MRVTV Board of Directors meeting
Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 5:30 pm
MRVTV studio, 5031 Main St., Waitsfield
Present: John Daniell, Liz Levey, Tony Italiano, Deborah Feldman, Lisa Italiano, Alex Maclay
1. Welcome/Additions, changes to agenda
a. Liz (with Dan Eckstein’s proxy) called the meeting to order at
5:47 in Lisa Loomis’ absence. We welcome Dan Zucker. LisaLoomis took back the chair at 5:53.
i. Dan Zucker, producer of the show, Welcome to Reality, asked for five minutes to address the board. Dan has been involved in Public Access television since 1997. He had a show in Burlington on channel 15 for many years and was a member and chair of that board. Dan has had his show in Montpelier at ORCA. Welcome to Reality, his show, is about 18 years old. Dan is here, primarily, to discuss First Amendment issues. MRVTV currently regulates the language content so that adult language or content would be aired in the late night hours only. Dan asks the board to consider the content as intended by the producer and the content as delivered by the performers in the show and how the content is judged by the community. Dan contends that the FCC has no regulation over public access and further states that if it is Art, there are no regulations whatsoever. Dan’smain point is that he wants the board to take down the list of words you should not say on the air. Lisa and Liz made the point that Rob, Michael, Brian and Dan might all want to address this question at another time as they are not here at this meeting to participate. Lisa L. asks whether communities have any say over the content that is offered by MRVTV. John moved that we end the discussion at this time to proceed with the business of the board and resume the discussion when Brian, Michael, and Rob and or Dan can attend. Dan thanked everyone on the board for their efforts toward keeping Public Access alive and offering him the ability to produce his show with his friends.
2. Approval of minutes of board meeting of 7-21-15
The minutes were reviewed. John moved that we accept the minutes as written. Lisa I. seconded. Motion passed.
3. Station/programming update: Alex/Tony
Alex: MRVTV has a capacity problem in that we don’t have enoughshooters. Sophie Rayfield is a new hire. Alex needs to get the word out about the opportunities for new shooters through VR, FPF, Harwood, GMVS and maybe Sugarbush employee resources. Tony will also add it to the calendar as well. Currently there is less local programming and we are offering more VT programming from VMX. There may be fewer local events, combined with an insufficient number of shooters that are both causal in this decreased number of programs. There may be a grey area that falls between the municipal meetings that the station regularly films vs. other local non or not for profit organizations. When it is a non-profit, and it does not result inlocal programming aired on MRVTV, they can use the station’sequipment and can obtain support through the “Non-Profit” model like Hannah’s House or others. How much of the coverage of local events and meetings is our mission and how much should we cover these meetings and events. We discussed the recent negotiations with WWSU regarding the coverage of the ACT 46 series of meetings. Would it make sense for us to ask WWSU to pay for the shooter? This is another issue that needs to be addressed further by the board. It might be a good idea to have very clear informationavailable on the website a la: “Three different ways you can partner with MRVTV to capture the exciting events and meetings for yourorganization.”
We have the new signs out front- please take a look. We now have a mobile friendly website, and the only problem is that the player is notresponsive, meaning that the size of the image doesn’t match thedevice. Chris Perry said that within 6 months to a year this issue should be solved. The rest of the web site is user friendly. The Cloud cast is working well, for Tony the issue is to remember to follow through with all the steps- the metadata is the most problematic. John has been instrumental in helping to improve the picture for the station. As a result of these meetings, Tony and John have met with WF Telecom and the new device bypasses all the switching back and
forth between analog and digital. Our contract specifies that WF Telecom pays for this. We sent a letter to Roger Nishi, asking for them to cover it, and are awaiting his response.
4. Financial update: 2015 YTD and 2016 Budget discussion Alex/ Lisa
In most places, we are at about 75% which is appropriate for this time of year. Liz asks, “If people want to donate money to MRVTV, do they donate to Friends or to MRVTV.” Alex will ask Deb to check in on thePeople’s Bank account. Our fundraising efforts are under ~$2000.
We can make it through until our spring fundraiser. The Executive Committee will work on the budget. The Executive Committee will invite Roger, and anyone else on the board who wishes to attend, to the next meeting. Alex and Lisa L. will send a note to the board as soon as the next Executive Committee meeting is planned.
5. Fundraising/sponsorship committee update - Alex
Many elements of this event are not yet finalized. The Big Picture will charge us $450, Alex is still in conversation with them as well as Phantom- we wonder about the capacity of the Phantom space. Matt Sargent mentioned the number 85 as capacity, we need to investigate if that number includes the restaurant staff etc. Deb Feldman investigated the Moretown Town Hall and there are a few issues: no kitchen space and $1000 insurance rider. We wonder about the date in December. If we have to pay for space would it be worth it to hold off until a date in the spring when Mad River Glen may be willing to host us for free. The board is open to the idea that the early December date might not be ideal. One of the conundrums about the venue is food. MRG will not offer their kitchen this time, it was not a money maker for them at our last event. This will be the last time that the Big Basin Band, to whom we are very grateful for their past support, will offer to play for the low cost of $250, a token fee. Lisa I. shared the information about Deerfield Designs regarding the cost for “schwag”, branded items like cups and hats, and she will forward the email information to the board. The board will potentially postpone the event until the spring of 2016. Alex, Tony, et. al. will still meet with Matt Sargent at Phantom to determine what
possibilities are available there. Heed your calendars! What about Friday, April 1st.
6. Technology update: Tony
Tony purchased two new “used” cameras this week at less than $600 each. Tony has found that even one camera “down” can cause aproblem in the access for shooters and availability for meetings and organizations. Tony may try a new HD camera this winter with the understanding that a new camera will change the work flow.
Lisa L. asks Can we project out a 3 – 5 year capital conversion plan to HD? Tony will work on this over the winter and will work with Alex and the board to set down a 3-5 year conversion/capital plan
7. Other business: The next quarterly meeting will be held in mid-late January through early February.
8. Adjournment: Deborah made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:37. Liz seconded. Motion passed.
Action Items: Alex will ask Deb to check in on the People’s Bank
working on a 3 year capital plan.