General Manager Report, February 2013
Finance reports have been provided separately for your review and discussion. In general, January was a much better than expected month for us, and four months in to the fiscal year, we are about where we expected to be. Membership and underwriting are both performing ahead of expectations; the auto donation program is struggling.
The annual corporate filings for the Arizona Corporation Commission have been completed, including an updating of our statutory agent. Likewise, the tax return was completed and sent on February 20th.
The capital campaign is moving along with most staff having at least one appointment a week along with work on the steering committee, marketing committee or a new “Deb and development team” meeting that we’ve added. Although major gift/leadership gift work has not yet produced the desired results, we are having very good success with multi-year gifts between $3000 and $10,000. I’ve also done an interview with Tucson Lifestyle that will run in the June issue about our campaign; roughly around the time we will start to go more “public” with our efforts.
The change of ownership report was filed with the FCC and required announcements were aired, as well as public notice run in the Daily Star. With that correction we will now begin to work on our license renewal for fall; work on some areas begins as early as April.
KXCI is honored to again be a finalist for the Governor’s Arts Award, to be presented March 6th in Phoenix. We were nominated in the Community category for our support of others artists and arts organizations. Amanda and I attended a reception for local nominees at the home of Robert Knight, executive director of the Tucson Museum of Art.
I am hosting and producing a new mini-program called Downtown Lowdown that airs Wednesday on The Home Stretch and Thursday at the end of Your Morning Brew. Its purpose is to bring, in just 3-4 minutes, attention to a specific event or program in downtown (or to a particular aspect of downtown). Initial guests have represented the Downtown Tucson Partnership, the Rialto Theatre, Children’s Museum Tucson, 2nd Saturdays Downtown, Fourth Avenue Merchants Association, and Technicians for Sustainability. A side benefit of the program is that it often introduces KXCI to the heads or managers of these organizations.
Duncan and I met with representatives from the French music festival Les Escales, held in August. Each year their festival picks one city in the whole world to feature – and this year, it’s Tucson (only the 3rd US city, behind New York and New Orleans). We will be helping them with interview requests from European magazines, coordinating the bands from Tucson that deserve invites, and possibly in carrying part of the festival from France. Our involvement was specifically requested by Tucson Pima Arts Council and the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau (as a lot of the magazine writers will be travel writers).
We have received two local proposals for the website redesign; Tony Ford should have a fuller report on our progress.
I led an all-sales staff meeting on February 1st. We are making great progress toward our budget goals, toward shorter copy and toward higher average sales prices. We reassigned some leads at the meeting and in general, underwriting seems to be running stronger though it still presents a phenomenal growth opportunity.
We are redesigning the former GM office upstairs to become a deejay-centric area. In addition to a computer already there, we have moved in a music review station, repainted and will soon add shelves for about 5,000 CDs – which will allow us to also house Kidd Squidd’s personal collection, which he is donating to the station. The room will still be able to work as a green room for live bands performing in Studio 2A.
Progress continues on our green certification from the City of Tucson, spearheaded by Amanda.
I met with a representative from the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, which is working to open locations in Phoenix and Tucson. They are looking for help in spreading the word about their organization, recruiting volunteers, and in selecting future Tucson acts for the Hall of Fame; we both believe KXCI has an instrumental role to play in their success. One aspect of the partnership has already paid off, with AMEHF officials selling our CDs and passing out program schedules for us at the recent Gilbert Folk Festival.
Another successful quarterly CAB meeting was held on February 13th.
Changes in our program schedule are being implemented in an orderly fashion, in part to suggestions from our Programmer Advisory Committee, which meets with me monthly. Upcoming changes include a long-desired move of Dead Air to Sunday nights (6-9pm, followed by an earlier reggae show) and a marriage of our R&B/soul show Impak, which will now follow Blues Review on Saturday nights. Such changes help to eliminate the seams that sometimes disrupt our program flow.
We are closer to activating the “Wingspan Weekly News” and “Indie Wheel” mini-programs, as I continue to meet with both Wingspan staff and Miguel Ortega.
In addition to the spring membership drive (February 28 – March 16?) we are hosting three fundraising concerts in March: a celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Dark Side of the Moon on March 1st at Plush; the 4th annual Festival En El Barrio on March 24th; and Booker T. Jones on March 29th at/with the Fox Tucson Theatre.
In lieu of attending a national conference, I am now registered for the The Grantsmanship Center’s week-long training here in Tucson, March 25th-29th. While similar in cost to a conference fee ($895) we will save on airfare and hotel costs. Other staff are looking at conference opportunities for summer; we will send Duncan to the SXSW Music Conference in March and are likely to send Cathy to the NFCB conference at the end of May in California. Amanda and Michelle were both able to attend conferences last year; we generally rotate.
Though not related to my work here, I did receive my Arizona Level One fingerprint clearance card, which is something we may wish to check in to for employees involved in the kids’ deejay classes. The cost of my fingerprinting was picked up by Rotary and is related to my new weekly, one-hour tutoring session at Imago Dei Middle School.