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WBAI Budget committee notes

From: Susan Lee
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2004 5:59 PM
Subject: Budget Commiottee meeting of January 22, 2004

1/22/04 Budget Committee: Don, Indra, Sandy, Bernard, Susan.

Don announced that Valerie Van Isler has lung cancer and is very sick.

Indra: Our cash position to date is $258,254. Our payables are $96,530 or $106,530 (A $10,000 bill is in dispute). We will be getting $13,000 of the payables back from national; a private funder has given the money to buy equipment. Thus our payables are $83,500 to $93,500.

Don pointed out that in the fourth day of the fundraising drive, we have not yet made a goal of $50,000 per day.

Sandy asked how fundraising actually gets broken down by time during the day.

Bernard: 50-60% usually occurs by noon. He said that by guaranteeing all the producers coming on, reduces the amount of money raised the first week. As of next week, he thinks it should pick up. Slow now, he's not worried. He says there are some blockbuster premiums coming up.

Don announced that the date of the deadline of layoffs has been deferred to end of February; will meet on 2/11 to review finances and issue of layoffs.

Bernard said we definitely will have to extend the fund drive.

Don said that according to the CPB, there has been a reduction of 7-10% in listener contributions to NPR.

Don: The shopping cart on the website has proven successful up to now. It's down briefly to put in the new premiums and will be up shortly. He urged producers to mention the website.

Susan asked why Wake Up Call's numbers were down so much.

Bernard said he used to pitch it up to noon. Now WUC only pitching from 6-9 am.

Bernard said the pattern we have of a slow start is normal. He expects we will build like normal and reach our goal of 1.1 million dollars.

Don announced that 2 donors anonymous gave $10,000 towards WBAI's election coverage and $10,000 for FSRN to cover elections. This money will not be counted towards the fund drive because it is restricted. Restricted grants are not included in fund drives.

Don also announced that WBAI has received a $5,000 from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.

Sandy asked if we gross 1 million pledges with a 75% fulfillment, what's the ball park for layoffs?

Don: 25% instead of the projected 50%.

Susan asked if we have a contingency plan about how the station is going to be run in case of layoffs.

Don: We don't have one yet because we don't know percentage of people to be laid off. This will be determined in February. We are not out of the woods yet.

Indra: Fulfillment rate is up. 13 premiums from the last drive are still outstanding - that means the producers have not yet delivered the masters. 30 premiums have been ordered but not shipped. One premium is not able to ship because proper clearance had not been obtained.

Susan said she had questions producers and staff had asked her to bring up at the budget meeting:

Susan: One producer had given $250 on an installment plan. Only $30 had been withdrawn. The station had never received $220 and the producer had never been notified. This producer was concerned that this failure to follow up with the bank was typical.

Indra and Don had checked on this problem and assured us that the problem was an individual glitch in the original entry and was not system wide. They said the electronic transfers are working well.

Susan: What expenses have we cut?

Don: The station has saved $15,000 in printing costs. Reductions of $30,000 because of telephone changes will show up over this next year. Verizon has been conferred with. Codes will be changed.

Susan: Non-producers often use the phones on an ongoing basis.

Don assured us that at least two of the people who seem to spend a great time at the station have been told not to use the phones.

Susan: Have you guaranteed anyone that their job is secure?

Don: No.

Don wants to clear up the story that Errol's trip to Guatemala was paid by the WBAI. It was not.

Susan asked about the equipment that is being bought currently? (see earlier in the notes)

Don: paid for by a grant by an anonymous donor through national.

Don informed the meeting that he has emailed Robert Knight notification to report to work or face a two week suspension.

Susan asked how the folio was going to be paid for.

Don: 4 pages is in the budget; the folio will expand to 8 if we do well.

Susan asked how the relationship with the Brecht Forum vis a vis the folio is working out?

Don said it was cost effective for WBAI because the printing costs are comparatively low.

Susan: Was your nephew paid?

Don: No relative of mine has worked here.

Susan: There has not been an accounting of the 9/11 event at Riverside Church. Why not?

Don: The 9/11 event planning and execution turned out to be problematic. The station put out $12-13,000. The intention was for premiums to pay back the cost.

Susan asked what the income was for the event? It didn't make sense to her that 3 days of events with hundreds of people per day at $15 per person didn't bring in enough to cover the costs. Where did the money go?

Don: "I've asked the same question."

Sandy: Was money taken in cash?

Don: How much cash we collected: we don't know.

Notes from meeting written by Susan

PS I forgot to say that I'd asked Dan Coughlin about releasing the line item income and expense statements. After a conversation with him, I could only conclude that the answer was in the negative. As far as I know, no such numbers have been released about WBAI. I suggested to Sandy before the budget committee meeting that USOC make a formal request of the Executive Director to make these numbers available.

[Notes written by Susan Lee.]

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