Board Minutes – 02/1999


Chicago Headline Club
Board of Directors Meeting

February 17, 1999

Attended: Tom Davies, Rob Hess, Maria Traska, Howard Dubin, Pat Kosar, Marcia Barancik, Molly McDonough, Ed Cooper, Tom Vales, Christine Tatum, Steve Rynkiewicz,, Ilyce Glink, Mary Myers, Bob Roberts, Jennifer Epmeier, Susan Stevens

The minutes were accepted with minor changes.


It is with deep regret that Ilyce Glink announced by e-mail that Kathy McClelland, co-editor of the Chicago Journalist died February 17, at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital of lung cancer that had spread to her brain. Visitation will be February 20 from 11A.M. to 1 P.M. at the Northlake Funeral Home, Northlake IL. with the funeral following immediately.

Ilyce also mentioned there is an educational conference coming up in Cleveland, for those who may be interested. Rob Hess and Steve Rynkiewicz added that there is a regional conference coming in Kentucky, and fliers are being sent out.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Howard Dubin said that in the first seven months of the fiscal year, the Headline Club spent $20, 841.27 and took in $6,950.00, leaving a deficit of $13, 891.27. This leaves the club with assets of $49,835.04, the lowest of the year. The deficit is expected to be erased by income from the upcoming Lisagor awards contest, which annually produces more than $20,000.

The Greatest expense item in the first seven months of the year is the Chicago Journalist newsletter, which cost $10, 246.48 and brought in advertising revenue of $1,350.00. Its net cost of about $1,300 an issue, or $2.75 a member means that anuual dues don’t even cover the newsletter mailings.

The second biggest expense of the first seven months was the “Future of Journalism” seminar, which cost $3,672.55 and brought in $1,860.00 in revenue. Our recent City News Bureau program cost $3,219. 25, making it the third largest expenditure so far this year. An additional mailing raised the cost of the City News Bureau program to $3,596.30.

To date this year, we’ve spent $1,169.69 on the “Brown Bag” lunches, $1,047. 27 on Lisagor, $799.22 on the Directory, $310.29 on Ethics, $161.87 on dues mailing, and $97.65 on our telephone service.

On the revenue side, we collected $2,970.00 in local dues in the first seven months but at least 70 members have not yet paid from the first two dues notices.

After large losses in the two previous fiscal years from Gridiron Shows, the board decided that profit from the Lisagor awards would now be spent on meaningful educational programs such as Future of Journalism, Brown Bag lunches and timely topics, such as the City News Bureau closing. Right now, we’re on target to break even for the full 12 month year.

Erin Reilly and Rob Hess reported that the Chinese New Year celebration last year cost more than anticipated because there was too much food for the number of people who attended and the bartender charged more than expected. Erin also suggested not serving alcohol at most functions, pointing out that very few people consumed alcohol at the panel on the future of the City News Bureau.

Howard Dubin said that the Headline Club does not receive tax relief for being a non- profit. SPJ is still searching for a new director and a new headquarters. The two most likely outcomes are to build a new building at the present location or move to Indianapolis.

MEDIA/NEWS RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Maria Traska proposed raising Headline Club dues to $30 Steve Rynkiewicz made a counter-proposal to lower the rates. A discussion ensued on how to attract more members from the electronic media and from Northwestern University. Rob Hess said he would contact people he knows at Medill to ascertain their interest in the club. The board created a Media/News Relations Committee to connect with journalists and editors in the newsroom. It is also a means of improving membership recruiting. Maria said we have 70 to 80 names on a fax list that could be used for a Media/News Relations Committee. The members of the new committee are Ilyce Glink, Pat Kosar, Maria Traska and Christine Tatum. Maria also suggested compiling a list of e-mail addresses.

LISAGOR: Steve Rynkiewicz presented the Lisagor report. He said there are fewer entries than there were last year. There was also a discussion as to whom to invite as the keynote speaker the Lisagor dinner and who should emcee the event. Henry Hyde’s name was brought up as a possible keynote speaker, and the consensus was we have heard too much from him recently. Rob Hess suggested postponing the discussion on a speaker. He also suggested interspersing the presenters throughout the program, rather than have a long series of speakers. Sue Stevens said that everyone who knew Peter Lisagor personally has already spoken. It was suggested that slides of print entries be shown as they appeared in the publication; Bob Roberts said short clips of broadcast entries need to be played. Ilyce suggested that Christine Tatum, Sue Stevens and Bob Roberts meet with the Lisagor Committee. Ilyce shared with the board that she received an anonymous e-mail from three people alleging fraud in last year’s Lisagor Awards. They were all previous winners whom she said appeared to be disgruntled they had not won last year. Steve Reports via e-mail that the checks received for the Lisagor dinner total $22,680.00

Ethics: Bob Roberts gave the ethics report. He said the only activity at the moment is that the Freedom of Information Act has once again been introduced by Rep. Colishaw.

Nominating Committee: Pat Kosar Rob Hess and Marilyn Moats Kennedy all expressed interest in becoming president. Bob Robert will remain Vice President for Ethics, and Marcia Barancik was named a vice president to assume the presidency in 2000. The nominating committee consists of Sue Stevens, Erin Reilly, Ilyce Glink and Christine Tatum. Tom LaPorte, a former board member, returns to the board to assume Marcia’s seat.

Mary Myers reported that PR Newswire has agreed to carry Headline Club news pro bono on their Metro Wire.

Mary McAndrew Memorial: Rob Hess submitted a proposal to establish an internship in honor of Mary McAndrew, who was never a member of the board but who acted as a mentor to students interested in a journalism career throughout her 11 years in Chicago, including Bob. She was dedicated to the journalistic profession. Bob said she always asked students who expressed interest in journalism whether they had worked on their school papers or broadcast stations, and if they had not Mary suggested they change majors.

The board laid down some conditions for the internships; one of which was only to accept applicants who have not already had an internship. It was agreed that the internship need not necessarily be awarded every year. Ilyce also suggested the board mentor aspiring interns, Bob Roberts, Sue Stevens, Ilyce Glink and Rob Hess agreed to serve on the Internship Committee.

Brown Bag: Erin Reilly announced that Jeremy Iggers, who is coming in from Minnesota, will be the speaker February 26.

The March 26 speaker is Steven Cvengros and Dennis Byrne and Eric Zorn will speak
April 26.

The next board meeting is Wednesday Mar. 24 at 8:00 A.M Steve Rynkiewicz informed the board by e-mail that since the board room is not available on Mar. 24, the meeting will be held in the 20th flr. cafeteria, the same location as the Brown Bag lunches.

Ed Cooper, secretary