Monday, December 06, 2010

WTJU and the Fatal Fund-drive

The big news today (at least in the world of non-commercial broadcasting) is an article published in the New York Times.Waning Support for College Radio Stations Sets Off a Debate profiles two college radio stations on the chopping block: KTRU (Vanderbilt University) and WRVU (Rice University). Why? It's a way to cut expenses, and the perception is that no one listens, anyway.

It's a situation we know something about at WTJU (University of Virginia), having lived through a proposed format change that would have turned us into the third American/Roots station in our market.

WTJU is now entering it's Winter Fund-Drive, with our traditional Classical Music Marathon. For the next six days and nights, the classical department will take over the station (as did the jazz department in the fall, and the rock and folk departments will in the spring) and ask for the financial support of our listeners.

During the summer, when classical programming was on the chopping block, many people stepped forward to show their support for our multi-formatted station. But will they be there with the dollars? That's the question that we'll answer over the next six days.

If you're a listener to WTJU, either through our on-air signal or over the Internet, now is the time to step forward with a pledge. We need to raise $40,000 to make up the shortfall in our operating budget. I'll be on the air fund-raising of course, and even hosting all of the overnight segments!

Will we be part of the New York Times' self-proclaimed trend, or the exception to it? That will be up to our exceptional listeners.

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