Board Meeting Minutes – 9/13/18


Date and Time: Present:

Present by Proxy: Location:

Thursday, 9-13-18 @ 5:35pm
Keith Berkelhamer, Dan Eckstein , John Daniell, Ian Sweet,
Tony Italiano, Lisa Loomis, Liz Levey, Roger Nishi
, Rob Williams Brian Shupe, Ilse Sigmund
Mad River Valley Television offices, Waitsfield VT


Welcome/Additions, changes to Agenda- Lisa opened the meeting @ 5:35pm

o One change to agenda. Susan Klein unable to attend, so segment on rotary will be postponed.

Public Forum
- No public present

Approval of minutes of 5/3/18 board meeting
- Liz made motion to accept the minutes as written, Rob seconded. Motion passed


Directors Report: Keith

  • See attached

  • Keith provided updates on social media and website data

o Youtube: starting in July our views skyrocketed and subscribers grew exponentially. 2000 subscribers, over 3.3M minutes watched. We have a 97% approval rating. Web cam drives these numbers. 4th of July popular as well.

o Facebook: Like campaign going well. People are clicking to our website form FB. Keith recommends we continue investing $2 a day into FB like campaign.

o Website: 69 page views a day. School Brd meetings are the most popular.

o Instagram, Twitter, Newsletter holding on- Keith provided update on new revenue streams

o Live Streaming: we live streamed meeting for MRG, next will be a weekly show which would be produced by MRG and live stream to MRG, YouTube, MRVTV.


Rate for live streaming is $85hr. We may need to raise these rates in future – to be watched. $75 is what ORCA charges.

o Sponsorships: surpassed budget by $754. ($1000 vs $1754).
o Production Services: have made $450 so far this year. Coming up – Chamber

Project “Mad Reality” – short films about Valley businesses.

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

    o Project came in $8000 under budget despite some distinct challenges. Big thank you to Waitsfield Telecom for supporting this conversion

  • Board expressed interest in telling this (success) story. We are the #1 public access TV station in VT based on YouTube subscribers.

    o Lisa and Rob to work up a PR – for 7-Days or VT Digger release.

    Program/Technical Update: Tony

  • Studio has new curtains and improved lighting. What a difference!

  • New calendar is going well

  • – this is free for the public cloud storage area. As we run out of room on Telvue Tony is moving older material over to

  • We almost are at capacity. Been busy – more shows like “Gardening” and “Today lights tomorrow”

  • Encoder problem is now solved – special thanks to Waitsfield Cable.

    Sponsorship Leads Discussion: All

  • Keith still needs help reaching out to different community members.

  • Noted that we should host a chamber mixer to assist

  • School Brd meetings are very popular and a great spot for sponsor with local business interests (Bourne’s Energy, Insurance, etc.)

  • Board members to review list again and see how to help.

    YouTube Monetization Discussion: Lisa, Keith & Tony

- Keith applied for monetization and MRVTV was accepted so we have that option.

  • YouTube will play an ad of their choosing before videos of our choosing. Ads are somewhat catered to user – and in Keith’s experience all ads have been in good taste.

  • We are currently only allowing videos to be played before the live webcam, which represents most of our views.

  • Board to monitor $$ earned and consider whether we continue to allow ads in front of the live webcam. Based on current tracking, we would earn approximately $200 in a year.

    Waitsfield Cable Update: Roger

  • Roger reported that cable subscribers are fewer, but YTD income was stronger than anticipated.

  • Board discussed ways we can better frame the importance of Waitsfield Cable to MRVTV (we would not be here without them!)

  • Town of Waitsfield live feed – Waitsfield doesn’t have enough bandwidth for live streaming via WiFi, especially when meeting participants are using the Wi-Fi too. Roger suggested the Town have dedicated modem to stream with. Roger will help us get a hard wired connection to broadcast select board meetings live in Waitsfield as well as Warren since both have fiber. Fayston does not have fiber but Harwood now has it.

    Financial update - Lisa & Keith

- We reviewed the Budget to Actual YTD

o Cable grant ahead of expectations.
o Sponsorships and Memberships (-8200) - Nothing listed under actuals at this

point since $$ from towns are not expected until the end of the year.

o Money from reserves $31k was pulled from reserves for HD equipment. Budget was $44,000 and actual $31k spent is reflected in the balance sheet, not as an actual.

o Advertising – cutting out Front Porch Forum – what they charge businesses is too much. Better to post as individuals (free!)

o Hourly labor over due to unemployment claim and extra labor needed to fill in for Tony while he was on vacation.

o Dues and Fees – VAN would like for us to contribute to legal fund to fight Comcast. This was not budgeted. If, as we approach year end, we have extra – Executive committee will make recommendation. Considering $500

o Office over due to Crowdfunding costs

o DVDs and Taps are under – Tony doesn’t really need these anymore so we will reallocate these funds to another line item for next year’s budget.

  • Roger asked that Deb be sure that “capital expenses” make it onto the Balance Sheet (line 125)

  • Board discussed lack of COL increase for employees in the budget, and there had not been one since August 2017. COL 12 month change calculated at 2%

    o Rob made a motion to provide a cost of living increase to employees at +2%, to be calculated retroactively to January 1st, and to revisit possibility of staff bonuses in 2019. Ian seconded. Motion passed unanimously

    Fundraising Event Update: Keith, Tony, Liz & Rob

  • Benefit Bake Nov 2 - we will proceed with this bake date – and use it as a way to also promote Nov 16 party

  • Nov 16 Benefit Party – Local Folk Smokehouse – Start 8pm

o Venue and Live performers are lined up. Fundraising committee will pull

together marketing and plan for the night.

o Board members should plan on coming for some – share the love!– volunteers will be needed on the night of. We will do a 50/50 raffle. Committee playing with other night of “boosters”

Other Business

Brief discussion on Sugarhouse Soundworks and viability of partnering with them to create programming (live broadcast of music even at studio) or raise funds.


- Rob made motion to adjourn. Liz seconded. Motion passed unanimouslyMeeting was adjourned at 7:45pm