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On The Radio : Npr Raises $5.7 Million In 2nd Drive

April 30, 1985|DENNIS McDOUGAL | Times Staff Writer

National Public Radio stations had raised nearly $5.7 million as of Monday, following the network's second nationwide fund-raising drive in its 14-year history.

Continuing pledges promised to boost the final total over $6 million by today, network officials said.

The weeklong, celebrity-studded fund-raiser officially ended at midnight Saturday. Its continuing success was a surprise even to its organizers.

"The NPR on-air part is over, but several of the stations are continuing their own drives and they are still reporting their totals to us," network spokeswoman Deborah Weingard said.

Each participating station will keep the money it raised to help produce and acquire programming and otherwise meet its operational expenses, another NPR spokeswoman, Sarah Carlston, said.

"Campaign '85" featured promotions, songs and guest appearances by celebrities from Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

Celebrities who helped with on-air and call-in pledges included former President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford, Arthur Miller, Helen Hayes, Phil Donahue, Jane Fonda, Peter Jennings and Pearl Bailey.

Drive coordinator Pam Sweat said the most effective celebrity fund-raisers included opera star Robert Merrill, actress Polly Bergen and actors John Lithgow, Perry King, Ed Asner and Gene Wilder.

"Too often people think of public radio as elitist; even snooty and upper crust," she said. "This past week disproved that. We got an outcry from truck drivers who were afraid they'd lose their classical music."

About 210 of the nation's 309 NPR stations--with some 9 million listeners--participated in the fund-raiser. Many of the other stations would not participate because of conflicts with their own fund-raising operations.

In Los Angeles, none of the three major NPR stations participated. KUSC-FM (91.5), KCRW-FM (88.9) and KLON-FM (88.1) all held their own local fund-raisers earlier this year. Only KCSN-FM (88.5) and KPCC-FM (89.3) took part in last week's national drive.

The only other instance when NPR sponsored a national fund-raiser was during the 1983 "Drive to Survive"--a three-day plea for funds to save NPR from collapse after it had amassed a $7-million budget deficit. The drive raised $2.2 million.

SPINNING THE DIAL: Pasadena City College's KPCC-FM (89.3) is now experimenting with guests and live call-ins on its weekly 5 p.m. "Evening Edition" news program. The goal, according to a KPCC representative, is "to become more community involved." Topics of importance in the San Gabriel Valley will be selected for discussion. . . . Over in the other valley, KCSN-FM (88.5) has moved its "Valley Video" show from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays. The show is, in the words of a KCSN spokesman, "a combination calendar and community bulletin board." The emphasis is on events in the San Fernando Valley. . . . Two restaurant review programs, "The KKGO Dining Advisor" and "KKGO Sunday Dinner Hour," can now be heard on KKGO-FM (105.1). "Dining Advisor" is on weekdays at 12:20 and 6:35 p.m.; "Sunday Dinner" airs Sundays at 7 p.m. . . . "Let's Talk Alcoholism" can be heard on KIEV-AM (870) Thursdays and Fridays at 8:30 p.m.

John Horn contributed to this article.

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