Air America Soliciting Listener Donations
September 26, 2005 at 10:00 AM (PT)
AIR AMERICA RADIO is asking listeners for donations, an unusual move for a commercial broadcaster. The "AIR AMERICA ASSOCIATES" program is similar to public radio's pledge-drive offerings, with a $50 donation netting the donor three "I'm Building AIR AMERICA RADIO" bumper stickers and a $100 donation worth a tote bag. Donors of $250 or more will be thanked on the air and personally by hosts and staff. The donation page appears on AAR's website, accessible by clicking on the "Associates Program" ad on the right side of the home page.
And as expected, the move has drawn immediate criticism from conservatives, including blogger/radio host BRIAN MALONEY's RADIO EQUALIZER, which is featuring the text of an e-mail sent to AAR listeners by the network's CEO DANNY GOLDBERG asking for donations. AAR's move is not unprecedented, however: besides religious broadcasters who routinely ask for donations on commercially-licensed stations, TED TURNER famously asked for viewers of WRET-TV/CHARLOTTE to send in donations to keep the station on the air, saving the station, which he later sold and is now NBC affiliate WCNC-TV.