Program Underwriting

What is underwriting?

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Underwriting is on-air acknowledgment of financial support from supporting businesses. Underwriting on WMSE lets listeners know who you are and what you do, and builds brand awareness among our listening audience. An underwriting announcement can be considered more meaningful than commercial advertising because it shows our listeners that you support the independent radio station that they love. We will work with you to develop an underwriting strategy that is efficient in targeting your preferred demographic. An underwriting campaign can be customized to include as many or as few announcements as desired.

A study by Jacobs Media demonstrated that 8 out of 10 listeners think highly of businesses and organizations that support their favorite station. You will be considered a good neighbor by our loyal listeners, while helping WMSE continue broadcasting the unique and diverse programming that isn’t available anywhere else. Because WMSE is a non-profit organization, your underwriting dollars are tax-deductible!

Why should my business sponsor programming on WMSE?

  • WMSE has been an integral part of Milwaukee for over 35 years. Listeners understand our commitment to the community and our intense support of local music and artists.
  • WMSE continues to be an award winning station, always staying true to our mission of providing programming that cannot be heard anywhere else on the local dial.
  • Our intelligent and loyal listeners have buying power; they choose to spend their money supporting WMSE and the businesses that support us.
  • With our wide variety of musical programming, we can ensure that your message successfully reaches your ideal targeted audience.
  • Your message will be heard worldwide by our expanding audience that listens to WMSE streaming over the internet.
  • Each hour on WMSE 91.7 FM, only 60 seconds are spent on sponsor messages, as opposed to nearly 20 minutes of commercials on many corporate stations, avoiding the clutter and listener tune-out associated with hearing commercial after commercial throughout programming.
  • The WMSE program audio archive is one of the most popular features on our website. Your sponsorship announcement will continue to be heard by listeners long after its initial airing.

Who will hear my underwriting announcement?

  • 45,000 loyal listeners tune in each week
  • We reach a preferred demographic of smart, stylish, and successful 25 – 54 year olds
  • A high concentration of educated and affluent community members with an interest in cutting-edge music, art, and entertainment
  • Listeners who access WMSE’s program archive will hear your announcement on past shows that have aired

What can my underwriting message say?

Because WMSE is a non-commercial radio station, an underwriting message differs from a commercial advertisement because there is specific language that cannot be used based on FCC guidelines and restrictions.

Underwriting announcements may contain:

  • Sponsor’s name
  • Location of business
  • Phone number and/or Internet address
  • Value-neutral description of business, products and services

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandates that announcements may not include:

  • Comparative, qualitative or promotional language
  • Calls to action
  • Pricing information
  • Inducements to buy, sell, or lease

How can I begin underwriting on WMSE?

To set up an appointment, or to get more information, call WMSE’s Underwriting Director, Ryan Aschebrook, at 414-277-4514 or via email.

WMSE Underwriting Testimonials

“We support WMSE because they get it like nobody else in town gets it. What is ‘it?’ Community. Art. Milwaukee. If WMSE wasn’t here, I’d move.”
-David Ravel, Director for Alverno Presents

“Maxie’s underwriting of WMSE gives us instant membership into an educated, forward thinking, civic minded group of people. Our association with WMSE sends a message that we care about unbiased, informative and entertaining radio, but more importantly; that we care about Milwaukee.”
– Dan Sidner, Maxie’s Southern Comfort

WMSE’s current for profit and nonprofit partners

Event Sponsorship and Opportunities

What WMSE events are available to sponsors?

WMSE holds four large-scale community events each year. The purpose of these events tie in very closely with our mission of bringing a diverse group of people together for the good, positive cause of raising funds for WMSE Radio!

Rockabilly Chili
Big Band Grandstand
Record Ruckus
Annual Backyard BBQ

What are some benefits included with event sponsorship?

Depending on the event and the level at which your company becomes a sponsor, there are many different forms of exposure you will receive based on your sponsorship, some of which may include:

  • On-air promotional exposure in event announcements
  • Logo placement in printed materials, including posters, handbills, and advertisements in local weekly newspapers
  • Featured on with a link to your website
  • A promotional booth at the event
  • Banner opportunities at the event

How can my company become an event sponsor?

To sponsor a WMSE event, or for more information, contact WMSE’s Development Director, Jay Burseth at 414-277-7556 or email at:

How else can my company get involved?

WMSE is always seeking donations of goods and services for both events. Items are then used for silent auction packages and raffles. By donating an item or certificate your business becomes visible to WMSE’s desirable demographic by highlighting your company and your product.

Corporate Membership

What is Corporate Membership?

Twice a year, WMSE holds on-air membership drives to raise funds in order to sustain and to grow as a non-profit broadcaster. We have found that over the years, it’s immensely powerful and meaningful when a business makes a contribution in the form of a financial challenge to WMSE’s listeners. Corporate challenges are used as an incentive for new and existing members to pledge during a certain program or program hour. The success rate of the on-air Corporate Challenge is phenomenal.

What are the benefits of becoming a Corporate Member?

Corporate Members are viewed by WMSE listeners (and staff!) as a hero for the entire length of the drive, which each lasts between one week and two weeks. With your Corporate Challenge contribution and announcement, you will receive continuous personalized on-air mention, especially during the show in which your challenge is launched.

How can I become a Corporate Member?

We are always scheduling Corporate Challenges to be announced during on-air drives in spring and fall. For more information on how your business can make and impact while receiving tremendous visibility, contact WMSE’s Development Director, Jay Burseth at 414-277-7556 or email at: