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Pledge drive gets a zap

February 20, 2009|Mark Medina

Despite a sagging economy and a recent lightning strike that reduced the station's power, classical music station KUSC-FM (91.5) had its second-most successful membership drive this month, President Brenda Barnes said Thursday.

KUSC raised $1.24 million in its winter on-air fundraising campaign between Feb. 4 and Feb. 13, a figure Barnes said came from a record-setting 8,691 donations. The amount trailed only the fall membership drive in 2007, Barnes said, when KUSC received $1.35 million from 8,618 donations.

Barnes acknowledged that she and some of her colleagues initially thought a lightning strike that hit the station's transmission line and antenna on Jan. 25 would hurt fundraising efforts. Many listeners couldn't hear KUSC's music programming for several days and the initial repairs only restored the signal to 95% power.

Instead, however, the event proved helpful, she said, explaining that many people reported feeling compelled to make a donation.

"It served as a clear example of what life would be like without KUSC," Barnes said. "We didn't plan it. It was truly an act of God, but it just worked out that way."

Mark Medina

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