If it seems that the pledge drive on your local PBS station never ends, that might be because PBS member stations are devoting more on-air time to raising money, reports our good friend Elizabeth Jensen in the New York Times.
Since 2005, the average amount of time spent on pledge drives has increased by 9%, with some stations devoting 10 weeks a year to the on-air fundraising efforts, the story says.
The push for more viewer funding comes as money-strapped state governments cut and sometimes eliminate subsidies for public media, the story notes.
Also, as TVWeek has previously reported, many in Congress want to eleminate funding of PBS by the federal government.
Meanwhile, foundations and corporations that traditionally support public media have cut back underwriting, it adds. Individuals today are the largest source of support for local public television stations, bringing in 24% of station revenue in the 2009 fiscal year, the piece notes, citing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The longer pledge drives may be helping this year: the story says that so far in March, traditionally PBS stations’ biggest drive, preliminary figures show a 31% jump in the number of dollars pledged compared with a year earlier.