I confess I am still trying to shake off the post-repast sluggishness and it feels as though I am wading through molasses. Another get-together here at the station should provide a salutatory antidote. I find the frisson of ideas and enthusiasm these sessions generate extraordinarily rejuvenating. You listeners are one smart, creative bunch and I look forward to seeing some of you tomorrow at 6:30 PM.
There are a few issues raised in the comments regarding the fund drive that I feel compelled to tackle before joining the fray about the station using social media to pry open wallets.
Like Gary (see comments), many of you no doubt wonder why I show up with overturned cap in hand so soon after September’s big haul.
The answer is simple, really. Unlike many NPR affiliates, WBUR is committed, quite ambitiously so, to producing original programming (think On Point, Here & Now, Only a Game, Radio Boston, and our cracker-jack local newscasts). This costs. A lot. Add to this a precarious economic climate, and it becomes evident that the more we raise now, the better our chances of weathering what those dark clouds portend. And contrary to what some of you may believe, a December fundraiser is no anomaly. During my 8+ years with the station (gasp!), we have often had one, regardless of how much the Fall drive delivered.
Yes, there is a surefire solution to axing many of the drives: Tear the guts out of the station and flip on the autopilot. Bye-bye, On Point. Sayonara, Only a Game. Adieu, beefed-up local coverage. (And our social media outreach would also be toast, of course.) The cost? The end of WBUR as you know it. I think that is much too high a price to pay. Naturally, I hope you feel the same way.
And I beg to disagree with “Ex-listener,” who avers, “Pledges are now about 25% of the time if not more.” If anything, it’s been headed the other way, the station having made a concerted effort to reduce hours spent on-air asking for your hard-earned money. Please listen, “Ex-listener”—you may be surprised by what you both do and don’t hear.
So there you have it. Now onto responding to some of your comments regarding testing the social media waters for revenue. Look for that tomorrow.