I'll weigh in on that...because none of the non-coms are bought by ad agencies. Of course KQED has great ratings (and according to the ARB rep I talked to yesterday, they're the only pubcaster in the country that's even in the top 10), but they don't count for agency or direct ad business...and that's how the whole rest of the business keeps score.
Uh, no. You don't notice that the same sponsors who advertise on the Total Traffic traffic reports on the commercial stations also do underwriting announcements on the pubcasters such as KQED?
And you don't notice that for-profit companies such as European Sleep Works in Berkeley, a commercial enterprise (not a foundation), carries as high a spot load (underwriting load) on KQED Radio as they do with ads on KGO or KKSF? KQED is not even afraid to call the underwriting messages "sponsorship".
From the KQED Radio website:
KQED News Sponsorship opportunity: Weekly sponsorship package of :08 radio integrated messages supporting the local news effort of KQED News which includes 16 daily radio newscasts as well as a vibrant online presence at KQEDnews.org.
"The California Report
Annual Sponsorship Opportunity: The California Report is a State-wide annual radio sponsorship opportunity airing in drive time, produced by KQED and carried by 64 California public radio stations."
KQED Radio and other pubcasters are competing for ad dollars against the commercial stations. Make no mistake about it.