USA Activities

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2007 Annual Report - December 2007

The University Station Alliance (USA) saw dynamic growth in financial support and services.  Madison Hodges and Craig Beeby volunteered their time as Co-Executive Directors through May; beginning June 1, Beeby changed roles within the organization shifting from USA President to paid half-time Executive Director, and a new USA office was established.  The outstanding work of the USA board helped to make the transition seamless and to retain the USA’s vibrancy as a national resource for the public radio system.

Cost of Doing Business
Three CPB-funded Cost of Doing Business studies were conducted in 2006 and finalized in 2007.  The three research studies included the Cost Benefit Analysis, the Quantitative Worth study, and the Report on Governance.  They were distributed to stations via the USA website and on CD’s to each station manager at the PRIMA, ERPM, and WSPR regional meetings.  

The Quantitative Worth Analysis helps stations document

  1.  public service for the community.
  2.  public relations for the university.
  3.  public relations value within a locality.

The Cost Benefit Analysis is a tool listing fourteen benefits and four costs associated with a station’s university affiliation. Using the tool, stations can determine the net value of university affiliation.  The tool also assigns quantifiable values to intangible and tangible costs and benefits that are associated with a station’s university alliance.

The Report on Governance found:

  1. no apparent inherent barrier to success that exists in the traditional university governance structure. 
  2. for every university station faced with a specific governance issue, another has successfully addressed the issue.
  3. managers must realize that universities are political, as well as educational, entities.

Volunteer Leadership Training Workshop
The USA E.D. moderated the July Co-Sponsored PRDMC Leadership training workshop, “Effective Advisory Council/Board Volunteer Leadership,” in cooperation with DEI, WKSU, and USA at Reno, Nevada.  Thirteen public radio stations, and four industry organizations (NPR, USA, DEI and CPB) totaling 26 people attended.  Attendees included thirteen general managers, six volunteer community leaders, two development professionals, one NPR Board member/retired university president and four representatives of the other three industry organizations. 

Community Council Listserv
As an outgrowth of the Co-Sponsored USA/DEI session, a new Community Council Listserv was created for station volunteer councils.  Thanks to the work of Al Bartholet of WKSU, his staff, and his Chair of the WKSU’s Community Advisory Council Lee Irving, we now have a resource available for the system to allow community advisory people to share their knowledge and address common issues. 

USA Listserv
The USA listserv has been a powerful tool for aggregating information.  In particular, our surveys revealed a significant turnover in station management is on the horizon.  The USA is addressing this issue with the creation of a USA Peer Review process as well as a USA Mentoring Program.

Another USA survey revealed the university reporting structures for public radio stations owned by universities.  As a result, we have determined that fifty-seven percent (57%) of the station managers report to a Vice President with varied titles (Sr. VP, Associate VP, Assistant VP, and Executive VP).   There were many other reporting structures, but the VP structure was the most dominant.  When the question arises, “Where should the station report?” the answer is there is no specific location, but the closer to the governing body or board, the better. 

USA Peer Reviews
The pilot program for Peer Reviews was conducted with WFDD at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.  Madison Hodges, Roger Sarow, and Craig Beeby were on-site at Wake Forest University October 1 & 2.  The Peer Review process will be refined in 2008.

The USA E.D. attended the PRIMA, ERPM, and WSPR Fall Regional Meetings giving presentations and delivering the Cost of Doing Business materials.

NPR Billing Process
As the result of a suggestion by the USA, the NPR billing process was changed to make it easier for the stations and the network to plan for future budgets. 

Executive Director Contacts
For 2007, the number of contacts made by the USA E.D. totals 157 as a result of  USA Station Peer Reviews, consultations, training, and regional presentations.


TELECONFERENCE - December 12, 2007

PARTICIPATING:  Regina Dean (President), Arlen Diamond, Caryn Mathes, Dave Edwards (Secretary), Joan Kjaer, Roger Sarow (Treasurer joined at 2:10pm) John Stark, Madison Hodges (Vice President), Tom Hunt, Craig Beeby (Executive Director).

Regina called the meeting to order at 2:02pm ET and welcomed Tom Hunt to the Board of Directors.

Regina reflected on a successful year for the organization and thanked Craig and Madison for their volunteer work as we transitioned to a new executive director and completed the CPB funded “Cost of Doing Business” project.

The Executive Committee worked with the Executive Director on developing objectives for the new year.  They include ongoing objectives (be an online and telephone resource to the public radio system, etc), as well as new objectives (refine peer review process, be a training resource, recruit new affiliates, consult onsite with member stations).  Madison moved adoption of the objectives for the new year. Dave seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

The Board reviewed the organizations articles of incorporation, particularly Article VI, Section 2 which would eliminate the sentence: “The nominating committee shall nominate such number of candidates for directors as shall be double the number of directors to be elected.”  It will be replaced with the following sentence, “The nominating committee shall nominate such number of candidates for directors as shall be the number of directors to be elected.” Dave moved approval of the bylaw change.  Tom seconded the motion.  The new language was approved unanimously.

The organization has $50,140 on deposit to date.  During November, revenue was $12,250 against $2,600 in expenses.  New stations continue to join USA.

A budget of $48,066 is being proposed. It includes modest growth including travel expenses for the executive director, which will allow for further visibility at industry events. Roger moved adoption of the proposed budget and cash flow forecast as presented.  Caryn seconded the motion.  Following a discussion, the motion was approved unanimously.

Craig discussed his activities of the past year, which was presented to the Board in written form.  This work included the “Cost of Doing Business” project, participation in the Volunteer Leadership Training workshop, the establishment of a Community Council Listserv, the continuation of the USA Listserv.  Peer reviews were piloted.  Craig attended PRIMA, ERPM and WSPR fall regional meetings in which he presented findings of the “Cost of Doing Business” project.   The organization played a role in influencing the billing process at NPR and had 157 contacts with stations.

The USA Peer Review project is moving forward and Craig senses a need to continue to expand this voluntary, confidential consultative process with member stations.  Peer reviewers can make observations to managers and licensees.  The Board discussed the creation of a peer review team, which initially would include members of the USA Board. All Board members expressed a willingness to participate.

Craig reviewed his activities during the last month, which included:

  1. Station Peer reviews, consultations, training, and regional presentations.
  2. Compiled underwriting staff size and station information from 7 stations.
  3. Negotiated a $1110 savings on software purchased for website maintenance.
  4. Fall billing (87 invoices for 2008 USA Affiliation renewal)
  5. Wrap-up of pilot station peer review.
  6. Helped station with giving trends report
  7. Helped station with FCC application issues.
  8. Updated USA listserve addresses
  9. Created 2007 USA Annual Report
  10. Created USA Peer Review format
  11. Created 2008 Proposed primary objectives
  12. Developed 2008 Proposed Budget
  13. Developed 2008 Budget Narrative
  14. Created the 2007 November Income/Expense report 

There won’t be a Full-Board meeting in January but an Executive Board meeting will be scheduled.  Craig will work on scheduling the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:55pm ET.

Respectfully submitted by:
Dave Edwards
Director / General Manager
161 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite LL1000
PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413
414.270.1100 (Direct Line)


Board Meeting
July 11, 2007
Grand Sierra Hotel
Reno, Nevada

Board Members Attending: Craig Beeby, Regina Dean, Dave Edwards, Madison Hodges, Joan Kjaer (via telephone), Roger Sarow, John Stark
Visitor: Cleve Callison

Vice President Regina Dean called the meeting to order at 12:45 p.m. and ascertained that a quorum was present.


MOTION to elect Regina Dean as President of USA was made by John Stark and seconded by Dave Edwards.  Upon a voice vote, the motion was approved unanimously.

MOTION to elect Madison Hodges as Vice President of USA made by Roger Sarow and seconded by John Stark.  Upon a voice vote, the motion was approved unanimously.

MOTION to elect Tom Hunt to a position on the USA Board of Directors made by John Stark and seconded by Madison Hodges.  Upon a voice vote, the motion was approved unanimously.


Roger Sarow reported that USA had approximately $44,000 on deposit and that the budget for the fiscal year planned for $38,400 in expenditures.  A total of 47 stations have paid dues for the year and that billing continues.  Budget development for the next year will begin in September or October. There was a discussion about the costs associated with the CPB project. 



Mr. Beeby said he was enjoying his job.  He has been working with Al Bartholet of WKSU and Doug Eichten of DEI on the PRDMC Community Leaders session and will be distributing the "Cost of Doing Business" CD developed by USA with CPB funding.  Beeby thanked Cleve Callison for revising the USA website.


Here is additional information supplied by Mr. Beeby prior to the board meeting …


* Station consultations total to date - Twenty (20)


* Working with Al Bartholet of WKSU, and Doug Eicthen of DEI on the PRDMC Community Leaders Session Co-Sponsored by DEI & USA


* Developed and printed new USA Letterhead, Business Cards, and Business Envelopes


* Continuing to build office and resolve bugs and kinks for smooth operations.  I spent over 10 hours this past month dealing with various technical personnel from Linksys to AT&T.


* Mr. Beeby worked with KOSU on a half-time basis through the month of June.  The last official day there was June 30, and he is now officially retired from OSU. 


* The USA Board luncheon Thursday, July 12, at 12:45 p.m. Pacific at the PRDMC.  Mr. Beeby has been working with the DEI event planner Wendy Livingston getting the room and meals for the meeting set


* Madison, Roger, and Craig had a telephone conference call with USA accountant Bill Weidenbach working on the transitional elements of the new E.D.  Bill and Craig have exchanged several phone calls and emails to set-up the salary process and the associated withholding taxes.


* Craig is working with Cleve Callison to update and refresh the USA website


* Last and certainly not least … Craig loves this job as the new E.D. for the USA.


Thanks to each of you.


President’s Report


Ms. Dean thanked all the board for voting her in as the new President.  She recognized Madison Hodges for his outstanding work as past USA Executive Director and presented him with a commemorative engraved mug.  She congratulated USA board member Dave Edwards for his recent election as RRC Board President.  Ms. Dean expressed her appreciation for all the good work done by the board and was optimistic about the future of the USA.  She instructed Craig Beeby to amend this year’s budget to reflect planned travel by the USA E.D. to regional meetings to distribute the “Cost of Doing Business” materials and the PRDMC for training the university community leaders.

Executive Session


The board went into executive session to discuss the proposed candidate for the CPB Edward R. Murrow Award


Proposed By-Laws Change


It was announced at this meeting a by-laws change will be presented to the full board for a vote of approval at the next quarterly meeting.  Consider this the 90-day notice required for the by-laws change.  The “Nominating Committee” section of the by-laws currently states “… The nominating committee shall nominate such number of candidates for directors as shall be double the number of directors to be elected. In making such nominations, the nominating committee shall seek qualified and experienced candidates.  The proposed change will state "... The nominating committee shall nominate such number of candidates for directors as shall equal the number of directors to be elected …”


Meeting Adjourned at 1:45 p.m.


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