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WSHU Commitment to Diversity and Underwriting Standards

The mission of WSHU Public Radio is to be the unifying voice of our region on the air, online and in person. As a group of not-for-profit, member-supported radio stations, owned and operated by Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, we bring the best in public broadcasting to 252,000 listeners in Connecticut and Long Island. WSHU’s coverage area includes Connecticut (Fairfield, New Haven, Litchfield, New London and Middlesex Counties) and New York (Suffolk, Westchester, Duchess, Greene, Columbia and Nassau Counties). The demographics of our Connecticut coverage area are as follows: 61% White, 11% African American, 5% Asian, 20% Hispanic, and 2% from two or more races. The demographics of our Long Island coverage area are: 67% white, 7% African American, 4% Asian, 20% Hispanic, and 2% from two or more races. An NPR member since 1984, we are a dual format station offering classical music and news.

Click here for our report on diversity in WSHU journalism.

Commitment to Diversity

WSHU Public Radio is committed to making our community a better place to live. As part of that, we strive to foster and encourage a culture of diversity and inclusion with respect to our employees, management and advisory Boards. WSHU’s intention is to reflect the diversity of the communities our organization serves throughout our listening audiences in CT & LI. It is the policy of WSHU to provide equal employment opportunity for all persons and not to discriminate in employment or otherwise because of race, religion, sex, age, marital status, veteran status, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation, in adherence to the Human Resources policies set forth by Sacred Heart University.

Diversity Goals

In pursuit of our commitment to diversity throughout the organization, WSHU has established the following goals and objectives:

  • To provide equal opportunities in employment.
  • To seek and recruit candidates for open positions within the organization that represent the diversity of the communities served by WSHU.
  • To seek and retain individuals from diverse backgrounds for internship and fellowship opportunities at WSHU, with the hope of training and securing a diverse future workforce.

Diversity Practices and Initiatives

  • WSHU will review with our Board of Visitors those practices that are designed to fulfill the organization’s commitment to diversity and its diversity goals, and to meet the applicable FCC guidelines.
  • Open staff positions at WSHU are posted both internally and externally with a goal of reaching a diverse cross-section of interested candidates’ representative of the diversity of our communities. WSHU widely disseminates information about open positions in an attempt to reach the entire community it serves.

WSHU will undertake one of the following activities on an annual basis:

  1. Include individuals representing diverse groups in internships or work study programs designed to provide meaningful, professional-level experience in order to reflect the diversity of the communities served by WSHU and to further public broadcasting’s commitment to education.
  2. Include qualified, diverse candidates in any slate of candidates for the Board of Visitors or the Community Advisory Board.
  3. Implement formal diversity training programs for management and appropriate staff.


The standards governing acceptable underwriting practices for WSHU Public Radio are set forth in the rules and regulations of the F.C.C., the Underwriting Policies of National Public Radio, and the probations to certain categories required by the Board of Trustees of Sacred Heart University.

In addition to these rules and policies WSHU management may set additional prudent limitations on the type and content of Underwriting Messages to avoid potential conflict of interest, problems of listener misperception, confusion, overall listener sensitivity, or what it judges to be controversial, or not in good taste. In all cases WSHU Management has the right to refuse any announcement or language it feels is inappropriate.

WSHU does not accept underwriting messages from these groups:

  1. Candidates for Political Office. We will not accept sponsorship by political candidates, groups formed to influence election outcomes, or from political parties.
  2. 900 numbers, Chat lines, or Dating services, 'Text To' for a fee messages, fortune telling, occultism, astrology, phrenology, palm reading, or numerology, mind-reading, character readings, Miracle Solicitation, or subjects of the like nature. In all cases a reasonable listener test will be applied. WSHU's first priority is the trust of its listeners.
  3. Messages for 'Pro-Life' or 'Pro-Choice' services or organizations. Because WSHU is associated with Sacred Heart University, and this is an ongoing controversial issue, WSHU will not accept messages from clinics or organizations that directly promote or advocate a position on this issue.
  4. Advocacy Groups with Underwriting language that express an opinion on matters of public concern or otherwise advocate positions on controversial matters. While WSHU will carry underwriting messages 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. In all cases we will apply the reasonable listener standard, and consideration will be given to the nature of the organization and whether the organization has an interest in matters currently prominent in the news and the language of the announcement.
  5. Makers and distributors of alcoholic beverages that say more than simple identification. Sponsorship by makers and distributors of alcoholic beverages, including wine, beer and distilled spirits, are permitted. Underwriting language must be restrained in tone, and should not involve product descriptions, other than that necessary to identify the sponsor’s line of business.
  6. Gambling, including Internet, casinos, lotteries, and charity events. Underwriting casinos that identify or describe their gambling activity is not permitted. Language that identifies a casino as a concert or a performance venue would be acceptable. References to "dream books," the "straight line," or other direct or indirect descriptions or solicitations relative to the "numbers game," or the "polity game," or any other form of gambling are prohibited.
  7. Tobacco products where the credit mentions the tobacco product(s) or required no smoking messages. Sponsorships from diversified companies engaged in the manufacture of tobacco products (e.g. Altria, formerly Philip Morris) are acceptable, but specific references to tobacco products are not allowed.
  8. Controversial Companies. In order to ensure that there is no perceived conflict between underwriting and editorial content, WSHU will not accept underwriting from organizations that are currently experiencing significant and controversial news coverage. In this case we will apply the reasonable listener standard, and consideration will be given to the amount of news coverage given in the past 45 days. In all cases a reasonable listener test will be applied, and the decision of WSHU’s News Director, or Program Director, will be final and can be revisited no less than every 30 days.