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WBAI LSB Secretary statement

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WBAI Local Station Board Report to the Pacifica National Board
Houston, Texas, June 5, 2004
Presentation by Patty Heffley, Secretary, WBAI LSB

I am Patty Heffley, WBAI LSB Secretary. The Chair Berthold Reimers is very sorry he could not make it his wife went in the hospital and she is sick. The Vice-chair and Treasurer were asked and were not able to attend as well.

This report is information from the Chair and the Treasurer as well as from information made available to the public through the WBAI newsletters and managers reports that sheds light on the current situation and what we face in the future at WBAI.

First you have a basic informational report from the chair in your books as to what the LSB has been doing since its inception. A correction - The attendance grid included is incorrect and does not reflect the actual attendance.

There are four WBAI LSB standing committees that relate to the duties of the LSB as stated in the Bylaws: Finance; Programming; Management Evaluation; and Membership, Outreach and Fundraising. All the committees are meeting regularly except the COI which will be convened next week. The ad-hoc Elections Review Committee submitted reports to the National Committee before ending.

Also included in the report is how some members of the LSB have assisted WBAI in the following ways: Looking for a potential new space for the station, some have developed a phone-bank program to call those who have not fulfilled their pledges and seeking why; assisted the premiums department in obtaining premiums that are long overdue in delivery; launched print campaign with Gore Vidal CD's in the Nation bringing in 400 new Listener members and 14,000 more dollars.

I have passed out a detail of fundraising dates and details that were culled from the WBAI official newsletter. You can see the money raised, dates of drives, the extensions, etc. (see attached WBAI Fundraising details May 2003 - June 2004)

In addition to the printed report, there are two other items I would like to mention:

First, WBAI is just finishing its May fund drive which began May 10th and was extended through today. Despite a week's extension, it has not met its goal of $1.1 Million. It may not meet its adjusted goal of $900K. As of midnight last night the total pledged was $817K. Instead of the goal of $58K a day the average in this last fund drive has been $32,700 a day. This is the fourth consecutive drive that has underachieved by having to be extended for several days in one instance or by not reaching its goal even after extension.

In order to meet the station's budget, interim mini-drives have been necessary. Approximately 81.5 days have been devoted to on-air fundraising or over 20% of the past year. You can see the details on the sheet I handed out.

Listeners are repeatedly told to pledge to save the station and to save people's jobs (layoffs have been threatened and rescinded all year long).

Some LSB members are concerned about the amount of fund-raising on air and whether the current subscriber base is sufficient to cover the station's budget.

On Saturday May 28th there was a special emergency WBAI Finance Committee meeting called by the Executive Director and the CFO to address the poor results of the current fund drive. In addition to the finance committee, in attendance was Ravi Reddy, a financial consultant, the General Manager Don Rojas, the new Development Director, the Program Director, 2 AFTRA shop stewards, and 2 of the Unpaid Staff Organizing Committee stewards.

According to the LSB Treasurer, Paul Surovell, these were the financial solutions announced at the meeting:

Pacifica CFO Lonnie Hicks and consultant Ravi Reddy are developing new guidelines for financial operations at WBAI that will include more management controls, among other things.

The CFO said he has identified $100,000 in non-salary spending cuts, but he gave no specifics.

Pacifica and WBAI management expressed confidence that by extending the Fund Drive through June 5th, $900K could be raised. Again, as of last night it was $817K.

More solutions are as follows.
1) There will be 6 "theme" days of fund-raising in June and July, featuring day-long broadcasts on Health and other issues.

(2) In the same period there will be 6 "Cyber Fund Drives" in which listeners will be asked to go on the website to make pledges and buy premiums.

(That is 12 more days of fundraising in 2 months.Some members of the LSB are worried about donor fatigue.)

(3) The LSB is being asked to raise $100,000 in FYR05 (see budget proposal).

(4) Each LSB member is being asked to contribute individually at least $500.

We are looking for responsible proposals from management. Mostly what has been proposed so far are more fund drives. One thing that doesn't seem to have been addressed is the programming.

It is the view of many members of the LSB that programmatic changes to increase and motivate our listeners need to be considered in addition to the extra fund-raising measures.

There are many more issues to address at the station that have been discovered by members of the Board while doing the committee work and through volunteering at the station. Management has been responsive by answering the questions raised by the members which has been helpul.

Thank You,

Patty Heffley
WBAI Secretary of the LSB.

Attachment: WBAI Fundraising details May 2003 - June 2004 Compiled by Patty Heffley and James Ross

WBAI Fundraising Details May 2003 to June 2004
Presented at Pacifica National Board meeting
on June 5, 2004 by Patty Heffley Secretary, LSB
Data compiled by James Ross and Patty Heffley

Spring 2004 drive
Start: May 10, 2004
Scheduled end: May 28, 2004
Actual end: June 5, 2004
Length; 26 days
Goal: $1.1 million
Actual pledges: as of 5/29/04, $630K. As of 6/2/04, $715K
Pledge rate: $30-32K/day
Fulfillment: ?????
4/5/04 6:00 am-11 pm: Special 1 day Fundraiser: Citizen King
Winter 2004 drive
Start: January 19, 2004
Scheduled end: February 7, 2004
Actual end: February 11, 2004
Length; 24 days
Goal: $1.1 million
Actual pledges: $1.07 million
Pledge rate: $43K/day
Fulfillment: ?????
December 03 Radiothon: (Arts Programming weekend)
Start: 12/12/03
End: 12/14/03
Length: 2.5 days
Goal: $100,000
Actual pledges $35,000 (approximate - not verified)
Fulfillment: ???
November 03 minithon:
Start: November 24, 2003
End: November 26, 2003
Length: 3 days
Actual pledges: $200,000 (approx - not verified)
Fall 2003 drive
Start: October 15,2003
Scheduled end: October 31st, 2003
Actual end: November 3, 2004
Length; 20 days
Goal: $1.2 million
Actual pledges: $800,000
Pledge rate: $40K/day
Fulfillment: was about 62% -- this went up to above 70% as a result of calling delinquent pledgers.
Notes: left pledge room open 4 more days
Start: August 18, 2003
End: August 23, 2003
  Aug. 26: An extra day of special programming!
Length: 7 days
Goal: $300,000
Actual pledges: ?????
Fulfillment: ???
Notes: Premiums remained available on line through Sunday, September 7th.
Spring 2003 drive
Start: May 12, 2003
Scheduled end: May 31, 2003
Actual end: May 31st, 2003
Length: 20 days
Goal: $1.2 million
Actual pledges:$840,000
Notes: loss of estimated $100,000 in pledges due to phone snafu. Due to poor response and phone problems, left premiums on line until June 15, 2003
Data Compiled from WBAI's Official Newsletter and listenerforums.net
by James Ross and Patty Heffley


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