Underwriting, The PSA, and You


KZSR Underwriting Guidelines and Policies


KZSR is a non-commercial radio station operated by the Pacific Coast Conservation Alliance (PCCA), a 501(c)(3) public benefit charity. We accept no advertising income to promote businesses, services, political messages or candidates, or religious organizations or points of view. One of the great benefits of serving as a public service organization is the ability to provide content that is virtually commercial-free. However, the double-edged sword requires that we do accept support through the process of underwriting. Underwriting is a sponsor’s statement of support. As a non-commercial educational radio station we are prohibited from airing advertising but we can announce and recognize our underwriters. The major difference between “advertising” and “underwriting” that underwriting must have the purpose of “identification only” and its language cannot specifically “bring someone to action,” which, of course, is the purpose of most advertisements. Underwriting announcements are concise and gimmick-free and must conform to FCC guidelines.

You can take advantage of a unique opportunity by being a KZSR underwriter. Your message, presented in the company of the best local programs in the Upper Salinas River Valley will make a positive imprint on our audience. You’ll benefit from the concept of “localism” . . . your customers, employees, colleagues, friends and neighbors throughout the Paso-Templeton-Atascadero area will recognize your support of a great local community resource.

Your company can be a partner in making possible the best public radio programming, and in particular the best LOCAL FM radio programming in North San Luis Obispo County. As a KZSR underwriter, your name will be broadcast in association with a variety of programs or with the specific program of your choice allowing you to present an effective message in a non-commercial environment.

KZSR underwriter rate sheet (insert hyperlink)


KZSR has adopted the following guidelines that govern approval of underwriters and define the ways by which underwriters receive recognition on-air and in associated promotions.

Terms for underwriting candidates:

  1. Underwriters may not exert editorial approval or control, or in any way act to influence the content of any programming.
  2. Underwriters will not be accepted where the public might reasonably perceive bias in program content based on the public position or interests of the underwriter.
  3. Underwriters will not be accepted that are involved in illegal activities or in a consistent pattern of unethical behavior.
  4. KZSR reserves the right to determine whether or not an underwriter or the content of a proposed announcement are consistent with the KZSR and PCCA mission. KZSR, therefore, reserves the right to decline offers of sponsorship and/or sponsor content (PSAs).
  5. Underwriters must not be political organizations or engage in political advocacy for candidates or causes.
  6. Underwriters must not be religious organizations or engage in religious advocacy, proselytizing, or promotion of any religious cause or causes.

KZSR approves and accepts offers to underwrite its programming as an endorsement of KZSR’s value and/or support of its localism. Any implied endorsement flows from the underwriter to KZSR, not vice-versa.

KZSR requires the submission before airing of underwriting copy for review. Copy that in the judgment of KZSR do not meet the standards contained herein may be withheld from distribution until altered to comply with KZSR guidelines. KZSR staff can work with you prepare appropriate copy for airing. The interpretation and application of this policy is the responsibility of KZSR station manager, whose decisions regarding the approval of underwriters and underwriting credits are final.


FCC underwriting guidelines dictate that all public radio stations must refrain from using underwriting language which contains:

  • Calls to Action (words such as “call”, “stop by”, or phrases prompting action)
  • References to price (i.e., actual price, “free”, “on sale”, etc.), discounts, or incentives to purchase products or services
  • Inducements to buy, rent, sell, or lease
  • Superlatives (i.e., “best”, “greatest”, “most reliable”, etc.) or other qualitative descriptors
  • Comparative language (i.e., ranked #1 in SLO County, award-winning, board-certified, etc.)
  • Ambiguous or misleading statements
  • Advocacy for a specific policy, candidate, or legislation

The “intent” of underwriting is to publicly acknowledge our underwriters and provide a brief description, which must be entirely factual, non-promotional, and value-neutral but which may include:

  • The underwriter’s location
  • Relocation/change of address information
  • A description/summary of the underwriter’s services
  • A description of products sold by the underwriter, including brand names
  • A description of key or target markets
  • A notable business anniversary (e.g., “Serving North County for 25 years”)
  • Slogans used as a standard (e.g., “Where it’s so nice to be nice”)
  • Traditional portion of the business’s marketing mix and not in violation of FCC regs

Underwriting credits acknowledging organizations that fund KZSR programming will be read immediately after the standard opening phrase, “Support for KZSR comes from…” using the legal name of the underwriter. The subsequent underwriting credits must fit into a 10-second time frame.  Our station talent will deliver underwriting credits in your name and we’re available to work with you to produce an underwriting credit or announcement that best serves your needs and those of our audience. Underwriting credits are written and edited at no cost to the donor/supporter. To maintain the consistency of our sound, all messages are read or prerecorded by the program host or professional on-air announcers provided by KZSR.


Number of Spots/Month Random Placement Morning Peak Afternoon Peak Underwriter’s Choice Complete Show
10 $80.00 ($8/ea.) $100.00 ($10/ea.) $100.00 ($10/ea.) $120.00 ($12.00/ea.)  



(2% discount)












(4% discount)












(6% discount)












(10% discount)












  • Each spot – One (1) approximately 15-second standard acknowledgement
  • Random Placement – Acknowledgement inserted as determined by programmer and/or on-air talent
  • Morning Peak – Between 0600 and 0900 (6 AM – 9 AM)
  • Afternoon Peak – Between 1600 and 1900 (4 PM – 7 PM)
  • Underwriter’s Choice – Underwriter chooses which programs acknowledgements will be read
  • Complete Show – Underwriter chooses one show and is acknowledged as the sole supporter of the program; for example, “Support for the KZSR Veterinary Hour is provided exclusively by the Paso Robles Pet Hospital, providing the Upper Salinas River Valley with small and large animal veterinary services since 1968.”

All underwriters are recognized on the KZSR.org Web site; “Complete Show” supporters have the option to post their logo as well.

Credits are generally aired near the beginning or end of a program and at natural intervals within the program. Credits may be changed or rotated within a program. Placement of an underwriting credit adjacent to a particular story or story topic cannot be guaranteed.

Note: We revise the guidelines periodically as required to maintain compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy and with generally accepted industry practices.