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To read about Alan Chartock's
new 'First Amendment Fund',
We Have Built Something Extraordinary by Alan Chartock
To all of you who participated in the Great Winter Fund Drive, thank you! It was, as most of you know, a record breaker -- the fastest in our experience. The comments and the suggestions that so many of you made showed how much you love the station. So many of you complimented this station on our courage and on having all sides on our air. Many of you thanked us for extending our reach so that you could get in on the WAMC experience. From a personal perspective, I was extremely gratified by some of the very nice things you had to say about this 63 year old's contribution. It really is wonderful to know that you're out there.> There were many highlights in the four days and one morning of fund raising. As always, Kafka played an important part. It really is something that hundreds of thousands of listeners can hear our programming but that it takes four, five or six days to get the donations that will keep this fragile enterprise going. In this country we operate on a fee for service model. If you buy the Times in the morning, you hand the person who sells you the paper some money. The WAMCmodel is very different. The staff and board at WAMC do our very best, but then we come to you and say, "We can't do it without you."
You have to decide whether or not you can help. For some folks that is easier than for others. We have always made it clear that any amount of money makes someone a member. I believe that we were among the first public broadcasters in the country to do that.
I can't tell you how many times we've received a pledge or a check in the mail that says something like, "You took my dollar when I had nothing so now I'm evening things out." Others say, "You were there for me and now I'll be here to help someone else." Several times those remarks have been accompanied by checks for five hundred or a thousand dollars. Government can never be counted on. Sooner or later, they will punish. As I write this Governor Pataki has reduced the state's contribution to public broadcasting by 24%.
Recently, some foolish man
wrote something suggesting that if we stopped buying radio stations, we
could use that money for programming at WAMC. I want each and every person
who is in the WAMC family to think about that. You wouldn't be hearing
the radio station in Middletown or Kingston, Canajoharie, Ticonderoga,
Troy, Newburgh or even in major parts of Albany (WAMC-AM) if we hadn't
extended our reach to you. The writer also suggests that we have a skeletal
news staff. Of course, he's wrong again, big time. We have one of the largest
news staffs in the radio business and by extending our reach, we have more
people who are able to share in paying for what we do. Hey, the one thing
I've learned the hard way is that anyone or any group who ever achieves
something spectacular will always be attacked by someone with an edge of
some kind. Frankly, sometimes it's just plain old envy. There are always
those who resent success. Ah, well, enough of that.
WAMC MEETS FEBRUARY FUND DRIVE GOAL IN JUST OVER FOUR DAYS
(ALBANY, February 4) - WAMC/Northeast Public Radio finished its winter fund drive on the morning of Friday, February 4, having raised a total of $608,687 from 6,207 callers. The goal was $600,000. WAMC gained over 977 new members during the drive.
"The fact that it was a record breaking fund drive in a time of economic scarcity indicates just how much concern and appreciation people have for WAMC," said Alan Chartock, WAMC's Executive Director.
The on-air fund drive began early on Monday, January 31, 2005 and ended in just over 4 days at approximately 9:00 a.m. on Friday, February 4.
"It was great to read the names and communities where all those thousands of people came from," added Chartock, "The one thing that was consistent was the determination to keep WAMC alive and so they have. We are deeply grateful."
In addition to all those who called in pledges of support, the on-air drive brought together hundreds of wonderful volunteers from all over the WAMC listening area who contributed their time at the station's Albany studios, and hundreds of regional businesses and organizations that donated items, services and food to the drive. The WAMC's record breaking fall fund drive could not have been possible without the combined efforts of all the contributing sponsors and supporters.
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