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

We adopted the first extensive amendment to the Bylaws of the Public Gallery of Carrboro since 2010. The updated bylaws can be found at or by going to the Staff Document page inside the DJ/Host Wall on

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 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 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.

Radio Series: Long Lives Long View

Join us for a five-part radio series, Long Lives Long View as we investigate how longer life spans are changing the way we view aging in our culture. This radio series is a collaboration between UNC Partnerships in Aging Program and WCOM LPFM 103.5, Carrboro, NC. Broadcast journalist, Lee Anne McClymont, MHA of Courage Cocktail Radio Show, will host and produce the series. The hour-long radio episodes will broadcast each week, live from the studios of WCOM LPFM 103.5 Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC. Podcasts will be available after every program for listening on demand. Stay tuned for more details.

March board meeting highlights

The February minutes were approved and posted at

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

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:

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.

Four Changes Two of Them Good

Lots of WCOM news to report, most of them changes.

Two WCOM volunteer hosts have laid down their microphones. Claudio Niedworok has hosted “Claudio’s Speakeasy” on Tuesday mornings for eight years, driving an hour each way to do so. He has interviewed many people in the arts during that time and recorded many liners for hosts. Claudio recruited Durham’s Carolina Theater as a Golden Voice underwriter. When their well publicized financial difficulties meant they could not renew, our resident seafarer, chef, actor, and storyteller decided it was time to move on. Claudio presented his final show on January 26.

In December, Brian Parren completed three years of hosting “Jazz Before Parker,” which showcased the best in classic, swinging, pre-Bebop music. Brian decided he had accomplished what he had intended to do with the show.

In the positive change department, thanks to Bill McClymont our way better, 85 mbps download Internet hookup went live on January 27. This should eliminate the dropouts that particularly effected on network programs such as “Undercurrents” and “Democracy Now” that are delivered over the Internet.

Another is that, thanks to James Coley pointing it out, we changed some unfortunate, contra-free speech language that had been in the host agreements for at least four years. The new policy reads: Hosts must clearly state that “the opinions expressed on this show are not those of WCOM, its board, or underwriters.”

Other good things include adding Don Emmett to the board of directors, bringing us to the seven required by our bylaws. The board adopted a budget for 2016. We negotiated a new, four-year lease with The ArtsCenter and submitted applications for general operating support to Town of Carrboro, Orange County, and the Strowd-Roses Foundation. Mark the evening of June 20 on your calendars since it appears that we’ll be able to have a WCOM Summer Solstice event at a very special location.

The Development Committee will meet on Wednesday, February 3 at 2:30PM at the Grey Squirrel between WCOM and Cat’s Cradle. The Board of Directors meets next at The ArtsCenter on Wednesday, February 10 at 4PM. Both meetings are open to any volunteer hosts or donors.

WCOM Show The Batchelor Pad Enters New Hampshire Markets

The Batchelor Pad’ Joins ESPN New Hampshire’s Lineup

Hour-long Program Will Debut January 24th

Nashua, NH – ‘The Batchelor Pad’, a North Carolina-based syndicated sports talk show, will broadcast on ESPN New Hampshire Radio every Sunday morning from 5-6am.

The hour-long program will debut on ESPN New Hampshire (WGAM 1250 AM Manchester & WGHM 900 AM Nashua) and on January 24th. ‘The Batchelor Pad’ is hosted by L.A. Batchelor

“We are excited to have ‘The Batchelor Pad’ on board,” said ESPN NH Program Director Nick Anastos. “L.A. and his team offer great insight, and we’re happy to welcome them to our broadcasting family.”

“The Batchelor Pad” airs on WCOM from 6 to 8 PM Mondays

WCOM Bids Farewell to Another Veteran Host

Ann Parrent, who has been with WCOM for nearly all of its eleven years on the air, will produce her last show at Noon Saturday November 7th. For the last six months she has played a terrific blend of standards and jazz as host of “De Lovely,” which replaced Fred Wasser’s “Breathing Room” at that time. Few programmers could have risen to the challenge of following Fred, but Ann was more than successful in doing it. Before “De Lovely,” Ann was the long time host of “This is Easy” on Monday evenings at 7PM. Ann will be missed by both WCOM listeners and her colleagues at the station.

WCOM Bids Farewell to Long Time Host

For over 10 years, WCOM listeners have been entertained by a unique mix of Jazz and Standards on Saturdays at noon.

Fred Wasser’s Breathing Room premiered on November 20, 2004, Fred’s relaxed, casual and informative style made his show a very popular weekly feature on WCOM.

Fred is leaving the area to pursue an opportunity to produce programs for Nevada Public Radio KNPR in Las Vegas, he will be missed. His last show is May 16, 2015.

Ann Parrent host of “This is Easy” will be moving her show to Saturday at noon.

Please join us in wishing Fred the best as he begins his new opportunity.