Board Meeting Minutes – 6/22/17

Mad River Valley Television- Board Meeting minutes 6.22.2017

  1. Welcome/Additions, changes to agenda:  Lisa called the meeting to order at 5:45. Present included:  Lisa Loomis, John Daniell, Dan Eckstein, Sandy Macys, Brian Shupe, Tony Italiano, Dan Zucker, Ian Sweet, Roger Nishi, Ilse Sigmund, Lisa Italiano, Liz Levey, Alex Maclay, and Keith Berkelhamer 
  1. Public Forum and Potential new board member hellos. Dan, Ian and Ilse all shared their reasons why they would like to become MRVTV Board members.
  1. Approval of minutes of board meeting of 2.9.017.  Dan made a motion to accept the minutes. Liz seconded.  Motion passed.
  1. Station/programming/ED transition update: Alex/Keith:  Library partnership has gone very well.  The three libraries try to offer different types of programming.  School meetings are waning for the year.  The station is committed to covering the meetings of HUUSD, but has made it clear that MRVTV is not the organ of record for the Supervisory Union.  Alex and Keith are working together for the month of June as Alex hands the reins of leadership over to him. Alex will be available to consult with Keith, post retirement, if issues arise.  Local concerts at the schools were part of the spring programming. 
  1. Board Member elections- the terms of Liz L. and Rob W. are up for re-election and we have one open seat. Brian made a motion that we take up the slate as written, Michael seconded.  Lisa I. voted no, and explained that she felt we should ask Rob if he wanted to continue on the board, prior to voting him in while he wasn’t here.  Lisa made an amendment to Brian’s motion to vote half the slate.  The amendment passed.  The motion, as amended passed. Brian made a motion to postpone the vote on Rob’s seat and vacancy until the next board meeting.  Dan Eckstein seconded. Motion passed.  Then, Dan made a motion to vote Liz back on to the board for another term.  Lisa I. seconded.  Motion passed.  
  1. Technology update: Tony: Continuing to work on picture quality.  Tony and Keith are going to continue to move forward with the HD workload and start the process of moving forward with technology.  Current local shows include: Yoga for You, Welcome to Reality, and For the Love of Dogs, and Rob Williams’ show, 2VTV.  Laura Arnesen will be in for the ARTS Festival, along with Gary Eckhart to promote those events. Tony is excited about all the positive changes and in a recent check, finds that we are on track to produce an equivalent amount of local programming this year.  Tony, Keith and the representative from Tele? will sit down with Lyle in the room and see what the current numbers are as we continue to consider our switch to HD. 
  1. Waitsfield Cable update: Roger/Alex: Tried the copper solution, it didn’t work.  WCVT is looking to put fiber in a.s.a.p.  We will have to work out the way that the phone company is going to get paid for that ($70.00 per month) as they can subsidize one business over another.  The latest retail price of the equipment that is necessary is an additional $10,000, but it may be available for $6000.00.   To include broadcasting live from the Waitsfield Town Offices, MRVTV would be paying for the additional ~$80.00 per month.  There are considerations about how the costs might be covered between Waitsfield Cable, Waitsfield Telecom and MRVTV.  Alex and Roger are working to update the contract between MRVTV and WCVT.
  1. Financial update 2017 Budget vs. Actual to May 2017: Advertising and Community Outreach costs are up due to the ED search and Keith’s hiring. Other than that, the monies recorded on this budget update are generally on track.  The heating fuel was more costly this year than in the past.  The winter months, December – April, are all reflected in the fuel costs at this time of the year.  As we discuss the VAN network and the associated costs, the board will have to address, again, the issue of contributing to the cost of the legal fees that they incur to protect their interests in the shadow of Comcast.  Tony mentioned that both WCAX and WDEV have been recently sold, and that in a climate where things can change so quickly, we might want to keep our cards on the table with them until we know more about how those and other potential changes might effect MRVTV. Michael made a motion to accept the budget.  John seconded.  Motion passed. 
  1. Sponsorship/fundraising discussion:  Keith sees the quality of the signal and the digital part of the business is the two main priorities.  A web design, easy to digest, has a nice look and feel, video centric.  Then the charge would be to create more content.  Content is King.  Doing short form video.  Taped the Round Up last night and hopes to film the Frendly Gathering.  Possible Ski Bum chronicles for a winter show.  Human Interest stories about the local ski industries. Six Gap series on his bike.  Sponsors could underwrite shows that supported their business. Keith is interested in putting a live web cam somewhere in the Valley, possibly near the covered bridge.  He wants to create a You Tube channel, and will perhaps go after national companies who are into what we are doing in VT. The website will be the keystone action for the rest of his ideas. Michael felt uncomfortable about the focus on digital, the fact that the employees of the station don’t typically produce content, and the fact that our practice has been not to have any calls to action.  Liz made the point that things have changed in the past 17 years, what is possible, in the light of the declining revenue stream, might be different when we thought when the station was first conceived.  We have to be mindful of the capacity of the station’s employees if more of the employee hours are to be spent on creating content. Roger cautioned that we need to be careful about the revenue, the 5% that we get, if the digital content that we create might be self-supporting and wouldn’t necessarily conflict with Waitsfield Cable.  Michael also acknowledged that we have had a great partnership with Waitsfield Cable and we are grateful for that.  Liz sees a benefit to the station to have the ED out in the community, as a roll-out and having you identified with the station. Dan Zucker talked about two types of content- ongoing and daily or one-time content.  Ian thinks the better idea is to create an Ap, and all the digital content is an option for the person who is using the ap. You can do the same thing on the website, but the video quality isn’t as good. WE have in the budget $2000 for fundraising, what are the expectations for this year? Are we doing something in the fall? We might just want to have a party to introduce Keith to the community.  Liz, Keith and Rob will meet to discuss.  
  1. Other business: 
  1. A. Lisa, in honor of the board, thanked Alex for her many year of service and honored her with loud applause and a gift certificate to Peasant restaurant. 

B. Michael has decided to step down from the board at this time.  Lisa reluctantly accepted Michael’s resignation.  

  1. Next quarterly meeting- John Daniell has suggested we find a regular date (as in first, second or third Thursday of each quarter) for better attendance. We will find the best common day and will try to move forward with that plan.  
  1. Adjournment.  Dan made a motion to adjourn.  John seconded.  Lisa adjourned the meeting at 7:15.