What is Underwriting?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allows businesses to underwrite or fund programs on stations like WJWS LPFM, but it does not allow commercial advertising. WJWS LPFM also known as 93.7 The Scratch, depends on underwriting donations from businesses like your’s and individuals to help cover operating costs, as well as equipment purchases and repairs.

Underwriting is highly similar to commercial advertising, but differs in a few very important areas. The FCC forbids announcements that issue a CALL TO ACTION. This means that statements like; “stop in, shop here, call, call now, limited time only”, etc. are not allowed. Underwriter announcements also may not contain QUALITATIVE WORDS. Qualitative words such as; “largest selection, newest model, best in town, finest selection, and state of the art” are prohibited. Finally, announcements may not mention or give reference to PRICES. References such as; “free, sale, discount, clearance, reduced, going out of business sale, and liquidation”, etc. are also prohibited by the FCC.

Underwriting announcements on WJWS LPFM are required to follow all FCC regulations.

Our Enhanced Underwriting Announcements:

  •  identify but do not promote.
  •  do not call to action.
  •  use value neutral language.
  •  do not mention prices.
  •  can be produced in 10 to 30-second pre-recorded announcements.

Enhanced Underwriting Announcements on WJWS LPFM are recorded by The Scratch’s student production staff. Underwriter announcements that are not recorded by WJWS LPFM, are not typically accepted.  (After all, we want our students to get as much experience as possible!) Announcements may include information which identifies but does not promote the underwriter including:

  •  the name of the underwriter.
  •  the underwriter’s products and/or services
  •  the underwriter’s corporate slogan (Typically as long as it is not a promotional statement, like “Get Met, It Pays”)
  •  the location of the underwriter’s business.
  •  the underwriter’s telephone number.
  •  the underwriter’s web address.

Enhanced Underwriting Announcements on WJWS LP 93.7 FM may not:

  •  be a commercial.
  •  include a call to action.
  •  use qualitative language.
  •  mention any prices.
  •  endorse a product or service.

(Some examples of announcement texts are included at the end of this page for your reference.)

How can underwriting benefit your business?
While underwriting is not commercial advertising, it can provide your business with some of the same benefits, plus some that even commercial advertising can’t offer. Research indicates that Low Power radio is an excellent public relations tool. Listeners have a positive image of companies that support Low Power radio and report their purchasing decisions are influenced by such underwriting support.

-Our target audience is very wide and diverse because of our unique music programming.  Many of our audience is also ignored by commercial radio and we can help you reach them.  This can be especially helpful if you focus on a younger target audience, as they haven’t established their purchasing patterns yet.

-Demonstrate your community concern… Your support of student radio shows you are interested in contributing to the quality of life not only in the community, but also at Jasper High School.

-Expand awareness of your name and presence… Awareness of your business is expanded each time you are mentioned on 93.7 The Scratch

-Enhance your business image… Your image is enhanced by your association with non-commercial local radio. You will be joining other fine businesses that support our quality radio programming.

-Tax benefits… WJWS LP 93.7 FM is a non-profit, non-commercial, radio station. We are a 501(c3) corporation. Any contribution is tax deductible.. Consult your tax preparer.

Sample Announcements 

PROHIBITED ANNOUNCEMENT: “Portions of the broadcast day on The Scratch is underwritten by Speedy Lube, where you can now get a 10-point oil change and lube for the unbelievably low price of just $12.99. So come on down to 115 Main Street for fast, reliable service and a free gift.”

PERMITTED ANNOUNCEMENT: “This portion of WJWS LPFM’s broadcast day is underwritten by Speedy Lube, located at 115 Main Street in Trucksville. Speedy Lube provides oil changes using Quker State lubricants, tune-ups, and other minor vehicle maintenance services. Our thanks to Speedy Lube of Trucksville. 812-555-5555.”

Ready to sign up?  Contact one of our student underwriting directors today!