Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Why am I not listening to the radio station I support?
Because they are never out of pledge drive mode and they are quite ugly at it. I tried to listen this morning to the radio station that I support twice a year only to be told “come on people, it is time to cough up what this station is worth” and something about how much I might spend on coffee. The tone that they take is something between petulant and accusatory and the discourse sounded like a berating for not having given enough. There is also a pitch language that seems to treat the public as if we were all in the same place together listening to them. A few people call in, and it is a “rally” and nobody calls and we are not getting “with it”.
Now Denis Bernstien can be all of that any time he does a pitch and I have no idea how many listeners he has personally and permanently lost to the station, but the others don’t pitch much better. Somehow being told how exceptional the news will be whenever we stop this fund drive by Amy Goodman, who will have dinner with me for a cool thousand dollars does not sound like a radio station reaching out to its community.
Speaking of that community, where is KPFA? Are we doing anything to increase listenership? Are we doing anything to bring in new voices? Seems like I only hear from Pacifica when they want us to donate or when they are infighting. For anyone who is paying attention the infighting is vicious and destructive. On the one hand we here endless and misleading vitriol from the “Save KPFA” group and on the other, we have groups of people who seem to be holding on to some kind of turf. I do not watch it close enough to know who is entrenched and how but the shows do not change much and I have no idea who some of them are reaching out to. Serious HR practices are not being dealt with and programing seems more like a confederation of non-profits than a coherent radio station. It seems to me that as our national government is shut down and paralyzed by two similar groups fighting for turf something not so different happens throughout US culture.
So I switch off the radio station that I support and listen to the biased, high class version of the corporate news on KQED, which I tell people not to send money to. Is there any wonder why my son and girlfriend both have KQED membership gifts?