I know it’s cliche

But I really really really can’t stand the pledge period/membership campaign/beg for money time on WABE (NPR – 90.1 FM). It honestly makes for some of the worst radio around.

18 Comments so far

  1. abby (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 8:45 am

    it kind of makes me want to go spend $4 a day on coffee. and turn the radio off.

    i don’t think that’s exactly what they’re going for.

  2. clearchannel (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 9:14 am

    Right! Why should you have to put up with that stuff! Now relax and tune in to hear the same 25 rock songs over and over again, bewteen commercials, traffic reports, and ever more right wing corporate sponsored FUNtalk!

    I love you.

  3. Tim (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 10:39 am

    LOL… Kudos to Clearchannel!

    I’ve supported public radio in every city I’ve lived in, and one that I didn’t. (Felt I had to toss KCRW some $$ because I was streaming them so much ;-)

    Bottom line, without listener support NPR wouldn’t exist. If you’re annoyed with their need to raise money perhaps you should not be an NPR listener.

  4. Daniel (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 11:02 am

    To be fair to me, I’m not actually annoyed with their “need” to raise money so much as it is the constant begging with which they do it – at the expense of presenting the normally very good programs that they usually have.

    Despite my normal enjoyment of NPR, their method (not their need) of raising money (a two week beg-a-thon) is annoying. This is true no matter how much I may recognize their “need” for money.

  5. Daniel (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 11:13 am

    I don’t want any of my previous comment to imply that I’ve changed my view concerning what I said on the original post. The pledge period/membership campaign/beg for money time on WABE does makes for some of the worst radio around, regardless of whether or not it is necessary.

    Is there any one out there that actually thinks that it is good?

  6. sadie (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 11:32 am

    While I was living in Boston, WBUR ran a pretty groovy pledge drive based on the “the sooner you pledge, the sooner we shut up” concept. I seem to recall (perhaps incorrectly) that the whole drive took three days. Of course, demographics differ… but I really like the added incentive. Go ahead and give today; we’ll hit our goal sooner, and we’ll give you back the 6:50 Marketplace segment.

  7. Stevo (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 11:55 am

    “Now relax and tune in to hear the same 25 rock songs over and over again, bewteen commercials, traffic reports, and ever more right wing corporate sponsored FUNtalk!”

    I pay for XM – none of that crap quoted above and one yearly notice to give my ‘pledge’.

  8. True Believer (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

    Someone should forward this thread to our congressmen and senators, who have the power to fix this problem. Notice the highway department and the army don’t have annoying fund drives.

  9. abby (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 1:16 pm

    a bit harsh with the over-the-top reactions. I’m still with Daniel, though – I listen to npr, and willingly donate, but I’d like to think they could be a bit more creative. I suppose it’s tough when you have to go through it so often, but it’s the same tiresome routine, and frankly, they sound just as miserable spitting it out as I feel listening to it.

  10. Stevo (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 1:23 pm

    NPR doesn’t exactely provide the same service as the roads and highways do….

  11. Will (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

    NPR takes me places, just like the roads and highways do.

    NPR also makes me smarter, even if we dismiss political bias and look only at Car Talk.

    Last I heard, the federal budget was cutting its annual donations to public broadcasting by some $30+ million. I, honestly, feel safer with one less F-22 Lightning and a population that’s able to watch Sesame Street and NOVA.

  12. David Ortiz (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

    And NPR doesn’t cost a fraction of what roads and highways do.

  13. Brandon (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 3:10 pm

    Does anyone else wonder how Sesame Street alone doesn’t generate enough income to run their entire tv and radio lineup without taxes or fundraisers? If Barney could do it, why can’t Elmo?

  14. Daniel (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

    NPR also doesn’t really provide the benefit to the economy that the transportation system does, but that isn’t really the point. I and am not saying that the whole idea of public radio is awful (that’s a different discussion, that I’d be more than happy to get into another time). Just the all at once, suspend all other operations of the radio station that people actually enjoy, way of going about it is really annoying.

    Perhaps even worse, it makes for bad radio. I end up turning off the radio for a couple weeks – these are a couple week when I could have been listening to All Things Consdered or Morning Edition or all the other actually decent radio that the station provides. And I’d probably give more if I got more.

  15. Tim (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 8:37 am

    Sadie: I noticed the NPR station in Chicago did the same thing. Worked pretty well — I seem to remember it cut the drive by 2-3 days.

  16. aeondead (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 10:16 am

    What do you not understand about the P in NPR?
    It ends Friday? Your almost there. You can stand it. I believe in you. Turn to Hannity or Savage for some laughs or WREK for obscure classical music in the morning in the mean time. I love NPR!

  17. Daniel (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 10:21 am

    “What do you not understand about the P in NPR?”

    Actually, the ‘P’ would refer to the tax-based funding that NPR gets. Not to any of these “member” contributions.

    Again (it seems like people don’t actually read the words I write), it isn’t the need to seek donations that I think is annoying. It’s the method with which WABE does it. I really don’t see how this is so objectionable.

    And thank goodness it ends Friday. Then we can get back to regularly, actually enjoyable radio.

  18. Stevo (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

    Check out this link on the subject:

    “Twenty one big public-radio stations hired researchers to ask 30,000 listeners which fund raising tactic they disliked most. Telemarketing ranked highest, followed by on-air fund drives. Most listeners said they weren’t bothered by direct mail or on-air underwriting. The resulting 2004 report, “Annoyance With Fundraising,” encouraged public-radio stations to concentrate on those two areas.”

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