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Low Anxiety

Public radio listeners may not resent underwriting credits as much as on-air fund drives, but nearly half are somewhat "anxious" about them.

  • One-in-three (35%) perceive that "the on-air mentions of business support are getting more annoying than in the past."

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Separately, these responses convey listener attitudes about individual aspects of underwriting on public radio.

But synergistically, as three facets of a single sense, agreement with these statements adds up to "underwriting anxiety" – and nearly half (44%) of all listeners are afflicted.

Does Underwriting Anxiety influence giving to public radio?

Not yet.

Right now, listeners with it are just as likely to give to public radio as those without it.

But in the future this low-grade fever may bloom.

Listeners with Underwriting Anxiety are twice as likely to say that "I personally would be less likely to contribute to public radio if more businesses supported it."

Underwriting Anxiety is a condition that public radio professionals would do well to monitor.  An additional irritation – whether it’s more spots, more messages that annoy, or a perception that business support is affecting programming – could compound the problem.

Given widespread resentment of on-air fund drives listeners may be less forgiving if their nerves are further frayed.

– Leslie Peters
– David Giovannoni
– Jay Youngclaus
AUDIENCE 98 Core Team

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For More Information

Listeners with Underwriting Anxiety are 12 times more likely to be annoyed by on-air mentions of business support than listeners without it.   In their analysis of the underlying causes of Underwriting Anxiety, John Sutton, Peter Dominowski, and Leslie Peters show how It's Got Them Under Their Skins.

The "sound" of our underwriting credits is something over which we can exercise influence.  But what sounds are annoying listeners and leading to Underwriting Anxiety?  Dominowski and Sutton offer some excellent ideas for further research in their think piece Coping With Underwriting Anxiety.

Sutton proposes how the immediate returns of on-air pledge drives and underwriting credits might be compared in Doing Business On The Air.


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Navigate the Report

arrow.gif (139 bytes)     Low Anxiety
navblue.jpg (647 bytes) transpxl.gif (67 bytes)     It's Got Them Under Their Skins
navblue.jpg (647 bytes) transpxl.gif (67 bytes) transpxl.gif (67 bytes) Coping With Underwriting Anxiety
navblue.jpg (647 bytes) transpxl.gif (67 bytes) transpxl.gif (67 bytes) Doing Business On The Air

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Examine the Statistical Analyses Behind the Report
(15 pages; 46,836 bytes)


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Audience Research Analysis
Copyright ARA and CPB.  All rights reserved.
Revised: September 01, 2000 12:38 PM.