Back in the Good Old Days (aka "my youth"), the local PBS station would have an Annual Pledge Break: two weeks in the year when they would put on 'special' programming and go on and on about how they needed member support. My parents always gave.
When I started out in NYC, there were three(!!!) PBS stations, and they would all whine at the same time. I gave to the one I watched most.
Sometime in the past 10-ish years, Whine Week went from a once-a-year "treat" to an every couple of months idiocy. I don't give any more. Partly it's the whining and the rescheduling of the one or two shows I do watch. Partly it's the loss of Masterpiece Theatre on Sunday, Mystery on Thursday, and good Britcoms on Friday (I'm sorry, Hyacinth Bucket is not funny - bring back Penelope Keith!). Partly it's because I already do pay, when I pay my monthly cable bill. And partly it's because they just won't shut up, no matter how often I pay.
(and don't get me started on the time that the station on Long Island censored a scene from Pippin and denied selling my name to a mailing list!)
My advice to PBS? Whine once a year, make it truly special programming when you do, and then shut up. You might find that you get more money that way.
Tags: PBS, Public Broadcast System, pledge break