Letters to the Editor

Viewpoint: The high cost of radio

I have lived in Cambria for 26 years. Living on the beautiful Central Coast has been enhanced by having KCBX-FM as our local NPR station.

As the station has grown since its founding in 1975, production expenses have increased dramatically, as have the costs of subscribing to various NPR programs. Since 58 percent of KCBX’s operating revenues come from individual listeners, the fundraising goal of each of its semi-annual pledge drives has now reached $225,000. This hefty and necessary amount requires an interruption of normal programming so that station staff and volunteers can encourage listeners to donate money to keep the station on the air. The station cannot survive without the financial support of listeners.

Several years ago I came upon a painless and efficient method of creating my pledges for the two fund drives. I take the change in my pocket and put it into a dish on my bureau. As you read this, KCBX listeners, count the change in your pocket or purse and see what the amount is. A dollar, perhaps two? Tonight, put it in a dish or a jar. A dollar’s worth of change each night will be enough to donate $365 to KCBX every year.

Painlessly! Two bucks a night will be $730!

How to get the money to the station? Banks have money counting machines, as do some markets. A small fee is required by some machines.

Or, you can listen to KCBX while you count it yourself. Banks will provide coin wrappers for free. Better yet, have one of your children do the counting and packaging and pay them the money the machine would charge.

Achieving an annual budget each year is one thing, but without the volunteer program hosts, staffing would be an impossible cost. Several of the hosts have been donating their time for more than 30 years.

Just think, pledge breaks could be reduced to just a gentle reminder to empty your change purse or pocket at night.

John Brannon writes a column for The Cambrian.