JULY 9, 2016


Dave Bellin, Karl Blake, Don Brumfield, Don Emmett, Ernie Hood, Art Menius, Tana Hartman Thorn

The WCOM long range planning meeting, instead of a regular Board meeting, took place at the home of Tana and Pete Thorn. Topics covered as follows:



  • Diversity of Programs
  • Not controlled by corporate interests/money-go-round
  • Worldwide Reach via Internet
  • Creative people
  • Eleven+ year track record
  • Local government support
  • Visible location/studio
  • All shows underwritten
  • Volunteer programmers and leadership
  • Physical infrastructure
  • Open access
  • Active board of directors
  • Experienced chairperson
  • Strong talk shows
  • FCC license
  • 501(c)3 status and CSL exemption
  • All performance rights fees paid and in compliance
  • Bill McClymont


  • Lack of market visibility
  • Signal strength and interference
  • Financial condition
  • Equipment and engineering
  • Lack of procedural documentation
  • Issues with resolution of emergencies and problems
  • Lack of volunteers who are not broadcasters
  • Lack of major individual donor support
  • Lack of community outreach – insular mindset
  • Too many hours of Undercurrents between 8am and midnight; 30.5 of 112 hours = 27% each week; only Saturday has no Undercurrents 8am-midnight; Sunday has 7 hours (43.75%).
  • Too few hours of Latino or Asian language programming


  • Rebroadcast local content
  • Continue training hosts, including teaching classes
  • Recruit and train more hosts
  • Partner with local businesses to create programming
  • Engage with local business community, using recorded and live remote programming
  • Utilize DropBox so that hosts can record new shows at home instead of using subs
  • Expand involvement in committees and as volunteer staff
  • Increase funding from donations
  • Build a sense of community among WCOM members
  • Board should get to know hosts and hosts board
  • Improve marketing and community engagement
  • Become an even better source of alternate views and information
  • Create new WCOM phone app or gain control of old one
  • Partner with UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication to create a news program


  • Physical location could change again as soon as 2.5 years (2018-19)
  • Power and internet outages
  • Increased licensing costs and fees
  • Equipment failure
  • Softward failure; cost of upgrades
  • Insolvency
  • Loss of listeners and hosts to other media outlets or podcasts

Goal Brainstorming:

  • Enhance automation – replace Simian or upgrade to Windows 10
  • Achieve financial solvency
  • Increase Golden and Angel Voice underwriters 200% (from 5 to 15)
  • Increase monthly revenue from $1400 to $2500/month
  • Build $10,000 or more operating reserve
  • Complete emergency manual and signage and update station manual
  • Produce a monthly e-newsletter; distribute to underwriters as well as hosts, volunteers, donors
  • Increase local programming 10% (from 72.5 hours/week to 80)
  • Increase program diversity
  • Enhance local engagement/involvement
  • Increase our visibility in the community
  • Increase email distribution 20% (from 347 to 417); social media 10%, (e.g. Facebook from 1470 to 1617; Twitter from 1098 to 1210; Instagram from 104 to 115)

Highest Priority Goals with Strategies for Achieving Them:

  • Increase local programming hours 10%; enhance program diversity and local engagement
    • Approach businesses and social justice organizations as sources of content
    • Approach organizations that serve specific groups such as El Centro Hispano
    • Use website and social media to attract new hosts
    • Build relationship with UNC (Journalism and Mass Communication) and High Schools as sources of hosts/programs
    • Develop show ideas and recruit appropriate hosts
    • Use local media (Chapel Hill News, Durham Herald Sun, Chapelboro, Triangle Free Press, etc) to reach potential hosts
  • Increase WCOM’s Community Visibility
    • Establish baselines and track listenership using whatever data is available to us
    • Increase email address list 20%, social media 10% (see above)
    • Recruit outside board members
    • Outreach to businesses
    • Participate in local events (e.g., Chamber of Commerce Face Time, Carrboro Music Festival)
    • Connect with local organizations (e.g., Chamber of Commerce, Carrboro Business Alliance)
  • Increase monthly revenue from $1400 to $2500/month
    • 200% more Golden or Angel Voice Underwriters (from 5 to 15)
    • Identify and cultivate existing relationships
    • Recruit one or more outside board members with strong community connections
    • Update underwriting materials, collateral, and web presence
    • Consult with Aaron Nelson at Carolina Chamber of Commerce re: funding and board members
  • Automation
    • Evaluate and select software future by August 31 (Don Brumfield)
    • Plan Windows 10 upgrade (Don Brumfield)
    • Raise money
    • Evaluate future equipment and software needs