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LostInParadise's avatar

NPR listeners, would you be willing to pay in order to avoid the support announcements and fund raising drives?

Asked by LostInParadise (24934points) 5 days ago

My local station just started its fall pledge drive. I would be glad to pay a few bucks per month to avoid the fund raisers and all the annoying support announcers. This would be in addition to the annual membership donation that I make.

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16 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I already do pay NPR an annual membership fee, and they do the drives twice a year anyway, to get new members. So it doesn’t seem to matter whether people join or don’t join – they’re going to do their begging no matter what.

Makes me wonder if I should remain a member…

LostInParadise's avatar

Only twice a year? The station here has them four times a year, and sometimes adds “special” one or two day pledge drives.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The main NPR station in Atlanta (WABE-FM) does October and April.

zenvelo's avatar

I did like that for a while the local station would end the pledge drive as soon as they met a goal. One time a two week drive ended after four days.

The frequency of the pledge drives and the disruption to programming has actually caused me to not listen to the local station.

The other thing that puzzles me is why they have a renewal rate so poor that they need to have so many pledge drives. The local station has them every other month.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Sure I would. But the stations would never go for it. I have a special hatred for the pledge drives, even though I fully understand their necessity. My own bit of evil is that I refuse to join or pledge memberships for any of the 3 stations I listen to regularly. The junk mail retribution alone taught me decades ago that the way to donate money is anonymously, and always in the form of money orders. And never ever send those money orders in the midst of a pledge drive, which makes it tough to give money to the Pacifica station which begs virtually round-the-clock.

Jeruba's avatar

I prefer having the pledge drives during a concentrated period to hearing regular commercial advertising on an ongoing basis. Nobody loves the pledge drives, but radio isn’t free. I think having a publicly supported communications medium is worth a little annoyance, and now more than ever, when so many media are compromised in one way or another.

So—I’m willing to pay my share (and do, monthly). But I don’t think an extra $10 from me is going to stop the appeals.

Demosthenes's avatar

The week of pledging this September was annoying, but not enough to make me stop listening. I have made one-time donations to radio stations before and I do like NPR, but I’m getting a little sick of subscriptions. I have so many right now: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Patreon, iCloud, etc. On one hand I’m like “what’s one more?” but on the other I’m like “please no more!” I can put up with some pledging every now and then.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Time for the “no pledge, pledge drive,” again…

I’d pay a small yearly fee. I hate paying for things like that. So I might just stop listening to NPR.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The stations have a setup now, such that once you pay the bribe, you can stream the programming and bypass the begging interruptions. I took the change as a personal assault on my position that 2 weeks of sitting through chopped up programming was an annoyance surpassing any dues owed. If you put up with it, you’ve more than done your share. The 2 NPR affiliates here caught on a few years ago and now coordinate their drives to begin and end simultaneously, assuring no escape from the 20 minute chunk of programming cut out for begging.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@stanleybmanly but if I am in the car – in other words, not streaming, I am a prisoner to their extortion.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Well since I’m “on the outside” with the extortionists, I’m not exactly privy to how the deal works. The wife dutifully allows the thugs to withdraw money from her checking account while loudly exhorting me to “grow up”. There was a time when she foolishly believed I could be shamed into “acting right” through embarrassment. So she missed no opportunity to announce my delinquency to our acquaintances. The poor little fool completely forgot about my egomaniacal passion to mount the soapbox in defense of stinginess and parsimony.

stanleybmanly's avatar

But the wife’s new Subaru allows her to stream and do so many other things that I’m terrified to drive it. I mean Seriously, the owner’s manual to the thing is the thickness of a mid sized midWestern city phone book, with 90% of it devoted to the functions and navigation of a huge and intimidating screen. It’s frightening.

canidmajor's avatar

Don’t want to pay? Be a scab and don’t pay. But don’t naïvely believe that any of it is “free”.
If you can’t abide the drives (which include matched donations from large donors, not a bad thing) then listen to one of the bazillion other options.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@canidmajor despite calling themselves Public Radio, they aren’t. They do advertising at the top and bottom of every hour, just like commercial radio. They use terms like “Morning edition is made possible by…” and then there is a 20–30 second ad for whatever company paid them.

They stopped being listener supported public radio 15 years ago.

canidmajor's avatar

I know, @elbanditoroso, I listen too. I still think that without the public listener support and t would be a much different product than it is.
Nothing in my post indicated otherwise.

stanleybmanly's avatar

They get their pound of flesh from me, but they will never know it if I can help it. In the old days, the one great joy that I looked forward to during pledge week was the daily trotting out of Nina Totenberg, who instead of preaching on the glories and benefits of public radio, got right to the point. “If you listen to this station, yet fail to contribute, YOU are a DEADBEAT. That’s right! You’re a PARASITE. I truly loved that woman and regret that NPR grew too slick and sophisticated to allow her berate us philistines.

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