Tuesday, August 26

Critic sneers at public television's bland fundraising

Apparently Richard Levey at Direct Magazine wasn't impressed with WNYC's recent fundraising appeal. His new column offered this scathing review:

When a fundraising appeal goes into its 11th consecutive minute, and each minute seems like an hour, this is a problem.

The most interesting part of Lehrer’s appeal came when a WNYC associate flumfurred his way through an explanation of the 2-for-1 donation match deal offered by station trustee Lex Kaplan. Lehrer and his cohort puzzled through the math of the offer: Was it a 200% match or a 300% match, they wondered. Not the most riveting content, at least it was an attempt to liven up the proceedings with something unscripted.

Unscripted is apparently a no-no. When the appeal was rebroadcast during the wee hours of the night, this particular portion was cut out. Which was a shame, as it was easily the most human part of the pitch. Ah, well, everyone’s allowed a mulligan now and then, especially when it’s part of a good cause.
His parting shot contained this back-handed compliment:

When WNYC is at its best, it’s smart and engaging. Why its fundraising drives have the pizzazz and verve of last week’s pot roast is a mystery not even A Prairie Home Companion’s Guy Noir could untangle.
I think it's an important (although ignored) detail whether or not Mr. Levey is (or ever has been) a donor to WNYC...

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