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Volume 70, Issue 130, Friday, April 15, 2005

News

KUHF exceeds goal in spring campaign

Nearly 90 percent of the public radio station's operating budget comes from local donations

By Tina Marie Macias
Senior Staff Writer

KUHF, the UH-based public radio station, exceeded its spring fund-raising goal by nearly $20,000 in a biannual campaign held last week.

The money helps the station finance its local news work and public radio programming.

"It's kind of the right time for what we do. Ever since 9/11, our donations have gone up ... our listenership has gone up since 9/11," KUHF Station Manager Debra Fraser said. "It's just an awareness on the part of the people in the community wanting to know more about their community and about their world."

The station asked listeners to pledge donations by phone or at the station's Web site, www.kuhf.org. It set a goal of $650,000 and raised $669,535.

Fraser said KUHF's 310,000 listeners pledged anywhere from $35 to $2,000 during the drive. She said people might have been more generous because they could pay in monthly installments.

"If you give $2,000, that's about $166 a month, and some people decide that's what it's worth to them. They could easily spend more at the coffee shop in a month," Fraser said.

Most of the money will go toward paying for National Public Radio programs, which cost the station more than $700,000 a year. Nearly 90 percent of KUHF's annual operating budget comes from the local community, and more than 60 percent of that is from individual listeners. The station doesn't get support from UH or the state.

"You can see that we're not dependent on corporate money like commercial stations are, and that allows us to do more in-depth news coverage and provide more cultural entertainment," Fraser said. "A news story here can be five minutes long; on a commercial station, it's going to be 30 seconds. That's because we don't have to stop constantly for commercials."

In the fall, KUHF raised $700,252, which Fraser said was its most successful campaign ever. She said fall fund-raisers tend to yield higher totals, but both drives were a success.

"It's a very personal thing. When people give money to a station, it makes them feel like they have a sense of ownership in the product," she said. "It makes them more likely to interact with us, to come to our special events, to call and make comments."
 

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