Public radio pledge drives are annoying, particularly after you donate to your local station and are still forced to listen to the duration of the drive, despite your good behavior. Finally, KQED in northern California has come up with a solution. For
$40 $45, five bucks more than the price of a basic membership, you get access to a pledge drive-free stream. This requires forking the station's content, so it's not exactly trivial, but KQED seems ready.
The Pledge-Free Stream is an alternate live stream of KQED Public Radio available over the Internet that carries all regular KQED radio programming, including live news reports (except for traffic updates). The stream will omit all fundraising breaks, which run on weekdays from 6am - 7:30pm, Saturdays from 7am - 2pm and 6 - 9pm, and Sundays from 7am - 2pm.
The Pledge-Free Stream will be available from the moment you purchase it through the end of the May 2011 Fundraiser.
Access to this stream is available through the web browser on your computer and/or smartphone.
Even though the technology has been available to deliver multiple streams, I believe this is the first public radio station to try out the idea. I love it because the station rewards their donors with an immediate prize. I can't wait to see if it increases the amount of people who pledge.