(After his very popular Big Brothers Big Sisters guest blog, Geoff Mayfield makes a repeat appearance with a blog about public radio. He and I share a love for it and I'm very happy to make today's donation to KPCC -Melinda)
My stepdaughter was 10 when I married her mom. In those early years, if we were listening to “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition” or the likes of “This American Life” or “The Story,” Brittany would ask sourly, “Can we listen to something else?” But, before her college era began, her question changed to, “Could you turn it up, please?”
Southern California is awash in public radio stations. I know, because our household supports three of them, including KCRW and jazz station KKJZ (known on air as “KJazz”). My pal Sky Daniels is doing some interesting things with KSCN (although its signal doesn’t hit our radios in Pasadena) and I’ve been a guest a couple of times on Pacifica Foundation’s KPFK.
There are other public stations in this area, too, but the one that gets most of our TSL (radio ratings lingo for Time Spent Listening) is KPCC. In part, that loyalty comes from the simple fact that the Pasadena-based station runs so many of my favorite public radio shows. Along with the programs previously mentioned, KPCC also delivers “Fresh Air,” “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me,” “Marketplace” and “Car Talk,” plus newer ones like “Radiolab” and “Snap Judgment.”
Among KPCC’s own productions, “Off Ramp” is as compelling as any show you’ll hear from the likes of National Public Radio, and, in an era when big networks cut back on news budgets, KPCC has actually added news staff.
One more thing I like about KPCC is that the station actually seems to make a concerted effort to pare back that necessary evil that comes with public radio: the pledge drive. Having manned a few of those back in my radio days for Kent, Ohio station WKSU, I can tell you that those fund-raising blocks are as little fun to broadcast as they are to hear, but I know it’s how they pay the bills. I appreciate that KPCC makes an effort to limit the pain.
So, today, Melinda’s daily Causes and Effect donation goes to a station the Mayfield family already supports at least once a year, sometimes more, but you don’t have to follow our lead. Is there a public station in your neck of the woods that grabs your ears?
If so, think about sending in a few shekels. Spontaneous donations like that just might shave a day or two off that station’s next pledge drive.
Oct. 1: KPCC