Board Meeting Minutes – 1/25/18

1/25/18 Meeting called to order at 5:38. This meeting was not properly warned so all action taken at the meeting will be re-adopted at a properly warned meeting on February 23 at Mad River Valley Television offices at noon.

  1. Welcome / Additions: Lisa called the meeting to order at 5:38pm. Present included, Lisa Loomis, Brian Shupe, Dan Eckstein, Liz Levey, Ilse Sigmund, Tony Italiano, Keith Berkelhamer. Present by proxy: John Daniell, Ian Sweet. Rob Williams joined by phone to lead discussion of item 2 below.

  2. Crowdfunding HD Campaign

    • Rob gave a recap of progress so far, noting what a big help Keith has been.

    • Board member have (or are currently) assembling lists of 10 contacts they will reach out to.

    • Rob encouraged everyone to be proactive – be positive – highlight the work we are doing.

      Video helps to highlight our work

    • What happens if we don’t raise all the money we have targeted?

      o We keep what we raise. We already purchased equipment and want to repay ourselves to be ready for future.

    • Experience so far underscores the importance of personally following up with people in however way you see best – email, phone, text, or meet for coffee. Share materials that explain the plan to potential donors (Keith to provide pdfs of HD Plan and Powerpoint showing Social Media success. Point them to our youtube channel.)

    • Continue to use digital and personal community contacts to keep highlighting, in social media and in person.

      o Front Porch Forum coverage. Ilse will be sure Moretown is covered. Keith is covering the rest.

  3. Director’s Report on Webcam and Social Media outreach

    • See attached

    • Webcam: has been a huge success driving our views and approval rating. We have also

      been approached by Emergency Management folks who see this as a valuable tool to watch

      the river levels.

    • Facebook: The $2 a day like campaign is going well. We will continue to utilize this and have

      budgeted for it

    • Instagram – we have 105 followers

    • Twitter – 277 followers

    • Mail Chimp – 138 subscribers with a 30% open rate.

    • Web page – about 50 page views a day, 40% bounce rate which isn’t too bad. (see report

      for more detail)

  4. Plan to go HD – check in discussion

  • We have fiber now, and Telvue is coming next week to install the server. We should be able to launch by mid to late-March.

  • See handout: “Plan to go HD in Mid-March 2018” for details on how we plan to pay for the purchases Board already approved.

  • Discussion followed:
    o Whenwearepayingourselvesback–areweassumingwewillhavelowersneedsin

    future years because we are planning lower investment going forward.
    o Tony:onceweareoutfitted,ourongoingcostsareminimal.Wewillbein

    maintaining mode and should not need full $10,000 in any given year.
    o The money is actually there – justifiable to put the money to work at the station. By

    2022 we will have replenished the rainy-day fund by $24k if all goes according to plan.

  1. Technology / Studio Update from Tony

    • Work flow was disrupted with the HD initiative, but it is fine – should settle down once

      changeover complete.

    • Programming

      o DanZuckerhadtocancelhisshowduetochangesinhispersonalschedule
      o Yogaforyouisgoingwell
      o New:TodayLightsTomorrow,aninterviewshowfeaturingfolksfromthevalley.

  2. Update on HD Initiative

    • Server equipment is here – insurance is being adjusted accordingly.

    • Challenges around Telvue videos - some browsers were not able to access TelVue video.

      Now it is all cleaned up and we would have had to do this with HD conversion anyway – so

      we are ahead of the game.

    • In holding pattern until conversion, and anticipate some challenges with final push.

    • We have a new 7 year contract with Waitsfield Cable. Lisa noted that the contract is fair and

      positions us well for the transition to HD.

    • Waitsfield Cable agreed that we would be provided with HD channels. Fiber installation was

      not specified in the contract, but was “pulled” as promised. We notified them we wanted to go HD, they have been very proactive, and while Waitsfield Cable doesn’t have to give us HD channels before 12 months from notification (Oct) – it looks like everything is lined up for March 2018.

    • Good to remember to give Waitsfield Cable a pat on the back (Big Thanks!)

    • When upgrade complete we may want to sell or donate the old SD equipment.

  3. Financial Update : Budget Review

    • Board reviewed 2017 Budget to Actual, and proposed budget for 2018

    • Sponsorship and Membership: We have targeted Moretown Select board for funds to help

      cover cost of covering those meeting. Upon initial approach they were positive, but we have to submit a petition to (5% of population, or 130 signatures), so we can get agenda for Town meeting. We are too late to get on March 2018 agenda, so we will organize around March 2019. Petitions much be submitted by October.

  • Digital Service: new line – social media costs (Facebook), website development, Telvue Cloud costs. (TelVue used to be in line 515.)

  • Dues Fees and Memberships (VAN, Chamber...) we pay $900 (approx.) annually to VAN. They reached out asking for funds to help with the Comcast court battle (Vermont ruled Comcast would need to provide Scheduling Calendar, HD, and expand coverage area. Comcast is appealing the decision. Comcast appealing in state Court.) Keith spoke with Rob Chapman from ORCA and VAN President, Kevin Christopher, explained this is terrible timing for MRVTV to send additional funds to this cause. If we do really well with fundraising, maybe we could send $500 to their legal defense fund. TBD at a later date.

  • Insurance - Non owned vehicle liability. We could potentially get sued if a Cameraman is driving to a job and gets in an accident. Board is disinclined to increase coverage for this potential liability

  • Health Insurance went up due to Keith being on plan, and Alex wasn’t

  • Legal and Pro – lawyers helping with new Waitsfield Cable contract, and accounting costs

    were higher in a complex year.

  • Salaries: Cost of Living Raises are not in this budget. Board will review towards the middle

    of the year when we usually look into raises or bonuses. Board agreed to budget for 4% increase in this line after 6 months, which amounts to additional $1000 for 2018 budget. Expenditure to be offset by adding $1000 to (402) Misc Income.

  • Still coming in: Need an invoice backdated in 2017 for the Vickery Hill webcam and related equipment. Will be about $1100.

  • Dan made a motion to pass the budget as amended. Ilse seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

  1. Discussion around Youtube record function

    • Record function saves about 3.5 hours of video. You cannot rewind further than that.

    • Currently, you can easily record the stream using another app (like QuickTime screen


    • Public safety folks are in favor of our having the record function.

    • Back in October Board said we would wait 6 months to see how it goes before deciding

      whether to allow recording, so we will wait until spring board meeting to decide.

  2. Sponsorship Update

We are lining up sponsors for the webcam. Currently Vermont Independent.

o Jamiesonwithdrewduetosomeblowbackfromcustomerswhodidn’tliketheidea.o KeithhasbeensharingthesponsorshipopportunitywithChamberfolks.Hesentan

email out to the group...has had meetings with a number of businesses ... positive feedback, but cold calls are tough. Best to have a connected Board member give entrée to Keith. Sugarbush is a key target.

Board to focus on their contacts for crowdfunding campaign before we really go after business sponsorships. Next meeting we will share and parse out potential sponsorship targets

  • On youtube we can potentially do “pre-roll” advertising, which we could try when we have at least 1000 subscriptions. If we did this – we cannot control who advertises, so Liz expressed some caution.

  • Can Keith go after regional sponsorships – Vermont companies outside the Valley? Yes – people agree Vermont businesses are fine. Will discuss more at a future meeting.

    10. Other business

  • Future meetings should be on 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Thursday (not the 4th, which conflicts with

    Friends of the Mad River standing meeting.)

  • We still have an open seat on the Board and should seek out someone to fill it.

    11. Adjournment. Liz made motion to adjourn. Lisa seconded. Motion passed and meeting was adjourned at 7:30pm