Colorado Public Radio's "Drive to Thrive" needs Bret Saunders

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."

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.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

Latest Stories