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Friday, September 21, 2007

Re: KUOW Ransom Note

posted by on September 21 at 10:49 AM

I’m blogging this from the bowels of KUOW, where I’m taping a segment for Weekend America. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone…

I have a question about this keep-the-pledge-drive-short note—this ransom note—that Dave received in the mail. I’ve heard similar announcements on the air for the last week or two, so it’s not just ransom notes—they’re making on-air threats.

And here’s what I’m wondering: Has KUOW announced their goal for their upcoming pledge drive? $500K? $750K? MoreK? They should tell us the goal, if they haven’t already. And it seems to me that KUOW is obligated to announce exactly how much they took in during the run-up to the pledge drive when the pledge drive actually starts. And then KUOW should tell us exactly how much shorter the pledge drive is going to be thanks to the folks that sent money early in response to those “send money now and shorten the pledge drive!” postcards and announcements.

KUOW is telling us that early pledges shorten the pledge drive—okay, but by how much? I never hear about how much shorter the pledge drive is going to be thanks to early pledgers once it starts. You never hear anything about early pledges once the pledge drive starts—no thank you, no acknowledgment, nothing. For all we know KUOW is extorting early pledges out of listeners and then sticking us with the same ol’ lengthy pledge drive.

In other KUOW news: Despite Ken Vincent’s very public departure from the station, his picture is still on the wall here…


That’s Ken on the far right, Derek “Too Cute for Radio” Wong in the middle, and KUOW alum Bill Radke (host of Weekend America) on the far left. Let me know if you want your picture, Ken, and I’ll liberate it for you.

RSS icon Comments


I can just see you now, Ken's picture strapped to the back of your bike as you cackle and speed away... until you hit a hill, then you don't so much "speed" away.

Posted by Phelix | September 21, 2007 11:02 AM

A few years back, they announced a number, I think it was $250k, and promised no pledge drive if they met the goal. They did meet it, and they used the same system for a couple years, until people started to forget how much pledge drives suck and stopped donating early.

Now, after a few years of sucky pledge drives, they are bringing it back. I haven't heard a goal this time, though.

Posted by L-Train8 | September 21, 2007 11:03 AM

Oh, come on, let's not be naive here. Of *course* the pledge drive is going to go on forever, and of *course* they're not really going to tell you how much they want or need. It's all about how much they can *get*. The more they beg, the more they blackmail, the more they *get*. Don't let that public-broadcasting-not-for-profit crap fool you. They're in it for the $$$ just like the rest of us.

Posted by Providence | September 21, 2007 11:07 AM

KUOW has a totally inconsistent signal. What the hell am I paying for every year?!

Posted by DOUG. | September 21, 2007 11:11 AM

Lies! It's all a pack of fucking lies! It's going on Monday through Thursday, and we're all fucked, especially those of us who are too fucking poor to afford to send in the cash. If I could afford it, I'd send in the $250k myself just so the fuckers wouldn't do it, but I'd make them put in writing, because these fuckers otherwise would just do it anyways and spend the pledge drive funds on blow.

Posted by Gitai | September 21, 2007 11:17 AM

You've confirmed my worst suspicions, Gitai!

Posted by Dan Savage | September 21, 2007 11:20 AM

The very hot Bill Radke has been gone for years, yet there his photo is. Stealing Ken's photo will ruin the symmetry of the display - well, unless you steal Bill's photo for me while you're at it.

Posted by KY. COL. of TRUTH | September 21, 2007 11:37 AM

The mailing goal has nothing to do with the drive goal. So you can mail in all the $$ you want it won't change the goal. If the mailing crashes the drive goal could be increased

Posted by UnionYes | September 21, 2007 12:07 PM

And even on the pledge drive they say they need X amount for the hour but when the hour is over they never say how much they got or if they went above the goal is the next one gonna be less, etc.

Posted by chi type | September 21, 2007 12:10 PM

Liberate that damn picture, KUOW doesn't deserve to have it up there.

Posted by Katelyn | September 21, 2007 12:15 PM

As other stations are reducing their drive days through different sources of fundraising "less fundraising, more programming," that is not the case at KUOW. Public radio does rely on listener support but transparency is important too.

KUOW is like a fine restaurant. The food is great, people love it but if you are better off not seeing the kitchen. You are better off not asking too many question about finances just enjoy the programs.

Posted by UnionYes | September 21, 2007 12:15 PM

I enjoy Weekend America but I do miss Bill Radke and Jon Moe's show Rewind.

Posted by PA Native | September 21, 2007 1:01 PM

AAAAAAAAGGGHHH!! THANKS A LOT, Dan, for publishing that relic. Please let me assure your readers that my glasses are no longer bigger than my tie knots. I think that thing was shot sometime shortly after the completion of the Alaskan Way viaduct, and deserves the same fate: taken down and replaced, buried undergound, or thrown on the surface streets. Yes, the next time you're there, pleeease take it and put it wherever you stashed the award trophy you stole from the KUOW green room a couple of years ago. Or better yet, destroy it in the same manner you destroy HUMP! films after they're screened.
p.s. Those photos of Derek Wang and Bill Radke are old, too. Derek is much cuter now; Bill is not.

Posted by Ken Vincent | September 21, 2007 1:11 PM

just so you know, derek wong drives my boyfriend insane in the mornings when the radio alarm goes off. he has a case of the forrest gump speak.

Posted by maria | September 21, 2007 2:40 PM

KEN!!!! We still miss you like the dickens.

Posted by KUOWer | September 21, 2007 3:06 PM

Now I may be bias but hosting Morning Edition and All Things Considered is a little like being an air traffic controller or that guy on the Sullivan show trying to keep all the plates spinning.

Posted by UnionYes | September 21, 2007 3:20 PM

By the way it is Derek Wang not Wong and Derek Wang was much cuter then: .
Not that there is anything wrong with him now afterall we all have to age eventually.

Posted by Touring | September 21, 2007 3:33 PM

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