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WBAI Budget committee notes

From: Susan Lee
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 06:56:17 -0500
Subject: Budget committee notes: 12/18/03

Budget committee notes: 12/18/03
Attending: Don, Indra, Sandy, Fred and Susan

Don says he has asked National for income and expense statement but hasn't gotten it yet. (what was passed out was an employee list as of 12/18/03, an accounts payable list as of 12/18/03 of $43,267.23) and a cash flow statement as of 12/18/03. (The handouts will be at the next USOC meeting.)

Don says he has short term good news: the situation as of today is not as bad as was projected. We will go up to January 31 without having to do layoffs. That is based on being able to take $200,000 from December.

We just paid National $125,000 for our share of the legal debt. Pacifica currently takes 20% of what we raise of on-air fundraising.

We received $141,000 for our share of the CPB grant. (Our total share of the CPB grant was $192,000 - FSRN's share of $51,000 = $141,000

We just paid 2 months of central services (October and November) of $83-84,000. We are currently one month in arrears.

How has this been accomplished?
1) A tight lid was put on spending. No examples were given.
2) The fulfillment rate was raised from 59 to 72%
3) Certain things were put on hold like streaming onto the website.
4) By having the additional fund drives: the minithon and the radiothon.

The question of how the computer consultants were paid: apparently a major donor anonymously paid 50% of the consultants normal fee. Their contract finishes Dec 31.

Sandy: there is still an inbred deficit.

Susan: is there a contingency plan for a less than successful fund drive.

Don: He cannot rule out partial lay offs and salary deferrals.

Sandy: Wants to know how soon after the pledge is given does the invoice go out.

Indra: they've improved this; it is now a 4 day turnaround time.

The station got a Manhattan Cable Network grant for $20,000 to equip the performance space with cameras so shows can be televised.

Sandy suggested off air fundraising idea of letter next week to the top 1% of major donors, signed by Don, suggesting they meet with Don in the new year.

Susan asked that if this were done that it be sent out on stationary that was credible.

Susan asked when we would get a list of salaries. Fred has promised to speak to Aftra to see their feelings about it. Don is reluctant to release them without Aftra's okay.

National says it will pay for a special events person to do a fundraiser.

Indra says most of the fat has been cut out of the non-payroll expenses.

Susan asked if it was true that Muntu and Elombe were sent to Jamaica and Rosa was sent to Vieques. The answer was that it was. In the first case, the station paid for 2 airfares; in the second, for air and boat fare. She then asked how we had the money to pay for such things.

Don said that when these trips occurred we didn't have the obligation to put aside for a one month reserve.

Susan observed that we all knew that we were having a war bump and that it was at that point we should have been cutting our spending in order to be okay during times we wouldn't have the income.

Vis a vis payroll service, Indra says it has improved since National moved from DC to Berkeley.

Asked what Don thought the function of this committee was, Don thinks this committee can monitor the financial situation, can advise and review. It can be a liason between management and the unions.

Sandy said this was not possible to do without the income and expense report.

Susan proposed that because of the possibility of partial layoffs, the whole staff - unpaid and paid - should be given the information necessary to have discussions of how this could done in least harmful manner to the station. Just having management passing out pink slips or even management and Aftra passing out pink slips would not be a good idea.

In principle, both Don and Fred agreed to this with the understanding that Aftra would be open to the input of unpaid producers.

The next meeting will occur before the fund drive.

Notes written by Susan Lee.

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