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Hello from Washington D.C. This is Jim Robertson in the NE our office in Washington where your associate director Gerry Yoakum and we're going to visit with you for about the next 15 minutes on tape. Of course the best kind of visit to have with us face to face and we're trying as we move along in our endeavors in your be have to visit stations individually as much as possible by the end of February. Between Jerry and me we will have visited. But is it a little over 30 stations I think again during one year. JERRY And since since our beginning of this administration last fall. Of course there are other means of communication too. We get quite a lot of correspondence from people in stations and phone calls from you which we always appreciate as writer always glad to hear from you because that's really the only way we don't have a crystal ball back here at least very clearly. And that's the only way we really know what you people need and what you want out there so keep them cards and letters coming
Flexner That's right that's a that's a good standard phrase and you'll hear it from us quite often. Of course we do have paper communication with you through our Memo to managers which you received at the beginning of every month and the Management Information Service which we try to mail mid-month with supplementary information we think is useful to you. But we've had the feeling that some things can be talked about better than written about. You get so much paper piled up on your desk anyway that you don't want to read long explanations of things. So from time to time we're going to experiment with doing a tape like this so that we can talk with you and include some of the nuances of what's going on. That probably wouldn't get into a written report. And you also might want to consider playing this tape not only for your staffer a but perhaps for members of the campus or school administration if say the content is of the type that you feel they should hear. So maybe you want to
keep this entirely in-house You might want to spread around the campus a little bit. Right. And we'd like to have your reactions to the kinds of things that we might put out a future tapes for you that that you could make use of in your own local situation right. Incidentally Jerry's I understand each manager is getting a tape like this and he can keep it as long as he likes but he has to send a blank tape back to us right here right now that's right. OK. Well the main thing we want to do today since we're we're talking to you really just after the conclusion of the meeting of the board of directors of national educational radio the main thing. We thought we talked about today was what happened at that board meeting this was a special board meeting it was a new mid-winter board meeting the boards normally met in conjunction with the n AB convention and also in May but we tried this time to spend two days talking about major priorities Jerry and I both being new at this. Have some ideas now on what your stations are asking us to do and some of the things that seem to be needed but we felt we
needed the response of your duly elected representatives to set up the priorities for our efforts and we thought use then as those who elected those representatives want to know what it was they said to us. So Jerry why don't you give us the kind of play by play on the board meeting. And then if there's some time left in our 15 minutes or so I perhaps I can pick up some of the items and talk about him in a little more detail. Ok I'll hit the high spots Jim and give them a pretty good idea of what we did down in Key West. Chairman instead of who is still with us and is an excellent chairman opened the board meeting by welcoming the two new Any our board members elected by you the membership rule here and here Korea and we're pleased to report that they both took an active role and had no reservations about jumping in with both feet and their excellent additions to the board and were very pleased to have them. Most of all a first day of the board meeting was concerned with a discussion I was a proposal
for the transfer of any hour into NPR. Obviously this is a very very important subject at the present time and after discussing in detail the various points contained in the proposal the board accepted it as written by Jim and I with only minor editorial changes and the proposal will now go to the any B executive committee for their guidance and then after they pass on it it will go to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and we will wait for their reaction and hopefully this will take place in the next four to six weeks. That's right and I'd like to emphasize that nothing is firm about this. While there is a growing belief on the part of everybody in the various boards that the amalgamation of any RF and NPR is a good thing. We're making a proposal but that doesn't guarantee that the corporation is going to accept it or that it's going to go that way. That's right all that we want to keep you abreast of these negotiations
but don't take anything as an accomplished fact as yet we're not selling the network short That's right. Okay. That took care of most of us all day Thursday down in Key West. Gemini then reported in disgust on the relationship that we developed and are continuing to develop with a the other public broadcasting people in town the CPB radio division a national public radio etc.. We were pleased to report that they're excellent and we hope they'll continue to be the same and we are meeting with the president of NPR and the director of the radio division of CPB every two weeks on a schedule basis to discuss items of mutual interest. If we have time at the end of this take we'll talk a little more about that. But the point is that we are all working together must be kind of confusing for stations not knowing who to ask what questions up. Sometimes it's a little confusing. But but by working together
and I think we're straightening out the fact that the corporation fundamentally is a funding agency that NPR is fundamentally a programming agency and that any are is the only agency supported by the stations solely to do what the stations want them to do that why it is communication is off. That's right. We then spent quite a bit of time late Thursday afternoon more as most of Friday morning. In a lengthy discussion of the priority of tasks for any Our staff as a training professional organization assuming that the transfer of any r n takes place we were looking to the board for guidance as to what they consider to be the most important tasks. The Gemini should look to in the months and years ahead. The major areas that we discussed were more a member station involvement in any our affairs. Improved communication between member stations in the NE our staff
more assistance to existing members recruitment of new members and any RS role a new station activation as well I say we discuss these in very minute detail. Taking each one and after detailed discussion the board came up with the following a broad general recommendations for Gemini the broad considered assistance to existing members as the most important priority and rightly so and the major areas that Jim and I hope to emphasize here are things such as improvement of relations between you your station and your local administration and boards on campus or at the school district or whatever. Ways to assist you in assessing your local community needs and translating these needs into local programming. They mid-February Amyas is going to have to do with that. We're sending you a printer from the FCC that gives you a pretty good idea of what you should be doing and might have to
do by law in the in the future concerning community needs. We're also going to help you with station development and fundraising which is perhaps more of a problem this year than it has been in the past. We're going to help you to find ways of improving your publicity and promotion to get your station out to more people and we're going to continue to work toward the improvement of facilities through AGW. I can't help it break in at that point to congratulate all of those managers who participated as we had asked them to do in getting their congressional representatives to write to the secretary of AGW and impress upon him the dire need of these stations for new facilities. And I think that I hope that you in the field realize how important this turned out to be. I can't emphasize strongly enough. The importance of having not
only the Congressional Representatives but in turn the people of the GW realize that there are people out there who are trying to run stations trying to get new ones on the air and the result of course of getting the full 11 million dollars rather than the 4 million which the president himself proposed right was a factor. That's right the other thing I guess we can all be happy about is that in the first 12 grants announced eight of them were for radio. That's right so we will take our share of the credit for the piece and the stations consider it either used Union are going to try to improve upon with systems do you or we're going to continue to encourage you to qualify for CPB support and we're going to Sister you further in your personnel training programs. The boy then suggested improve communications as a priority between any art staff and you the members and we're going to do this through improved written communication were becoming more deeply involved in planning the
agendas and the directions for the regional meetings such as West C and C E N and we're going to continue as budget allows our individual station visits program. We also like your reactions to suggestion by just telling that is the possibility of setting up the drive in conferences within state within states at right getting all the educational broadcasters within a state area together at a central spot for a maybe day day and a half meeting that we could attend and therefore it would allow us to talk to all of you in a particular state at one time rather than having to hop scotching and also give you an opportunity to get together with your compatriots to talk about mutual state problems. You understand our problem on this I hope that we just don't have the budget or the time to get around to 230 some stations individually. We're doing the best we can with the money that we have by visiting stations on our way to meetings and on our way
home from meetings. But the next best thing is to get a half a dozen or a dozen or fifteen or twenty of you together with us for a long enough time but in a small enough group so that you can make your. ID is right known to us right. And of course the other way we're going to try to improve our communication is what we're doing right now this audiotape and we'd certainly like your reactions to this. We think it's a good idea because it get it's second best to face to face and it's I watch cheaper. So we would like your reactions and if you feel like it put it on tape and send it back to us or write us a letter or however you want to do it we would like I mean I already really was improving our existing services to existing members because after all you people who are our members are at the heart of the operations right responsible to you first and foremost. And these things that Jerry is ticked off are things that both we and the board felt would be of value to him. We'd like your reaction to which of these are
most important to your particular station. Right and of course a priority that we really have to think about and continually work on is recruitment of new members. And we are going to start a direct mail campaign to non member stations during the late spring or early summer for a six month period in the hopes of obtaining new members. And then the board felt that we should take a role a new station activations but that it should have a relatively low priority compared to the other things that we've talked about here throughout all of these priorities that the board gave us. We are also going to attempt to get more of you involved in any our affairs. We feel that there are various and sundry ways that we can get member station personnel directly involved in any our affairs through committees through the convention through the regional meetings etc. and we're going to continue to try to improve on that also. So we took up but quite a bit of board time talking
about these priorities and Jim and I came away from the meeting with a pretty solid idea of the directions in which we must go in the months and years ahead and we certainly like your reactions to the outcome of the board meeting. So I just tick off some of the other subjects that we did cover girl OK. Sure other topics that we covered included Long-Range financing for CPB. This is a thorny problem and it's going to get thorny or probably get we talked about it. We talked about possible future directions for instructional radio and also increasing the involvement of members of minority groups and profession as professionals in radio. So these are some of the other areas that we talked about at the board meeting. And one final act of Business at the board meeting is we requested that the board change the timing for the election of the board chairman and vice chairman to take place at the convention board meeting in the fall. And they at that time the board chairman would be elected and the vice chairman would be elected for the following calendar year. And this will
allow us to get things in line with a the the terms of the particular board members. They agreed to this and to facilitate the change. They re-elected Estelle to serve as chairman through December thirty first of its year and elected can of KUOW to serve as vice chairman through the same date the end of December this year capsulize it was an excellent board meeting and we're pleased to have Rubio and Hugh Courteney on board and we look forward to the next meeting which looks now to be on May 14th adjacent to the spring public radio conference. Thank you Jerry. Now in the few minutes remaining here because we don't want to go more than 15 to 20 minutes on this thing. We know you don't have any hard time in that. Let me just emphasize one or two points about this whole matter of the proposed transfer of the national educational radio network to National Public Radio. Those of you who attended the convention heard us say that
we have several prime considerations in mind here. First of all the most important thing is to continue the service to those of you who are now using it more than 200 stations in an uninterrupted fashion and to assure that there will be no break in that service no depreciation of that service and that our whole effort should be to improve it rather than to in any way interrupted or have it minimized. This is the first thing in our mind. The second fact is that we get the strong feeling from those of you who have talked to us about it. That despite what we all know have been at times weaknesses in the service that on the whole you are used to us. To Mike Harris and Dave Eccleston and the people with whom you worked at NPR and over this past year that there's been very substantial improvement in some of the basic essentials. And that up to this point at least NPR is and unproved quantity about the
only thing that we all know about it is it has taken a long time to get started and that's understandable. But the question is whether they are going to be in a position being particularly concerned with their live interconnected network. Are they going to be in a position to maintain and to improve this service over the long term. I think we are all pretty well convinced that they will. But the tricky problem at this point is to be sure that when we do transfer the network NPR is in a position to handle it. Their intentions are 100 percent honorable and of the best. The other question of course is that most of us thought of any R as a program service and that's the basis on which you paid your dues to us and we need time now that we have two of us in the office rather than one now that many of you in the stations are beginning to realize the importance of having a Washington office to represent you and to counsel with you in the various problems that you have. We need time to develop these non-program services to you and your 200 odd colleagues around the country to
such a point that you can justify continuing support for any art. Now these factors are all in our thinking. We are putting your interests first and while we are pursuing the direction that has been suggested by your board in the NPR board and the radio Advisory Council the corporation we are mindful of these concerns. We will keep you advised as the negotiations progress only if we are convinced that the long term health of any Our is assured and secondly that your program service will be improved rather than diminished and that the cost is not going to change that it will not cost you more but hopefully in the long run will cost you less only under those conditions. We've been directed to proceed and look people informed on this as it goes along. Right. And we'd better wrap it up. I guess that's it. Let us know how this whole tape visit strikes you and if you feel so inclined. Rewind the tape and talk back to us and we'll
write. We'll be glad to listen to what you have to say. That's all for today then from Jerry Okamura Jim Roberts and at any our headquarters in Washington this is the national educational radio network.
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Audio Visit #1
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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APA: Ner; Audio Visit #1. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from