Board Meeting Minutes – 4/25/19


Date and Time: Thursday, 4-25-19 @ 5:46pm


Present by Proxy: Location:

Keith Berkelhamer, Dan Eckstein , Ian Sweet,
Tony Italiano, Lisa Loomis, Liz Levey, Rob Williams, and Roger Nishi Brian Shupe (Lisa), Ilse Sigmund (Liz), John Daniels (Lisa)

Mad River Valley Television offices, Waitsfield VT

Welcome/Additions, changes to Agenda - Lisa opened the meeting @ 5:46pm

  • No changes to agenda Public Forum
  • No public present
    Approval of minutes of 1/24/19 board meeting
  • Dan made motion to accept the minutes as written, Ilse seconded. Rob abstained. Motion passed unanimously.

Board Elections

  • Rob will follow up with G. Nooney as he may be interested in serving on the Board.
  • 3 seats were up – Brian Shupe, Lisa Loomis, and Ilse Sigmund
  • All three wished to serve another term
  • Liz made a motion to vote the slate, Rob seconded. Motion passed unanimously

Directors Report: Keith

  • See attached Director’s Report for all the details

  • Keith provided updates on social media and website data

    • Youtube: we are still the leaders for community TV stations in VT for number of subscribers to our YouTube (now cresting 4000)
    • Webcam still driving views. Weather and storms boost webcam views.150K views of the webcam in Jan 2019
    • Mad River Glen Today also sparked interest and views. Having show on their social media (MRG FB-30,500, MRG YouTube – 7500) boosted our image as well
    • Facebook: Like campaign going well. When Keith made it a video campaign – he got more likes, and thus less cost per like.
    • Instagram has 200 followers. Should focus on building Instagram followers due to its popularity.
    • If Tony or Board Members have a short video which might be good to share on MRVTV Instagram --- fwd it to Keith and he will post if appropriate. Videos must be less than 1 minute.
    • Newsletter – to boost subscriptions Rob can add a sign up to his Yak Cart when at Farmer’s Market. He will give a sticker to anyone who signs up.
    • Front Porch Forum: Keith is limited to how many times a month he can post, but he uses it as best he can.

(Roger joins the meeting)

- Keith provided update on new revenue streams

  • Sponsorships
    • We already have $3,890 committed for 2019, and we have sold out of the digital packages. We are hoping to sell one or two more silver packages on TV side.
    • Should we force the sponsor message to show mid-program when on TV?
  • Live Streaming: $927 for 2018, and so far, $1710 for 2019. MRG is our biggest client.
    • Vail took over Okemo, then cut the internal video team. Okemo reached out to community TV to see if they could help with video work. Vail also bought Stowe. Keith wondered if the same happened up there, and if they would be interested in a live streaming show like the one done for MRG? Concerns: With time and travel it would have to be priced right. Keith’s time is limited.
    • Keith to learn more and report back.
  • Production Services: $875 in 2018, $1500 projected for 2019. Could be higher given MRV Reality - $4800 grant money may come through to chamber - which would allow them to spend more on production services, presumably MRVTV.

- Keith reviewed HD payback Plan (see report for details).

  • Because of additional income we may have the option to pay it back more quickly than originally planned.
  • Agreed we would get closer to the end of 2019 before deciding what to do with surplus profit (if any)
  • Dan complimented Keith and Tony on their executing of the plan to upgrade the station to HD and build new revenue streams. All present heartily concurred.

Program/Technical Update: Tony

  • All of 2018 and YTD 2019 is now stored on All our HD programming is there (MRVTV produced). After 100 days on our VMX server, Tony moves the content to for free long term access for the public to be able to access. We donated $100 to support their work, but otherwise free to us too.
  • Podcast show: Anna Nasset is taping her podcast in the studio. She discusses crime victim services in Vermont. She will podcast the audio – and we will air the video.
  • New lights in studio and new teleprompter are helping to add to quality.
  • Tony wants to partner with Harwood to sell more copies of the theater productions. We used to sell a lot, and maybe Harwood can also use it as a fundraiser. Ian warned Tony to confirm copyright as many shows will not allow filming with sales of any kind. Harwood should ask permission before we proceed.

Waitsfield Cable Update: Roger

Town of Waitsfield live feed is just about ready

  • Warren and Harwood would be the next locations that would benefit from a live feed.
  • Roger congratulated us on our success in fundraising and making station viable in challenging times.

Update on Public Access TV Threats - Lisa & Keith

  • Keith went to legislative day - feedback - lawyer for VAN believes the FCC rule change probably will go through, however, they feel it is unlikely to stick. It will be appealed. There is a fear that funds will be frozen until resolved. Some cable companies may play mean and not fund their stations. Some stations are charging for access to the station.
  • Given the FCC rule changes – Waitsfield Cable stands committed to supporting the station – and has no plans to shift dollars away (which new ruled would allow). All present expressed appreciation.

Financial update - Lisa & Keith

We reviewed the budget to actual YTD

  • Sponsorships and memberships down YTD since most of the funds come towards the end of the year. Moretown is now on board and we have already invoiced them $750 for 2019 shoots. ORCA covering half the meetings. We will share content with ORCA. If we find we need more $ in future years we have to re-petition.
  • Fundraising: more will come in later in the year
    o Meeting expense: Hosting chamber mixer June 18 @ 5pm. Phineas Gage to play.
  • We will need a temp. lic to serve beer/wine. Food from Mehuron’s, Canteen? o Hourly labor: Tony would like to train Vinni Yasi to gain deeper studio and shooting skills. Ian also offered to help train Vinni.
  • Tony to follow up with Executive Committee ($) and with Ian.
  • Balance sheet: Roger asked if our balance sheet is looking better than others? Keith thought so - because many have shrinking income due to lower cable grant. Also accounting rule change allowed Comcast to reduce grant.

Fundraising Update: Keith, Tony, Liz & Rob

  • Annual Dance Party –Emma Lou is booked for Nov 22 with Phineas Gage opening. Venue is reserved (Smokehouse) Same plan as in previous years, just a different band.
  • Pop-Up Party sometime this summer. Will be weather dependent. Rob would like to coordinate with other vendors in the shopping center – maybe they combine with sidewalk sale etc.
  • Keith will find out if we need a permit
  • We have been added to the list for Lawson’s tip jar. Unclear when that might happen.

Other Business

  • Should Keith serve on the VAN board? He would be of value to them, no doubt. MRVTV’s success can be shared. That said, Keith has limited time and everyone worried about his getting spread too thin.
  • Lisa made a motion in support of Keith’s exploring this more and that executive committee will look into possible additional costs which may result (travel, hours). Ilse seconded. Motion passed unanimously


Rob made motion to adjourn. Ian seconded. Motion passed unanimously Meeting was adjourned at 7:30pm