The difference between commercial and noncommercial FM broadcasting in America: Noncommercial radio encompasses college and community based radio stations. Although these stations may carry sponsorship or underwriting announcements, they are not considered true advertising, because they are limited in what they can state, and such announcements are widely spaced, unobtrusive and generally not the main source of station funding. Commercial radio, on the other hand, airs frequent commercials, and commercial breaks between songs may be quite long. Advertising is the source of the station budget on commercial stations.
For anyone doing a radio promotion campaign, these distinctions are significant, because noncommercial radio stations tend to have more flexibility in their playlists and are more willing to play music from less known and non-mainstream artists than commercial radio. Which means it is usually the doorway through which up-and-coming musicians break into radio, and is the only segment of broadcasting where some genres of music are played regularly, such as jazz, classical, folk, ethnic styles, and independent musicians and those performing in niche genres. Noncommercial radio stations’ flexibility comes from the fact that their funding isn't reliant solely (or at all) on advertising dollars. Although they certainly need listeners to keep their independent sources of funding, wherever it comes from, they don't have to chase the kinds of ratings commercial radio stations need to show to advertisers to convince them to spend money with the station. That means that noncommercial stations can afford to take chances on new artists their listeners haven’t heard of before. It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario; noncommercial radio listeners tend to be the most open to new music of all radio audiences, and by playing new artists, noncommercial stations give their audiences what they want. However, because they don’t need as large an audience as a commercial radio station does, they can forego the listeners who only want to hear music by established artists. WMEX 105.9 FM depends on your support!

Help your neighbors serve you by supporting this community station, which brings you local news and information, public service and announcements that concern this area. WMEX supports the local arts brings you local programming, including sports, not to mention the best in music and entertainment. Some of the programming cannot be heard anywhere else but here!

WMEX is funded by listeners and business underwriters. The cost of operating the station, including electricity, Internet streaming, music licensing royalties, and day-to-day station operation is expensive. WMEX is a noncommercial radio station, and does not air commercials, but depends solely on its listeners and local business owners underwriting support for its revenue. WMEX receives no federal funding or large corporate grants and is not licensed to any university or other well-funded entity; it is totally independent, and all of WMEX’s funding comes only from the public it serves.

Most people do not realize that noncommercial FM stations are similar to commercial stations, except that all of WMEX’s income is reinvested for station growth, upgrades, repairs, salaries, etc, so the station will never realize a profit. Noncommercial stations differ from commercial FM stations in that they are not permitted to accept revenue in exchange for broadcasting “spots” (announcements advertising products and services), yet they may charge an underwriting fee for broadcasting programs. The licensee of a such as station is expected to provide a broadcast schedule that is noncommercial and provides a true service to the public in the community specified by its federal license. Congress directed the FCC to find a way to reserve some channels in the FM service for educational, instructional and cultural purposes, and the method determined by the FCC requires that an applicant for one of the reserved channels form a nonprofit organization that is educational or informational in nature.

If you are involved with a business and would like to join in helping to provide your neighbors with this community broadcasting service, and have your business name publicized and associated with such an exciting cause, please contact WMEX 105.9 FM and inquire about underwriting sponsorship opportunities. It’s surprisingly affordable even for a small budget, and the publicity and goodwill offers great rewards!