Friday, August 08, 2008

Playing the KCRW Pledge Drive Right

It's back! The KCRW semi-annual pledge drive is once again underway. I usually donate money to the station during its August drive, so I'll be tuning in this weekend, waiting to pounce when the right premium is announced. Oh, it's an art -- for the past several years, I've managed to score both a restaurant gift certificate and a year subscription to Newsweek. Let's see if I can keep the streak going.

For those of you still unfamiliar with how to pledge right, here's what I wrote two years ago:

Under KCRW's new computerized pledge system, phone line volunteers can't offer you a premium unless it has been mentioned on air -- and you may be waiting a while for the DJs to mention a $50 premium. What's more, the free "bonus premiums" -- think subscriptions to Newsweek or Los Angeles magazine, or gift certificates to places like Baja Fresh -- only pop up every once in a while.

It's even more rare for both opportunities to pop up at the same time. I spent a good deal of the weekend phoning the KCRW volunteers and asking them (a) If a free bonus premium was available at the moment and (b) if any $50 premiums were available beyond the standard single CD.

I came close several times: Saturday afternoon, KCRW was offering a $50 gift certificate for Jody Maroni sausage (for a $50 pledge! not bad), but the only bonus premium was a year's subscription to "Wine Spectator" magazine. Sunday morning, the station was offering a $50 gift certificate to Storyopolis children's book store -- but no bonus premium.

Finally, at 4:55 -- right at the end of "The A-Track" -- I hit gold. Not only was KCRW offering a year's subscription to Newsweek as a bonus premium (which I have now scored for the past three years), but for $50, I landed dinner for two at California Canteen.

Last year, I gave in and moved up to a $75 pledge -- the $50 level just doesn't offer much of anything, save a single CD or t-shirt, anymore.

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