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Pacifica National Finance Committee notes

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These meeting notes are unofficial.
Official PNB minutes posted at pacifica.org

Audio Archive at www.kpftx.org

These notes paraphrase statements made by attendees. Most was done in one listen, so there may be some inaccuracies. To find out the exact words, listen to the audio at www.kpftx.org

- Written by James Ross, wbai.net contributor

Meeting via teleconference


  1. WBAI underbudgeted expenses for office rental.
  2. WBAI has a negative variance of actual spending with respect to budget of $56k for October and November
  3. WBAI is over budget on consultants, under budget on salaries.
  4. Ravi Reddy is back doing something at WBAI
  5. Dave Adelson will make report of 5-6 bullet points re WBAI mentioned last time to PNB
  6. Included will be request re why audit of interdivision transfers of 2002 to present hasn't happened yet.
  7. KPFA is significantly over budget on staffing costs. NFC needs details of who employees are, what they are paid. It is supposed to get this info but doesn't have it yet.
  8. WBAI will include mailing as part of winter fund drive
  9. CFO Hicks provides some long-term thinking in preparation for presentation of a strategic plan at the upcoming PNB meeting. Pacifica's primary supporters are aging. CFO feels new revenue sources need to be found.


-approve minutes -review WBAI finances/budget [oct/nov financials distributed by hicks yesterday] -review of financials


Carol Spooner (PNB, KPFA) Marnie Tattersall (treasurer KPFA LSB) Dave Adelson (PNB, KPFK) Casey McFall (treasurer pro tem, KPFK LSB) Baruti Bediako (treasurer, WBAI LSB) Lonnie Hicks (CFO) LaVarn Williams (KPFA PNB, guest)

adelson needs subst chair for 45 minutes tattersal will be subst chair casey is secy.

adelson: lonnie did not write WBAI memo as asked for later.

tattersall takes over as chair

Approval of 12/28 Minutes

williams: only need to put main points, don't need to put speaker's name. don't need all details. thought we need to revisit 12/28 minutes

spooner : move to table approval minutes till next meeting,

Bediako: second

all agree

Review of WBAI Situation


Review WBAI finance situation. telephone conf call w/Rojas, White, union people, and department heads. Look at transition issues and financials. agreed to have action plan around drive.

major outcomes:

1. Rojas -- go to board to see who is appropriate to participate in transition and to focus on drive. 2. White went thru specifics on managing winter drive. capitalize on MLK b-day. is $1.1 million realistic? do the plans make it feasible. what if you don't reach target?

Mail drop will be added during same time. And an event the "anti-inauguration event" (party) to supplement drive.

WBAI $50K behind as of NOv 30.

"that's the plan"

fulfillment rate still an issue -- need to get $270K from fall drive. devel director (national) involved in this conversation. plan to up fulfillment rate to 80%.

Ravi Reddy will also work on "some other issues re finance and accounting."

union issues -- in negotiation -- don't know what impact will be, cause in the middle of negotiations.

WBAI financials -- revenue against listener support, prefer to be cautious, show up 33k short in listener support, 50K short total

also, underbudgeted on office rental. creates variance in office rental, tower rental. 20K in both areas. So -- need to reduce budget somewhere else to make up for this.

bottom line as of Nov 30 -- shows negative variance of 56K

WBAI "not in trouble now, will need to find 56K in next month or two." best thing would be to go back to see how winter drive is going.

If drive does not meet 1.1 mill goal, there is a recovery aka layoff plan, monies laid aside for that now.

biggest problem re WBAI -- expenses out of line in the area of rent. need to leave the building. Don and Lonnie talking to real estate people to see about breaking lease, sublet, accelerated depreciation, find large donor. This is a 200k/yr problem.

Review of network financials


general simliarities among stations. all have physical plant issues. A has water etc issues, T needs rehab, W lease expires in a year, K cannot reach audiance they need to reach. how to get ADA compliant? expensive?

Also: Pacifica audience aging and older. Don't have replacements for boomers are crucial component of our audience.

archives 12 mill price tag to rehab.

need to address those large dollar issues. they will overwhelm us.

3rd year we are flat on listener revenue 13 million. Not the growth we need to sustain. must find new revenue. Hicks will have plans, recommendations, with a price tag of 10-15 million. At end of yr 2 need 5 million reserve. also to protect against political attacks from the right.

some stations are at 2-3 year windows. they will spend monies whether ready or not.

most dollars come from 50-64 yr olds. They will inherit money from their folks that they wil spend because savings are weak. They will live on a while. some support from latino, minority communties. They are second largest support group after the boomers. But -- we need to have a strategy to have them replace boomers, or rehabilitate other folks (?)

In the end we are driven by demographics. demographics are changing. when boomers retire, what do we do? 15 -year membership data, 15-yr financial data shows that while listener support rises, membership did not. As members grew older, they gave more. avg gift increased (accounted for half of increase in listener support).

Williams: all these issues will go into ED strategic plan?

hicks: yes, this will be part of LA meeting, will propose yr 1 plan.

williams: WBAI -- already over in consultants, under on salaries. What is head count, what were they paid, what the hours are, what the projects are. When can you get us this info so we can really understand what's going on?

Hicks: need to go over it with Baruti. we'll have that report... you want to know... yes that is an issue.

williams: wants to see age range data, etc. need to spend ADA funds to keep those people around. is rental/office part of transition team?

hicks: try to set up meeting with silverstein to renegotiate lease?

williams: are there WBAI supporters with real estate expertise?

hicks: rojas says yes, hicks asks for meeting with them.

williams knows attorney in this area in NY.

mcfall: when can we expect breakdown of consultant cost.

hicks: 2 weeks

mcfall: assumes that any consultant would be based on a procurement procedure. seems that that stuff would be pulled together fairly quickly

hicks: will have a look and get a report

mcfall: are you using a non-profit prcurement policy.

hicks: not necessarily

mcfall: have to be in keeping with OMB requirments for non profits no 122

bediako: if you have federal dollars then OMB requirements come into play

hicks: traditional organization wide audit requirements not called for at Pacifica, say our auditors. we don't get traditional federal grants.

mcfall: ADA compliance - has anyone looked into money available

hicks: even ADA requirements take 60 pages. a big commitment. need to assemble that group to learn what can we do, what can we afford. very time consuming.

tattersall: how is budget for WBAI rent so low?

hicks: rent increase kicked in late, common sizing costs. is it a one time assessment or what? still rent is so high.

spooner: given underbudgeting for wbai rental expense do we need to revise budget? since it is substantial. need to be on top of WBAI thing. moving won't happen right away. recalls that building current wbai space cost 300k.

hicks: absolutely. need to adjust other stations as well

spooner: recommend that NFC propose revisions to bring to board for march meeting.

hicks: for WBAI, look at on-air capital campaign. maybe in april, need to kick off capital endowment campaign, look for 500K. acquisition mailings (not in house lists) can be effective. we raised 500K last year doing that, net 325K. could be a companion to on air campaign. we need to move. large dollar efforts.

mcfall: asks for clarity re WBAI budget adjustment. how will it work.

hicks: all can propose budgets. hicks will compile it.

spooner: annual budget approved by NFC and recommended to PNB. thinks that NFC should recommend adjustments recommend to PNB.

bediako: need to know what the number is. what the goal is. where the problems are. hicks needs to tell me.

hicks: will get transition team meeting 3rd or 4th week in January and what the procedures would be toward goals. more people involved the better.

tattersall: doesnt like word rebudgeting, prefers "forecast". "forecast" could b e approved. or not. knows through conversations with lonnie that he likes that word too. re finding space - can find former studios that don't require re building.

hicks: in 20 days, will get the real estate team together.

williams: if there is a fundamental change, need to do a budget update. not just a forecast. also if wbai fundraising not meet goal, do budget update.

tattersall: is reforecasting right now. it means change the budget.

hicks: has another call.

spoooner: review of november financials is on the agenda. re nov cash flows at WBAI - (refers to a document) looks like a projection to where they would be, and where they actually are. is that correct?

hicks: could be unexpected bill will impact cash flow. WBAI costs have variability the other stations don't have.

spooner: seems that under tight stresses of WBAI. need to construct 3 month projection that is as accurate as possible.

hicks: would need to make assumptions. will they get 1.1 mill or not?

spooner: then make two projections

hicks: one thing is to create a reserve on cash.

hicks: has to get off call, another call re sdc training. hangs up.

tattersall: what to do now can do november financials

spooner: one comment - hicks in his notes points out that KPFA is over budget on salaries to the point it needs to be investigated. as per PNB policy NFC is to get monthly report on head count, position, etc. recommend that KPFA finance committee review that so this will be understood and known.

tattersall: this is appropriate.

williams: report is already produced. already available. that's what we want to see. this report needs to be distributed to us.

tattersall: has that happened?

spooner/williams: no

tattersall: need to compare with budget.

williams: this is something we have tried to get from the very start. each station would need to see this.

spooner: we just got national finance report yesterday, people haven't had time to look them over, maybe just schedule next meeting. usually 4th friday of the month.

tattersall: 1/28 at 12:30 pacifica time

adelson (back on call): what about the five, six - bullet point report to PNB re WBAI [discussed in previous NFC meeting]? what happened?

spooner: nothing. didn't discuss it.

spooner: did not discuss november financials cause lonnie got off the call.

adelson: maybe wait to schedule meeting cause will get new members.

spooner: prefer for continuity to schedule meeting.

no objection to 1/28 at 12:30

adelson: would like a motion to bring forward a report to PNB of bullet points from last finance cte meeting. Hicks did not draft report.

spooner: makes such a motion.

tattersall: second

no objection we have four votes.

spooner: ask to include in report. ask why interdivision audit that PNB approved did not occur and what needs to be done to make it occur.

adelson: handling of it done by audit committee.

spooner: very concerned. why is it not carried out, tho board directed it.

no objection to spooner motion.

tattersall: on audit committee, knows that "nothing came back" on that issue.

spooner: wants to thank adelson, williams esp. for hard and diligent work. this is her goodbye. wishes all a good year.

all thank carol.


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