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Posted on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

Do you donate to public radio?

By Staff

Washtenaw County's two public-radio stations, WUOM (91.7-FM) at the University of Michigan and WEMU (89.1-FM) at Eastern Michigan University, have begun their annual spring fund-raising drives.

Listener donations are an important source of income for both stations, and WEMU is shooting for a record today, the first day of its drive: $50,000 in one day. Incentives and special guests are part of the plan.

“After our fall pledge drive - which was our best ever - we were asking ourselves what we could do to match that end-of-the-drive intensity earlier in the week,” said WEMU General Manager Molly Motherwell in a prepared statement. “So we decided to try and raise $50,000 by the end of the first day, giving us a sense of urgency right away instead of all at the end.”

Do you donate to public radio? Vote in the poll and/or leave a comment below.

And if you want to donate, click here for WEMU or here for WUOM.



Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

Good question, sh1. Unfortunately, NPR's coverage and commentary is barely better than what you'll usually find on CNN. So, to answer your question, I get news from CNN, MSNBC, RT, CBC, NYT, WaPo, The Atlantic, and the NY Review. And, yes - I do listen to NPR, but I haven't donated in years and don't intend to until it greatly reduces its reliance on corporate funding (and advertising).

Jimmy McNulty

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

I donate to sattelite radio.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 3:20 a.m.

Contrary to what's been said in previous posts, public radio has plenty of commercials, er, "corporate underwriters." The announcers even have to spout out the corporate sponsors' slogans, jingles, phone numbers, and websites. They used to run these glorified advertisements only between programs, but now they run them during mid-program breaks. They're taking money from large banks, Exxon Mobil, Big Pharma, Wal Mart, large insurance companies, News Corp (i.e., Fox), and Clear Channel. They once even took money from WorldCom shortly before its ignominious demise! With big bucks from those sources, what do they need my money for? On top of all that, the past 15 years has seen a huge increase in the number of sports and human-interest stories. If I want sports, I'll watch ESPN; if i want human-interest stories, I'll watch Connie Chung.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.

So where will you get your news?


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 2:29 a.m.

Congratulations to WUOM on winning a prestigious award last night. For more details please read "Michigan Radio Wins MAB Public Radio Station of the Year Award" at the following website:


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 2:24 a.m.

Harry: Receiving money from advertisers exposes Public Radio to at least the appearance of influence peddling. Public radio wants to remain independent, unbiased and fair in their broadcasts, even if the FCC would allow them to pander. Tom Joad: Your description does not fit WUOM. What in its line up of shows do you find "boring" and "rehashed topics"? You may be surprised to learn that WUOM has recently (yesterday) received a prestigious award. Please read "Michigan Radio Wins MAB Public Radio Station of the Year Award" at the following website:


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 10:15 p.m.

WEMU becomes more and more unhip as the years matter Thayrone's politics, the music was awesome...and we miss the Outside Within, Michael G, Arwulf, Peter Brown and the Soul 45's on friday nights!


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

WEMU becomes more and more unhip as the years matter Thayrone's politics, the music was awesome...and we miss the Outside Within, Michael G, Arwulf, Peter Brown and the Soul 45's on friday nights!

Tom Joad

Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

Now Talk of the Nation is doing a show on how to survive in prison: Advice for Rod Blagojevich Need I say more?


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

You mean you won't contribute because you heard one story you didn't like? If you were listening in the first place, public radio must have some value for you.

Tom Joad

Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

WUOM has morphed into non-stop talk shows. Most of the topics are dreadfully boring, and rehashed topics. WUOM is a local radio station and they don't offer any in-depth local news or event listings. Their local weather reports are sparse and undetailed...sorry, "chance of rain doesn't mean much". I'm not a big fan of any of the hosts..they sound stilted and over-polished, unnatural. If they played classical music at night perhaps I'd consider donating. Remember when they had Peter Van De Graaff's classical music show play late at night? With a plethora of news coverage on the web WUOM becomes redundant.


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

We used to contribute to WUOM, but then they stopped playing classical music. So now our donations go to WKAR (MSU - Lansing) and WRCJ (Detroit Pub. Sch.). We enjoy the music, so we're willing to donate to continue hearing it.


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

I contribute to public radio because I prefer it to commercial stations, both format (no commercials) and content (interesting). I'm grateful they provide the service they do.

Top Cat

Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

It is difficult to say No to someone named Mary Motherwell. She must be very effective at what she does.


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

Not to be a stickler, but the survey question is weighted towards the negative. The question "Do you donate to public radio?" is companied with one potential clear positive (I have in the past and will renew..." (which excludes all new contributors) and a second potential positive buried as "I never have, but I intend to". I am not an expert in survey research, but I am pretty sure this is a #FAIL.


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

They don't sell ads because the FCC prohibits them from doing so.


Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

Why dont they sell advertising like other radio stations. If it is good people will listen and businesses will advertise. I do listen to public radio but I don't think I will ever donate.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

I appreciate not having commercials interrupting every story. It's worth the amount I pay every drive.