Schiller favors planned fundraiser over national on-air appeals

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Top NPR personalities have proposed that the network mount a national pledge drive to help close its widening budget gap. There is a historic precedent for the idea, Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg tells the Washington Post: NPR appealed for direct listener support in 1983, when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. “Think how much we’d be able to do now if were were doing something similar,” Stamberg says. But during an interview with Current last week, NPR President Vivian Schiller downplayed the proposal for an NPR pledge drive. “They are not our listeners,” she said, nodding to the on-air fundraising prerogatives of member stations. NPR is moving forward with an online fundraiser via, Schiller told Current, but all proceeds will go to local stations. In a tweet reacting to the Post‘s story, former Weekend America host John Moe imagined stations’ response to NPR pledge appeals: “NPR thinking of having its own network pledge drive. Stations thinking of taking up pitchforks, torches, battering rams, those peasant hats.” Check out reactions from the Post‘s readers here.