The Public Radio Differences
The chart below outlines the key differences between public radio and commercial radio.
|Features & Benefits||Public Radio||Commercial Radio|
|Clutter||Virtually none—most stations air approximately 1 – 2 minutes of underwriting credits per hour.||Nationally reported to range from 16 to 26 non-programming minutes per hour with individual breaks as long as eight minutes of uninterrupted commercials.*
*Clear Channel is imposing a company-wide ceiling on the number of total minutes that can be aired per hour - 12 minutes. It is also limiting commercial breaks to four minutes and six commercial units, and reducing promotional time to two minutes per hour.
|Station Ownership||Independent local stations that are members of a national organization.||Private/corporate owned stations and affiliated stations.|
|Tax Status||Non profit.||For profit.|
|Revenue||Revenue from individual members, corporations, foundations, and government sources.||Revenue from advertising.|
|Sales Model||In raising underwriting funds, most public radio stations employ sales teams. Smaller in number than their commercial counterparts, they are selling underwriting rather than commercials. Underwriting is a means of identifying a business to recognize its financial support of a specific program or of the station.||Large local and national sales force. Sold based on ratings.|
|Measures of Success||Impact and Awards.||Ratings and Revenue.|
|Programs||Programmed at the local level, with national program offerings as well as local news and other programs.||Varies-- Some local autonomy but more and more conglomerates have centralized programming.|