January 23, 2020
Rachel called the meeting to order 7:00
Present: Rip, Kurt, Leif, Rachel, Wiz
After those present examined the minutes, Kurt moved to accept, and Rip seconded. Unanimous
Leif explained the Profit and Loss Comparison numbers and people asked about individual items,
but we saw nothing untoward to be concerned about. Balance Sheet also raised questions about specific
lines, but only because we’re not involved in the day-to-day finances. Rip moved acceptance; Kurt
seconded; we voted unanimously to accept both.
Leif took the Comcast deposit ($23,000) and asked about their best CD. We have a large $10,000
CD that we have never touched so he moved it into 55 month CD at 2.225%. We discussed moving all
our savings into 55 month CDs in $10,000 lumps, thinking that if we have to break into one of them, we
can take a penalty on one and not jeopardize anything else.
About a dozen stations need to renew their contracts, including HCTV. Comcast has sent us a
contract with a Feb. 6 date for signing, but we don’t know the down-side of not meeting that date.
Comcast deals with each station individually, but VAN is organizing a web conference for all the stations
during which they will give their take on the proposed contract. Leif and Robin both noticed missing
language, and the VAN consultant recognized it and that it’s significant. Mostly the gaps have to do with
remote origins sites.
Comcast has agreements with the state and CPG that requires Comcast to maintain the ROSs, but
they don’t mention that in the proposed contract.
This basketball season we have had trouble with the Hazen (a remote origin site) internet
connection during ball games.
There is a planned phone call between VAN and the stations to discuss what the VAN lawyers
think of the contract. Rachel suggested that Robin attend.
We may become Channel 1080 on February 17. Still tentative, but we’ll know soon.
The board talked about how to change our ‘brand’ from 16 to 1080, if we do, in fact , get that
number. Both channels will work for 3 months. Tasks before advertising the new number:
Verify that the channel works
Develop outreach campaign to explain the change.
Change our signs
Rachel likes the logo and suggested we can just change the number. Leif will play with it.
Leif suggested we have explanatory brochures to hand out at Town Meeting in Hardwick and
Leif got a one-year contract from a Neilson third-party company in an arrangement with Comcast
to deliver our programming through the ‘guide’ function of cable remotes. They want $150 set-up fee
followed by $100/month with 3% increase each year. Rachel asked if we can assess the efficacy of this in
terms of our audience. Leif didn’t know of any. After a lot of conversation on the pros and cons of the
idea, factoring in Leif’s time and the costs and the feasibility of meeting the contract deadlines, we
decided not to sign it. We’re the smallest station in the state, and this will add a couple hours a week to
Leif’s work that takes him away from more important work.
Rachel moved that we table the contract idea until a later time.
Leif needed some help with internet access, and so he brought in additional help — Doug
McClure to sort it out, and he did. He and Leif have combined the functions of three different computers
to one new machine.
We now have a workers’ comp policy with Calderwood Insurance. Our regular insurance has
been updated with Morse Insurance.
We have an announcer for the basketball games — a senior from People’s Academy (James
Salvas) Doing a very good job. Plans to go to Lyndon in broadcasting. Griffin has been doing the camera,
but the student adds commentary. Leif has provided John Sperry, athletic director at Hazen, with a link
that has the basketball games on a private channel.
Hazen teacher, Sean McIntyre, runs a career cafe. Students did 7 HCTV programs as part of it.
Charge-back: Comcast is taking a bunch of stuff away, so they’re not going to be able to charge
back for it.
Next meeting: Annual Meeting April 24.
Rachel suggested we adjourn.
Adjorned at 9:05.
Elizabeth H. Dow