NPR Pledge Drive

Since moving to the DC area a little over four years ago, I’ve listened to WAMU, the NPR affiliate broadcast from the campus of American University. They have by far the most annoying pledge drives of any of the numerous other NPR stations that I’ve listened to over the years. Not only do they take up an inordinate amount of the air time during “Morning Edition,” the main show I listen to, but they have multiple pledge drives a year.

They have now been outdone by their counterpart, WETA, whose solicitation for funds I just received in the mail. The beauty part? They stopped being an NPR affiliate well before they mailed out the letter! (It’s true that the WETA call letters also identify the company’s PBS television affiliate, but the mailing also prominently mentioned NPR.) That’s some chutzpah!

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Eric J says:

    WETA is still an NPR affiliate; they just have switched to an all-Classical format and no longer play Morning Edition.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Interesting. My understanding is that they are simply doing NPR news alerts, much like some of the AM talk stations use Fox or ABC news?

  3. DC Loser says:

    The kicker is that they canceled Weekend Edition on Sunday. Now I have to tune into a farflung West Virginia station to pull that program in.

  4. Erica says:

    I loved what WTOP had to say last fall during the WAMU membership drive, “welcome to all the refugees from WAMU, glad you are joining us” or something akin to that. I definitely laughed – that’s exactly how I felt.

    I was quite surprised this weekend to hear the start of the membership drive, since I recalled the last one being so recently. They are definitely more annoying and frequent than others across the nation (even Baltimore’s WYPR is better).