Thursday, February 13, 2014

More Big Money Floods Big Media

Thanks mostly to you, we operate KSER and KXIR on about $500,000 for an entire year.

And while that may seem like a lot of money, it's really not so much compared to the budgets of most radio stations. And it's next to nothing compared to two big national media players that have made headlines this week.

First, there's PBS, and their New York flagship station, WNET, which is producing a series of TV programs called "The Pension Peril." Turns out "The Pension Peril" is reportedly being funded by former Enron trader John Arnold, a man some claim is behind a major effort to slash employee pension funds. David Sirota penned a detailed accounting of the story for the website PandoDaily.

Apparently, Arnold's 'Foundation' donated $3,500,000 to WNET.

That $3.5M for just one TV program would keep KSER & KXIR going for seven years!

But for an even more eye-popping media payout, take a look at the Comcast deal to buy Time-Warner Cable. Comcast is America's #1 Cable Company. Time Warner is #2. At Slate, reporter Matthew Yglesias explains why it could be a very bad deal for consumers.

The Comcast purchase of Time-Warner is a $45-Billion deal.  Heck, for just a measly $1-Billion we could operate KSER and KXIR for a couple thousand years. That would probably keep us going until Ed Bremer and Amy Goodman are ready to retire.

Maybe all the naysayers are wrong about Comcast and PBS. Perhaps cable-leader Comcast swallowing runner-up Time-Warner will end up being a huge benefit for consumers. Maybe your cable bill will go down soon. Maybe someone with a vested interest in altering the country's pension landscape will provide us all with a clear path to improved retirement. Maybe had it been warmer, the Broncos would have won the Super Bowl.

But if the naysayers are right, I'm glad there are reporters like David Sirota and Matthew Yglesias who are exposing these kinds of stories. It's also a good reason, in an age of more and more media consolidation and giant media conglomerates, to make sure there are independent media voices.

In the North Puget Sound, KSER and KXIR are the only two community-owned broadcast stations. We provide you with independent voices like Ed Bremer and Amy Goodman. But we can only do it with your support. And we don't need $45-billion, or even a $3-million PBS TV gift.  We only need a modest $1,400 a day to keep two radio stations on the air providing independent voices for you and the communities we serve.

If you'd like to make a donation to ensure there's an alternative to the corporate media kingpins, you can do it with just a few mouse-clicks right here.