Maine Public's Underwriting Policies

Maine Public's Underwriting Policies seek to preserve the unique, non-commercial nature of public broadcasting in Maine. We believe it is critical that, in addition to providing exceptional programming and independent journalistic content, we maintain an environment for airing underwriting announcements that follow established national guidelines from our PBS and NPR partners, and meet all federally-mandated Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations, understanding the essential character of Maine Public’s non-commercial service.

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network accepts sponsorship at their sole discretion, and reserves the right to refuse underwriting from any company or organization for any reason. Maine Public accepts sponsorship as an endorsement of the value of public broadcasting and the special value of Maine Public's programming. Any implied endorsement flows from the underwriter to Maine Public, not Maine Public to the underwriter.

While Maine Public sponsors are clearly identified as supporters of programming as FCC law requires, those sponsors, either as organizations or individuals, will have no influence or input regarding the editorial coverage or journalistic content of the news and programming on Maine Public Radio, Television and digital channels. Maine Public exercises absolute editorial control over underwriting announcement copy and appearance, and reserves the right to edit copy to conform to station and FCC established legal standards.

Political Organizations

Maine Public 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.

Advocacy Groups

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.

Competitive Media

Underwriting by commercial and non-commercial media organizations is permitted.

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.

Tobacco Products

Underwriting from diversified companies engaged in the manufacture of tobacco products is acceptable, but specific references to tobacco products are not allowed.

Updated May 2015