Public radio may be free, but the same can’t be said of the programming heard on WETS-FM. Shows like “Wait, Wait ... Don’t Tell Me,” “Car Talk” and “A Prairie Home Companion” don’t come cheap.
That’s why WETS — which kicks off its spring fundraising drive today — asks its listeners to dig deep into their pockets twice a year to help pay the bills for these programs.
It’s often a struggle for the station to collect the donations needed to cover its programming costs. Too many fans of WETS have been content to let someone else carry the financial load. Some mistakenly believe the federal government will take up the slack. That’s not the case.
More than half the funding for WETS comes from listener support. The rest comes from other sources, including state and federal grants.
It was those grants and listener support that has allowed WETS to add three HD channels to its programming. The station now broadcasts channels that offer news, classical music and bluegrass.
Contributing to WETS is a worthy investment in a broadcast outlet that enriches our lives daily. The public radio station is operated as a partnership between East Tennessee State University and its listeners. And it’s listeners who pay the costs for most of the programming heard on the air.
Contributions to WETS can be made online at www.wets.org or by calling 888-895-9387. Donations also can be made by using a Visa or MasterCard, or listeners can ask to be billed later. The sooner you make your pledge, the quicker it will be for the station to reach its fundraising goal and return to its normal programming schedule.