It’s almost time for public radio’s begging season

Posted by & filed under Misc.

Today’s rant is dedicated to KUT, Austin Public Radio station. And I bet it applies pretty much verbatim to other public radio stations around the country.

While driving to work I usually flip between several stations non-stop (news on one, talk show on the other, attempt to find something to listen, then back to news/traffic). And I am always amazed at the volume of commercials that public radio plays. Boring, uninteresting one to two-liners with company name repeated over and over again.

How is it possible? Isn’t the whole idea of the public radio station that it’s run by volunteers and doesn’t do this whole “profit” thing? How come every 5-7 minutes or even more frequently you hear “… is brought to you by such-and-such company, insert company slogan here”. And then on top of that public station goes into this frenzy of begging listeners for more money, every year, over and over.

Have you ever heard music station beg for money? Be it rock or pop or any other genre? Commercials every 5 minutes? Not really. Then what’s wrong with KUT? How come they spent so much money, or get so little money from the commercials? I may never know.

I know their traffic reports are about as laggy as they can be, with huge delays in updates. I even tried to email them about it a couple years ago, and got back that they use third party data provider, and there’s nothing they can do except wait until company gets better at tracking traffic issues. Yet talk radio 590 KLBJ doesn’t seem to have any problems like that, and doesn’t beg for money either. And the amount of commercials is same if not less, and amount of news is more.

Of course I suppose Public Radio here plays the role of, say, BBC radio channel. In content, not in financing, meaning playing more of a fringe music programs. But then, I wonder how many people stop listening to KUT while it goes into money-begging month and how that kills of their ability to attract sponsors. I’d love to see that statistics…

In the meantime 97.7 ROCK and 93.7 KLBJ will kinda help me. Well, mostly 97.7 ROCK — for some unimaginable reason 93.7 has DJs blabbing all morning long. Hello, where’s the rock music?

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