Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Public Broadcasting Pledge Drive Death March

I’m not sure I’m right about this; but, I think that WABE radio here in Atlanta has been conducting a pledge drive since New Years Day, starting at 12:01 a.m. OK, that’s not fair, it started a couple of months ago. Really? Last week or the week before.

Public radio talks a lot about how it has no commercials; but, if you add in all the corporate “announcements” and the time it spends begging two or three or four times a year, does it spend more time on actual programming than commercial radio? I’m thinking it’s a push.

And let’s look at public TV. Have you noticed that at the end of a program, there’s about ten minutes of promos and announcements? And that’s not to mention the break or two during the show for the same. And I’m not going to talk about the concert shows that they air twenty or thirty times a year with the really annoying nasal people telling you that if you “love Do Wop like I do, you’ll pick up the phone and make a call.”

I’ve solved the TV harassment with a DVR. Go to begging and I go to fast forward.

Back to WABE, I’m not sure, as I tune it out in my head when they go into beg mode; but, I think they’ve gone to a number of donors rather than number of days or dollars model: we will quite harassing you when we get 12,750 of you to give us some money. That’s what I think I heard in the car on the way home today. Don’t give? We’ll keep this up forever.

So you know, I give money, on the condition that I’m not on any of their lists and they don’t harass me. They broke their promise once and I threatened to stop giving, they apologized and promised to leave me alone. We’ll see.

But here’s the problem, when they do this pledge garbage, I’ve got my choice between listening to the garbage on the way to and from work and Neal Boortz, a second tier talk radio guy, in the morning, or Sean Hannity, a major league boor at night. Or sports radio with equally annoying people talking about stupid stuff.

So, I’ll end this by asking that all of you go to Give them a buck, if enough of you do, they’ll quit and I can listen without cringing. Thank you in advance for your support of my sanity. If you do, maybe Ira Glass will call me and interview me about a new opportunity for extorting money.


Jeni said...

All I have to say about this post, Dave, is this: "I feel your pain."

Debo Blue said...

I would help out but I already gave at the office.

Really, I don't feel it's too much to give to PBS because that's where 98% of my tv is (the other is Raw/Smackdown & SNL).

I've been giving for a while but I will not watch during Pledge Week. Like u and Jeni said, it's painful.

Posol'stvo the Medved said...

One word, Dave -- podcast.

I get all my favorite shows on my iPhone that I can listen to when I want. Of course, I'm not a news junkie like you, so I do miss out on that aspect of it.

And in podcasts, they still beg for money. But, like a DVR, you can bypass that if you care to.

Wes said...

I'm gonna be That Guy.

I would love to donate to WABE, but they won't receive one cent from me while John Lemley is on the air, giving listeners information about the pieces they're hearing that is just flat wrong.

Also: WTF with all the movie soundtracks on WABE lately? I enjoy a good music score as much as the next person, but when you have the ability to broadcast the best that classical music has to offer, why only the stuff that is non-threatning to sprawlburban hausfraus and megachurchgoers? Get some Schoenberg or Boulez or even Del Tredici or Tower or Saarhiaho up in that bizzle - we really don't need to hear the End Credits to Far And Away again.

(three degrees in music, kids. Don't dumb the stuff down.)

Jenn said...

Dave - put some flood pic's up on my page. From TWC it is heading your way, be safe. xx

fermicat said...

This pledge drive did seem to last far longer than those of recent memory. I'd chalk it up to donations being down in a crappy economy. I still listen, even during pledge drives. I'm addicted. And also a member.

Anonymous said...

Get to work.