Read our Rebuttal to the new KBCS Marketing spiel.
City Arts Eastside, "Listen or Lose It, People"
by Bill White (October 2009)
KING-FM lays off three classical-music hosts
Live hosts to be replaced with "Voice tracking". Is this what the future holds for radio?
Randomville, "Save KBCS?"
by Mackenzie McAninch (7/19/2009)
Seattle Weekly, "KBCS Launches New Weekly Schedule"
by Hollis Wong-Wear (8/28/2009)
KUOW, "The Conversation"
with host Guy Nelson (8/24/2009)
interview with Peter Graff, KBCS Program Director and Larry Lewin, SaveKBCS representative
Seattle Times, "Bellevue's Eclectic KBCS Making Programming Changes"
by Nicole Tsong (8/17/2009)
Seattle Times, "Arbitron Now Uses Meter to Measure Radio Listening"
by Erik Lacitis (8/30/2009)
Save KBCS blog
Participate in the online discussion about the program changes.
Read what others have told SaveKBCS that they think about the program changes.
Save KBCS representatives met with KBCS management on September 24th, and other
notes. Read all about it here.
Save KUT Austin
We are not alone... See what what the folks in Austin are doing to preserve community
SaveKBCS on Facebook
SaveKBCS has a Facebook page. Join us!
KBCS 91.3 website Don't take our word for it. Listen for yourself.
Sack KBCS Management on Facebook
One of our past listeners has a Facebook page calling for a boycott until all
existing management have resigned.
The below notes were taken when Save KBCS representatives met with KBCS management
on September 24, 2009.
In attendance: KBCS Management: Steve, Pete,
Save KBCS representatives: Larry, Dru, Jean
Intro comments: We as representatives of SaveKBCS have wanted to meet for a long
time with KBCS management. Steve said he’s wanted to meet with us for a
long time as well. We want to make it clear that our mission is to improve
the station, increase listenership, and keep KBCS viable. We call ourselves
SaveKBCS because we want to work with the management to do just that –
keep music on this, our special radio station. We’re not out to destroy
or bring demise to the station. We are advocates of the volunteers and
community who support independent music on the radio.
Steve acknowledged that they, too, are trying to save KBCS and they believe that
the changes they’re making are the best way to do that.
1. What is the Status of Strategic Plan?
The staff and Bonnie Olson met in early 2009, but she took another job and “didn’t
have time to continue with KBCS,” so the KBCS staff has been working
independently on the strategic plan since then. They will possibly
utilize a KBCS Public Affairs volunteer who holds a degree in organizational
development/strategic planning to assist in the development. They’re
working to make a specific, meaningful plan; that’s why it’s taking
so long to write.
Will the target audience be defined in the Strategic Plan?
Yes, but not in a demographic way. The description of the target listening audience
will be “value-based,” a description of ideals, values, and other characteristics
that they want to reach; these are much harder to define and measure than traditional
What will be the opportunities for volunteers to be involved in the planning
Right now, the staff is currently editing a draft and will have a draft for KBCS
volunteers to review and comment on by December 31, 2009. Volunteers won’t have
an opportunity to be on a Strategic Plan committee as such. However, volunteers
will be given an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft, before the plan
is finalized. Volunteer input on the strategic plan will be considered.
How will you ensure transparency in the process?
They will then present it to BC for comments/review and possibly to the public
for comments. The public will be included if Floten and Talbott agree with soliciting
the public input, but there was no guarantee of this.
2. What’s the plan for program changes Phases 2 & 3? And what is the projected timeline?
No more program changes will be made until after the Strategic Plan is finalized.
It will be at least May 2010 until Pete begins to look at data to evaluate
the first round/current programs or to make further changes. Pete said
that he wants to "unravel the culture" that once a show is established, it will be in place for the foreseeable future
and has indefinite tenure.
How will you evaluate the success or failure of the Phase 1 changes? What are
the criteria for deciding whether a “Plan B” is called for?
Program changes will be more frequent in the future, not necessarily such wide-sweeping
changes all at one time as this last round was. The only mistake they admit to
about the Phase 1 changes is that they “put Democracy Now at the wrong time,”
based on listener feedback.
Steve said that many listeners have commented that the new programming isn't
as bad as they initially thought it would be. The number of listeners who share
this opinion wasn't stated. Larry challenged them on the number of listeners
that they claim have supported the changes. They said not enough time has elapsed
to quantify the acceptance or not of the changes. Larry reminded them that the
emails in support of the changes are a tiny percentage of the overall feedback
– over 90% were against the changes. They continue to put their own spin on the
feedback from listeners.
Criteria for future program changes will be:
* Arbitron ratings
* Pledge Drive revenue, although it is recognized that this is an imperfect measure.
* Email feedback (and possibly other feedback “mechanisms” put in place)
Arbitron now uses a new PPM to track what stations are being listened to. This
data comes every month instead of every 3 months. Pete is not even looking at
data until at least a year’s worth has been accumulated; then he will analyze
the numbers. He plans to work with RRC (“public radio people”) to evaluate it.
They stated that the PPM data will be used to evaluate not only Phase 1 changes,
but all programming.
They will look at pledge drive revenues as one measure of judging successful
What will be volunteers’ role in formulating and implementing Phases 2 & 3?
They are looking into how to gather feedback from volunteers and audience. They
will “develop mechanisms for volunteers to give meaningful feedback.” There are
already “mechanisms” in place: email and phone comment line. However, volunteer
and listener feedback will not be considered as "votes."
They plan on reaching out more intentionally for listener feedback via various
methods. Steve said he will figure out a structure to get feedback/input from
volunteers. They want to incorporate processes that involve stakeholders. They
will “not outrule” listener surveys and public forums. They will consider a web
based input mechanism for listener input that must have good questions and sample
validity; email and letters are encouraged from listeners. They will use e-blasts
to solicit feedback from listeners.
They are not ruling out town hall style meetings with the public, but reiterated
they are radio professionals hired to make decisions, some of which will be widely
accepted and some not.
How will you ensure transparency in decision-making of future changes, given
the lack of solicited input from programmers about the Phase 1 changes? Dru said
that he and others were de-moralized by the announcement of the changes only
hours or a few days before the mini-drive, how we were told KBCS was not a democracy,
giving rise to the feeling that we were duping the listeners.
Pete seemed oblivious to the fact that telling us of the changes just days before
the June ’09 mini-drive would be a factor in volunteers’ desire or motivation
to fundraise for the station. He looked incredulous and asked if that was the
only thing Dru took away from their 2 hour meeting; Dru said, yes.
3. Pledge Drive. How many pledge drives will be held this fiscal year?
Multiple (possibly 3) pledge drives will be held between January and June 30
(end of fiscal year). The upcoming October drive will be the last long
drive at KBCS. They are aiming for having fewer total days involved
in the drives and much shorter drives (eventually down to single-day
drives), but more frequent (around 4 per year). They gave an example
of one station, KUNC, that had a one-day pledge drive where pitches
were tightly scripted and they raised as much as they did in a previous
11-day drive. [Note that this means that if they raised $100K in an
11-day drive, the new model would require raising about $7,100 per hour or $21,300 in a three-hour show.]
Is attendance for the 9/29/09 meeting required?
The pre-drive meeting on September 29 is not mandatory or required for DJs to
attend. They want to incorporate more training sessions, beginning in the next
Why was the goal for this drive set so much lower than previous drives?
It was set based on what they think is attainable ($10,000 each day of the drive),
taking into account reduced expectations due to the programming changes. They
said that they need much less from listeners in this year’s budget (presumably
due to the large CPB grant that was received).
What are your expectations as to how we should operate/behave during the upcoming
pledge drive? For example, is it OK to say a pitch such as, “Call to give your
vote of support for this show and this type of music that’s on now.”?
Yes that’s OK. Pitch breaks will be more scripted in the future.
Dru commended Pete for being an excellent pitching coach -- his guidance to the
on-air pitchers during the past few drives has been extremely beneficial.
Can a DJ be excused from pitching altogether if they don’t feel comfortable asking
for money for the station?
They could not give an answer. Pete wondered how we could expect to do a show
and not fundraise? Dru suggested working out some type of compromise. We left
the topic undecided.
We communicated that quite a number of other programmers feel demoralized by
how these latest changes were handled before the last mini-drive and Ramsey acknowledged
that he, too, has heard from other programmers that feel demoralized. We relayed
that there was a wide-spread feeling among volunteers of reduced confidence in
4. What’s the status of the PAG [Programming Advisory Group] committee? Who may
PAG meetings are open to all volunteers. Why aren’t upcoming PAG meetings announced?
Visibility of PAG should improve (with contact info, meeting minutes,
website, etc.) We emphasized that the PAG is not accessible to volunteers
and the group is not functioning in an open manner: meetings are not
announced, the volunteer’s representatives and the community representative
are not reporting back to their respective constituencies, the meeting
minutes are not shared, contact info for the representatives is not
accessible, and the PAG webpage is not currently online.
They have discussed these issues at their PAG meeting this past week; they are
currently addressing these issues.
Shouldn't there have been a PAG election earlier this year?
We brought to their attention that 4 PAG members’ terms were up last March 2009
and the other 4 members’ terms are up in December 2009.
They did not give an answer as to when the next elections would be held. They
said they talked with the PAG earlier this week about the committee’s future
and its usefulness. Details weren't given.
The meeting closed with a reiteration that we want to work together for the betterment
of the station and we thanked them for their time. Steve indicated that he was
really glad we finally met face-to-face.
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