WSHU – A “Very Special Fundraiser”

Interrupting my A.M. snoozing time/Morning Edition listening hour this morning was Kate Remington of WSHU’s classical music morning telling me that she’d gotten to work early this morning for “a very special fundraiser.”

Memorial Day weekend marked our one year anniversary back in the U.S., our return to National Public Radio. I love NPR. I fell in love with it in Kansas City, listening to KCUR, home of Walt Bodine and New Letters on the Air. My love affair with KCUR in the Kansas City marked GREAT SHIFT in my life: from music to talk. Although I still LOVE music and constantly listen to it in the car and while I exercise and walk and around the house, in the morning, our clock radio awakes us with Morning Edition.

WSHU – An NPR Station with a Habit?

Ruining all of that for me is WSHU, the NPR station of Fairfield County. I am not sure why–perhaps to distinguish itself from WNYC’s excellent programming– WSHU insists on doing the TWO THINGS that absolutely ruin any NPR station: excessive classical music and excessive fundraisers.

Since we arrived one year ago, WSHU has held SIX fundraisers. This one, today, is “very special” because it is a one-day event with funds being matched by the Newman Foundation. If WSHU were successful at fundraising, they wouldn’t have to keep knocking on our doors, like a bastard child with a drug habit.

The last one, in March, was the “Semi-annual” (hah) fundraiser, where volunteers tried to convince people to give more money earlier, saying if they reached their goal of X before a certain time, they’d all shut up and just let us listen to Morning Edition.

Give me money, and I’ll go away? Another great tactic used by many black sheep family members with drug habits.

Since I am trapped in the WSHU bubble at the moment, I am not sure whether other NPR stations have upped the ante and started nagging their listeners. Perhaps this is an NPR-wide phenomenon? If so, it’s a mistake.

Classical Snooze-ville

Meanwhile starting at 9 a.m., instead of great local programing (KCUR, for example, features an award-winning one-hour daily public affairs/talk show and a local host talk show), Day to Day, Talk of the Nation and Fresh Air, WSHU hosts a deadly boring 7 hours of classical music.

Hmm, what will I listen to while I stare into the flashing red eyes of the brake lights in front of me on I-95? I know, this Johann Strauss Polka played by the Russian string Quartet SKAZ.

Viva KCUR!

I am considering sending my NPR donation every year back to KCUR. I believe in local and I believe in NPR, but at least I won’t be supporting the fundraiser-and-classical programming that some poncy WSHU director came up with while laying on a Southport beach.

And hey, at least then I’ll still get the mug.