I'm sitting at The Coffee Hag on Tuesday afternoon putting some final touches on a few things for the 24 Hour Pledge Drive A-Go-Go. The 2014 Spring Pledge Drive starts in about fifteen hours, and we are always a bit nervous as we go into these things. KMSU has been very fortunate over the last several years to have listeners that define what's so great about community radio. The generosity we've seen during our pledge drives from listeners like you has made it possible for this station to continue to grow and make improvements, and it has been particularly moving to see this generosity in KMSU's fiftieth year of broadcasting.
KMSU has made it through fifty years of uncertainty and funding cuts, and it's a pretty thrilling thing to have made it this far. The sad thing is that our longevity doesn't guarantee that our presence on the radio dial is a sure thing. We really mean it when we say that KMSU can't survive without the support of our listeners. When you pledge to KMSU you're helping fund our operation, but you're also casting a vote that shows the University that this station is an important part of the community. That's HUGE, particularly in this day and age when schools are selling off their radio licenses to raise money. Stations like KMSU are rare, and they're getting rarer.
If you are a regular KMSU listeners, it's probably because you've found something that you know can't be found anywhere else on the radio. One thing that's always amazed us is when we hear from somebody that's moved to the Mankato area from a larger city like Los Angeles or Denver or New York, and they tell us they are amazed to find a station like ours in the middle of the heartland. If you've grown up in this region, you know what they mean. Radio can be pretty bland and heavily programmed, and ultimately it can be pretty forgettable. That works out pretty well for KMSU, because those stations amplify all amazing things about what we broadcast.
When you find gems in your community, whether it's a great radio station, or a small art gallery, or a venue that has amazing live bands, you need to support them or they go away. We all have stories of TV shows or radio stations or venues that we loved to death, but they weren't able to make it because they couldn't find their audience or the funding just wasn't there. People STILL mourn REV 105, the legendary Twin Cities radio station, and they went off the air nearly twenty years ago.
If you're a fan of KMSU and you recognize how unique and remarkable this station can be, you should really consider making a pledge of financial support during the pledge drive. It's not just a marketing ploy when we say that we can't continue without your support. KMSU survives from pledge drive to pledge drive, and each one gets more and more important. Right now our transmitter is on its last legs, and when that goes we're off the air. It's kind of a race right now to raise the necessary funds to get a new transmitter in place before that happens. It is a most unpleasant turn of events.
We need to raise $40,000 this drive. Part of that will help with the immediate costs of operation, but the rest of it will go towards the transmitter fund. If we can get this new transmitter we'll be able to continue operating even when something conks out, and better yet we'll be able to find parts for it! The one we have now was already ancient when we lucked into it, and there just aren't many parts floating around for it anymore.
So hey... we've got swag! As a thank you for your generous donation we have some thank you gifts available. T-shirts and DVDs and music collections and so much more. Check out the list of stuff!
The pledge drive starts at six a.m. on Wednesday, April 23rd. We have the 24 Hour Pledge Drive A-Go-Go on Thursday and Friday. There's a bunch of stuff going on during the pledge drive all around our schedule, so if you find something you love we ask that you please consider making a pledge. You guys are the best, and every single DJ up at the station knows it.