Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Brother, can you spare a dime?

I feel like a bit of a jerk asking listeners to donate to WWUH in such dire economic times. People are hungry and frightened, and tomorrow I get on the radio at 6 a.m. and ask listeners to part with their hard-earned income to support, of all things, a radio show (but a really great radio show, right?)

We've lowered our expectations a bit at the station. We're not seeking any increase in our published goal over what we hoped to get last year, $60,000 in listener contributions.

Because I was digging out from the storm, I heard none of Monday morning's FM on Toast show, but I did hear Steve Dieterich's Celtic Airs top out with more than $6,000 in three hours. Congratulations to Steve, and thanks to our listeners.

It's an amazing achievement in these days of a declining Dow and expanding unemployment. How many years have I played Dust Bowl ballads never once thinking we'd live through such a sobering re-hash of history.

But, despite all this, I'll do as Steve did today, and ask listeners to help us reach a goal of 10% of the station's overall goal, or $6,000. I will immodestly remind you that programming at WWUH is priceless, but not free. Our budget is tiny ($125,000 per annum), but it pays for a totally homespun and eclectic mix of programming. We play music you won't hear on other broadcast stations, and our public affairs programming is exemplary.

To try to keep things fun, we'll be featuring a few new Marathon fundraising methodologies tomorrow. With "Skype Me A Song" I've asked some musician friends to Skype into the show with a song during the fundraiser. I've already got four volunteers (in a bit of a Folk Next Door reunion it'll be Pete Lehndorff, Hugh Blumenfeld, Nerissa Nields and Tim Mayock).

Nerissa Nields will be unveiling the third song in her triptych of songs which began with Ash Wednesday, was followed with Merry Christmas Mr. Jones, and will be completed tomorrow with I'm Half My Mother's Age (in which our original character tells us about her life fifteen years on!)

I'm also trying to create a webcast of the show with my laptop's webcam. That may not be as successful, but if it is, you will witness, visually, the chaos of Marathon, along with the audio stuff. The problem with a webcast is that the video won't likely synch with the audio coming out of your radio, so it will look like a bad dub of a Japanese Godzilla movie.

Please call in, if you can, and support the station. We've got great t-shirts and CDs as thank-you gifts.

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