CAC Meeting Minutes — Nov. 14, 2019
1) Call to order
Meeting was called to order at 6:05 PM.
Ron Thums, Crystal Meisinger, and Mason Butler were in attendance from staff. Michael Cyrs and Sam Jasmine were in attendance from the CAC. Mike Milligan was in attendance as the Board attendee. Bruce Huisinga is still recovering from an illness.
2) Review September meeting minutes
CD players have been replaced in the air studio per section II of September’s minutes. We went through the previous program reviews and followed-up on what’s been done per section IV. Minutes approved.
As the October CAC meeting was canceled there were no minutes to approve.
3) CAC elections
For a little history, Mike informed us that the original idea behind the CAC was a committee to help advise the General Manager and Program Director on programming decisions, while it is still ultimately up to the GM to act on that advice (e.g. selecting a program submission for an on-air slot). As such, it’s the GM’s job to manage CAC elections.
The current committee has been serving since January 2018, and it was a two-year term. Ron is suggesting that the application process begins on the 21st of November and runs to December 4th. Then, from December 6-20, there are elections. At the BOD meeting on December 9th, board members will be given a specific chance to cast their vote. All active volunteers are able to vote throughout the election process.
Currently, Sam, Michael, and Bruce are the three elected members of the CAC. The committee also consists of three staff members and one Board-elected member. The three members elected in the coming weeks will begin their term with the first meeting in January.
4) Show subs/notifying station of substitute hosts
“There’s been a rash of hosts turning in their pre-recorded shows within the 24-hour window,” explained Mason. Oftentimes this will happen right around the same time they’ll have a substitute, leading to a distrust by staff and listeners of consistent new media. We’re considering amending the programmer agreement to defend against this, because this is ultimately wasted air time that could be going to a new community voice.
Crystal mentioned that it’s been a long time since the programmer agreement has been updated, although some minor edits have been made. “It’s not just that it inconveniences [Mason], it’s that it increases the room for error in uploading which is bad for the station,” said Ron. If there are mere hours between delivery of files and broadcast, it increases the chance the files are corrupt or don’t upload properly.
The CAC discussed ways to inform program hosts that they’re breaking these rules. Crystal mentioned a three-strike system of some sort. Michael suggested a kind of “programmer orientation” that’s in-person and given to everyone once they’re getting on the air. “We should feel like we can tell people straight up about things like this, but we need updated documentation to stand on,” explained Crystal. The plan is to update the programmer agreement and ask for fresh signatures from DJs breaking these rules.
5) Review scheduling rules for studio time
Some volunteers are abusing studio time. This takes the form of scheduling more hours than are actually used, booking a “window” every week where they can come in at their leisure, or using recording studios for research purposes when there are other computers at KFAI that can be used for that.
“There needs to be a distinction between researching/preparing and producing,” explained Michael. The CAC agreed that volunteers can use available computers in the studio as much as they please, but actually booking time in a studio should be reserved for production only; with a maximum of 3 hours. If you’re just planning your show, using recording time is strongly discouraged.
The CAC then discussed ways in which we can reorganize the computers at KFAI so some are more explicitly labeled as “research/planning” computers.
6) State of the Music Department
— Digital library-categories for organizing
Our digital library is growing rapidly, becoming a problem although it was intended as a resource. However, is moving forward a question for CAC or for Music Library volunteers? Right now the digital adds server is in disarray to the point where we’d need to start from scratch. If we restart organizing these, someone needs to organize them on a consistent basis. The CAC did not ID this person at the time, but Crystal has a slew of volunteers that might be able to take on the task.
— Strategy of informing program hosts of new releases
The committee did not touch on this specifically.
— Physical library
“I want to give an update on the music library because we’ve been making progress,” said Crystal. The rock has been culled, we’ve sold off CDs, and many boxes have been brought into the newsroom with the goal of sale in mind.
As new music comes in, Abbi opens it and logs it to promoters. It’s at this point that Crystal wants someone to cull items right away if they’re not going to be worth keeping. Using the current process, Michael then genre tags the pieces and updates Abbi’s list with that info so she can chart properly. Finally, Bob organizes them and gets them in Studio 4 as new releases (among numerous other background tasks).
Ron was concerned about the physical library volunteers’ effort going to waste. After discussing that idea, we agreed that the Music Library is not currently being fully used, but that it remains an important asset to our station. It’s worth continuing to work on it despite the continual influx of many new items.
7) Establish/review podcast submission process
“We should’ve gotten a little deeper on this earlier because we now have a pile of podcasts waiting to be approved,” said Mason. “I think we should talk about applicants for podcasts in the CAC just like we do for web shows and live shows.” We can certainly accept the majority of submissions, but the CAC can’t afford the time to review each and every submission.
We discussed ending the open call for submissions and only making it available four months out of the year. If anyone asks in the interim, we’ll instruct them to submit when the window is open. That way, the CAC can review them on a consistent basis.
Benjamin Raye, a standout podcast producer for KFAI, arrived and asked about what the potential is for podcasts to be moved to the on-air schedule. Some promises were made to him that have been unfulfilled in his year as a producer. The committee let him know that the process for on-air submission remains the same as it does for anyone; and that there is no fast-track.
Ron mentioned that getting accepted early on to do something more casual like a podcast is a great way to prove yourself as a dedicated volunteer. If you start to slack and don’t produce consistently, there’s not much future for you. If you prove your consistency and gain a following, your case for getting a show gets a lot higher.
8) Program reviews
The CAC decided to adjourn early and officially end at 7:44 PM. It will resume program reviews at the next meeting on December 12th.