CJSW makes radio history

By Chris Beauchamp

It’s official. Not only does CJSW dominate Calgary’s airwaves, they do so to the tune of over $200,000 in listener support.

The 21st CJSW Funding Drive wrapped up last week with the station raising $204,660 during the annual week-long event. The total marks a station record, and according to CJSW Station Manager Chad Saunders, a record on the North American campus-community radio scene, as well.

“I think everyone–the vol-unteers, the staff and the listeners–helped contribute to the most successful campus-community funding drive in history,” said Saunders. “I think people dug a little deeper. Thank you.”

The Saturday morning German program Bunte Welle raised $12,136 in two hours, making it the highest earning show for another year, but Funding Drive Coordinators Lindsay Bowman and Brendan Fraser stressed the importance of all the shows.

“The numbers don’t mean anything,” said Fraser. “It’s the support we have behind those numbers.”

Fraser said the week gained momentum throughout as support and good feelings built.

“The last two hours of the drive was simply insane,” said Fraser, noting the final show of the week, Friday afternoon’s The Road Pops, raised $11,540 and pushed the station over its goal of $200,000. “When we met the goal it was pretty emotional. Especially when Thursday night we didn’t think we were going to make it, but there was such a positive vibe running through the station.”

Bowman agreed the highlight of the drive for her was meeting the goal at the end of the week.

“The moment we broke the $200,000 mark there were people taking swigs of champagne in the studio,” she said.

Fraser said multicultural shows like Bunte Welle typically do so well at drive time because they represent the kind of programming unique to CJSW.

“The Road Pops almost broke the German’s record, but I think the [German] show has resonated in that community,” he said. “The funding drive really drove home the amount of support we have in the city. Something like that–it’s pretty wicked to see.”

Over half the money pledged has already been collected, and Fraser said based on previous years the station can expect to collect $17 out of every $19 pledged.

The drive included a number of successful live events throughout the city, including a Rolling Stones cover night to coincide with the band’s Calgary concert and wrap up the Funding Drive.

Last year CJSW set a station record by topping the $175,000 point. New this year, listeners had the ability to set up a monthly payment plan and pledge on the internet.

Saunders stressed listeners who missed out on the drive still have options.

“If people missed out on the fun, you can still come down and make a pledge all year long,” he said.

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