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Friday, June 27, 2008 | I’m saddened by this news, as a regular but part time listener and viewer. The commercials have become so frequent on commercial channels that, regardless of how you view their politics, and I consider them quite political despite their protestations to the contrary, they are a welcome respite from the ceaseless selling on

commercial stations.

I have to say their wounds are largely self-inflicted. They’ve done a lousy job of keeping their regular subscriber base. Whenever they have these pledge drives, and they’ve become more frequent, they offer inducements for new pledges but the same goodies aren’t made available to continuing subscribers. What kind of sense does that make?

They have another resource, archives of old local programs viewers might want to buy, but they have not promoted it. A few years ago I wrote them a letter suggesting this and offering an additional gift of a hundred bucks if they’d run me a copy of a reunion concert of the old Bob Crosby orchestra, held at the organ pavilion. They promised to look into it but nothing happened. Someone could go through that old stuff and offer returning subscribers, who tend to be seniors like me, a choice from among several archived programs for renewal and perhaps a 10 percent increase in their pledge amount.

It’s a real shame, because their local public affairs programs are top notch, but I’m afraid they’re the next to go. What the whole public broadcasting network nationally needs is some top notch marketing talent, but I’m afraid their “public” orientation won’t allow them to see that. I’ve felt in recent years that the best thing that could happen to them would be to lose their remaining government funding, so they could tell their regulars it’s time to put up or they’ll close down. Their no-commercials format is the strongest thing they have to offer, and they aren’t really exploiting it.

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