Welcome Skyler Borgman to our Board

Skyler  Borgman, CFA, has joined the board of directors of the Public Gallery of Carrboro, the parent organization of WCOM community radio. A financial adviser with Morgan Stanley, Skyler was active in non-profits in his native Philadelphia. He has a particular interest in and vision for building WCOM’s relationships and identity in the greater Carrboro and Chapel Hill community.

Dubose elected at Annual Meeting

The members of the Public Gallery of Carrboro (dba WCOM Community Radio) held its 2016 Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 22 in the ArtsCenter. The membership by acclamation elected Eliza Dubose to a three year term on the board of directors starting on January 1, 2017.

Donald Brumfield presented the engineering report, Bill Henderickson for the Development Committee, and Karl Blake for the Programming Committee. The latter has been very active lately adding new local and syndicated shows and developing a system for rebroadcasting local programs. Art Menius offered the financial report indicating that the board has ended the unfortunate run of $2000 annual losses that began with the $5400 per year increase in studio space rental.

Menius gave the chair’s state of the station report. He listed numerous accomplishments of the past nine plus months including enhanced budgeting and cash flow projections, stronger committees, new bylaws and observing them, more fundraising and grants, adoption of and monitoring a long range plan, bringing the station into compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 with the outstanding support of music hosts entering data into Spinitron, and 100% underwriting compliance. He also listed challenges before us including increasing involvement in the local community, strengthening the community of WCOM members, getting more people involved in the tasks that keep the station on the air, and building a financial reserve.

June 2016 Board Highlights

The WCOM community owes a big debt of gratitude to Donald “DJ Smooth Jazz” Brumfield who not only agreed to take on the vacant chair job with the Engineering Committee but to serve on the board of directors effective immediately. Donald reported on the late May meeting of the Engineering Committee. Jim Dennis of the Music Loft is our man for equipment issues. Bill McClymont, now an advisor to the committee as is Tofu Dave, is training Donald on Simian so that Donald can become the go-to person for Simian.

 

The Development Committee has planned a great WCOM member party for Monday, June 20. All WCOM members (show hosts, volunteers, and donors) should have received an email invitation two weeks ago. If you did not, please email me at art@artmenius.com. If you did, please rsvp. There is no admission fee! Vimala’s is donating the food and dessert; WCOM non-alcoholic beverages; music by mandolin great Tony Williamson.

At the party, we expect to have new WCOM T-SHIRTS available as a premium for $15 or more donations to your station. Thanks to Don and Donald for making this happen.

The Board Development Committee which will recruit board candidates for the October election will be Don Emmett, Tana Hartman, Marc Lee, and Ben Alschuler. You can send me nominations of others or yourself at the email above. I’ll forward them to the committee. We now have five functioning committees as compared to one in 2015. If you are interested in committee service, just email me.

The Program Committee reported that during the next two months two completely new shows and one returning after a couple of years will be joining our lineup. We are saying goodbye, however, to Sidelinz Sports and its host TC Rogers after four years. The final Sidelinz aired on June 8.

Rather than a regular monthly meeting in July, your board will hold a long range planning session on the 9th. The next regular board meeting will be August 10.

 

 

May Board Meeting Highlights

Public Gallery of Carrboro Board of Directors Meeting Highlights for May 11 2016

Save the Date for Monday, June 20! We will hold a WCOM Family Solstice Celebration on Pickards Mountain. This will not be a fundraiser. There will be no admission charge, although there will be some sort of advance signup. It will be a party for WCOM members with live music by Tony Williamson. We’ll have more details very soon.

Donald (DJ Smooth Jazz) Brumfield attended the board meeting as any member may. He became our hero by stepping forward to agree to become a badly needed Simian operator. We still need a couple more so that someone trained will always available when we have automation problems. We also badly need someone willing to fill the vacant Engineering Committee chair. These are outstanding opportunities to contribute to your community radio station.

Another Donald also stepped up. Don Emmitt will get new station t-shirts fabricated for WCOM. These should be ready by the June 20 celebration.

The Silverspot fundraiser netted $756. In combination with the terrific efforts by y’all on underwriting this spring, our financial situation has rebounded from less than $2000 in early April to $3800 just five weeks later. Our new cash flow projections for the rest of 2016 look promising. We decided, therefore, to establish and deposit $200 monthly to a savings or money market account in order to build a reserve fund for the change of studio that will no doubt happen someday as well as unanticipated expenses.

 

In other action: The board will hold a long range planning session in time to present the results to the membership at the Annual Meeting in October. A new process for substitute hosts will set up for a trial in the next couple of weeks. Spintron music reporting for compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act will return for this quarter on June 17-20.

PGC/WCOM Board Meeting Highlights April 2016

PGC/WCOM Board Meeting Highlights April 2016

On behalf of the board, I want to express our deepest appreciation for the fantastic cooperation of our hosts during some major recent changes: agreement signing, underwriting enforcement, Spinitron logging. Y’all really rose to the challenge like champs! Thanks.

March minutes were approved with minor corrections and posted at http://wcomfm.org/index.php/about/minutes.

We adopted the first extensive amendment to the Bylaws of the Public Gallery of Carrboro since 2010. The updated bylaws can be found at https://artmenius.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/revised-pgc-bylaws-april-2016.pdf or by going to the Staff Document page inside the DJ/Host Wall on www.wcomfm.org

These revisions:

  • Permit us to do business as WCOM
  • Eliminate many minor inconsistencies
  • Clarify our board election process
  • Adopt formal consensus as our board decision making process rather than the self-contradictory “majority consensus.”
  • Clarify the responsibilities of officers and committees
  • Modify the checking process to allow Treasurer to single sign checks up to $2000, which has been our practice. The bylaws as revised in 2010 required double signature on ALL checks, but we had not being doing that.
  • Make electing a Vice-President optional.
  • Establish seven board members elected by the membership as the minimum number of directors and allows the board to elect up to 4 additional directors to fill in needs in expertise or connections.

Jim Dennis of the Music Loft continues to train with Bill McClymont to take over the equipment end of our engineering needs. We still need for people to step up for their station to work on our automation/Simian needs. Tofu Dave has a solid, sustainable plan for distributing that work among three people. We still need that trio to come forward. For the last several months Dave has had all the burden on his shoulders.

We also need to thank Tofu Dave for initiating research that discovered that we have been overpaying on insurance by a large amount from many years. Ending that will have a lasting positive effect on our bottom line. Our data is now the best it has ever been with all our info in one Excel Workbook including up to date underwriting info and address, email, and phone for all members. In MailChimp we now have emails for our 95 members and for 513 potential donors.

We also need volunteers to step up or be recruited by our members to chair the Engineering Committee, chair the Volunteer Committee, and serve as Volunteer Coordinator.

WCOM also needs people to serve on the all-important Board Development Committee. That Committee is “responsible for the recruitment of Board candidates, publicizing openings on the Board, researching and interviewing the candidates, training Board members, and preparing and explaining recommendations for consideration by the membership or by the Board.” The committee must consist of at least two people from the board and two members who are not on the board.

If you want to serve our members, supporters, and listeners in one of these key needs, please email me directly.

PGC received during April a pair of general operational support grants from the Shared Vision Foundation ($500) and the Strowd-Roses Foundation ($1000). We now enter local government fundraising. I will appreciate, and it will make a difference, all the support we can muster for our hearing before the joint Carrboro-Chapel Hill Human Services Committee. We are scheduled to close the entire series of hearings at 8PM on Monday, April 25. For Orange County, please send emails in support of our request to ocbocc@orangecountync.gov no later than May 11.

Our talking points:

  • ·         WCOM provides an open door for broadcast of area non-profits’ PSAs.
  • ·         WCOM talk shows welcome representatives of area non-profit organizations and government units, in addition to citizens.
  • ·         WCOM offers citizens the opportunity to learn about broadcasting and then to host programs making WCOM your voice in the community.
  • ·         WCOM cannot afford to measure, based on Nielson’s extremely small sample of just 14 Orange County households, how many people listen over the air. Data collected over two months in autumn 2015 indicates that we have a median of just less than 9 online listeners at any time, gain around 6 new web visitors per day among the 800 web hits daily. We have around 900 followers on the TuneIn Radio streaming service.

 

 

 

Our next station fundraiser is coming up on Thursday, April 28, at PM for our WCOM Community Night at the Movies at the Silverspot Cinema in University Place. Please promote on your show (we have two recorded PSAs) and, since only 60 tickets will be sold go to http://bit.ly/wcommovie right now and get your event tickets which include tickets to a movie of your choice (not necessarily on 4/28) and heavy hors-d’oeuvres during our social time in Silverspot’s Trilogy bar and restaurant.

 

Thanks for all you do.

March board meeting highlights

The February minutes were approved and posted at http://wcomfm.org/index.php/about/minutes.

We are still badly in need of an engineer or two. We are still imposing on Bill McClymont. If you have ideas or want to become a station engineer or to chair the Engineering Committee, please email Tofu Dave at tofudave@gmail.com.

We are down to a small handful of hosts who either don’t have underwriting or haven’t signed a host agreement. These folks will be contacted one last time with a 30-day notice.

The door code will be changed in the near future.

Our cash on hand has dropped to just less than $2000, one of the lowest levels during the past four years. We have experienced two consecutive years with four-digit losses. The biggest reason is that our underwriting fees are too low to meet our budget, even if we had 100% participation.

Starting next week, we ramp up for our April 28 fundraiser at Silverspot. 

We have, therefore, decided to raise annual show underwriting to $144 effective January 1, 2017. That should increase our income by around $1200. To be clear, if a new or renewal underwriter pays on December 31, 2016 the fee is $120. If they pay on January 1, 2017, it will be $144.

Brief Notes from February Board Meeting

Brief Notes From February 10 2016 PGC Board Meeting

 

January minutes were approved and have been posted at: http://wcomfm.org/index.php/about/minutes

We came up with a couple of actions to fill our thin bench in engineering.

The Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance has become an Angel Voices underwriter.

Tana Hartman Thorne, Becky Johnson, and Don Emmett have joined the Volunteer Committee.

As required by our bylaws, the Board defined qualifications for being a “member” and thus eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting: Members will be all current hosts with a signed agreement, all who have donated money to WCOM or volunteered in a non-host capacity, and our “staff,” one very part-time bookkeeper. That gives us a total of 80 members.

We are slowing moving toward compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

We have filed our 990N to IRS and our application for Exemption from Charitable Solicitation Licensing with the NC Secretary of State.

In January we got funding applications in to Town of Carrboro, Strowd-Roses Foundation, and Orange County. We have station fundraisers planned: WCOM Solstice celebration on top of Pickards Mountain (June 20), WCOM Night at the Kraken (August 20), and our annual birthday celebration at Hickory Tavern (November 3), with one more in the works.

 

The  next board meeting is 4PM on March 9 at The ArtsCenter. All WCOM  members may attend.

Board Officers for 2016 Elected

The Board of Directors for the Public Gallery of Carrboro (WCOM’s legal name) held its final meeting of 2015 on December 16. The meeting marked the conclusion of four years of service by outgoing Secretary Lee Anne McClymont, host of “Courage Cocktail” each Wednesday at Noon, and chair and long time volunteer engineer Bill McClymont. The other board members presented Bill with a certificate honoring his contributions to our station.

 

Our bookkeeper, Karen Schinsky, reported that despite good expense control, we did operate at a deficit during CY2015. In no small part this resulted from ten shows that lack the required underwriting, $1200 in missing income. We have made great strides in getting our host information up to date so that we can change the door code soon.

 

The board elected officers for 2016. Ernie Hood will continue his longtime duties as Treasurer. Tana Hartman stepped up to take the Secretary position. Lacking any other candidates, Art Menius became chair.

 

The eight week marketing campaign funded by a $2500 grant from the Carrboro Tourism Development Authority, which receives and redistributes the occupancy tax revenue from the Hampton Inn next door, has concluded. The project produced some data of interest.

 

The project generated 314 new unique visitors to www.wcomfm.org, roughly 6 per day or 1.8% over the course of the effort. During the fortnight prior to the campaign, we had gained 1.4 per day. Thus new visitors to the website jumped by 4.6 per day. Mean total hits on www.wcomfm.org increased from 521.7 per day to 800.2 during the campaign, an increase of 278.5 per day or 53.3%.

 

Icecast numbers stayed almost the same, however, at a median of just less than nine. Peak online listeners did climb from a maximum of 16 up to 26. It is important to remember that Icecast counts streaming aggregaters, such as TuneIn Radio, as just one listener. WCOM’s TuneIn followers increased from 760 to 779 during the campaign.

 

Facebook page likes increased to 1423 from 1405, or 2.25 new per week. The Twitter feed growth for WCOM proved much more robust. The followers grew by 173 from 522 to 695. That represents growth of  just better than 33% or 23.5 per week.

 

Our end of the year fundraising effort has included 103 letters and 243 emails.