Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Monday, September 27, 2010

My radio program's underwriter

I found out this weekend that most people think I get paid for my radio show, or that at least my expenses are paid by someone. I've been doing "For the Birds" since May 6, 1987, as an unpaid volunteer, except in 1988 or 1989, when KUMD, KAXE, WOJB, and WXPR got a one-year grant from a local hospital to cover some of my expenses, and from 2005-2007 when I was working for a company that let me use some of my work time to produce it in exchange for an underwriting credit (I still had to pay all my expenses out of pocket). I'm not careful to censor myself when something or someone is harming birds, so companies don't normally want to be too closely associated with For the Birds. I was doing my production work in the KUMD studios until the 90s, when I started doing it digitally on my home computer. Since then, ALL my production costs have been coming out of pocket.

That means that for over 22 years, the only financial support For the Birds has ever gotten has been from my husband, who probably could have thought of other ways of using his limited income but has never once complained or begrudged helping me cover my expenses. He also fully supported my quitting that particular job, when the company was sold to an unscrupulous corporation.

(I took the photo of him when we were in Alaska in 2001--the trip was his 50th birthday present from me.)