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AIR Board Meeting 9 November 1999

Minutes of the AIR Board Meeting

Keith Brickhouse Co-Chair
Steve Rowland Co - Chair
Dolores Brandon Secretary
Spencer Weisbroth
Ken Mills
Rebecca Rumsey
Steve Rathe
Guest: Martin Spinelli


Kathy Gronau, Treasurer
Flavia Potenza
Rachel Maurer
Steve Robinson
Steve Spencer
Dmae Roberts
Sue Schardt

Next meeting
Monday January 24, 5 p.m. ET


1.Minutes approved prior to meeting - one error: Ken Mills was missing from the September meeting "present" list

2.NPR Meeting Report

3.Martin Spinelli asks AIR to consider establishing an institutional home for itself at Brooklyn College

4.Advertising in CURRENT.


1. Q&A re Brandon/Rowland meeting with Kevin Klose at NPR.

Q:Spencer Weisbroth was concerned with how NPR handled questions re: BMI/ASCAP rights issues.

A: While there was no concrete answer to our questions on this issue, Klose and Stern did not outright dismiss the possibility of independents being covered in some way under the NPR umbrella.

Given the letter Kevin Klose sent thanking Dolores and Steve for their visit, inviting us to feel free to call etc. Dolores suggested that Spencer Weisbroth in his capacity as an AIR Board member and lawyer should feel free to contact Ken Stern to discuss the various ramifications and possible solutions to this issue.

Basically what AIR wants is a seat at the table when decision like the rights issue are being discussed.

The main conversation centered on how the AIR wants to respond to those on PAG who are unhappy with the idea that NPR has joined AIR and is now eligible to participate on PAG.

Rebecca Rumsey suggested this is an issue that should be easily resolved by citing AIR By-laws. Dolores Brandon quoted Section 1 a of Article ONE which defines Organization membership open to all who provide radio/audio programs and services ( . . .).

It was decided that this Section of the By-laws will be posted on PAG.

The AIR Board remains committed to offering the Network membership.Dolores will handle communication with PAG.


2. Martin Spinelli addressed the Board outlining the basic plan he will present to the Hal Himmelstein, Chairman of Television & Radio Department.

Essentially Spinelli wants to submit a letter to his Department Chair proposing the establishment of an institutional home for AIR at Brooklyn College.

Martin Spinelli is a member of AIR.

- the plan is to give AIR an address and an office, a place to keep our files and archives, access to interns who could help with administration of various AIR daily business.

- with the help of interns AIR might revive the AIR Award

- there is potential here to expand AIR's mentoring program to include guest lecturer series.

As AIR is in the process of submitting a proposal to the MacArthur Foundation to expand and finance its mentoring program, an alliance with Brooklyn College might be an attractive feature of the proposal.


What might this cost AIR?

Spinelli and Brandon had already met and discussed the proposal, so Spinelli was aware that AIR had no money to bring to the table. Spinelli did not think this was an obstacle. He believes the value of AIR to Brooklyn College Radio Department is not to be measured in dollars. The value is in what AIR members can offer to the students. Right now he says their notion of radio is very limited - "a vehicle for hip hop music or Howard Stern".

Rebecca Rumsey wondered how permanent the arrangement would be? What if money dries up?

Spinelli didn't think this was a problem.

A home at Brooklyn College might position AIR to go after funding that would allow it to expand its services to the Brooklyn College student body (e.g. Mentoring).

There seemed to be reasonable level of enthusiasm.

Ken Mills linked into the Brooklyn College website, and admitted that while his first reaction was somewhat negative, the websi ~ d him to see that something very positive was happening there: he could see there were not only national but global possibilities.

Spencer Weisbroth felt it could be a fertile ground for new members.

Spinelli asked what might AIR want out of the deal beyond office space.

Steve Rathe suggested we might want access to high speed internet, telecommunications connections.This sparked conversation on the possibility of collaborative internet activity.

Keith Brickhouse suggested we might be interested in access to editing studios.

Basically, there was strong support for the ideas as presented by Spinelli. He will compose a letter to his Chairman, pass it to Dolores for review, send it off and get back to us by early December.

3 Advertising in CURRENT

We're talking 'service' ad - the smallest ad possible in CURRENT

Question - Why?

- to increase AIR presence in the market we serve

- a kind of branding activity

- to increase membership

Why not get ourselves on some of the NPR underwriting spots?

Ken Mills had experience with this and said even at the lowest levels the cost would be prohibitive.

Could we try to make a trade arrangement with CURRENT. Give them advertising in AIRSPACE on the website in exchange for advertising in CURRENT, comp membership on PAG?

Dolores will follow up and see if this is something CURRENT would consider.