This is a copy of an email I just sent to KQED, San Francisco, in response to a membership solicitation:
I am receiving solicitations to renew my KQED membership and before I do, I have some comments:
For most of my adult life, I have been an avid advocate for public TV and radio. I have been a basic member, on and off, in several metro areas. My most recent membership renewal for KQED was for the specific purpose of getting access to the vast PBS programming library with a "Passport." However, I found that benefit to be less than satisfying. PBS is rather stingy with what it makes available, and I feel that, as a publicly-funded entity, ALL programming should be available. Frankly, I believe it should be available without subscription, since it is tax supported.
With the growth of streaming media, I find myself willing to pay monthly or annual, auto-renewed fees to several providers. Yet I am reluctant to support public broadcasting, particularly public television because PBS sits on its library of programming like a bird protecting a hatchling. Even with a "Passport" it seemed that I could not watch everything I wanted to watch.
I am tired of supporting infrastructure and administration for an organization that spends 75% of its time fund-raising with programming that looks and feels like the home shopping network or a non-stop infomercial. I just don't watch anymore; I don't even have cable TV. And, for the first time in my life, I would consider urging congress to end funding for public broadcasting.
The entire PBS content delivery model needs to be rethought. What the public that funds public broadcasting deserves is a PBS service that streams its entire catalog. That, I would subscribe to, auto renew and all, because I do understand that our tax dollars may not have covered all production costs, but subscription fees would need to be in line with HBO Now, Hulu. Netflix, etc.
If I have missed something, and a KQED renewal at some level does provide access to all the intellectual and entertainment resources developed by PBS since Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, then it's only your marketing communications that need to be addressed. As it stands, your messaging is just not getting through to me.
Barbara Brady Lapsed KQED Member