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.

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