Just past 6 a.m. this morning, KBCO morning man Bret Saunders joined Colorado Public Radio host Ryan Warner as part of CPR's Drive to Thrive, which aims to raise $1.6 million amid a fundraising effort that's slated to conclude on June 12. Saunders, who's blessed with a wonderfully arid sense of humor and flawless delivery, deadpanned that he enjoys tuning in during pledge drives, because he enjoys "awkward exchanges" and the opportunity to hear people speaking with a "sense of desperation."
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The humor exhibited during Saunders' brief spot stood in contrast to the tone I've heard during other samples of the Drive to Thrive, which blended the usual guilt-tripping and unctuousness with a new level of promotional hype. On Friday, for instance, the network practically handed over the airwaves for several hours to Discover Downunder, an operation that provided a vacation to Australia as a prize. The trip was valued at $7,800, but the company received well over that total in publicity. At times, the broadcast sounded like an infomercial.
This approach is clearly working. Despite our economy's well-documented woes, CPR is just $340,000 shy of its overall goal at this writing. Now if only regular staffers could take a hint from Saunders and find a way to make the campaign enjoyable, and not an example of audio irritation that causes even many supporters of CPR to grind their teeth in dismay.