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On Air Staff and WPM Interns
These guidelines seek to preserve the non-commercial nature of Wyoming Public Media (WPM). We are governed by regulations and policies pertaining to non-commercial broadcasts adopted by the Federal Communications Commission and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Our listeners value this characteristic as part of what makes public radio unique in sound and substance. It is critical that we provide exceptional programming within a non-commercial, uncluttered and intelligent environment. We aim to keep listeners engaged during breaks and air underwriting announcements in keeping with our programming values, as well as with FCC requirements. Your underwriting support represents a partnership between your organization and WPM, and demonstrates your commitment to community service and quality programming.
An announcement must identify, but may not promote, the underwriter, its services, facilities or products. It may not express the underwriter’s views on any matter of public interest or importance. It may not support or oppose any political candidate. And it must be scheduled so as not to interrupt a station’s programs. Along with these legal requirements, underwriting announcements must be in keeping with the non-commercial nature of our station. To maintain the consistency of our sound, all messages are live reads or are prerecorded by a station voice.
WMP Underwriting Announcements may:
• Describe your business with value-neutral language.
• Identify facilities, services, products or product lines (maximum of three items per announcement).
• Describe your organization’s mission. In some cases, this may be the mission statement. However, if the language of a mission statement conflicts with the station policies outlined above, we will suggest alternative wording describing your organization’s mission.
• Inform the public of events you hold.
• Include a corporate slogan, provided it meets guidelines and is not promotional.
• Include a physical address or a web address.
• Indicate the number of years you have been in business.
• Include up to 24 words in addition to the station preface and name of the business or organization. Each word in a web address counts as one word including “dot.” A telephone number counts as three words. The total length of the announcement must be spoken in 15 seconds.
WPM Underwriting Announcements may NOT include:
• Qualitative language (e.g., Pulitzer Prize Winner, family owned, board certified, etc.) or state facts that cannot be proven.
• Comparative language (e.g., better, best, oldest, largest, etc.)
• A call to action (e.g., Visit our store, Order online today, etc.)
• An inducement to buy, sell, rent, or lease.
• References to price or value.
• Personal pronouns (e.g., you, yours, we, ours, etc.)
• Contain language advocating political, religious or social causes.
• Contain dramatic, shocking or disturbing language.
To respect the FCC prohibition against accepting payment for the expression of any “views”, WPM does not accept underwriting from political organizations, nor will it accept a message advocating a position with respect to a controversial issue, a political party or a candidate for office. WPM reserves the right to determine that an underwriter or the content of a proposed announcement are inconsistent with the station’s mission or would undermine community support for the station. In these cases sponsorship may be declined.
Underwriting by organizations that, as their primary business, seek to influence matters of public concern, either through public outreach on a matter or through affecting the legislative process, is permitted under appropriate circumstances and under appropriate conditions. Underwriting by such groups will be taken on a case-by-case basis, applying a reasonable listener standard. While there is no prohibition in these rules against underwriting by advocacy groups, in no circumstances will the language of an underwriting announcement express an opinion on matters of public concern or otherwise advocate positions on controversial matters. All announcements are subject to approval by WPM’s station management and/or legal counsel.
Religiously Affiliated Organizations
Underwriting by churches or other religiously affiliated groups is acceptable. However, given that most listeners will be of different religions, care should be given to ensure that underwriting messages are appropriate to the context of public radio, consistent with our publicly-supported mission and funding profile, and not unacceptable to those listeners who may not share the underwriters’ religious perspective. A reasonable listener test will be applied under these circumstances. The previous rule concerning advocacy groups would also apply to these organizations. In addition, this rule prohibits proselytizing language or other language intended to draw distinctions between different religions.
Lotteries and Casinos
Underwriting by lotteries or casinos that identifies or describes their gambling activity is not permitted. Language that identifies a casino as a concert venue would be acceptable.
As a publicly funded station, WPM exercises absolute editorial control over underwriting announcement copy and reserves the right to edit copy to conform to station and FCC guidelines.