A Message from Our President
We are so proud of TPR’s David Martin Davies who recently received a total of six awards from two prestigious journalism organizations. He was recognized with three Edward R. Murrow Awards in the investigative reporting and radio documentary categories. He was also honored with three First Amendment Awards for reporting excellence. Dave is an excellent journalist, but his is not a solo act. He is the first to recognize both his colleagues in the newsroom and those who help support his work behind the scenes.
The announcement of these awards couldn’t have come at a better time. Our Spring Pledge Drive, during which y'all achieved for us the ambitious goal of $615,000 three days ahead of schedule, had just concluded. So, these awards – recognition of the quality of content we strive to bring you day-in and day-out – represent the kind of “return on investment” on the funding you so generously provide.
I want to be sure to give a shout out not only to those who responded during this most recent pledge drive, but also to those who became sustaining members in the previous drives. Almost 25 percent of our members are now sustainers, meaning they have arranged for an automatic monthly credit card charge or bank transfer for their pledges. Thanks to those sustaining members and their reliable, on-going support, we were already $120,000 toward what we needed to achieve before we even started the drive. That deserves a virtual round of applause!
I would be remiss if I didn’t also recognize those who provided challenges for the drive. TPR listeners love a challenge and responded enthusiastically to the opportunity to help us claim those dollars. In this recent campaign, we had $80,000 in challenges issued from individual members and local businesses. Special thanks to Valero Energy Foundation, Frost Bank, the Capital Group, and Security Service Federal Credit Union. Also, to our good friends Graham and Elizabeth Weston, William and June Patterson, James Place, Karen Lee and David Zachry, Janet McNutt, Mary Flanagan and Michael Lichtenstein, Tim and Annie Swan, and those challengers who chose to remain anonymous. (You know who you are!) And my heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful TPR staff, who closed out the drive with a challenge of their own that raised $25,000.
Pledge drives are hard work, but they are an endearing part of the public broadcasting experience. As our arts and culture reporter Jack Morgan put it, “To see the volunteers give of their time, to hear them talk and laugh and clearly enjoy being here… and to read the wonderful comments our listeners make on their pledge forms… it really is an inspiring and affirming experience.”
Your support is vital to TPR. It represents over half of our total revenue. It allows us to hire award-winning journalists like David Martin Davies. It helps pay for recording equipment, computers and other critical tools. It makes it possible for us to continue and expand our community outreach on programs like The Source, and bring you fascinating stories as part of statewide and regional collaboratives, such as Texas Standard and Fronteras. It affords us the resources to bring you beautiful classical music – including recordings of local classical performances by the San Antonio Symphony, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, Tuesday Musical Club, and others.
I could continue, but these are things you already know, because if you are reading this, I’m confident you are a listener. If you are already a member of the TPR family, I can’t thank you enough. If you are a listener but not yet a member, you are not alone. Of almost 200,000 who listen to TPR every week, only about 10,000 households regularly contribute. If you are among those 190,000 who don’t, we’d love to welcome you to the TPR family. Your support is so very important to ensuring our ability to continue bringing you the quality programming you have come to expect both in news and information, and in classical music. And, as one of my most inspiring teachers used to say, “Wouldn’t you rather be a zebra in that big herd of horses?”