WRFI-Meeting Minutes-July 2023

WRFI Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday July 11TH, 2023 

In Attendance:

-Peter Bakija

-Fred Balfour

-Joseph Haefeli

-Talaya Centeno

-Corinne Shanahan

-Joe Romano

-Amie Herman

-John Young

-Felix Teitelbaum

Not in attendance:

-Carlos Gutierrez

-Theresa Lyons

-Chantal Thomas

-Robin Elliot

-Bryan Roberts

Agenda Items:

-Call to Order at 6:08 pm.

-Consent Agenda: 

Move to accept, motion second, passes unanimously 8-0.

-Board Reflections: 

Felix reports on the NFCB meeting. Conference was amazing. Worked on a day-long hosting intensive session. Looking forward to taking some inspiration back to training hosts. Felix indicates he has a lot to learn, but feels like the idea of “Hostiness” is an idea to develop. Feels that the message should be clear—be in touch with why we are on the air, and feel like we should be able to convey something personal while we are on the air. Find ways to make things personal. Thinking about restarting “Listening Lounge”, to get folks to bring in information about programs they like and feel are successful, where hosts get together to listen to a successful program, and discuss the results. Felix defines “Hostiness” as, among other things, the ability to talk to guests and the audience at the same time. Make the listener feel like they are being connected to. Listeners who get a good feeling come back. Why do hosts want to do this? What do they want to get out of hosting?

-Strategic Issue: 

CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) Funding. Felix went to a session about CPB impact for small stations. Discussion from small stations who receive funding from CPB. “Small” stations seem to hover around 1.5 million in budget with 8 employees; WRFI is “micro-mini”. How do we become a recipient? We need to breach some hurdles—having 2 full time employees (which we have, equivalence); then $300K in non federal aid income. WRFI is getting there, but not quite. If WRFI hits that level, we can benefit from another $80K in Federal income from the CPB. Questions—“If we qualify for money, how certain is it that we get it?” Answer: Unclear, at best. “CPB is fully funded by the government; has Felix seen a fund example from another small station that shows income and in-kind donations?” Answer: WRFI can’t claim WRFI hosts as an in-kind donation, unless they are radio hosts on *other* stations. “What about hosts that work in the music industry?” Answer: Not unless they consult as music professionals. Felix discusses WOMR, in the Boston/Cape Cod area as a possible comparable station, although they are significantly larger than WRFI, budget wise. Largest growth among small stations is major gifts; best motion to look for growth. Underwriting started to fall among small stations before COVID. Underwriting seems like a lot of work for not a lot of return, a great deal of the time. Capital Campaign donors are easily retained as donors. Urban flight from COVID is a good source to seek donors. Corrine asks “How do we feel about making WRFI available for benefiting from CPB funds?”. Amie suggests that this is a great idea for a long term (3-5 years) goal.  Fred asks questions about the name “Ithaca Community Radio”, in regards to us expanding out of the localized area.

-Board Specific Issues:

Corrine indicates that Megan Merriam has resigned from the board. Motion made to list current board members; second. Vote passes 8-0 (unanimously). 

Corine recognizes Board Member Joseph Haefeli for making a generous gift to the station. 

-Committee Reports: 

Development Committee: Dev Com met, and covered a wide range of territory. Developed a list of about 15 “major donors”, and then another 15 “potential major donors”, based on basic info, such as continual giving over a lengthy time. Suggests that the board might have connections with people on these lists. Will discuss underwriting possibilities later in the meeting; feel that the Board can help with underwriting. Amie thanks Board members who made calls to donors; specifically discusses DJ Art V making a stewardship call to a donor who really likes Art V’s show, from Arkansas.

Governance Committee: Fred reports that he is connected to a Will/Legacy giving opportunity; indicates that this took up a lot of his time. Corinne indicates that tapping into Legacy gifts is a viable opportunity for WRFI. John mentions the passing of Jim Murphy, long time volunteer of WRFI, suggests that WRFI recognizes him. Felix indicates that WRFI has recognized his passing via the newscast; and is working with Theresa Alt to recognize him on the air. Joe indicates that if there was ever a time to recognize someone via social justice activity, now is that time. Joseph also supports an effort to recognize Jim on the air.  

Personnel Committee: Joe reports no new information for Personnel; discusses getting Jim Murphy shows on the air. 

Finance Committee: John reports no new information from Finance. Felix was ill, and this got in the way of reports. Felix reports that the book restructure is underway. 

-ED Report: 

Felix reports that a great deal of effort has gone into preparing for the inevitable departure of Joseph as a technical resource, as Joseph is planning on moving from town. Efforts going towards getting Slade Kennedy up to speed (an old time volunteer) as a replacement for Joseph. Felix discusses the potential of moving the translator, and building up the Newfield transmitter as our main transmitter. 

Power Outage report. A power outage happened right as Felix was going to the NFCB conference, resulting in a computer in Studio A being demolished. Joseph and Jim have been working a great deal to salvage the situation, but ran into some technical issues. Suggests that there is some grant money to get a new computer, this is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of this. 

Celia and Jim went to an Odessa Outreach event at the Devon Peterson Library. Recorded some local people. People showed up to meet us based on WRFI announcements, including a donation. A future event in August that we may participate in. We are making inroads in Odessa.

NFCB Conference. Felix went to an amazing session of Public Media for All, advocating for People of Color in public media. Found the presenter incredibly compelling. Talked about Integrated Fundraising and building relationships with donors. Felix won a Bluetooth speaker to be used as a prize for an upcoming fund drive.

We have an event in September coming up at the Cherry Art Space, Monday, 9/11/23—Quintron. Trading with Grayhaven for space to put up artists through underwriting.  

Soundliner: Still at an impasse; discussing selling it if we can’t use it (due to insurance issues).  

-Strategic Planning:

Will continue in the Fall, setting up a data meeting, where we discuss data about competition, etc. Corrine put out a survey to check for availability. 


Looking to expand underwriting, hunting for leads for underwriting through relationships. There is a list of potential leads for underwriting. Corrine shares a spreadsheet of potential underwriting leads. Everyone should add 3-5 potential leads for local, profit/non-profit organizations who might benefit from WRFI underwriting. Joe suggests an ad in the Ithaca Coupon Book to give a discount on Underwriting.

-Meeting Adjourned at 7:50 pm.