Board Meeting Minutes – 9/12/19


Date and Time: Thursday, 9-12-19 @ 5:37pm


Present by Proxy: Location:

Dan Eckstein, Lisa Loomis, Liz Levey, Rob Williams, John Daniell Keith Berkelhamer, Tony Italiano, Ned Farquhar
Brian Shupe (Liz), Ilse Sigmund (Liz), Ian Sweet (Rob)
Mad River Valley Television offices, Waitsfield, VT


Welcome/Additions, changes to Agenda - Lisa opened the meeting @ 5:37pm

o Removed Waitsfield Cable Update from agenda (Roger Nishi could not attend meeting)

Public Forum

  • No public present

  • Dan related that Robin Morris approached him and was frustrated about the Taste Place videos

    not airing. Board had previously decided airing them would be in conflict with our policies and regulations around commercial content on public access TV. MRVTV has invited Robin/Taste Place to come and discuss the videos, the process, bring in makers and show short clips.

    Approval of minutes of 4-25/19 board meeting

o Rob made motion to accept the minutes as written, John D. seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Open Board Seat - election

- Ned Farquhar expressed an interest in the seat. Brief discussion followed. Ned is looking forward to the opportunity and brings community history and communications experience to the Board.

o Lisa made motion to elect Ned Farquhar to the 3-yr Board seat. Rob seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Director’s Report: Keith

  • See attached Director’s Report for all the details

  • Keith provided updates on social media and website data

o Youtube: we are still the leaders for community TV stations in VT for number of subscribers to our YouTube (now over 4700). Growth is slowing, but still +150 month new subscribers

  • Webcam still driving views. 1 million views in last 12 months.
  • 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.

o Facebook: 5700 likes. Like campaign is working out to $0.16 a like.
o Instagram has 267 followers +53% since January
o Keith will continue to focus on building Instagram and FB over Twitter. Rob suggested

Keith post a tweet explaining where to find us (FB, Instagram, and website)


- Keith provided update on new revenue streams
o Sponsorships: $3,045 so far for 2019, and another possible $750 coming. One of our

sponsors has not paid and the rest of her package (November webcam) will go to The Vermont Independent, which had moved aside for a month last summer to accommodate a new sponsor slot.

o Live Streaming: $2085 for 2019. MRG was our biggest client and it is unclear if they will continue the “Mad River Glen Today” program which accounts for $2000 of the above stated revenue.

o Production Services: $1529 for 2019. This does not include paid shoots. MRV Chamber got a $2400 grant which they plan to use towards more “Mad River Valley Reality" episodes.

- Keith reviewed HD payback Plan (see report for details). o We are on target so far this year.

Program/Technical Update: Tony

- In 2019 we have posted 138 shows so far: 75 govt/meetings, 59 studio shoots, 29 sports, 20 HU Brd, and 16 shows that were produced after they were streamed live to Facebook and YouTube.

o “Community Conversations” will continue with Lisa Loomis as (her) time allows.
o “Reminding Vermont” a new show on health and wellness under development (Rob) o Doug Bergstein’s Theater show (5 so far) will continue as his time allows.

  • Tony wants public to know they can produce their podcast here at our studios – they can keep audio, and we would air it as a video.

  • Kids Camp: Tony was looking for someone to run this camp. He would provide studio and some technical support, but camp would be run by another.
    We are still working out kinks with Telvue to broadcast live to TV from remote sites.

    New Funding Options

- Keith reviewed some ideas for new funding sources

o Pay one time fee of $3000 per provider to broadcast select programming on over-the-top streaming services (Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV). This would distribute programming to larger audience and allow for more sponsorship revenue. Board skeptical on cost and use of Keith’s time.

o Create a pay window – where non-cable viewers would have to pay to get to content.

o Continue to push for donations with sidebars on website, donate button on the player, messages before and after every video “Brought to you by cable subscribers and donors like you”

(Rob Williams excused himself at 6:48pm)

Update on Public Access TV Threats - Lisa & Keith

§ At 6:50 pm Lisa made motion to go into Executive Session to discuss the lawsuit and possible settlement between Comcast and PA TV. Ned seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

page2image45292480page2image45300160page2image45298432 page2image45299200

-At 6:56 pm Lisa made motion to come out of Executive Session. Ned seconded. Motion passed unanimously. No action taken.

- Update on rule changes by FCC

o Final order is better for PA TV and VAN than earlier draft versions. The worse element (charge back to stations) was removed. Had it passed it would have seriously threatened Public Access TV as we know it.

Petitions for review will be open through Oct 24.

Financial update - Lisa & Keith

  • We reviewed Balance Sheet – cash is up due in part to additional misc. income.

  • We reviewed the Budget to Actual YTD. Everything is on target

o Telvue Care is getting really expensive. They wanted $4700 per year but Keith negotiated them down to $3000 per yr paid up front.

o Telvue Cloud is also pricey, but we prefer it to YouTube in regards to copyright infringement issues. Tony is moving things more rapidly to to save money. Keith negotiated them down to $1000 yr for 4 years

o Overall, the station's yearly Telvue costs will remain the same. - We discussed next year’s budget -

o Keith suggests we consider upping the $300 we transfer monthly from one of our money market accounts to checking to put money aside for big Telvue bills due every four years.

o Tony asked for additional funds to pay shooters. Certain community meetings and events are not budgeted and if no volunteer, they don’t get covered.

Ned will look into a community grant to fund shooters.
- Brief discussion of the Tiny House Event and how that is getting covered.

o Lisa will look into getting a sponsor, and call Bill Maclay for suggestions (AIA and Architect contacts)

Fundraising Update: Keith, Tony, Liz

  • We made $200 on the pop-up event, and $75 at the Farmer’s Market. Will try more pop-ups in the future. Getting the permit requires 30 days in advance. Liz wondered if we could get a bunch of permits and then use only those when weather looks good.

  • Liz shared early version of poster for Nov 22 Benefit Dance Party at the Smokehouse and will edit and refine with Fundraising group

  • Ned offered to join the committee and was welcomed.




- Ned made motion to adjourn. Dan seconded. Motion passed unanimously Meeting was adjourned at 7:26pm