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Policy Committee Meeting Minutes – August 11, 2014

Meeting begins at 5:15pm

Chair: Hondo – on track and on time

Secretary: William Morris

Organization:

  • Chair election:
    • Rich Motion to elect Hondo as Chair
    • Mark second
    • Unanimous decision
    • Secretary election:
      • Rich motion to elect William as Secretary
      • Hondo second
      • Unanimous decision
      • Recommendations
        • Secretary William will be responsible for submitting recommendations to the Board
        • Cleveland motion
        • Rich second
        • Unanimous decision

Strategic Plan > Best practices: Discussion on best practices

  • Cleveland – by laws revision are tedious/rigid
    • Being clear but being able to be flexible
    • Rich – historically why are bylaws rigid? Back then we were wary of station independence and wanted to give the volunteers the power. Felt there was considerable danger that the organization would be “over taken” from an outside party.
    • Kirby – example is 3 board members elected per cycle
    • Cleveland – only 40 members when bylaws were created. Much easier to get ¼ of members involved. Much easier to get approval. Would like to see clear guidelines that are flexible to update.
    • Mark – flexible sound like Guidelines as opposed to Policy
    • Cleveland will look for any research from Strategic Plan on “Best Practices”

Scope and timeline:

  • 1. By laws revision
    • Any changes that may affect Governance document
    • Any areas where clarity is needed
    • Timeline: Look at ByLaws in Feb, present to Board in April, for vote to membership in May
    • 2. Governance document revision
      • Employee job descriptions
      • Organizational structure
      • Timeline: Cleveland present Job Descriptions and Org chart in Sept meeting, Board vote end of September
      • Then tackle other areas of priority

Other comments

  • Mark: Break into digestible chunks for Governance Document and present recommendations to the Board each month
  • Rich: Clear and simple language where possible
  • Strive for 1 week of minutes approval, and Cleveland post to Web

6:05pm adjourn

  • Cleveland motion
  • Rich second
  • Motion passes

Executive Committee Meeting Minutes – August 11, 2014

Executive Committee Meeting

August 11, 2014

Present:  Joe Estivill, Markus Lowe, Cleveland Dietz, Kelly Wherley (recorder).

  1. First order of business is to change the time of the meeting.  We’ll be meeting at 6:15pm from here on out on the second Monday of the month.
  2. Second order of business is to establish that minutes have to be taken for all the board committee meetings.  Board Secretary Kelly Wherley is taking care of it for the Executive Committee.
  3. Third order of business is the setting of the agenda.  Cleveland distributed the July 28th BoD agenda and we discussed it.  The chronology of some of the items was discussed.  Reports will follow a President, Treasurer, GM chronology.  Committee Reports will follow an Executive, Finance, and Policy chronology.  Various facets of each remaining item and completion/report updates were stated and we adjusted the agenda accordingly.  The August 25th, 2014 agenda is attached at the end of these minutes.  The Ivy Tech Green Space discussions are progressing and a breakfast chat is going to take place on Tuesday, August 26th, at 8:30am.  Cleveland is attending along with the Ivy Tech Chancellor and the Facilities Manager.  Markus Lowe, even though it’s his birthday, is going to attend as well as a Board representative.
  4. New agenda items included Summary Reports from the News Summit.  We’re looking at it from an operational and not a governance aspect, so whatever changes Alycin might enact, they don’t necessarily need Board approval, but it would be nice to know what some of the initiatives are.  We’d also like Scott Hutchinson, the new Development Director, to come in and meet the Board.  We’re only going to have one meeting before the Fall Fund Drive so Board participation on the fund drive is going to be included and we’re also going to discuss the quarterly meeting.  Cleveland is going to ask members of the board to record individual pleas for fund-raising that would ostensibly air throughout the year.
  5. On the report front, we’re going to really push for Board members to read all the reports before the meeting.  That will negate the need for a bunch of printed copies and allow for more time to discuss other board business.  Board members will be allowed to ask any questions about the reports during the review process.  Finance reports will include any narratives or explanations for any discrepancies in finances or other contingencies that are common from month to month.
  6. Cleveland motions to adjourn at 6:59pm and Markus seconds.  Meeting adjourned.

WFHB BOARD OF DIRECTORS

BOARD AGENDA FOR AUGUST 25th, 2014

Hooker Conference Room, #245, City Hall

201 N. Morton St., Bloomington, IN

  1. CALL TO ORDER / ATTENDANCE OF BOARD MEMBERS
  2. REVIEW / APPROVAL OF MINUTES
  3. PRESIDENT’S REPORT
  4. TREASURER’S REPORT
  5. GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT REVIEW
  6. COMMITTEE REPORTS
    1. Executive Committee
    2. Finance Committee
    3. Policy Committee
  7. OLD BUSINESS
    1. Board of Directors’ Operations Manual
    2. CATS / News Department
    3. Status of Development Director
    4. Equipment Audit
    5. Guideline for making local purchases
    6. Marketing Committee Proposal
    7. Ivy Tech Green Space – Speakers
  8. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Cleveland Dietz application to Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County
    2. News Summit Report
    3. Development Director
    4. Quarterly Meeting
    5. Fund Drive

News Summit Updates

The News Summit has started out marvelously with great attendance and discussion at all of our sessions! A link to the summary sheet from all meetings is available along with the session description of our Summit Website so you may review anything you’ve missed. Keep checking the website for updated handouts and notices. Feel free to browse the News Summit FAQ for more information.

Here’s a quick overview of the schedule, mark your calendars!

 

News and Public Affairs Committee: June 19, 2014

Present: Helen Harell, Sarah Ryterband, Maria McKinley, Alycin Bektesh, Kelly Miller and Cynthia R Hall

In preliminary comment section Maria stated that the WFHB board is reviewing governance documents which could effect the number of board members per committee * [by-laws must also be revisited]

7:14 Director’s report

Need to determine if those present wished to continue as committee members. All agreed to do so.

Sarah was unanimously selected as Chair. The decision was made to have a rotating secretary.

Cynthia took minutes to be followed next meeting by Helen.

We will not have regular meeting in July but plan to hold an open house to meet those involved with the News Summit. Tentatively suggested it be held July 11 at the Back Door. Will confirm date through email.

We were given a sneak preview of the set-up for the News Summit, Main categories are Mission, Governance, Programming, Recruitment and Training and Facilities and Equipment.  Week one: Look at where we’re at, week two :What is the ideal, week 3: Action Plan, week 4: Implementation. Alycin requested that each NPAC member volunteer for at least one hour as a moderator during the summit.  All present agreed

Program reviews. Voices in the Street was green lighted. It received 3.6 overall and received mostly 3′s & 4′s. There was some discussion about how to expand the role of the interviewer and the continual need for staff.

Community Public Radio received a 3.7 for quality but ranged from 2′s -5′s in overall response. It was green lighted with the suggestion to still be on the lookout for possible substitutions in the future.

We revisited Market Live and the possibility of moving out of the News Programming arena into being produced by the incoming Development director.

Next regular meeting will be August 21 at 7pm.

Submitted by Cynthia R Hall

WFHB is Hiring a Full-Time Development Director!

Please see below for job description. Those interested in applying for the position should send a cover letter and resume to jobs@wfhb.org no later than 5 p.m., June 30, 2014.

General

Works with General Manager, Board of Directors, Staff, and Volunteers to raise funds for WFHB. Contacts businesses to solicit underwriting. Identifies, contacts, and cultivates  individuals to solicit multi-year pledges of annual support. Cultivation of business owners and individuals includes tours of the station, engagement of select donors and prospects with volunteer opportunities, speaks in public venues, and other public relation activities. Assist station grant writers with identification of sources and development of ideas. Works with General Manager and Board of Directors to identify, cultivate, and solicit individuals for planned gifts that will increase endowment. Prepares and processes thank you letters to underwriters and individuals. Organizes appropriate donor recognition events including lunches, dinners, annual meeting, and others.

Responsibility

Reports to and under the supervision of the General Manager. The Development Director provides leadership for development activities including underwriting, major gifts (multi-year pledges from individuals), and planned gifts.

Duties

1. Identifies, contacts, and solicits business for on-air underwriting.
2. Identifies, contacts, cultivates, and solicits individuals for multi-year annual gifts.
3. Works with General Manager and Board of Directors to identify, contact, cultivate, and solicit individuals for planned gifts.
4. Develops marketing materials for underwriting, individual, and planned giving.
5. Provides assistance to station grant writers in identifying possible funding sources and developing ideas.
6. Keeps accurate records of contacts with businesses and individuals.
7. Develops individualized plans to cultivate and solicit individual donors.
8. Provides recognitions for donors and stewardship over donor gifts.
9. Works in conjunction with the General Manager, Staff, and Board of Directors to ensure that all activities are implemented and that follow-up assessments are conducted.
10. Inputs data and maintains data on underwriting and individuals in computer tracking system.
11. Assists the General Manager in developing, implementing, and tracking semiannual fund drives.
12. Keeps the General Manager informed of progress, problems, and possible areas of improvement in fundraising.
13. Other duties as assigned by the General Manager.

Qualifications

Skills, knowledge, and abilities.

1. Evidence of broad knowledge, understanding, and well-developed skills in fundraising.
2. Computer literate. Strong computer skills a plus.
3. Proven ability to communicate effectively through oral presentation, written word, and graphic displays.
4. Mature judgment in analyzing and interpreting financial potential and evaluating prospective donors.
5. Ability to effectively prioritize tasks.
6. Ability to accomplish objectives through individual and cooperative efforts.

Training or Equivalent Qualifying Experience

Bachelor degree in nonprofit management or related field and either 1 year work experience in fundraising or 2 years work experience in related area; or combination of education and experience that provides the equivalent.

Annual Meeeting Minutes: June 7, 2014

WFHB Bloomington Community Radio

Annual Volunteer Meeting, June 7, 2014

Monroe County Historical Society Conference Room

The annual volunteer meeting of WFHB Community Radio is called to order at 12:27 p.m. by General Manager Cleveland Dietz.   The number of participating members present is 54 with an additional 29 represented in absentia for a total of 83 participating members in attendance.  According to the station’s bylaws, 34 participating members need to be present for a quorum based on the percentage of total members.  These numbers are provided by Carolyn VandeWiele who is tracking attendance and will be counting votes.  A quorum is established at the 2014 annual meeting.

Cleveland thanks everyone for their attendance today and also their level of engagement at the station this past year.  He states  each Board candidate will be given three minutes to make a statement and then questions will be taken if directed to a particular candidate.  He asks Markus Lowe to begin.

Markus Lowe: I’ve been a long time volunteer and a former general manager.  I work in IT support at Cook Medical which is really a customer service job.  This is how I come to the Board. How can I help?  How can we make it better?  I look forward to engaging volunteers on that level of participation.  I want to be a representative for the volunteers, to be a voice for the volunteers.  I will be an active advocate for positive change and a voice for the volunteers.

William Morris:  You know me as Brother William - I came to WFHB 5 years ago.  I work with international students at IU and was looking for places to have these students volunteer.  I started volunteering as a desk jockey.  The station means a lot to me.  I treat my volunteering as a job, like a wonderful job.  I would take my duties as a Board director as a job, being accountable. I am an encourager and I believe in the station, in volunteering, in inclusiveness.  I will give the station the best three years of my life.

Maryll Jones:  I am no longer involved with the Friends of WFHB.  I am a recording analyst for Pearson Education.  My biggest strength has been establishing better customer relations when people come for support issues.  I have been able to establish a rapport with customers that didn’t exist before. I would like to utilize those skills in this role as a Board member.  It would be a huge mistake if Markus Lowe and Kelly Wherley were not put in their positions.

Benjamin Loudermilk:  I am a Bloomington native.  I work in the public school system as an educator at North High School.  My wife is a teacher at University Elementary and my kids are students at MCCSC.  I have been involved with the arts community for over 30 years.  I’m an IU alumnus.  I’m excited for the opportunity to be on the Board.  WFHB is part of the community and part of the arts community.

Kelly Wherley:  (out of town, Cathi Norton reads his statement which are excerpts from his bio)  I have volunteered for WFHB for over ten years, as a DLN anchor, as a producer for Voices in the Street  and am now the volunteer coordinator since 2011.  I’m seeking election to the Board of Directors because I care about the station.  I’ve seen quite a few changes at the station over the course of my time here and feel ready to assume a more integral and influential role in the discussions, plans and actions that will impact the course of WFHB.

Questions from the audience to specific candidates:

For Brother William:  With over 200 volunteers, we’re not all the same.  If a change was going to be made, could we tailor the volunteer tasks, can we fine tune the volunteerism business?    I’ve sent a lot of younger people to the station to volunteer and they have a different interest in the station than I do.  I wonder if there is a way of accountability, to create teams of volunteers to work together that have the same interests instead of such a large group.

For Benjamin: What do you see yourself doing for the station?  I think fundraising specifically. I would be excited to work through that process.  And facilities management is a traditional fit where I could also help out. 

For Brother Morris:  What would be your way of reaching out to the IU campus when the students come back in August?   Interviewing freshman students as they come onto campus.  Can we give out some of those free CDs?  Set up a table, have informational booklets, send that around the community. We can do a better job of getting WFHB on the minds of those students.  An ad in the paper.

For Markus: How can you reach out to the volunteers who do not come to the volunteer meetings?  Participation.  If you want to be heard and your input received and respected, please participate, speak up.

Cleveland reminds the PMs, that, at this time, if you have not signed in, please do so at the back table and pick up a ballot.  We’ll go ahead and vote now. We will proceed with the regular meeting and will interrupt when they’re done counting.

Board President Joe Estivill Board Report:

Thank you for your attendance today and thank you to all the volunteers. We have an incredible News Department and Music Department.  Thank you to all the people who work on the committees that make the decisions that affect our organization.  We have 3 Board members moving on:  Richard Fish, Carolyn VandeWiele, and Matt Pierce.  Thank you to all of you for your service.

About the Development Director, this is someone who’s job will be to develop our fundraising base.  The job is posted, interviews will start in July and hopefully we will have them on board in August.  We have found three angel donors to donate $5,000 each for 2 years of support.  Please forward to us the names of other donors you think would help with this type of support.

It’s going to be a big year here at the station.  There is new energy, we’re working toward our strategic plan, part of which is hiring a new Development Director.   We would like to have more social events so our participating members can get together, can get to know each other better.

Financial report from Cleveland Dietz:

Fiscal year 2013, we made $255,000 -  $103,000 came from membership donations, $75,000 from grants, underwriting brought in $47,000,  $16,000 from special events, CATS $10,000  and $3,000 came in randomly throughout the year.  We also spent $255,000 so we pretty much broke even.  For expenses:  wages are a little more than half our budget, then health insurance and property insurance, workmen’s comp which covers all of you.  Other expenses come from fundraising, programming, supplies, utilities, and special events.

I’m excited about getting a Development Director.  We’ve been stagnating in terms of revenue for the last five years, hovering around $250,000.  Clearly we need help to get over that hump somehow A Development Director will be of significant help. The good news is that over the last 5 years, we’ve spent about the same.

Our CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) grant – it’s a government grant that supplies a little less than 1/3 of our total revenue.  It’s a significant grant which we rely on and it’s going to be getting a little harder each year to get that money from the government.

We want this year to be an investment year to get us over the $300,000 hump (revenue).  We’re planning our first WFHB independent audit from a third party.  This is good practice but also a really common question when pursuing grants.  A Development Director will provide us an individual who is a constant presence that can follow up with leads and contacts and give us some underwriting stability.

You’ll be glad to know that the furnace and air conditioning unit will be replaced this week and it should be 25% more efficient than what we currently had.

Looking forward, we have an ambitious budget but it allows us to be flexible.

We will be posting on the website my GM reports and the finance reports each month as part of the Board Minutes.

General Manager Cleveland Dietz:

Looking back over this past year, we’ve made some serious efforts on the Board of Directors front.  We have drafted a Board of Directors Handbook.  There is a Board of Directors Commitment Form we’ve worked on and was just voted and approved at the last Board meeting.  We filled the remaining three seats on the Board in January so we’re back up to nine Board members.

We’ve made communication changes with the help of Markus and Kelly by re- instituting the volunteer monthly meetings that provide an outlet for volunteer voices, and we’ve seen the launch of our new quarterly eNewsletter.  We’re into the final launch of our new website design.  Board and committee meeting minutes are being posted on the website and soon, our financial reports will also be posted as a public display for what WFHB is doing and how we are spending our money.

We partnered with a SPEA class to write a grant proposing a new health show to replace Zorba.  We are still looking for angel donors to support the new Development Director.  Having a Development Director will provide us with significant progress on regular grant writing.  SPEA offers a fellowship program which would give us a 10 hour/week IU student at no cost to us once we employ a professional Development Director.  The new Development Director will give us a constant presence with underwriting sales.  We’ll have better management and use of our donor database and we’ll be able to provide consistent promotion and outreach.

We will be adding upgrades to our facilities this next week – HVAC replacement including AC, and significant technical upgrades for the Internet and the network.

We will be initiating an independent audit from a third party accounting firm.  This is a good practice and it’s been too long since this has happened.  This also better enables us to pursue grants.

Music Director Jim Manion:

(Jim reads the names of all 90 volunteer DJs).

Thank you DJs!  Special thanks to all who sub for their fellow DJs!  Thanks to all genre directors and CD reviewers.  Thanks to the desk jockeys who open the mail daily.

Thank you Acoustic Roots Festival volunteers!

Hondo Thompson, Rick Fettig, Sarah Ryterband , Mike McAfee Jim Manion, Kelsey Lynn Wagoner, Dan Withered, Reina Wong, Erin Tobey, Ryder Timberlake,  Joe Crawford, William Morris, Kelly Kish, Reina Wong, Linda Cajigas, Darin Bagley, Dan Young, Kathy Romy, WFHB MC: Hondo Thompson; Festival Income Manager: Emily Jackson (cash); Cleveland Dietz (online); Merch Area Manager: Catherine Anders; Shift Volunteer Coordinator: Sheryl Mitchell; Recording Manager: Jim Lang; Volunteer Coordinator: Kelly Wherley; Green Room Manager: Tracy Johnson

The latest edition of our DJ guidelines is ready along with the annual DJ contract which needs to be signed.  Copies will be available at the Station and for those who are not here today, they will receive them digitally. These contracts are due back to me. They need to be filled out and signed as part of our FCC and federal guidelines.

Besides the constant adventure of daily operations…. Since last June… Lotus CD 3 was completed with the help of Michael McDowell.  Lotus 2014 brought us an unprecedented 11 Lotus Live sessions, great back line and engineering. All sessions were posted to the website.  Local Live CD 4 was completed with the help of Nicole O’Neal.

There was quite a contentious period last fall and thanks to all, the air time remained positive.   We don’t put our dirty laundry on the air.  I attended 2 powerhouse conferences this year – South by Southwest which has good potential for a live show here; And the WXPN Non-Comm meeting.

Looking ahead: Lotus CD 4 is in production, Adriane Pontecorvo as co- producer.

I am producing a split benefit for WFHB and Community Kitchen to be held on July 18th at the Bluebird called, “Tim and Jim’s Most Excellent Birthday Party.”  Come on out and help us celebrate our birthdays.

This summer’s Library Project – we’ll be doing serious purging and maintenance in the WFHB Music Library.  This is way overdue.  We can use some help with this.

Fall Fund Drive 2014 and Lotus 2014 are coming up.

A technical goal: Find the best way to time-shift 2 hr mp3 recordings of all WFHB Music programs, available to stream for 2 weeks at program schedule page of the website. I heard talk at the meeting about on-air tip jars which brings in $2,000 to $3,000 for some stations.  We should look into this.

A few overall comments:  huge outpouring of support last fall, seems like we had a lot of bad weather friends, you know, the ones who show up in bad times, but – we need you every day.  I would like to see more engagement and less email flame wars and more of an appreciation for our daily station operations.  “I don’t care about the station, I only care about my show.”  I’ve heard that some DJs have said this.  But without the station, they wouldn’t have a show.  We need to improve the general lack of understanding and appreciation of the environment of daily broadcast operations.  Better advance planning is needed while maintaining spontaneous air sound qualities.

I am looking forward to how our efforts will be supported by a full-time Development Director, which I think is an important priority. I hope this includes a hard look at our HR policies and finding ways to improve the employment environment at WFHB.

Next week is our Firehouse fundraiser at the Back Door.

News Department Alycin Bektesh:

Today, I’m also talking on behalf of Joe Crawford, the assistant News Director, and Jar Turner who works for the whole station.  Jar posts to the website all of the shows to get beyond their live broadcast times.  I want to thank them for all their hard work this past year.  Last year: Brown County Hour, Bloomington Beware, The Porch Swing and Books Unbound – all came under the News Department.  These shows are all doing better than ever.   Taking on those four additional shows have added an extra load but I’m proud as these shows are at the top of their game. Brown County Hour is monthly and doing well.  Bloomington Beware has a staff of three writers who are getting their show “in” a  week ahead of time.  The Porch Swing is on summer break.  We had two great events at The Bishop and we’ll be setting up a booth for 1st Friday gallery walks, inviting people to stop by to tell a story.  Books Unbound is now an hour long show on every Sunday.  It’s hard to get engaged in the reading when it’s a 30 minute show with all the commercial and announcement breaks so the hour format works much better.  PRX picks up this show more often than any other show we produce.

We were winners at the Indiana SPJ Awards again – for best newscast, best breaking news (Todd Young and climate change), best continuing coverage (shelter and homelessness in Bloomington, no low barrier summer shelter for substance abuse users), best public affairs (Trayvon Martin discussion on Bring It On), best documentary (Hoagy Carmichael special on Interchange).

About the new website & camera – love it!  The video camera allows us to distribute our content in another format.  The website is awesome.  Now, you can “pin” it, “like” it, “love” it, “share” it, watch it, read it, and listen to it.  You need to share WFHB programming.  Use social media to get the word out about our amazing product.

Looking Forward:  The News Summit will be held during all of July.  I have lots of ideas like how to get more exposure on campus, recruitment and training.  Are we representing our community?  There is not any time to evaluate the shows while we’re still producing them so we needed to suspend all 20 NPA shows. We will answer the questions “what do we want to do and how can we do it best?”

A committee has been meeting to plan the organization of the Summit and what we want to happen during the Summit.  Week 1 will be about introductions and to gather information;   Week 2 will be our brainstorming week;  Week 3 we’ll be discussing the practicalities of the ideas we talked about the previous week;  Week 4  we’ll start the  “doing”, the implementation of the ideas.  Going forward, the News Summit can be a week long project that we implement each year to evaluate ourselves.

WFHB Awards:

News Department:         Legacy Award -                         Lucille Bertuccio

News Rookie of the year -          Doug Storm

Newshound of the year –            Drew Daudelin

Music Department:        Distinguished Service Award –    Mike Kelsey

Legacy Award –                                     Nicole O’Neal

DJ of the year -                         Liza Pavelich

Genre of the year –                    Cathi Norton

 

Board Member of the year -       Joe Estivill

Volunteer of the year -               Dan Withered

Congratulations to the new Board Members:  William Morris, Markus Lowe, Kelly Wherley

Public Comments:

When are we going to get a new digital Board?

Cleveland:  One of my goals with the Raymond Foundation Grant is to engage Harmony School students and to connect them with Industry Standard Equipment

Markus:  Reminder, the 2nd Friday of the month:  6-10 pm at the BackDoor  (volunteer meetings are held from 6-7 pm)

Richard Fish:  We’ll be running some new wiring at the station – I’m on the IT committee, next Saturday, June 14th, we could use volunteers to help with this project.

Alycin:  Volunteers are needed to moderate discussions during News Summit.

Have you come up with a method to log in volunteer hours:

Cleveland:  The volunteer committee has worked to come up with a solution as to how to log in volunteer hours.  We’re going to place a laptop in the lobby that has a spreadsheet to log in your hours. You can also log in your time remotely.

On Sunday mornings, I would like to have a little less “live” reads.  And can we take a look at how we do our regularly scheduled items, i.e. calendar, PSAs?

Cleveland:  We can take a look at that towards the end of the year.

Can we change the wording from the underwriting scripts as there can be awkward phrasing and word choices?

Cleveland: Let me know if you’re having a problem so I can take a look at it and possibly fix it.

Nicole O’Neal thanks everyone for helping her throughout her time at the station.

Joe Estivill asks for a round of applause for our new GM Cleveland Dietz.

A volunteer asks for a round of applause for the awesome WFHB staff.

The June 2014 annual meeting ends at 2:15 pm.

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: Generally Speaking

WFHB’s Annual Meeting (June 7th, Monroe County History Center, 12:15PM) signals a time of reflection for me. It is the first anniversary of my time as general manager of the station, the first meeting following the end of WFHB’s fiscal year, and a time to look back at the year’s progress and plan for the next.

I announced a number of goals I wanted to work toward last November in addition to those outlined in the station’s strategic plan:  expanding the staff, creating or taking advantage of opportunities for WFHB to gain exposure in the broader listening area, and establishing more avenues for communication among volunteers and to the public.

We launched the Firehouse News, our quarterly e-newsletter, as part of that effort, which would not have been possible without a capable volunteer staff (Carol Fischer, Helen Harrell, Karen Roszkowski, Maryll Jones and Mike Glab). We hope you’ve enjoyed the product so far and will continue to do so.

With help from former WFHB general manager Markus Lowe and Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Wherley, we also reinstituted monthly meetings using a round table format. These meetings are led by volunteers and serve as an excellent delivery mechanism for ideas and discussion, as well as a way for volunteers and staff to meet each other and celebrate their love for community radio together.

Again with significant help from Markus Lowe, we launched the new website in August. Since then, we’ve been uploading most organization meeting minutes for transparency. You can find them here. Articles from the previous newsletters and much, much more can be found there, as well.

Brian Kearney helped us raise funds to hire a full-time development director in the coming fiscal year. The station made tremendous headway in many respects over the last 10 years, but annual revenues have remained relatively flat. It is our hope that a development director will help grow the station’s finances and create new relationships in the wider community moving forward. We expect this person to be hired by August 2014. You can read the job description here. If you would like to apply for the position, or know someone who would, please send a resume and cover letter to manager@wfhb.org.

WFHB partnered with agencies outside of Bloomington whenever possible. Last month alone, we were in the Spring Blossom Parade in Nashville and at the 4th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival in Bean Blossom. Over the last year, we also partnered with Salt Creek Brewery for the 1st Annual Bedford Blues and Brews, the Indiana Boys for a CD release show at the Brown County Playhouse in Nashville, the Village Arts Walk in Nashville, and Tim Grimm’s CD release shows at Russian Recording in Bloomington and The Commons in Columbus.

Establishing a strong presence in the communities WFHB broadcasts to will continue to be a major goal for the foreseeable future.

We will also work to strengthen our partnership with Community Access Television Services, lay the groundwork for the regular pursuit of grants, and review and revise our bylaws and governance document. To learn more about these plans, attend WFHB’s Annual Meeting or look out for the minutes on our website.

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: WFHB Technical Engineer Report

By Helen Harrell

Institutions are contained in buildings and these structures usually have cornerstones as a designation of their beginning.  Seems that can also be true of community radio stations as WFHB has a true cornerstone in engineer, historian, original visionary and overall man of all trades Jeffrey Morris.  To say that Morris has been instrumental in not only the founding of WFHB but its ongoing existence is merely an understatement.  While many folks were around in the beginning (and some still are) and played significant roles in establishing what is now a leader in Southern Indiana Community Radio, Morris has been there from the beginning. Not only did he submit required paperwork, applications, licensing and other government documents and forms to ensure a spot on the radio dial but he also saw to the  purchasing, erecting and maintaining of the main signal tower.  Acquiring the firehouse location, designing air rooms, purchasing and maintaining equipment all came under his purview.  And yes, he had lots of help and support along the way but after speaking with him for an hour or so it’s obvious that his dream for a real community supported and operated, democratically representative radio station has been his motivation regardless  of other associations and assistance. It’s prudent to note that Morris was always a volunteer and received little if no compensation for his many years and hours of work to bring WFHB to the reality it is today.

Many years later Morris has become a partially paid employee and while the compensation is hardly comparable to his expertise it is well deserved.  As an example, much of the station operating equipment is old and not only can’t be replaced/repaired but parts are no longer available.  Just call on Morris and he will find a way to fix it!!!  The power is out, the furnace or A/C stops working just call Morris!   An electrician by professional trade Morris brings an expertise to the station that would just be impossible to replace even though that thought does not occur to those who understand what’s what with electronics, equipment and dedication.

Even though Morris is older than most of the current volunteers he is comfortable in the digital age and has had little difficulty moving the station in the modern direction of digitization.  The only stumbling block is one that has always been an issue and that is enough funding for new equipment and facilities updates.  While making do with little is frequently a mantra at the station Morris knows that many updates are needed if WFHB is to continue competing in the local radio market.  Some of his wish list items are for appearance and comfort which are valid needs as well as new updated broadcasting equipment.  Many community members stepped up in the beginning to launch WFHB including such icons as Herman B Wells, Sarkes Tarzian and the Waldron family. However those resources have long been spent and new funding is needed to purchase items such as a new 98.1 transmitter HD, a new airboard and audioarts IP-12, audio network IO interfaces, 3/rewire cat 5/6 cables and codecs for remote broadcasts for an estimated total of $36,500.  Other items on the wish list are cleaning and painting the studio tower and remounting of the Marti antenna, repair, paint gate, new fence and grading and driveway stone at the transmitter building and finish the ‘cage’ (editing room) with wiring, drywall, trim and door.  These latter expenses total $11,500.  So for a grand total of $47,000 many needed improvements and advancements could be made.

Morris hopes folks will step forward and help with fundraising but in the meantime he will continue to repair and maintain.  But one man’s dream has become the reality for so many and that is reason alone to contribute to and support WFHB.

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: WFHB News Department Summit to be Held in July

By Helen Harrell

The news department at WFHB is ever growing and evolving under the tutelage of WFHB Director Alycin Bektesh, and the upcoming News Summit to be held in July is no exception to her creative planning.  What’s a news summit you wonder?  While summits can of course vary in intent and purpose this one is intended to improve and enhance the WFHB News department.  Many folks including Bektesh and Assistant News Director Joe Crawford have expressed concerns that the news department operates beyond capacity to produce its 20 in-house programs along with managing the traffic for an additional 13 syndicated programs, recruiting and training new volunteers, participating in community outreach, fundraising and keeping updated content on the website and social media.   Bektesh feels that “because we don’t have time enough to allow us to focus on a departmental strategy, any discussion of changes and improvements ends up being superficial.”

In a desire to seriously address the various aspects for needed change, Bektesh has received both WFHB Board of Directors and News and Public Affairs Committee (NPAC) approval to suspend news programming throughout the month of July for a News Summit, allowing four weeks for daily meetings to narrow focus in brainstorming to action plans.  This effort is also seen as significant by other WFHB staff and long time show producers all of whom will be involved with various workshops throughout the month. A combination of re-runs and short seasonal programs will be used to fill programming time while the Summit is underway.

All WFHB listeners, supporters and volunteers are invited and encouraged to become involved and provide suggestions, new ideas and energy directed toward issues that affect everyone.  Bektesh hopes the result of this major summit will lead to a better trained, more collaborative News Department, a standard system of recruitment and training for incoming volunteers, job descriptions for news staff and producers that accurately match needs and expectations and a clear line of action to increase overall quality.

So folks, this is the time to step up and become involved.  Any and all suggestions will be considered and your participation will be greatly appreciated (and needed). The time commitment expectation is similar to that of any given volunteer’s current responsibilities and duties.   Bektesh said, “I want our declaration of being a community newsroom to be absolutely genuine and this is the opportunity to make it so!”  Hope to hear from all of you and see you in July!!

Here is the link to submit a workshop idea:

https://docs.google.com/a/wfhb.org/forms/d/11po1JniAz3RTB_dMNUi1ycKHwp0HlHl5P2y1GfkN1Gw/viewform

For questions and/or further information email:  news@wfhb.org

Firehouse News, Vol. 1, No. 2: Summertime… and the Livin’ is Easy

By Maryll Jones

It’s that time of the year when the temporary residents have left Bloomington for a few months and the townies take their rightful place back on the city streets.  This brings us to one of the largest social gatherings in the area – the weekly Bloomington Farmers’ Market.  Held at the Showers Common  outside City Hall at 7th and Morton streets every Saturday throughout the season, the farmer’s market is a large venue that includes farmers, food vendors, information booths, buskers and stage performers all of whom are peddling their wares to the customers that attend from the surrounding area.  Thousands of folks attend every Saturday from April to November.

What better place to promote WFHB than at the market?  The brain-child of WFHB volunteers Tilman Piedmont, Joe Estivill and Hondo Thompson nearly 6 years ago, Market LIVE! provides a valuable service to the City but also makes WFHB highly visible to those within the listening area.

What exactly do volunteers with Market LIVE! do?  Volunteers not only answer questions from passers-by and promote the value and power of community radio from the WFHB Market LIVE! booth, they also broadcast a live report from the market every hour at 20 minutes until the hour beginning at 8:40am.

Of the five live segments,  each 3-4 minutes long, two are pre-determined. The first at 8:40am is with market staffer Sasha Divine, who provides a market preview, including what is new that week at the market.  The final interview at 12:40pm is usually with Robin Hobson, Market Master with Bloomington Parks and Recreation.  This final report is a wrap- up of the day’s events and a sneak preview of the next farmer’s market the following Saturday.

The remaining three interviews are the responsibility of the volunteers who have free reign with only a few guidelines.  These guidelines include trying to obtain an interview from a different area of the market for each segment so that the interviews are as diverse as they can be.  The areas include farmers, food vendors, Info Alley, buskers, shoppers and whatever event happens to be going on at the Showers Plaza.

As Market LIVE!’s producer Hondo Thompson said “If you can’t be at the market, we’ll bring the market to you.”

Presently, Market LIVE! is in search of 2 – 3 volunteers to join the small team of roving reporters who will serve as knowledgeable representatives of WFHB to the public at large.  Training will be provided. Some desired qualities include: commitment of 1-2 Saturdays a month through November, ability to work alone or with limited supervision, comfortable doing LIVE, impromptu, unscripted broadcasts with a variety of people, ability to represent WFHB in a professional, positive manner, all while staying within the guidelines of the FCC.

Some of the perks include learning to be an effective live broadcast reporter, becoming an ambassador for WFHB to the public, experiencing the fantastic commodities of the market first hand, and getting to hang out with great people.

Having volunteer staff trained and ready to do live representation at other community events is also a huge asset to WFHB.  So if you are interested in developing live, unscripted broadcasting skills and love to hang out and meet new people,  please contact hondo@wfhb.org for more information and…

Come join the WFHB Market LIVE! band of roving reporters!

See you at the market!

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