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Pacifica National Finance Committee (NFC) meeting 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 at the meeting (almost three hours). 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


-Martin elected committee chair
-Action items included in committee report
-a packet is "going out the door this afternoon" containing information that complies with PNB's 12/20 transparency resolutions.
-according to CFO Hicks, 2 big problems that management has with these resolutions are 1) that salary information is sensitive and 2) publication of local data before it goes to the national office.
-according to McFall, boards that lack a necessary level of comfort with management want to see this kind of information. There is debate between Williams and Roberts as to how necessary it is for the board to have it.
-KPFT drives lagging, KPFA a little behind, KPFK doing well, has a surplus, WPFW doing well
-WBAI made $1.082 million in winter drive.
-KPFA piloted a telemarketing program aimed at lapsed subscribers that will be "marketed" around the network. -apparently the CFO has adjusted budget numbers without PNB approval. Much disagreement to this practice.
-Continued concern from Adelson regarding how the National Office income and expense statement reflects the lack of hiring of a national PD or HR person, which were budgeted for.


-roll call
-chair election
-approval of minutes
-review of management response to PNB 12/20 transparency resolutions, and discuss mtg 3/11 betw NFC and management. (Adelson: had talked that Hicks/coughlin -would supply info on this)
-station treasurers reports
-cfo report
-review of memo from lonnie re national salary info
-review of january financials
-review of proposed budget adjustments
-schedule next meeting

Roll call

Adelson (PNB, KPFK) present
Bediako (treasurer, WBAI LSB) present
Heffley (PNB, WBAI) present
Martin (PNB, KPFT) present
McFall (treasurer, KPFK LSB) present
Roberts (PNB, WPFW) present
Tattersall (treasurer, KPFA LSB) present
Gatewood (treasurer, WPFW LSB) present
Weinmann (treasurer, KPFT LSB) present
Williams (PNB, KPFA) present
Hicks (CFO) present
Coughlin (ED) present (not a member of the committee)

Election of Committee Chair

Martin is elected to new chair

Martin: thanks adelson for service as interim chair. and mcfall for minutes. has plans to do sutff together with roberts.

Approval of Agenda

williams : please move discussion re 3/11 meeting up on the agenda .


mcfall: 3- 5 min to discuss committee process

martin: put after minutes approval

gateweood: do we have January financials -- can't find them

martin: me neither. lonnie?

hicks: sent it to net finance?

heffley, adelson, others reply that no one has seen them

martin: can you send them out now?

hicks: yes.

adelson: budget discussed on PNB call. that HR director hiring is delayed.

martinL: this is in proposed budget adjustments, also CFO report

proposed agenda adopted.


Approval of Minutes

martin: 2/18/05 minutes -- any objection? (no) they are approved

martin: 2/4/05?

mcfall: this date is only partial

martin: let's defer 2/4/05.

mcfall: 1/11/05 minutes not approved but were circulated

martin: any objection to apporval to these minutes? (no) these minutes are approved.

mcfall: motion was passed to table approval of 12/28/04 minutes - these never approved

martin: let's get together on that (to mcfall).


Administrative items

mcfall: all seem to agree that action items chart is helpful to stay on task. hope to add regular agenda item to review action items. want to keep action items chart as part of official record.

martin: make this a motion. that we keep the action items chart, be permanent agenda item. and include it with our official minutes as part of our record.

hicks: can we calendarize items for future meetings?

martin: would be part of the action items.

hicks: wants to include goals for the committee. has budgetary implications.

martin: good idea. any objections to mcfall motion? (no) motion adopted.

martin: re lonnie's comment -- propose two subcommittees -- performance evaluation and budget prioritization. One works on upcoming budget, the second sees how the current budget is being met.

adelson: is the intention that some of this business would get done on other phone calls -- would they be subject to streaming, etc. why more efficient?

martin: they would be working groups, not subject to streaming. all issues would be of course up for discussion in NFC meetings. want to remove burden of a lot of meetings if we can get things done in working groups. more frequent, shorter meetings.

hicks: speaks in favor of martin's idea. one example would be to get help on real estate in NY. looking at fundraising, capital campaign, etc. beyond expertise of a single person.

gatewood: martin's subcommittees sound a little different from hicks' idea. why don't we hold these ideas in our mind and deal with it at a later meeting. maybe we need different groups.

martin: will make a written description, and we can take it up the next meeting. (no objection)

Review of PNB Transparency Motions and discussion of 3/11 phone meeting between NFC and management

adelson: on last call hicks said we would be getting memo on what was available. got memo from coughlin that said he would be getting this stuff today. wants clarity on which of these subjects are for further discussion.


coughlin: hope there would be positive discussion (on 3/11) betw board and staff on issues (?) re release of information. staff are concerned about private personnel info. as i indicated, we are working diligently to provide you all with as much info as possible. this info will be out the odoor this afternoon.

adelson: go one by one: policy on unbudgeted inter-unit transfers. have there been any?

coughlin: not that i'm aware of.

mcfall: reports should be provided. all the PNB needs is a one-sentence report "there were no unbudgeted inter-unit transfers in month x."

coughlin: sounds wonderful

hicks: this will be incorporated into report. what is going out the door is:

coughlin: does not have info in front of him.

adelson: monthly memsys on air fundraising report?

coughlin: we are getting you memsys reports. a whole variety. yes.

adleson: specified amount of days, amount pledged, fulfillment rate

martin: is this part of what's going out the door today?

coughlin: we are getting as much memsys info out as possible. hope it meets all the particulars -- but can't guarantee it. all reports may not go back 5 quarters.

adelson: monthly report from GM on number of active members at each station (subscribers and volunteers).

coughlin: not a finance issue. but it is being provided as best as possible. this is going to all directors.

adelson: provison of monthly income statements to local finance committee.

hicks: this one needs more discussion - income reports are not complete. cash and capital are not part of local reports. suggests that current system should be workable.

adelson: monthly reporting on headcount and salary expenditures from business managers. W-2s and 1099s.

coughlin: this info is going out to full PNB this afternoon. this is not a call for business managers.

martin: will you ensure that all understand that this is confidential info.

coughlin: has repeatedly reminded boards, etc, the potential danger of confidential info. need a policy for release of personnel and confidential info. no PNB policy/safeguards re confidential info. very important for him as ED that NFC and PNB receive all info in interests of full transparency to ensure that Pacifica's new deomcratic structure works.

williams: does national staff have a form that they sign regarding confidential info? if so that could be worked into PNB policy perhaps.

coughlin: great, i'll send it out with this other stuff.

martin: what we have at KPFT is aconfidentiality and indemnity agreement which I drafted. will send copy. effective at keeping things confidential.

hicks: might be useful if we could send along attorney's opinion.

williams: can you pass along info on costs of attorney?

adelson: re providing local financial to finance committees straight from station. the idea was that local finance committees could have access to preliminary info. so that meetings go a little more efficiently. what are the issues aroung this point?

hicks: let's do this discussion on the 3/11.

adelson: OK

martin: lonnie, can you outline major issues for 3/11 discussion in bullet point fashion

hicks: financial data around salaries is sensitive. last year we established guidelines, etc. may need to do the same thing. that and the issue of getting local finances before they go to national. these are the only two big issues.

roberts: last time we went thru salary info, used secure website, released to LSBs in range of plus or minus $3000. last year there predictions of armageddon, but it didn't happen. why not just update salary info, use same release procedures as before.

hicks: that's the point. last time we did due diligence. last time names not requested w/salaries, this time they are being requested.

williams: what we are talking about the salaries for each month, and then compare to the number on the income statement. this is analysis. not cursory information. analysis is necessary to understand. payroll report should match income statement. this is our respoinsiblity.

roberts: don't agree. last year when salaries were released, we knew who got paid and how much.

williams: this is not correct. you cannot look at that report and add up all the salaries.

roberts: the confusion last year is that we didn't know who was paid and how many there were. to get monthly expenditures, need to ... release of annual compensation allowed us to track salaries. now you are saying you want monthly data. I don't want to get to detail of hourly information of every person of every month.

williams: how can you determine if there are phantom employees is you don't see payroll report? my position is that there is a payroll report, and that's what we want to see. as an analyst for over 20 yrs, this is a typical report issued monthly. this level of info is necessary.

roberts: this is not a standard part of all reports. this is greater level of detail than asked for in the past.

adelson: PNB resolved that this would happen. if we decide that we don't need this, we can advise PNB. but we do not have power to reverse decision of PNB.

hicks: intent of that motion was that the implementation process be looked at (randhawa motion?). manager should do the monthly level of analysis, not the board. board member does not do that level of work. board member wants indicators, not all names and hours. don't think it's a forgone conclusion that all organzations have board members go through this level of detail.

mcfall: works with non-profits and board for a living. this Q often comes up. it is usual that board has access to this info, though they don't always go through it. this kind of board-management division of labor of who does what, etc., is dependent upon level of communication, openness and comfort that all feel they are getting good and true info. once comfort exists, board often relaxes. but we are not at this point. i have not got a single yes or no answer for anything at these meetings. once we get the info we need, comfort level may improve.

hicks: that's true. should be our goal, to reach comfort level, so that we don't have to do this every month. it is burdensome.

mcfall: i don't have any idea how long it will take. it will take longer if we don't get info.

coughlin: we will try to reach that comfort level. also need to work with staff and unions so that they reach comfort level as well. within factionalized Pacifica ambiance, trust doesn't exist. people need to understand that info will not be misused.

mcfall: agreed. but the fact is that this kind of info is legally available to boards. you cannot deny it to a board because you feel uncomfortable about how they are going to use it.

adelson: re randhawa motion re review of 12/20 motions. the intent was to revist issue in June 05, not to delay implementation.

hicks: there is not an intent to withhold info. we want to move forward. a lot of info is going out today. it is incumbent upon us to let you know the risks and attorney's opionions

williams: law says directors have access to this info. as to effort that goes in -- there is a payroll report that goes to national office, that should probably be what we are looking for. it is already there, I believe. I believe that all PNB members understand their fiduciary responsibilities and Pacifica mission, want Pacifica to be successful. does not believe baleful consequences the ED alludes to will come to pass. PNB knows how to use info

roberts: has concerns about 12/20 resolutions. they dip too far down to GMs, etc. doesn't see need to go to that level of detail. still need to ensure that financial reporting is timely, has 3 different budgets, once to get that resolved. doesn't want to get so caught up in details that we lose focus on larger issues.

martin: info is being sent from management. info is going out the door, dan?

coughlin: yes will include attorney opinion and staff confidentiality aggreement. by mail. will include martin's confidentiality agreement.

Treasurers' reports


Weinmann: oct drive came in short. Jan position statement showed 50K shortfall projected over year. unexpencted expenses for board meetings, satellite download, t-shirts.

recent drive - goal was 360K and 1000 new members revised down to ??? but we got 280K and 900 new members.

now annual shortage projection is 150K (by CFO); some fixes offered. Weinmann feels shortage is worse. funding lags listenership. 3 yrs ago, arbs showed KPFT at 170K listeners, summer 04 showed below 100K for first time in six yrs. listener loss is a key issue in terms of decreased funding.

believes annual shortage will be 200K w/o any intervention.

GM offered fixes -- extend drives to 21 days from 16, extend 1 wk drive to 2 weeks. this will need to be done.

martin: major meeting next wed on this

weinmann: yes, talk to development, GM. long series of bad programminsg decisions has led us to this point.

(end of hour one)

roberts: a forum : kpft -- too white? is there as sense that you need to expand to african-american and hispanic communities?

weinmann: lot of push in those communities to bring listeners in. given houston demographics this is necessary. but it comes back to programming. listenership v funding there is a lag. funding follows listenership. our listener loss is continuing.

adelson: this points out the need for both listenership and subscribership. it would be great to get info of subscribers at each pledge level. Weinmann point about lag is important. takes 2-3 yrs to go from listener to subscriber. also what is fulfillment rate? do you have an estimate for renewed subscribers. at KPFK 50% of subscribers turn over every year.

weinmann: think it's 55% at KPFT. fulfillment rate (FR) is close to 80% (78%). this is an excellent number compared to the history. fulfillment rising.

adelson: fulfillment at KPFK is at 85%. does ED have plans to help KPFT to increase FR.

coughlin: thinks KPFT FR is close to 83-85%. There are initiatives at WBAI to up FR there, including phone banks.

martin: any objection to a motion for KPFT to provide NFC to with its contingency plan for expected shortfall?

adelson: second. want to get into budget adjustment policy. how are changes approved, implements?

Martin: doesn't necessarily mean budget adjustments. wants a written plan from KPFT.

hicks: wants to participate in this

martin: good. wants to tell LSB we need to come up contingency plan. (no objection)

bediako: WBAI report.

winter goal 1.1 million got 1.082 million. doesn't have # of days. we recognize that we are spending too uyc time on on-air fundraising. trying to come up with ways to supplement on-air fundraising.

trying to get plan to up FR, now 75-78%.

mcfall: ossie davis requested donations to station. are they counted as part of winter drive total?

bediako: will try to find out.

mcfall: should be on check.

roberts: memo from surovell. said past drive was 26 days. last year when we adopted compromise budget, we were given assurances those days would go down. they have not. concerned. also mentioned ongoing discussion of programmers being antagonized, not being on station (null??). is there any donor rebellion?

bediako: the number of days has been an ongoing discussion. (something about the programming changes, which were recent).

roberts: to ED and CFO -- what efforts is nat dev dir (osegueda) doing at WBAI and KPFT.

coughlin: piloted telemarketing program at KPFA, aimed at lapsed members - successful, marketed around network. also aquisition mailing is successful, will be launched at local station, incl. WBAI. Osegueda is working with people at WBAI.

heffley: re ossie davis: most checks are sent to to post office box. but ossie davis checks to be sent to WBAI, attn Bernard white. should be able to differentiate OD money from regular drive.

gary null was terminated, raised lots in past. there is a grievance. we have lost someone who could raise 20-30K a day by himself.

bediako: there is dispute about how much null had been raising in recent drives.

heffley: then that means don't have proper records. Q for coughlin: what is the percentage commission on telemarketing program?

couglin: don't know.

tattersall: not a commission, it's an hourly fee. looks like it was 36% of what they were raising.

heffley: acquisition mailing -- are the costs for the mailings in the station and national office?

coughlin: they tend to be, yes. not sure if it's in WBAI's budget. if not, we will make whatever changes need to be made, it will have a positive effect on bottom line.

heffley: on move -- Steve Bernhaut (in real estate) did workup on move, and said it was not cost-effective to move. could NFC see this? may not want to rely on this alone.

martin: will work with bediako to get this out.

heffley: we did 28 days fundraising this year in the winter drive.

Gatewood: WPFW report -- is new, has nothing to report yet, since she has not met w/ finance committee.

martin: let's defer that report.

Tattersall: KPFA report -- for first quarter. total incom $1.243 mill, budget was $1.416 mill, so we are under budget. but only 50K from prior year. big problem area is salary and related expense line. 25K higher than budget, 65K higher than previous yr. total expense are 48K higher than budgeted.

but Jan was a good month -- revenues 150K better than budget. so total income 22K off budget. we did have a good drive -- greater than 1 million in 16 days. telemarketeing program netted 36K. cost was 26% of total. 36K out of original 57K of original commitments.

GM has been looking at salary lines. salary lines were made previous business mgr, who was part-time. new business manager full time is now hired. exit payments to interim GM also contribute to salary overages.

GM is looking at cutting salaries. dev dir looking at increasing donations.

roberts: when telemarketing is listed as in report, is it a net, or is it a gross, and expenses are listed someplace else?

tattersall: don't know.

roberts: which do you favor?

tattersall: to report net. telemarketing was not budgeted. this would increase expenses by 19K.

roberts: will be interested to see recommendations on how to do this, since it will be done elsewhere.

martin: will you make this evaluation iin next 30 days?

tattersall: yes, i think so.

williams: good report. we have a good reporting process. revenue down on craft fair. interesting to hear that variance in salary was caused by iGM (Jim Bennett) as that was the same explanation cited by CFO last meeting for variance in national salaries. need to understand this. where was iGM's salary?

tattersall: at KPFA.

williams: need memsys report to understand low revenue in december.

tattersall: has seen no memsys reports to date. sure that will change as PNB resolutions get implemented.

mcfall: KPFK. she is new. still no meeting of finance committee, or with station mgmt. should happen soon (on 15th). so has nothing to report. drive went over goal.

adelson: our goal was 950K, did $1.034 mill in 13 days. fall drive was over by 50-60K. have a surplus of approx 127K in listener income. not sure about other lines. but we should have more money than we thought. want to deal with budget process. priorties were training and newsdept. recently hired news co-directors, so can no longer afford 2 half-time reporters.

last year we labeled these as priorities. now want specifics in deciding how to do it.

Growth of listenership and subsribers. have around 24000 subscribers.


CFO Report


1. how is network at Jan network is doing. surprised you didn't get report.

adelson: best to upload it as a file

hicks: explains how report (pacifica consolidated income statement) is done. have YTD compare to budget. also do a forecast of months remaining. can be tricky.

adelson: what is the first section called?

mcfall: doesn't have it, since it was emailed during the meeting. hopes in the future they are sent sooner.

bediako: suggest that it is not time efficient to spend time on this now, since we have not had time to look at it.

martin: suggest that we do an abbreviated report.

gatewood: no objection, but would like answer to adelson question.

(no objection to martin suggestion).

adelson: wants to know what the first section represents in this report.

hicks: total national, consolidated, everything.

Hicks: abbreviated report. sometimes jan report is misleading. eg income shows positive variance, but projection shows we are negative of 100K by end of FY.

by september will have spent slaries by 62K. administrative underspend by 160K (projection) development overspent by 167K. bottom line, network would be close to goal of 1 month cushion.

but one bad drive can change that scenario.

KPFA has work to do to lower salaries may llok at extra drive days. KPFK looks fine has a 54K surlpus by FY end KPFT still has to problem solve. assuming extra days done for KPFT, could bring negative variance down to 25K

weinmann: what is dollar/day projection for those extra days?

hicks: 15K/extra day.

weinmann: concerned about diminishing returns.

hicks: WBAI -- negative 54K short of one month surpus they will need. thinks they can make it up. WPFW-- looking great. does a good job managing finances. nat office: doing lots of mail drops -- raised 1/2 million. needs a little more than a one month surplus. archives: think they will make their budget and a little more. had a successful on air drive.

Which budget are we working with? budget passed 10/04 had provisos re WBAI, national office hiring, etc., not sure about one-month surplus.

so we went back to add those provisos, added one-month surpluses to all stations. this went out to finance on 11/11 (not sent back to PNB).

suggest that we look at six-month adjustments, re-forecast budget for last six months. has been talking to station people about doing this. will bring it back to this committee in 2 weeks.

otherwise we have a budget that is out of date.

martin: lonnie, can you and I work together on getting your info out quicker.

tattersall: re reforecasting budget -- supports idea. however, the original budget is still the one, then have another column for new forecast. any other way is not appropriate.

current budget says national office revenue is 885K, but website budget is 720K. bothers me. what forecasting happens is a new column. do not omit original budget. website budget has no date.

hicks: the one on the website is a proposed budget. Was not voted by PNB. PNB budget was the one I sent out.

martin: why is the other one the website?

hicks: there was never an official final budget.

martin: what's that mean?

hicks: when PNB passed a budget it had a proviso. they were to be incorporated. they were by me on 11/11. but this was not sent back to PNB for final approval. offical budget has to be the one by the PNB. the provisos were to be reviewed and finally approved.

roberts: want reports in timely fashion. has three budgets in front of him. 5/30/04 is on website. 2nd budget is place before PNB on 10/04 is dated 9/3/04. most recent budget is dated 2/3/05. compared budgets 2 and 3. budget 2 had a budget that was rejected (WBAI). new budget (compromise) reduces revenue w/o cutting staff to balance budget. also minor shifts in allocation of expenses. agreed not to fund natl PD till at least march. take this salary went to a legal contingency instead. but there are significant differences between budgets 2 and budget 3 that I don't remember. Can you clarify? on KPFA, maintain same budget, KPFK change project to make more, attributable to CPB, bottom line is that they have 40K more in excess than we passed, KPFT, nothing changes. 1 mo operating was included. WBAI, new budget shows a reduction in income by 55K, but on expense side shows 110K increase in salaries, 70K reduction in administraitive, 36K reduction in progmamming, 53K reduciton in development, still shoing 299K as surplus, which is still 1-month operating. previous budget showed surplus of 318K. WPFW increased projections of income by 16K, increase in salaries by 8K. Still within 1-month operating.

why were adjustments made? clearly not to get one-month operation cost surplus.

national office project 20K more in revenue. 116 less in salary expense, surplus is 70K more than passed in october. still has one month surplus.

archives, 14K more than expected.

bottom line, only siginfincant contingency was WBAI, which does not explain why budget you are using is different from the one passed. everyone had 1-month surplus in budget that was passed.

(end of hour two)

roberts: must be a reason that the budget change, cannot be the one-month. agree with tattersall that we should not change the base figures.

Martin: why don't we have columns that reflect original budget.

hicks: this is the format we are working with, but I can put original in, no problem. in the original budget I have, each station did not have a one month reserve.

roberts: 9/3/04 budget has one-month

hicks: 9/3/04 was actually made later.

roberts: budget I had at 10/04 mtg had one-month surplus for everyone.

hicks: each budget I brought forward did not have the one month surplus. the budget at 10/04 did not have it.

roberts. do you believe they now have one month?

hicks yes.

roberts: well the one we passed in october was significantly the same.

hicks: 10/04 budget was first attempt at one month.

martin: is there any objection to our presentation that includes the orig budget and adds addl colums columns to show variance from orig budget

hicks: good idea. it wil be helpful

roberts: what is the baseline budget?

martin: will work with roberts to figure this out.

hicks: has budget dated 11/11

roberts: can you send that to us.

adelson: is this archived on NFC list?

martin: please send it agin

williams: share's tattersall concern. the budget is the budget. need to budget upcate in first quarter. will send her lastest budget

hicks: likes including orig v revised budget. must agree that PNB must approve official budget.

roberts: PNB's budget of 10/04 -- is the official one.

adelson: what the PNB passed is the official budget.

adelson: 10/04 resolution directs NFC to revisit the budget re WBAI by 11/15. asks that PNB revist natl programming issue by 12/3. asked NFC to track these items. no suggestion that there was a floating budget approval process.

hicks: budget sent out 11/11 that was worked to make each station get have the one-month.

adelson: it is toroubling that this budget was not approved by PNB.

coughlin: need to resovle the problem, not to exacerbate it. lonnie has a paper trail.

adelson: solution is revision history on every document. also have concerns re hiring of natl HR director.

martin: we nee to get this answered -- lonnie, please ID the budget you think is the real one. also mark, lonnie, whoever else, let's get together, ID what the actual budget is.

hicks: that is fair.

williams: wants to be involved.

adelson: understands natl HR director got moved to June. also PD director to "hit the books" in Jan, you said. is this salary is being paid? where is it being spent? general Q about policy -- as long an individual budget line is managed w/in that number, is that OK? how are changes tracked? what is policy re doing something delaying an HR hire?

coughlin: natl PD -- PNB said not to hire.

adelson: hicks says he "has it hitting the books" in January. which I understand to mean that its in the budget as of january.

hicks: its in the budget but not in expense.

adelson: so where does the money go that was to go to natl PD?

coughlin: there are so many factors that can come into play re salaries -- leave, etc. the specificity is had to give a clear answer.

adelson: I'm interested in this specific instance. delay of HR director was based on financial constraints. plus there is the national PD position unfilled but still in budget. this says to me that expenses are out of line by 10K p[er mo bertw Jan and June.

coughlin: we'll give you the detail, that might answer your question.

adelson: ok I give up, i think i made my point.

mcfall: my concern is marnie's -- the phrase "our new budget" concerns me. the budget that was passed is the budget. the PNB may have been in error in passing a budget with contingencies. staff should follow budget PNB passed. approved budget needs to be put on website, and other one is taken down.

martin: posting actual passed budget on website will be an action item.

mcfall: so there is nobody on this call, including the CFO, that knows what the actual budget is?

adelson: I think roberts, hicks and I know.

martin: don't want to rehash this issue. we will ID correct budget.

roberts: there are significant differences betw current budget and wha was passed in 10/04 beyond full salary for two people

mcfall: when budgets adjsutmens are made, should be brought to NFC and then to PNB. if that did not happen, then the real budget is the one passed in 10/04.

roberts: 10/04 budget was approved based on a hard copy, from which the PNB accepted, but asked for three sepecifc changes. hicks was to come back with a new document that incorporated those three changes.

mcfall: did those three changes have specific numbers?

roberts: yes

hicks: i remember, as CFO, i have standing proviso that each station one month.

coughlin: when calls get longer we get less sharp.

martin: thinkn we have plan to deal with this issue, can we move on.

gatewood: you mentioned a mid-year audit. have concerns. what is cost, what is value. you mentioned getting a head start on annual audit.

hicks: was responding to concerns re expense items from NFC. offering to do an early audit may ally fears and build trust. audit would cost by 10-15K, done by 5/1. put it out as a suggestion. may not increase cost, cause 6 mos would be taken away from next yrs.

adelson: i don't distrust -- no need for midyear audit. need it in timely fashion. what i need is to be able to ask questions re inside of budget lines. like how do we figure out on particular initiatives.

martin: let's stay on subject.

williams: on the audit issue. Warren (director) said 04 audit had not been finally signed off on. she is on audit cte would not approve mid-yr audit.

coughlin: want to discuss big picture financial items that face foundation. need support, expertise of NFC on these issues. 1) our reserves. need to build up cushion at each station and NO. 2) capital needs a) deferred capital needs b) future needs digitizing, etc. 3) flat audience growth, flat listener revenue growth since last yr and 1/2.

old media outlets are subject to flattening audience and revenue. will hurt us unless we take steps to develop strategy.

roberts: agree with dan, Pacifca shortcoming is not to see forest for trees. feel we may never get to this. don't want to get bogged down in details. Re trust, I have trust in you rabilities. need to get base budget. don't want to spend 2 mos down the line talking about which budget is the real one, etc. we have serious issues.

martin: i agree.

hicks: thinks roberts comment is great.

adelson: at station are boxes w/ computer servers, delighted that national office sent out computers for this. supposed to be for remote studios. where did they come from in the budget?

hicks: stations asked for more equipment, so national office purchased them under a 5-yr contracts out of central services, under "other programming" line in budget.

adelson: what is budget process for surpluses? how do you interact w/ stations in terms of their spending w/in budget?

hicks: we need to get clear around these issues -- surpluses, budget management. need to discuss how to use surplus funds. NFC should begin policy discussion.

adelson: what is the policy now?

hicks: there is none. stations tend to consider that their surpluses are theirs.

adelson: don't they interact with you in making decisions re such spending ?

hicks: i don't approve use of "loose cash" that is not in the budget. am not aware of LSB sequestering funds.

adelson: how to find out costs of particular initiatives, ie web, since its broken out in different categories?

hicks: not easy to get.

coughlin: there are ways to analyze it.

adelson: how would we do that?

coughlin: take it to the coordinating committee -- it's an information request.

martin: did you get the action items secretary sent out -- quarterly forecast, written explanation of salary variance form 12/4, list of staff bonuses, january financial statments.

mcfall: list of consultant costs.

martin: yes. is all this going out today?

hicks: yes.

martin: can we postpone review of january financials since we just got it?

adelson: one quick item. premium costs are over budget everywhere. why?

hicks: let me look into it. we'll handle it when we deal with all of january.

martin: (To hicks) i'll work with you to get this info to the committee in a more timely fashion.

Schedule next meeting

martin: scheduled on 3/11, do we want to meet 3/18, or 3/25?

adelson: suggest 3/18, to give us time before PNB (4/1-4/3).

agree to 3/18 same time

martin: i have some action items, will email to mcfall, ensure they are correct.

roberts: 2-3 race and nationality mtgs referred to us to put $ figures on. how will this be handled?

martin: this should go on the agenda for 3/18. my understanding is that we were to explore the feasibility in terms of cost.

roberts: we were asked to put a number on it.

martin: would anyone would like to join me in a quick assessment on this issue? (mcfall, hicks, roberts say yes). need to develop a proposal or starting point. will organize this call.

hicks: what about goals for the committee.

martin: can take up on 3/18. need advance preparation for race and nationality costs. also, please ensure your info is correct.

heffley: please send your info to me, i'll assemble.

tattersall: thought it was mcfall's job.

heffley: fine.

mcfall: wants to take first step for sample fiscal procedures and policies for cte to consider.

martin: good

coughlin: we do have a set of policies and procedures.

mcfall: can you email those?

coughlin: yeah.

williams: spooner has been trying to work w/ staff to get this done, can send info she sent.

bediako: is there anything available in national office re chart of account as to what should go under which budget line?

hicks: will send you what we have.

roberts: didn't we agree that we would roll consultants that all into salaries line

hicks: separated out

roberts: yes we agreed to separate it out. and didn't we agree to have a separate report for board governance, remember?

hicks: well, you've got a consultant report coming today, so you can see who the consultants are at each station.

roberts: but didn't we agree that consultants would be in salaries portion of report, rather than embedded in programming or whatever.

hicks: consultants is set up under most budgets under salaries and related.

martin: like to give as much notice and detail on agenda as possible. and to send out as early as possible. if you email me i'll make sure they are addressed.


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