Dear WEMU Friends: Six months. It was six months ago that our community and our world changed. Six months since we have had the opportunity to see you in person at one of our events. Six months since we have seen our WEMU colleagues who have been broadcasting from home.
COVID-19 has changed everything. 2020 was supposed to be packed with celebrations for WEMU’s 55th anniversary. Instead it brought hardship, painful decisions, and adjustment to so many. WEMU was no exception. In May we had to eliminate two full time staff positions and reduce one salary. In June our full time broadcasters were furloughed one day a week until August. Traditional on-air fundraising is on hold indefinitely and we don’t know when our events can resume.
Yet, WEMU has pushed through it all. Our news and music teams have stayed on the air with fresh, engaged, and relevant programming, keeping you informed, updated, and entertained. Live and local has never been more important and our commitment to that remains firm and unchanged.
There have been bright spots. WEMU’s spring ratings, which were measured just after the crisis began, were the best in several years. You are listening more often and for longer periods of time. WEMU swept the radio categories in Current Magazine’s ‘Best of Washtenaw’ awards, announced earlier this month. And you, our listeners, came through with amazing financial support in those first turbulent months of the pandemic. We have much to be thankful for.
But now we are in it for the long haul. No one knows when we’ll see the other side of this and, when it comes, our community and our world will still be different. We can’t go back.
But we can go forward and, with your continued financial support, we will. Our new fiscal year began on July 1 and we have an ambitious goal of $850,000 this year to make sure we have the resources we need to stay focused on you and our community with the fact-based independent journalism you expect and the music you need. It’s a critical election year and we know you will rely on WEMU and NPR for coverage you can trust.
We need each other more than ever. Please make your tax-deductible gift to WEMU today by calling our business office at 734-487-2229, or online at wemu.org. Like everything else, WEMU will survive COVID-19 with the support of those who care the most. That’s you. And we could not be more grateful for your support during these challenging times.
Stay well, Mary (Molly) MotherwellGeneral Manager
PS We have great thank you gifts listed on the card and brought back some old favorites too! Take a look when you make your gift.