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Questions & Answers

Q: What is underwriting?
Underwriting is a way of supporting WESN Radio (a non-profit,
non-commercial educational radio station) and getting the name of your
business heard by WESN listeners (a wide variety of people).

Q: What’s the difference between advertising and underwriting?
Advertisments are paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or
electronic media. Underwriting is a support statement. As a
non-commercial educational radio station we are prohibited from airing
advertising but we can air underwriting. The major difference between
“advertising spots” on commercial stations and “underwriting
announcements” on noncommercial stations is an underwriting
announcement must have the purpose of “identification only” and its
language cannot specifically “bring someone to action,” as do many
advertising spots.

Q: So what can underwriters say?
Underwriting announcements are consice and gimmick-free. As a
non-commercial radio station, WESN Radio’s underwriting
announcements are defined by the FCC and should conform to specific

There are three parts of underwriting announcements:
1. The business name.
2. A brief description of business or service.
3. Repeats your business name and gives location or contact information.

Q: What is allowed on the announcement?
• Value-neutral descriptions of products and services
• Brand name of products (maximum of 3)
• Products or services offered or sold (maximum of 3)

Q: What is prohibited on the announcement?
• Comparisons and endorsements
• Expression of viewpoints
• Price or value information (including discounts)
• Calls to action (”come on down,” for example)

Underwriting Examples
“This hour of broadcasting is brought to you in part by Tommy’s. Tommy’s provides entertainment every night. Tommy’s is located in the basement of Hansen Student Center and is a proud sponsor of WESN Radio and Illinois Wesleyan University.”

“‘WESN Sports’ is brought to you in part by Hattie’s.  Featuring a variety of foreign, domestic, and local coffees, Hattie’s is open seven days a week until midnight. For more information call 555-5555. Hattie’s is a proud sponsor of WESN Radio.”

Underwriting of financial contributions of any dollar amount will be accepted.  Please contact the Sports Director for details or to donate.

Underwriting Rates

Underwriting Contract