From Neil Best's Desk
I am struggling with words as I write to you today. During the last few turbulent weeks, your steadfast support has been simply meaningful beyond words. The heartfelt calls and notes asking about the wellbeing of the staff, words of encouragement, continuing membership support, and yes, calls asking when the spring on-air membership drive would take place!
The short answer is things are well here at KUNC. Our Board of Directors consistently ensures a conservative approach to finances. The bottom line is our entire staff continues to work (mostly remotely) and remains focused on being the best possible service we can on your behalf.
KUNC’s members who support with a sustaining membership ensures our continued operation. This base of support also allowed us to postpone a scheduled on-air membership drive. Given the rapidly changing circumstances created by the Coronavirus, it was our judgment the airtime needed to be focused on our reporting, not fundraising. Many of our underwriters continue their support. However, with the cancellation of so many events income from underwriting is projected to be down by about 25% for the year.
As I write these notes things are more challenging for our colleagues at NPR. The added expenses incurred in covering the pandemic, coupled with significant loss of underwriting income is of great concern. A number of fiscal measures have been implemented by NPR President John Lansing, including negotiating across-the-board pay cuts for all staff, further pay cuts for the executive team, suspension of all travel expenses, with the exception of reporting expenses. Given those external factors, the importance of the fees paid by member stations like KUNC—made possible by your membership—is all the more important in keeping the fact-based reporting coming from NPR.
In a time of so much confusion, and yes, so much misinformation, I am so proud that NPR and KUNC stand apart. It is that way because of your steadfast support. As I noted in the beginning, I am struggling with words these days. I will conclude by simply saying, thank you.
President & CEO