LSB General Manager Report: April 9 2016
Emergency Antenna Repair
Thursday March 18th, we lost our main antenna at the top of the KPFA tower. Our signal radiating elements that provide the station 59,000 watts of power needed immediate repair.
We immediately switched to our auxiliary antenna mounted approximately 100 feet below our main antenna on the tower. The degraded signal caused disruptive static and interference in the outlying areas of our signal coverage and also affected the reception by those who are partially blocked by terrain.
Online and on-air we alerted listeners to alternatives–to listen online or on the Comcast digital channel 967.
The antenna is now partially repaired and useable. The final cost is yet to be determined. The issue was a melted and burned out inner conductor and a nonconductive coupling between antenna Bay 5 and Bay 6 that was discovered and removed by the repairmen.
The parts necessary for repair costs $1,718.00–standard factory antenna rebuild kit with brackets, connectors, coupling bullets and gaskets. This does not include the inner conductor because it was replaced with a part from our old main antenna.
The labor costs for a 4-person crew for 2 days was $8,000.
A regular tower inspection was $720.
Provided other repair issues are not discovered when the other bays are removed, the remaining repair need immediately is a spare inner core transmission line, which costs approximately $800.
After dispersing the funds necessary to cover know the final costs of the antenna damage whatever money is left of the $25 thousand raised online in our emergency plea, will be put in a deferred fund to be used for any unforeseen mechanical emergencies.
WINTER FUND DRIVE
Our goal for the Winter Drive was $610,000 in 18 days. At the conclusion of the drive, we had surpassed our goal by $18,748, making our final tally for the Winter Drive $628,748. This was a great achievement because we entered the drive with some trepidation because our Holiday Drive was only 2 months prior and had been quite a success.
Once again, we learned that keeping our fund drives short, and being strategic with airtime pays off. That means being smart about preemptions and paying attention to what our listeners respond strongly to. In addition, we are spending more time with premiums that may hold significance, specifically, to our listeners. Big successes during our Winter Drive were the documentary The Black Panthers by Stanley Nelson and a 6 part series on Capitalism. We know that many of our listeners are interested in these topics – and more importantly, we are able to promote the role that KPFA has played in supporting movements like The Black Panthers and the critical voices on capitalism like Richard Wolff. Strategically, the premiums we use should relate back to the station’s history so we can emphasize the importance of supporting the station. This is working.
Fulfillment for the Winter Drive is steady – 83% of donors have paid some portion of their pledges, with 63% of the total goal being collected so far. Thank-you gift fulfillment is equally steady and it is our goal that all donors will have their pledge gifts by May. The additional good news is that 24% of our pledges in February were from new donors.
Lastly, quickly reviewing our Holiday Drive, which also ended $20,000 over goal, our fulfillment rate is averaged at 81% and our gift fulfillment was complete by mid-February.
KPFA Website Update
KPFA’s restructured and retooled website is a giant step in the right direction to rectify our identity problem and connect us to new listeners, especially the elusive 25-45 year old progressive thinking folks, looking for a place on the media landscape to call home and even more importantly we need the website to become a platform for our increasing off-air fund raising initiatives. The good news here is that the unique visitors to our website have increased two-fold. Our weekly number is 30,000 and our monthly number is 130,000.
In addition to providing 24 hour streaming audio and general information about KPFA, the site is built to encompass and expand our dynamic set of individual show pages that each have unique multimedia content and the automatically updated episode archive. Once we move to a new membership management system we can also integrate KPFA’s online donation system to maximize online fundraising opportunities that reach beyond the standard on-air pledge campaigns. For example when we put out the call on social media that our main antenna was in need of repair, the website was ready for the influx of emergency donations.
KPFA ALLIES DAY
Our loyal listeners are called upon to support KPFA financially in many ways–donating during pledge drives, car donations, volunteering and legacy gifts. But there is one special category that could benefit us in maintaining our bottom line and that is becoming a KPFA Ally.
April 15th is KPFA’s 67th birthday—67 years as the world’s first listener supported radio station. We’re marking our birthday with a 12-hour fund drive, 6am-6pm only! This year we are placing special emphasis on listeners becoming KPFA ALLIES–making a monthly on-going commitment to KPFA. Listeners can also donate for the KPFA ALLIES COLLECTION of historic speeches and interviews or celebrate our history with a donation of any amount at KPFA.ORG.
Our Allies believe in community-supported radio and are willing to sacrifice as much as they can afford so we can continue our mission of challenging the status quo.
During this special one-day Allies drive we will offer listeners a way to become Allies without donating. For example:
Mention KPFA with a hashtag (#) on your social networks
Include “@KPFA” in your comments on KPFA’s posts
Invite friends and family to join our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Send an email introducing KPFA to people that may not know about the station’s programming.
Miscellaneous Upcoming Events
Union contract negotiations begin at the end of this month.
Spring Fund Drive will start on May 10th.
Summer Craft Fair is June 18-19.
General Manager, 94.1 KPFA