In the world of Sun Radio, enhanced underwriting credits identify a particular corporate supporter and a value-neutral description of their business. The Federal Communications Commission has articulated specific guidelines emphasizing the difference between permissible donor and underwriter announcements and commercial advertising. In order to maintain compliance with the Commission’s regulations, The Sun Radio Foundation observes the following rules:
- Announcements containing price information are not permissible such as “7% interest rates now available”
- Announcements may not contain a call to action, price specials or enticement wording.
- Announcements containing an inducement to buy are promotional in nature and disallowed such as “Special gift for the first 10 calls.”
- Announcements may not include comparative or qualitative language such as “we are the best,” “we are the first,” etc.
In recognition of the non-commercial nature of educational broadcasting and its own non-profit mission, Sun Radio will also exercise restraint in composing and presenting underwriter announcements. For example, their length will be limited to a total of 20 seconds. Announcements will not contain audio logos, jingles, sound effects, or commercial radio jargon and hype.
All underwriting copy will be approved prior to air by Sun Radio staff members. Sun Radio management reserves the right to edit enhanced underwriting announcements in order to meet FCC standards.
What is permissible?
Underwriting announcements may include a factual description of the products or services including brand names offered by the business underwriter. The announcement may include the address, phone number or web address. These can’t be repeated. In some instances, non-comparative slogans may be used. In the case of special events, time, date, place, as well as ticket reservation information are permitted. Sample announcements follow:
Programming is funded in part by The Austin Ballet, presenting Swan Lake, preformed by The Moscow Festival Ballet, March 5th at the Bass Concert Hall. Ticket information online at ___.com.
Sun Radio broadcast operations are funded in part by Baylor University. Professionals with master’s degrees working in business, education and health career are earning PhDs on weekends. Applications and information for the fall semester are available on the web today at Baylor.edu.org
UNDERWRITING RULES FOR NON-PROFITS
Non Commercial Radio stations like Sun Radio are forbidden by the FCC from airing commercial spot announcements, paid programming from businesses/individuals, or raising money for any purpose except the station’s own expenses.
Sun radio can accept financial underwriting to support programming provided by non-profit organizations. Programs must air in the best interest of the public and cannot include fundraising, or third party financial consideration.
- Sun radio can accept financial underwriting to support programming from businesses, for profit and not for profit organizations.
- Permitted:everything a for profit entity is allowed plus
-Comparative or qualitative statement
-Calls to action
-Some price information
- Underwriter announcements for non-profits can be extended to 30 seconds
- Sun radio, in its effort to help not for profit organizations, will donate an additional 25% of any paid underwriting schedule at no charge.
Ex. Not for profit purchases 100 underwriting announcements. Sun Radio will donate another 25 with no charge.
Third Party Fundraising by NCE stations
Since many of the Sun Radio On Air personalities are Volunteers, and in an effort to not venture into gray interpretive areas of the FCC Fundraising Rules as they relate to Noncommercial Radio stations, with the guidance of the FCC and FCC Council; the Sun Radio Foundation observes the following rules related to Third Party Fundraising, Public Service Announcements and live in studio interviews for Not for Profit organizations.
- NCE Radio stations like Sun Radio are forbidden to interrupt regular programming to solicit/raise money for any purpose except its (Sun Radio’s) own operating expenses.
- Not for profit interviews must be pre-recorded, can’t last more than three minutes, can’t interrupt regular programming for more than three minutes out of a thirty-minute period, must serve the public and cannot encourage listeners to send money.
In-studio interviews must be pre-recorded-Politicians and for profit business representatives are not allowed on the air
Politicians and for-profit business representatives are not allowed on the air as guest hosts either in studio or by a phone interview for the purpose of advancing their business or cause even if they are underwriters or personal contributors to the NCE radio/TV station.