that we have always preferred to fundraise during our
regular programming and that our listeners prefer to donate in
support of the programming which they love. Margaret OBryon
suggested that the station increase its partnerships with really strong
community organizations.
In closing, JJ thanked the Council Members for sharing their views
and he urged them to keep in touch with him and send him any
additional ideas they might have.

III. Directors Reports


Programming Report
Mark McDonald, Director of Programming, began by briefly
discussing some of the reasons behind the programming changes that
were made at the beginning of August. (Please see Attachment #1)
Mark explained that the decision to replace the 9 a.m. roll-over of
Morning Edition with the BBC News Hour was based on his belief
that this would strengthen WAMUs mission to be the destination for
global news, as well as local and national in the Washington region.
Following discussions between WAMU, the BBC World Service and its
other station partners, the BBC Newshour now accommodates more
local news and avails for our underwriting and promotions, and Mark
believes it provides a strong lead-in for The Diane Rehm Show, which
often covers international issues in its first hour. Mark announced
that Diane has added WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina to the
long list of NPR stations carrying her show.

Lettie Holman, Manager of Programming and Research, reminded the


Council Members that WAMUs The Big Broadcast hosted by Ed
Walker is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. A special event to
commemorate the anniversary will be held on Sunday, November 2nd
at the Lisner Auditorium. Rob Bamberger and Ed Walker will co-host
the program and it will include performances from the Metropolitan
Washington Old Time Radio Club. Lettie distributed copies of the
Spring 2014 PPM ratings which measured listening from March 27 th
through June 18th and reviewed it with the members of the Council.
(Please see Attachment #2) The results came out this summer.
Among the highlights, Lettie pointed out that WAMU is the 2 nd ranked
station in the Washington, DC metro area and WRAU in Ocean City
was the most-listened-to-station in the Delmarva Peninsula. WAMUs
Bluegrass
Country garnered 29,500 unique weekly listeners a 6.1% increase
over Spring 2013.
Meymo Lyons, Managing Editor, News, said that she was delighted to
share the news that WAMU and WRAU had won an outstanding
number of awards at the Annual Meeting of the Chesapeake
Associated Press Broadcasters Association. (Please see Attachment
#3) She said she was particularly thrilled that the WAMU received
the award for the Outstanding News Operation of the Year She
pointed out that the size and budget of our news operation is
considerably smaller than that of the larger commercial stations like
WTOP with whom we were competing. Meymo announced that Pat
Brogan has replaced Jessica Jordan as mid-day news anchor, and that
Elliot Francis is now the news anchor for evening drive time. Tavitha
Smith has been hired as weekend anchor. Meymo said she
appreciated Kent Lynns complimentary remarks about Kavitha
Cardozas new series Breaking Ground: Military Children. The entire
documentary is now available on our website. Council Member Rudy
Burwell, a retired Army Colonel, said that he thought it was a great
series. In closing, Meymo thanked the Council for their
encouragement and support.

Financial Report
Carey Needham, Director of Business Administration, reviewed his
report on the FY 2015 and FY 2014 Revenue and Expense Detail by
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Unit as of August 31st. (Please see Attachment #4) Carey informed the
Council that the Harris Connect philanthropic gift program will begin
at the end of October. 5,000 annual members have been identified for
asks to be fulfilled over a three-year period. Projected gifts from this
effort are expected to total between $300,000 and $600,000 over the
next three years. The program will focus on the 50% match challenge
from the Deerbrook Charitable Trust until December 1, 2015 with
gifts going to repay the AU no-interest loan for our new facility. Carey
congratulated Anthony Hayes and the Corporate Marketing team on
the 25% increase in total sales between FY 2014 and FY 2015. JJ Yore
noted that WAMU has been operating at a deficit for the second year
in a row and we need to change our trajectory to adjust our expenses
down and our revenue up.
Marketing and Communications
Kathleen Allenbaugh, Director of Marketing and Communications,
gave a power point presentation. She showed the Council Members
the changes that have been page to WAMUs Facebook page to
improve branding, traffic and engagement with our listeners.
Kathleen also displayed some of the promotional materials for the
BBC Newshour which we have put together in collaboration with the
marketing departments at BBC Worldwide and APM which distributes
the program in the United States. She also showed some of the copy
that we are now displaying on the monitors which are located
throughout our space.

IV. WAMUs Community Dialogues Barbara Bares,


Council Vice-Chair
Barbara reported on the most recent dialogue which was held in June.
This was the second dialogue on issues related to the Chesapeake Bay
and the topic was The Chesapeake Bay Watershed: What Will Clean
Mean. Barbara said that Jonathan Wilson, WAMUs Environmental
Reporter, had done an excellent job as moderator of the discussion
which was well attended by Council Members and station staff. The
next Community Dialogue will be held on Wednesday, October 29 th and
the topic will be The Evolving Latino Community: Emerging Trends
and Issues. Barbara announced that the panelists have already been
confirmed. They will be Maria Gomez, President & CEO of Marys
Center for Maternal and Child Care and a former member of the
Council; Loris Kaplan, President & CEO of the Latin American Youth
Center who also served on the Community Council in the 1990s;
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Daniel Flores, Vice President for Regional Government Relations of


the Greater Washington Board of Trade; and J. Walter Tejada, Member
of the Arlington County Board and Chair of the Human Services Policy
Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

V.

Old Business, New Business

Under Old Business, the Chair called for the approval of the minutes
of the last meeting of the Council which was held on May 7, 2014.
Don Quayle moved that the minutes be approved and his motion was
seconded by Micaela and approved by the Council
Under New Business, Kent informed the Council that he had asked
Trisha Hartge to chair the 2014 Nominating Committee and he asked
for volunteers to work with Trisha to review the review all of the
suggestions for new members and submit their recommendations to
the Council and the meeting on December 3rd. Larry McCarthy,
Micaela Pond, Sharvell Becton, Paul DesJardin, and Margaret OBryon
all volunteered to serve on the nominating committee.
Ginny McArthur reminded the Council Members that the stations Fall
On-Air Membership Campaign will begin on Saturday, October 18 th
and that the Council traditionally contributes to a Community Council
Membership fund. She said that the goal is 100% participation in this
match which will be applied as a dollar-for-dollar match during the
campaign.

VI. Public Comment


Ted Bender identified himself as a long-time listener to WAMU. He
said that he listens all the time and enjoys most of what he hears, but
that he was disappointed with the decision to discontinue airing To
the Point. He said that he also dislikes the frequent appeals for
contributions. Gar Young said that he has lived in the area and
listened to WAMU for over 35 years. He said that he is a supporter of
public media and that he really values WAMUs unique voice and local
programming.

VII. Adjournment
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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 Peter Tannenwald and approved by the
Council. The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m. The Community
Councils next meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 3,
2014.

Respectfully submitted,

Anne
Anne Slattery Healy