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WCVE Seeks Members and New Strategy

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Increasing members coincides with a shift in the stations' strategy, says Bartenstein, adding that it's too early to discuss specifics. One phase of the process, she says, will include conducting "serious market research" to learn more about their audience and what motivates them to get involved. It's involvement that parent company Commonwealth Public Broadcasting of Northern Virginia hopes a new, clearly defined strategy will prompt.

Implementing the strategy will be done in waves, Bartenstein says. For now, members of each community station board are meeting with staff and the Community Idea Stations' board of directors to brainstorm.

"At this point we're going over a draft plan," Bartenstein says, which includes "pages and pages of wish-list, pie-in-the-sky" ideas. Then they'll get feedback and prioritize. "If we were going to do everything, it would require millions and millions," she says, noting that's an unlikely coffer.

With its spring campaign under way and WCVE playing up the "member" in membership, a message resounds. "It's become very clear throughout the process that programming is numero uno," Bartenstein says. "Whether radio or television, it's our first priority." A new strategy to increase odds is second. "For every person who calls in a pledge," she says, "nine don't." — Brandon Walters



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