To: All Interested Parties Date: June 10, 2020 LCCR, Inc. Status Report
Lake County Community Radio is feeling the challenge of an economy hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. At the May Board meeting we focused on two priorities, the emergency health and safety procedures enacted in March and the status of our finances.
Health & Safety: We continue to follow the health and safety protocols enacted more than 2 months ago: limiting the number of programmers/board operators in the studio to one at a time, disinfecting before and after “change of shift,” and keeping the building locked at all times to limit risks to programmers/board operators.
To date, we are grateful to report that none of our volunteers or staff have taken ill. Maintaining a sanitized and safe working environment, while at times inconvenient, has proved effective in keeping us healthy.
As businesses re-open and out of county visitors return to our inviting lake shores, the risk of infection will undoubtedly increase. Now is not the time to relax our procedures.
At our May meeting the Board of Directors were unanimous in deciding to continue the preventive measures enacted. This decision necessitates a collaboration with our landlord and other renters in the building we share. That effort is underway.
The Board is also unanimous in support of the strategies being employed by our staff, General Manager Andy Weiss and Program Director Chloe Karl, to manage schedules and provide a mechanism to pre-record music shows from home. We want to increase our air time in general and specifically music shows.
Andy is working one-on-one with programmers to make this transition. Some have mastered the process, others are working on it. It does require a microphone. There are costs involved and through an anonymous donor a few microphones are being purchased to help out.
Pre-recording is not new to KPFZ, many programmers have a backup pre-recorded show available to use during unplanned absences. The bottom line is that, like other essential services and businesses, we are making adjustments and “live, from the studio” recording and programming formats must take a back seat to the threats and vagaries of COVID-19, at least into the foreseeable future. Thank you all for your patience and understanding. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Board Operators who support live shows and Andy and Chloe, who work so hard to keep us on air, informed and safe during COVID-19.
Finances: We continue to focus on meeting the monthly challenge of paying our bills. We have been closely tracking our income since the Shelter In Place announcement. People are struggling. Our underwriter income has dropped dramatically as businesses pull back their expenses and the concerts we rely on in all likelihood will not happen this year. That’s a decline in revenue of about $23,000, 43%, of our operating revenue.
A review of our income and expenses presented at the May Board meeting revealed the stark reality that we had about 2 months of operating revenue.
Since then, a member and long time supporter of community radio donated $10,000 when she heard of our predicament. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude.
This unexpected gift has changed our outlook, we now have operating funds to get us through summer. We do not, however, have sufficient income to get us through the year’s end. The Board is examining a number of alternatives to stretch our available funds and raise the needed income as follows:
• Reducing operating expenses, such as rent, phones and utilities.
• Continuing the on-air silent fund drive.
• Making direct appeals to past generous donors and others. In terms of operating expenses, rent reduction is at the top of the list since it is one of our most costly bills. Efforts are underway.
The fund drive is key to our ability to stay on air. The good news is that membership renewals are up for the period January 1 through April 30 of 2020 compared to the same period of time in 2019. Unfortunately, income for that period is down, presumably due to economic factors. We need to keep the upward trend for renewals going and we are asking programmers and board operators to continue supporting the station by making the fund drive announcement and playing the promotional appeal.
We have a long way to go with the COVID-19 crisis and we know fire season will add to that burden. As a Board we are dedicated to doing what is necessary to stay on air and with the help of our listeners, members, underwriters, and supporters we will continue to serve our community - in good times and through current adversities.
Your fundraising ideas and feedback are welcome. Please use the message feature on our website, www.kpfz.org or mail them to us at KPFZ, P.O. Box 446, Lakeport, CA.
Olga Martin Steele, President
LCCR, Inc., Board of Directors