After a long week of constant campaigning, last Friday night the phone lines closed for the annual CJSW funding drive. Donations to the University of Calgary radio station totalled approximately $216,000. Although, as of Mon., Oct. 30, the amount had reached $218,039, and was continuing to increase.
While the funding drive may officially be over, the station will always accept donations.
“You can still walk in and pledge,”said station manager Chad Saunders. “Pledge, pledge, PLEDGE!”
CJSW set a campus/community radio record when they topped $204,000 at the close of last year’s funding drive.
Saunders noted that CJSW has only a single transmitter, as opposed to independent radio CKUA’s 17, which allow them to reach the entire province. However, as of Fri., Oct. 27 CKUA had only raised $30,000 more than CJSW. Even Toronto’s student radio is unable to match Calgary’s impressive generosity, noted Saunders.
“It was a very pivotal year,” Saunders said. The usual top-earning show, the German language “Bunte Welle” came second this year to “Road Pops,” which managed to rake in over $15,000 on its own.
“They are the new Germans,” Saunders said, noting it’s not all about competition. “All shows are important, even the late night shows that bring in a couple hundred dollars.”
Most of the money made will be divided into three categories.
The majority will go to capital and administrative purchases. The CBC tower rental costs alone reach $75,000. Equipment totals between $30,000 and $50,000. The rest is put away as savings for expansion and the move to a new space on the third floor of MacEwan Student Centre, hopefully in the near future.
Just a couple days before the drive began, the station experienced some technical difficulties with its transmitter. The only way it could be fixed was to take the transmitter down and send it for repairs. They are currently running off of their 1984 model.
“It goes to show why it’s important to pay your pledge,” Saunders said, noting CJSW’s first drive 21 years ago was to pay off the loan of the 1984 transmitter, bringing the story full circle.