Wild Wing underwriting announcement. No qualitative. No prices. No calls to action. The production, delivery, music, etc., can sound like a commercial. And, yeah, the Wild Wing production house did make the specially produced underwriting announcement sound like their regular commercial spots. The copy is different, although the differences may be subtle. They desired to have their underwriting announcement be as consistent as possible with their message on other platforms, given WXRY underwriting guidelines and vetting.
WMHK does the same thing. All of their underwriting is even more slick than what we produce (kudos to them-- Keep up the killer job guys!). WXRY uses WMHK as a guide because WMHK also presents non-commercial radio in a way that would be very familiar to folks that usually only listen to commercial radio. By contrast, SCERN/SCETV is not a good frame of reference because they are a state government agency that relies proportionately less on underwriting support than other non-comm outlets in the country and hew close to the traditional concept of "public" broadcasting.
WXRY has never stated it's not a business operation. Just like other non-comm entities such NPR, NC Public Radio, WGBH, Minnesota Public Radio (Check out Minnesota Public Radio... they are a multi-multi-million dollar organization), etc., we're in the business of broadcasting. We're just not doing what we do to earn profits distributable to shareholders. We are not a corporate conglomerate owned radio station. Instead of having to talk to San Antonio, Las Vegas, New York, or Atlanta, all you have to do is (figuratively) talk to the Barringer Building. We're always available by email to address issues, concerns, and run-of-the-mill questions (firstname.lastname@example.org
, if you need it).
For the audience of regular on-the street folks, who told us in interview after interview that they were bored with the current offerrings of well-researched corporate-guided playlists and promotions, WXRY signed on as the antithesis to what existed on the air at the time. Regular folks get it. We still get thank yous from folks that happened upon WXRY. Different attitude, distinct playlist, but familar presentation.
Every station needs to keep the lights on. We appreciate the support of Wild Wing, Free-Times, Capitol Places, Landmark, and our other underwriters in helping us do so.
Bugz: It's not a Arbitron trick. It's a marketing strategy in order to attempt to position against a competitor running 12-18 minutes of spots an hour. For commercial radio, they use the word "commercial free" to refer to the lack of commercials during a music sweep. Not that the average Joe makes that distinction or the finer distinctions between underwriting/commercial/promo/PSA announcements.