Content Advisory Committee Minutes, December 16, 2020

Content Advisory Committee Minutes, December 16, 2020

In attendance: Chris Z, Chris W, Jay, Jess, Ben

For KFAI: Daniel, Mason

Absent: Melissa, Michael

Guests: Robert Pilot


18:32 Zoom started


18:37 Meeting called to order


  1. November minutes were approved as posted on the website.


  1. 2021 Election results – CRZ reported that all three candidates received at least one vote, so we will be able to fill all three openings.  Ben Raye will be returning!  New members Ed Hilbrich and Brendan McGillicuddy!


18:44 3. 2021 Listener Survey.  Who’s listening?  How are they listening?  Why are they listening?  What are they listening to, and what are they not?  And why are they not?  Mason says the last survey we ran (2018-9?) he would characterize as “not robust” although received around 100 responses.  Demographically, an older, whiter response – partly based on the shows which were working a little harder to drive responses.  With the goal of putting out a new survey in the next 1-2 months, what are we hoping to ask and learn?


Chris asked for a little more background on the previous survey – Mason said there were  a lot of questions around consumption, specifically around who was using 106.7 as even back then there were stirrings about the translator.  Chris said this time, we should gauge interest in the streams and webcasts, not only “are you listening to them” but “would you listen to them if…”  Mason said “do you know we do this?” questions would also play a role.


This time “let your voice be heard” may not be incentive enough, so Mason is looking to provide some gift cards as raffle prizes for the entry pool of responders.


Chris asked if we had significant social media to exploit for response – Mason said Twitter/Facebook/Instagram would be leveraged.  We may spring for some Sponsored posts and if we see proportionate response, it may lead to future expenditures during member drives, where we feel it could enhance response and fundraising.


Daniel mentioned that one of the things we may learn from this is which channels are most effective going forward so long as that’s in our questioning (“How did you come to take this survey today?”)  


Jay asked if this initiative came from the board or was coming out of CAC – Mason said he was bringing it out of CAC but the board has an interest in eventual results.


Jay asked if this would be used for potential sponsors, or for programming decisions?  Mason said “both, ideally” and again stressed the lack of utility in the most recent survey.  Our hope is for a better data set and a higher quality of response.


Would this be used to justify future schedule changes?  Mason said people may think that, “and to be perfectly frank, maybe it will” – if there is an overwhelming direction which can be gathered from our response, then it’s fair game.  Daniel stressed this wouldn’t be a head-hunting mechanism, but if it were determined that particular programs were doing very well vs. ones that might not be….


Chris added that if the survey was presented to programmers ahead of time as an opportunity to get their audiences heard (and help determine which carts are better suited for particular shows), it could steer response – albeit in both positive and negative directions.


Daniel suggested adding a question asking whether respondees have relationships with programs they’re really hyped about.


Daniel added that having data-based demographics would greatly assist not only with soliciting underwriting, but in attracting grants.


Mason wrapped up saying discussion would be ongoing and hopes the CAC will remain engaged via our Basecamp message board.  Daniel hopes this will be a regular, recurring check-in with the listeners….even if it’s as infrequent as annually.  Our hope is to have a survey done and responded in time to influence the next member drive.


  1. Native Roots Radio programming – Mason welcomed Robert Pilot, who has been providing 30 minutes of content in the Wednesday 6PM-7PM slot formerly held by Indigenous Roots with the other 30 minutes coming from MN Native News/AMPERS-provided content.  Robert announced that he is starting a new on-air gig with Native Roots Radio five days a week on 950AM (KTNF) as well as on stations in Madison(?) and Chicago(?) – one hour five days a week instead of the previous two hours once a week – effective 1/2/2021.


With Native Roots Radio Network on at 6PM five days a week, he would be effectively competing with himself on KFAI.


He reminded us that KFAI’s start was helped with the support of a lot of members of the Native community and asked us to remember that.


“I’ve been on the air for three years – when I first started on the radio and I asked people ‘hey, you wanna be on my radio show?’ they would ask if it was KFAI.  It used to get me mad because I wasn’t ON KFAI.”  KFAI has had and still has importance in this community.


Mason says that we would like to accommodate Robert’s request to not compete with himself.  With Hmong American Reachout currently “retired” (airing music and reruns), the obvious suggestion is to give Robert the full hour Friday at 7 for the time being with a “best of”/highlights compiled from the Native Roots Radio content produced that week.  The Hmong hour would move to Wednesday with a continued eye towards refreshing the program with new hosts and content.


Robert says he’s also been on the low power stations – KRSM and WFNU.  Would he continue there?


Robert says it’s a little extra work producing content for many different destinations, but he feels he needs to be on KFAI.  The Committee agreed that KFAI needs Robert!


Daniel mentioned Beats, Rhymes & Democracy – Mason mentioned other pre-recorded programs (Ms. Margaret “Live,” Somali Link) – Chris mentioned that this is an occasion where we wish we had some survey results indicating which listenerships are most likely to be engaging in “destination listening” at a specific time, if they are even aware when “their” show is pre-taped or live, and so on.


Mason says the obvious move is into Hmong American Reachout as it effectively doesn’t exist and any replacement show – with the great hopes that there WILL be a new show for the Hmong community – will be a brand new show Wednesday at 6.  A message in Hmong would be taped to air at the beginning of Robert’s show explaining the timeslot change.


The Committee voted unanimously to the following schedule changes:

. Native Roots Radio content moving to Friday at 7PM-8PM for the full hour

. Encore airings of Hmong American Reachout to move to Wednesday 6PM-7PM


Robert says he has some contacts in St Paul as well and maybe he could make an introduction to help move us into the next era of Hmong programming on KFAI.  Chris volunteered he may have some connections was well.  This was enthusiastically received.


Jay asked if Robert’s hour would be a good future program for AMPERS – Mason said it’s premature for those conversations and we wouldn’t be involved.  Robert said he preferred to “keep it clean with KFAI” at this time.


19:34 5. New Program Applications – Mason says that we’ve received four new (mostly incomplete) applications despite not posting any open calls.  Word is out about the streams!  People are also asking how they can make radio in COVID times when collecting volunteer hours is more challenging.


Blame it On the Boogie is a demo from Applicant A, a noted “funk evangelist” who has been taking downtime to raise a family but still has the itch to produce content from his home studio.


Ginger Bones Test Kitchen – Applicant B is a “friend of Doc” – they live and collaborate with Willow Waters, another well-known local artist – would be producing from their own home studio, but we have no demo yet, only an abstract.  Music AND food.


Soul Tripping – Jess mentioned a show by her friend Applicant C, who is producing episodes as an outside project – each is based on a different city (last episode was Chicago) – we have a demo but no abstract.


Eventually links to demo shows and their abstracts will all be placed on our Basecamp for Committee members to sample and provide feedback.


Will this include podcasts as well?  Mason says yes, but we have not received “podcast” applications per se in the current crop as all the current applications had a sufficiently large percentage of music.


Daniel has been in touch with a collective that is currently producing a show for WFNU and is interested in KFAI.


Daniel says a few people have reached out to him after the most recent volunteer session asking about opportunities to produce despite the difficult climate of accruing volunteer hours, which has been a past prerequisite.  Mason says during these times, if folks can produce quality shows from home, at this point we should accept the content with the caveat that they would be expected to contribute volunteer hours once it is feasible to again do so.  As well, when the time came they would be gauged as far as how they promoted their own content and KFAI while their show is active.  Daniel has no problem waiving the volunteer hours requirement now with everyone’s understanding that it will definitely be back in the future…”if they decide to jump when that happens, so be it.”


Jay mentioned Applicant D coming to him with a podcast – Daniel said she’d been emailing him as well and he was going to get back to her.


The easy ways to get volunteer hours are working with the Cart Crew or offering to edit the audio of other shows.


Daniel says all good faith offers accepted!  Mason says if someone has a good idea, we can find a way.


19:50 6. Content Advisory for 2021: What does this committee do and what should it be doing?  The first quarter will be to figure out who we are serving.  We’ll make recommended changes to the schedule, do a little bit better in listening and providing feedback to existing program/programmers, giving compliments as well as complaints.


Chris asked if we’ll be working harder on improving the streams – Mason says FA2 is coming along – The Undead has been left alone and has decent listenership but future curation – will there be one more stream, with the suggestion of a dance channel?  Or we can continue to fill slots on FA2.  Mason doesn’t see a full grid in the short-term future.


Daniel thinks with our current web exclusive presence, FA2 has a great deal more potential then we might think.  It might also serve as a nice proving ground for promoting people on air.


19:57 Meeting adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

Christopher Robin Zimmerman