An open letter to my local public radio station.

As a rule, when you want people to support you and your endeavors, you probably ought to give them at least a little of what they want, which in turn will make them more likely to support your cause.

Take note, local public radio station. I listen to Morning Edition and All Things Considered because I want to know what’s going on with the world. What I do NOT want is to hear 5 minutes of quick stories on the half hour, one short feature, and 20 minutes of two guys pulling each other’s puds trying to get me to donate money.

What’s more, you should limit your shilling to twice a year like you used to, not once every month or two for whatever occasion you can think of to try to coax money out of your listeners. Even if I were inclined to donate I would be pissed off if I had to listen to your begging for another two weeks after I threw you some bones. Ironically, donations are always low until the last two days anyway, so perhaps you ought to consider that when you’re killing us with your soggy attempts at humor. As a result, I resolve not to give you any money and turn you off for two weeks. If you’re not careful, when it’s over I may not come back.

In conclusion, shut your yaps and give us back the news. Keep that up for a while and who knows, maybe you’ll never have to beg for money, we’ll be happy to give it to you. What a thought.

When we get to Hell, it will always be Pledge Week.

What, did they forget to pledge allegiance to Ben Roethlisberger this morning? You’re an insignificant plebe (redundant?). They’ll get along without you.

My local NPR is run by an angry woman who’s sole mission is to inflict classical music on us at all times. I donate to the national radio… the local people can go hang… (Atlanta)

I love classical music! I wish I could trade with ya!

Airman Doors. 1st, Thank you for your service to us [ the USA]. I agree with all you wrote. You missed one small point [ well, not so small]. The donations you’ve & tens of thousands of other listeners either don’t know or or ignore, is that you pay for the two guys you mentioned “pulling puds” every payday. While PBS would like you to believe that they are supported buy donations, facts are that they are supported buy the Federal Gov’t to the tune of over 80% of their actual [ not stated] budget. American’s tax dollars pay for your favorite “Pud-pullers” They then sucker listeners to ante up even more. If you listen real close, you’ll hear them get their supposed non-advertisers a boost. Don’t be fooled, Airman. You are not just paying for their Fat salaries, but their perks as well. Sorry to be the one to tell you Santa isn’t real. realmarine

I see you’re new around here, but I would like to see a cite to back up your claims.

Our station encourages people to donate before pledge week, and if they get enough money to meet their goal during that period, they skip the fund-raising. Is a pretty good deal.

It probably only works well in NPR friendly areas where a lot of people donate regularly though.

NPR has been doing fundraising for a long time, and seems to have played with a lot of different models for doing it. As annoying as it may be, I suspect whatever method they’re using in your area is in fact the one that will make people more likely to support their cause.

Why the fuck should they care about the feelings of some deadbeat who doesn’t ever give them money? Good bye and don’t let the door hit you in the ass. No one likes pledge drives but I’d venture to guess that after decades in the business, they know better than you how to most effectively run their business for their paying customers.

The OP seems to be missing something in his calculus. Just because he doesn’t want the format the local public station is providing doesn’t necessarily mean that the majority (or at least plurality) of listeners in the area don’t want it either.

I once heard of a small, isolated town with an all-pledge radio format. Some kind of accident, it was rumored. Experiment gone wrong. You could see the poor souls shambling about, pasty-faced, dead-eyed, nothing but inhuman moans of “tote baaaaags”… Pledge solicitations were all they wanted to hear. Kept them docile. Better for everyone.

I do not think this is true, and you seem to be confusing PBS (which is television), NPR (which is not a broadcaster at all, but a content provider), and local public radio stations (which is what the OP is about). NPR does get some taxpayer subsidy, although I am pretty sure it is not anything remotely like 80% of its income. Most of NPR’s income comes from selling its programming to the local stations who broadcast it. Those local stations get all or nearly all of their income (which pays not only for NPR content, but also any local programming, sometimes programming from other sources, and of course, the broadcasting infrastructure, electricity, etc.) from donations from individuals and charitable foundations and from the business “sponsors” who get those quasi-ads put out in return. I do not think local stations get any government money.

Lost verse from The Sermon on the Mount:
Blessed are those who give unto charity, for they shall receive … tote bags! :slight_smile:

I love that I can access two public radio stations, plus an independent radio station. They never have their fund drives at the same time.

I podcast all of my public radio content, so I don’t have to listen to fund drives or deal with the local station schedules. The best feature on my car is the auxiliary input on the sound system.

Michigan has something like 15 public broadcast networks and 30 PR stations, I can pick up 3 static free, and there are two commercial free independent radio stations that i can pick up on my kitchen radio or stream live…

Here’s a list of ‘socialized’ radio available here; it really is a thing of great beauty:

I borderline support your rant. I hate pledge drives as well, but I do have to take exception to one irony in your post:

Isn’t that what they’re doing all the time that they are NOT doing pledge drives? If people did give enough money when they just did the news, they wouldn’t have to have pledge drives, now would they?

Yeah. I don’t know about your station, but ours only has pledge drives periodically. They are also pushing the “renewing member ship” option, where it’s just a monthly membership fee that keeps renewing as long as you want it to. If more people ponied up when it’s not pledge week, they wouldn’t need as many pledge days.

Give me pledge weeks (as annoying as they are) over screeching, obnoxious radio commercials any day.

My community has three public stations, they keep their fund drives to a minimum, but the public is generous. We can get a mug if we donate on-line and it’s really surprising how many people are collecting these, it’s like a social stigma not to have at least one or ten.

Over these past forty years, many people have included trust funds in their estates to provide perpetual funding for the various public broadcasting systems. A very healthy and long term funding source.

Sesame Street is a profitable enterprise today …