Board Minutes – 10/2004


Chicago Headline Club
Board of Directors Meeting

October 18, 2004

President Ben Bradley called the meeting to order shortly after noon.

Present: Bradley, Jessica Diehl, Kristen McQueary, Meg Tebo, Molly McDonough, Jason Jedlinski, Paula Brien, Terry Harper, Art Menke, Deborah Cohen, Rob Olmstead, Tim Mantz, Mary Wisniewski, Steven Rynkiewicz, Abdon Pallasch and Susan S. Stevens.

President’s report: Ben read a thank you letter from Emily Wood, a Northwestern student who received a CHC internship and was able to report for KSPR-TV in Springfield, Mo. During the summer. Without us, the summer experience wouldn’t have been possible, she said.

Ben proposed that we think about setting up a committee to keep an eye on local journalism – successes, failures, good, bad, pros and cons. Other than Michael Miner in the Reader, no one is keeping tabs these days. A straw poll favored the idea. Ben wil investigate the possibilities and research the liabilities.

Minutes: from the last board meeting were approved.

Membership: Jason said it’s time for a web site redesign. He wants to make it more a resource guide for the city, kind of like a beat book and similar to the Community Media Workshop’s 1996 guide for the Democratic National Convention which was last updated in 1999. Board voted to explore with CMW our providing a grant for a new update, in exchange for use of its guide. Jason will be the point man, with Paula also involved.

Jason heard back from 190 people in his directory query – exactly 50 percent of the membership. Board gave him a go-ahead to print it.

FOI: Meg said the FOI/Open Meetings cards are in the works.

Programs: Ben said the Lifetime Achievement Awards dinner was an incredible success. It might have turned a profit. John Kass, keynote speaker, did a very nice job. Also, it was nice that people stayed after dinner to talk and drink since networking is one of our goals. Some big names from the local media also attended.

Meg reported on the St. Xavier program, saying about 30 attended but everyone learned something. The beautiful room could have held twice as many. We are welcome back any time, with free food provided.

Molly said the bus tour drew 18 people, a disappointing attendance.

Ben said the professional development workshops were called off a week ahead because of a lack of RSVPs. One problem was that the schedule was lined up too late. Another is that a name speaker is needed. Note that Poynter and IRE handled the burden the two previous years. Barb Iverson almost single-handedly planned the day. Rich Roth, Region 5 director, will be offered her program for the regional convention.

Oct. 21 – 1st Amendment forum

Students: Jessica needs first-year reporters to talk to Columbia journalism students.

Art said high school contest applications are going to teachers next month.

Foundation: Molly said it voted to create two more scholarships, possibly one for a minority and one for a graduating high school senior.

Board membership: Ben said Diane Carbonara resigned because she is too busy at work. He asks for suggestions for a replacement.

New business: Illinois News Broadcasters Association believes it’s a good time for another push for cameras and mics in courtrooms. INBA will put up $2,500, WLS-TV will contribute $1,000. $550 was raised at the INBA convention. A total of $6,000 has been pledged. Does the Headline Club want to join the effort? Vote: seven against, three in favor.

SPJ 2006 convention: SPJ Executive Director Terry Harper attended the meeting and President Irwin Gratz participated by speakerphone because his flight was cancelled to encourage us to host the 2006 national convention. They apologized for the abrupt start of the discussion earlier.

Irwin said SPJ is trying to lift the convention burden from local chapters and their volunteers. Starting next year in Las Vegas, SPJ will line up hotels, meals, schedule, speakers, program, etc.

CHC concerns are the almost simultaneous Brownlee Series and awards dinner. Harper and Gratz said it’s not their intention to make CHC finances suffer, and they are not trying to jam the convention down our throats.

Irwin said SPJ has been kicking back 15 percent of the profit to the host chapter, though won’t do so much for Las Vegas. He said Chicago could get at least 10 percent. Terry said Tampa got $4,000-5,000, while New York got about $15,000 because it raised $208,000. Ben noted fundraising is not our strength. Terry said $50,000-100,000 would delight him.

Ben said the Brownlee Series would benefit from SPJ workshops. Terry said SPJ would help us get a big-name speaker.
Irwin noted Friday night has been optional.

Terry said CHC would be asked to kick the occasional door open, give them contacts, maybe grease skids.

Terry said the convention will be in the Loop, not on the outskirts of Chicago.

The board by unanimous voice vote voted in principle for it, with a letter of responsibilities to be delivered by SPJ.

Lisagor: Steve said he is giving half off the entry fee for members’ own nominations. This might build the membership roster. Entry deadline is Jan. 14. Dinner will be April 29, again at Westin Chicago.

Meeting adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens