Challenges and Opportunities
Submitted by Jax on Sat, 2020-03-07 13:06
AIM's situation is very dynamic, which has made reporting a challenge.
The short version is: AIM is in a very challenging position - and has been for more and longer than we have really understood. Those challenges present opportunities, but there is a lot to be figured out still.
We are cautiously hopeful that Comcast will relent in its rent expectations, but we don't know that they will. The building in which AIM is located is for lease/sale and our future here is uncertain. We are deeply grateful to Buck & Associates for their willingness to work with us, but we may not be able to stay. We're in active discussion about other possible locations. Each option has implications for operations that remain to be determined.
AIM's finances are very tight - more than half of our limited dollars are restricted dollars from the County, for equipment only, and cannot be used for operating expenses. The extent of monies so restricted has only recently become clear. We're seeking guidance from the County about use of those funds, County expectations of us, and the possibility of free space elsewhere. We're awaiting word on those questions.
One thing is sadly certain: we can't afford to keep all of our employees. We've had to lay off most of the staff, effective the end of the month. Jackie Steven and Lauree McArdle will stay on as long as we can afford them.
The excellent community-generated programming on both TV and WERA will continue. We're seeking pro bono legal guidance regarding our LPFM license and requirements to stay on the air. We don't want to risk loosing that license, so keeping the radio station on the air in some fashion is going to be a high priority.
We anticipate a major contraction of operations (see above) - so we will shrink what we are doing until we have a clearer path forward. Exactly what that looks like will depend on many factors, including how much volunteers can and do take on.
AIM is strong and formidable when we pull together. So we have confidence in our collective ability to rise to the occasion and turn these challenges into opportunities. This is a place and a mission we all value.
Additional information regarding volunteer opportunities and other ways AIM members and supporters can help will be forthcoming. THANK YOU in advance for your being good natured, and for your team-spirited willingness to step up and help AIM not just survive, but thrive.
AIM Staff and Board