ITVS BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
San Francisco, CA
November 5, 2011
Board Present: Garry Denny, Celia Alario, Tracy Fullerton, Cheryl Head, Peter Jaszi, Malinda Maynor Lowery, Bathsheba Malsheen, Ted Russell, Jane Wagner, and Margaret Wilkerson
Board Absent: Andy Carvin, Lisa Cortés, and Robb Moss
Staff Present: Sally Jo Fifer, Judy Tam, Jim Sommers, Claire Aguilar, Michael Shiro, Dennis Palmieri, Matthew Meschery, Felicia Gotthelf, and Marissa Barker
A meeting of the ITVS Board of Directors was called to order by Chair Garry Denny at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at the Hotel Nikko, San Francisco, California.
Denny called the meeting to order and welcomed the Board back to San Francisco. He turned the floor over to Malsheen who reported that the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) had a 35th anniversary event and announced that a fund in Fifer’s name was created to honor her 25 years of service to the organization.
Approval of Minutes
Before approving the minutes from the previous meeting, Denny had two edits: noting that Margaret Wilkerson had filled in for Cheryl Head doing the Nominating Committee report, and a date correction.
ACTION: On a motion by Lowery, seconded by Head, the minutes of the July 16, 2011 board meeting were unanimously approved.
Fifer began her report by announcing recent awards and recognition including an Emmy for Art & Copy. Five films are up for Gotham Awards. Subjects of two ITVS-funded documentaries were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from Iron Ladies of Liberia and Leymah Gbowee from the Women, War & Peace series. The Women and Girls Lead (WAGL) campaign had its hard launch in September at Mashable’s Social Good Conference. The engagement team is working on more events for 2012.
Independent Lens (IL) moved from Tuesday to Thursday nights this season. The first three shows saw a 50% decrease in viewership. ITVS is focusing its immediate efforts to convince PBS to return the series to the original Tuesday night slot, or Common Carriage.
FY12 Annual Work Plan
Fifer began by reviewing ITVS’s strategic planning framework. She then presented the annual plan’s strategies and goals for 2012. A central theme of the 2012 Annual Plan is improving productivity and efficient communications throughout the organization and its constituencies.
Fifer emphasized the continuation of its core service work to independents and their audiences capitalizing on new digital strategies and tools. ITVS will continue to underscore its commitment to diversity.
ACTION: On a motion introduced by Malsheen and seconded by Wilkerson, the 2012 Annual Plan was unanimously approved.
Reports on Operations
Jim Sommers, Senior Vice President of Content
Claire Aguilar, Vice President of Programming
Dennis Palmieri, Managing Director of Communications
Matthew Meschery, Director of Digital Initiatives
Sommers began by acknowledging that while the last board meeting focused on producer relations, ITVS maintains a vast web of other professional relationships. He presented a PowerPoint highlighting some of the organization’s array of partners. Some of these, including digital and co-producing partnerships, will be explored at this meeting. They are incorporated into the Annual Plan and will continue to develop in 2012.
Meschery elaborated on digital partnerships for P360. Today’s media landscape is evolving and ITVS is keeping on top of digital trends in order to best support independent producers. ITVS-funded films can benefit from trans-media projects which serve not only as supplements to the original content, but as engagement tools. An example of this is the documentary We Still Live Here- Âs Nutayuneân. Its P360 project is an interactive website called “Our Mother Tongues” which focuses on Native American languages. For the LINCS film The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance, a user-generated online video contest was developed. Contestants were asked to create a music video based on one of the songs featured from the original National Barn Dance show. There were 60 entries which received over 25,000 votes. A couple of the entries were screened. The film’s broadcast received stellar ratings.
Meschery also discussed a recent partnership with the Mozilla Foundation for a project called Living Docs. ITVS and Mozilla co-hosted a two-day event in September in which six ITVS-funded filmmakers paired up with six Mozilla coders to create prototypes of interactive video experiences with web content. Three of these will potentially be funded for creating fully realized projects.
Sommers welcomed Palmieri, Managing Director of Communications. Palmieri gave a presentation on the current state of the Online Video Engagement Experience (OVEE), funded as a special project by CPB. It is currently in test mode and training is being offered to PBS stations. The project will allow audiences from remote locations to come together and watch any program from PBS’s COVE video player simultaneously so they may engage with each other in real time using communication features from the OVEE platform. The goal at this time is to solve problems that come up during testing and ensure that the format is practical for users. There have already been demos in St. Louis and Seattle. Feedback from these sessions will be collected and incorporated into the second OVEE phase next year.
An update on the Women and Girls Lead campaign from Sommers and Palmieri was presented. The pipeline is currently emphasizing short-form content. Clips of interviews about the campaign with various luminaries taken from the Clinton Global Initiative event were screened. The One Square Mile project received R&D funding to create content in line with the campaign. Partners include the Girl Scouts of America and Public Radio International and the list continues to grow.
Sommers introduced Aguilar and noted that she recently received the Good Egg award from Chicken & Egg Pictures in honor of her dedication to supporting women filmmakers. Aguilar then showed a reel of clips prepared for CPB. The selected clips showcased highlights of the pipeline.
Audit Committee Report
Ted Russell, Chair
Russell reported that the close of the fiscal year was on September 30, 2011. Just this week, he signed the letter engaging the audit firm for the annual financial audit which will begin in December. He and Lowery will review the draft audit with the firm in January. It is expected to be finalized for acceptance by the board at the next meeting in February 2012.
Finance Committee Report
Jane Wagner, Chair
Wagner announced that ITVS remains in a healthy state. An increase in funding was negotiated with CPB for operations and production. The budget is well-constructed.
Michael Shiro added that the preliminary results for FY12 looked very good. ITVS was on target for almost all budget line items. The Production Licensing expenses were greater than the FY12 budget amount. This is one budget line item ITVS tries to spend more than budgeted, so this is a good thing. He also added that in terms of the FY12 budget discussion, the total budget for FY12 ($18.6 million) is very close to the total budgeted for FY12 ($18.5 million) with not too many changes in the overall financial landscape.
ACTION: On a motion by Russell, seconded by Malsheen, the FY12 budget was unanimously approved.
Nominating Committee Report
Cheryl Head, Chair
Head spoke about each of the nominated individuals, and stated that the slate has been recommended by the Executive Committee for approval by the full Board. A ballot was distributed to the present Board members with the following slate:
For a three-year term, commencing upon conclusion of the 2012 annual meeting:
Beth Curley, Nashville, TN<br> Jean Tsien, New York, NY
For a second, three-year term, commencing upon conclusion of the 2012 annual meeting:
Robb Moss<br> Margaret Wilkerson
Since a quorum was present, the Board can make a formal motion on the slate if the majority of the ballots of those present indicated their approval.
Ballots were then distributed, filled out and counted, and the results were unanimously in favor of the Nominating Committee’s slate.
ACTION: The Board accepted the results of the ballot, approving the slates of Beth Curley and Jean Tsien (new members), and Robb Moss and Margaret Wilkerson (term renewals).
With no new business, Denny proposed that the meeting be brought to a close.
The meeting adjourned at 4:04 p.m.
Malinda Maynor Lowery, Secretary