Media They’re Having a Pledge Drive Over at KUOW…
posted by April 7 at 7:52 AMon
…and I just heard ‘em say that they need your pledge—now! right away! before it’s too late!—to stay on the air. Things sound pretty desperate over there on the Ave, huh? So now might be a good time to re-read this October 2007 piece in the Stranger by Michael Hood of Blatherwatch:
“When staff found out there was all this money—not only in the bank, but being generated [during pledge week]—they asked: Why are we duping the donors?” That’s how a former KUOW staffer characterized internal reaction to the station’s upcoming annual financial report. Last year, the station had a $1.3 million surplus. This year’s report, according to the former staffer, will show an even larger surplus.
So why do KUOW’s twice-yearly pledge drives—one started on October 8—make it sound like the wolves are at the door?
“Maybe they’re too good at raising money,” says one longtime supporter of the station.
As staffers beg for donations on-air this week, listeners will be told that their money is desperately needed for programming, programming, programming. Listeners will not be told about surpluses or the station’s expansion, its planned innovations, or new platforms being built with the money KUOW raises from its listeners. There’s nothing wrong—it’s commendable, even—that KUOW is using its surpluses to expand and innovate. But public radio listeners are famously well-informed and sophisticated. They can be trusted with the whole story.
Read the whole thing here.