Advisory Board Minutes - December 2015

Dec 10, 2015


NPR Illinois Advisory Board Meeting
December 10, 2015


  • Randy Eccles
  • Jamey Dunn
  • Sean Crawford
  • Rachel Lattimore
  • John McMillan
  • Blake Roderick
  • Kathleen Dunn
  • Diane Lopez Hughes
  • Graham Grady
  • Linda McCaffrey
  • Dick Schuldt
  • David Racine
  • Kent Redfield
  • Bethany Jaeger
  • Corinne Wood
  • George Van Dusen
  • Adam Porter
  • Chris Mooney 
  • Deanie Brown

I.        2:30 P.M. Meeting Called To Order

A.      Introductions of Attendees

II. New NPR Illinois Branding

A.      Randy Asks if Anyone has Questions or Comments about new branding.

B.      No Questions are Asked or Comments Are Offered by Attendees


A.      Randy Updates Advisors on Budget

1.      Already initiated 20% budget cut at beginning of fiscal year primarily affecting print and programs.

2.      NPR | Illinois is Still Healthy and Will Have More Updates After Fund Drive

B.      No Questions are Asked or Comments Are Offered by Attendees

IV.Public Radio Collaboration

A.      Randy Announces Grant for Collaboration from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

B.      Randy Discusses Ideas/Plans for Collaboration between Illinois Stations

1.      Sharing Reporters

2.      Sharing Anchors

C.      Jamey Dunn Shares Plans/Updates/Expansion for Illinois Issues

D.     (Question) David Racine: Were there other CPB Grants?

1.      (Answer) Randy Eccles: Yes – Indiana and Kentucky.

E.      Adam Porter Speaks about Collaboration Encouraging More Midwest Reporting. National Radio paying more attention to Mid-West States

V.Compliance & Diversity

A.      Randy Shares Diversity Statement

1.      Compares the Demographics of Illinois vs. the Diversity of NPR/Illinois Staff

a.       Diversity Does Not Match

B.      Discussion on Meeting Diversity, Hiring, and Marketing to a Diverse Pool of Position Applicants (22 Minutes)

1.      (Question) Diane: Can NPR/Illinois use advisors or search agencies

a.       (Resolution) Will have to Look Into It

2.      (Question) Deanie Brown: What do we mean when we say “Well, It’s Springfield” (Discussion on Drawing Prospects to Springfield)

a.       Rachel Lattimore: From experience with students, young job seekers are looking for large, metropolitan areas with wider career and social opportunities

b.      John McMillan: Collaboration journalist position could be marketed as opportunity to travel from a central location.

3.      On Hiring and Marketing Jobs to Diverse Applicants

a.       Diane: Include diversity in search committees and those making decision in hires

b.      Adam Porter: Create beat that would be attractive to a diverse reporter. Gave example of NPR’s Code Switch covering issues of race

c.       All Discuss the Balance of Hiring Based on Qualifications Only and Taking a Chance on Someone who Shows Potential but May Not have the Experience or References of Other Applicants

d.      Several Attendees: Suggestion of Focusing on Recruiting Finalist on the “Front End” by Promoting Station and Springfield Area

e.       John: Diversity is a qualification. Discourages group think. Is cumulative (a diverse staff encourages more diverse prospects/applicants)

f.        Deanie: Diversity is a qualification. Provides different perspectives

VI.Advisory Board Updates

A.      Randy Covers Resignations of Advisory Board Members

1.      Board is Still Large Enough Despite Resignations

VII. Editorials

A.      Sean Crawford and Jamey Dunn Update on Upcoming Stories

B.      Discuss Expansion in NPR Illinois Online Presence

1.      (Question) David Racine: How is NPR | Illinois encouraging and handling online commenting

a.       Use Disqus to Mange Comments on NPR | Illinois Website

b.      NPR | Illinois does not Mediate Their Comments

c.       Most Comments are on Social Media where Readers Share a Story and Discuss on Their Private Page

C.      Randy Addresses Sharing Programs and Stories with W.I.L.L

D.     Randy Addresses the Retirement of Bill Wheelhouse

1.      Randy Addresses Options for Hiring a New Morning Edition Anchor

2.      No Questions or Comments from Advisors

E.      Discussion on Contingent Programs

1.      Car Talk and Prairie Home Companion are Contingent on Funding and Future of Programs

2.      Discuss Fresh Air

a.       Mentioned That it is Expensive

b.      (Suggestion) Diane: Individual Sponsorship for Fresh Air. “Friend of Fresh Air” Sponsorship

F.      Story Ideas

1.      Graham: Economic Impact of Police Abuse

2.      Kent Redfield: Social Media’s effect on “McCarthyism.” Inspired by recent developments in Donald Trump candidacy. Has social media encouraged McCarthyism or discouraged it?

3.      Blake Roderick: Illinois Road Funding. Specifically in Rural Areas

4.      Graham: Philanthropy in Illinois in Response to Budget Crisis

5.      Graham: Weekly Profile of a State Legislator

VIII. Illinois Edition and WUIS Merger

A.      Advisory Board Given Opportunity to React to Merger and Offer Comments or Ask Questions

B.      No Questions are Asked

C.      Reactions are All Around Positive and Encouraging

1.      (Comment) Adam Porter: Enjoying Desks and individualized reporting

Meeting Adjournment