Pledge Boom Helps Public Stations Ride Out Recession

Loyal public help keep stations going as sponsorships, government funding vanish
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2009 10:07 AM CDT
Pledge Boom Helps Public Stations Ride Out Recession
A pledge drive in progress at Sacramento's KVIE.   (Flickr)

Loyal viewers and listeners have stepped up to help their local public broadcasters make it through the recession, the Washington Post reports. Public stations say their appeals to the public are meeting a warm response despite the recession, with donations staying steady and, at some stations, even rising to record levels. "We're getting astounding numbers," says the fundraising chief of a DC public radio station.

The uptick in private donations has helped offset a drop in government and corporate funds, making layoffs and cutbacks less severe at stations across the US. "From everything I know anecdotally, and I speak constantly to the stations, individual giving has held up," says one industry consultant. Another speculates that the decline of other media such as local newspapers has left people feeling more protective than ever about their public broadcasters. (More pledge drive stories.)

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