In addition to the Station of the Year Awards, CMB recognizes those in our industry for their exceptional service to the Christian Music Broadcaster community.
CMB will present all awards on Friday, June 2 at the CMB Awards Dinner as part of Momentum 2023, being held at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando.
2023 Special Award Finalists
Industry Achievement Award
Presented to a Christian broadcaster or associated professional for outstanding and long-term contributions to the growth of Christian Music Radio.
Beth Bacall – On-Air Talent / WFSH (The Fish) & Media Coach
From entertaining the airwaves on KFRC-FM in San Francisco, to dancing away the late 90s on WKTU-FM in New York City, to encouraging and uplifting Atlanta on WFSH-The Fish every afternoon, Beth Bacall’s three decades on the air have had a lot to say. In 2003, she embraced CMB and the CCM sphere when she started working at Star 99.1 FM in NY/NJ. Since 2005, she has served on the Momentum Leadership Team while also offering mentorship to CMB’s Women in Radio community. Beth is a champion for others, taking a sincere stance of integrity and leading by example with her on air work, community engagement, and show prep. As a top talent coach, she equips multidisciplinary broadcasters and artists to embrace their authentic self, grow awareness, share stories effectively, and create meaningful Christ-centered content with all audiences. Beth specializes in moments that matter and is a driving force behind The Fish Christmas Wish Program and Fish Acts of Love. Working on all aspects of creating promotional, reward-based content, including research and execution, Beth is a dot connector that the Lord uses to bring joy and experiences into the lives of others. Even after these promotional seasons, she’s always looking for the next opportunity to be a blessing.
Rick Dunham – Founder & Chairman, Dunham+Company
For over four decades, Rick Dunham has been at the forefront of marketing and fundraising for Christian nonprofits. In 2002, he founded Dunham+Company, which has become a global leader in providing multi-channel strategies across some of the world’s most influential sectors. Through radio and television, local churches and overseas missions, medical relief and philanthropic initiatives, Dunham+Company is multiplying the reach of the Gospel. The company currently serves nearly 100 clients in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand – whose collective effort is reaching nearly every corner of the globe. Rick is the author of Secure: Discovering True Financial Freedom and If God Will Provide, Why Do We Have to Ask for Money? He serves as a member of the board of The Giving Institute and is a former chair of the Giving USA Foundation, which publishes the most widely respected annual report on giving in the U.S. He has been published and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post and more. From devotionals to blogs, webinars to books, Rick’s personal faith in Jesus and his Biblical training are the driving conviction of his communication.
Fred & Paul Jacobs – Founder & President / Vice President & General Manager, Jacobs Media
Over the decades, Jacobs Media has become known for advising broadcasters on strategic planning and digital transformation, championing forward thinking of the in-car audio experience, developing its innovative Techsurveys, and driving research initiatives with some of the most influential companies in media. In partnership with Radio Ink, the Jacobs duo created the DASH Conferences in 2013-15, bringing together leadership from both automotive and radio broadcasting industries. Working with CMB, Jacobs Media launched the first of its annual tech surveys for Christian music radio in 2014. Working in collaboration with the NAB’s Connected Car Committee, they developed the original “Best Practices” report in 2017. Fred Jacobs, a 2018 Radio Hall of Fame inductee, is credited with the creation of the Classic Rock radio format in the mid-80’s. Paul Jacobs specializes in revenue generation for Jacobs Media’s clients including heading up jācapps – the industry’s first, and now largest, mobile application development company with more than 1,300 apps worldwide. In 2022, Fred and Paul were recipients of the National Radio Award, the highest honor from the National Association of Broadcasters. They were the first duo to receive the award as well as the first consultants.
Jim Leightenheimer – Associate Professor of Broadcasting & Station Advisor of Resound Radio, Cedarville University
Jim Leightenheimer has passionately pursued the mission of teaching, mentoring, and preparing college students to serve Christ in radio since 1982. A 30-year radio veteran, Jim implemented and developed a student radio station that started as an AM carrier current, transitioned to a low power FM, and is currently streaming as Resound Radio. Under his leadership, student radio has served to jump-start the careers of many current leaders in Christian radio stations and networks across the United States. His students, both past and present, credit Jim for being the catalyst in building their love for radio. Throughout his career, Jim has enlisted graduates and other professionals to serve as mentors to his student radio staff. He has introduced scores of students to CMB by bringing them to Momentum and, more recently, CMB University. Jim currently serves on the board of directors at WCVO (104.9 The River) in Columbus and continues to be a resource not only for his current students, but for those who are living out his legacy in radio.
Joe Paulo – President & Chief Executive Officer, Hope Media Group
Joe Paulo has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hope Media Group since 2018. With an extensive background in media and leadership, he began at KSBJ (now Hope Media Group) as Vice-President of Operations in 2017 after serving at Educational Media Foundation (K-LOVE/Air1) as the Director of Donor Stewardship and Communications. Prior to that, he led a division of Columbia International University as Director of Broadcasting until 2014, overseeing the growth of successful radio stations in Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC. Joe has also provided volunteer leadership at the board of directors and advisory levels for other nonprofits such as Youth Commission International, CMB, and Crime Stoppers of Houston. In addition to speaking on leadership, fundraising and media, Joe and Kelly, his wife, have spoken at marriage and parenting events to share their passion for marriage, parenting and adoption.
Community Service Award
Presented to a Christian broadcaster, radio station or associated professional who, during the past year, has shown outstanding effort in community service.
BRIGHT-FM / WRBS (Network)
The Brighter Media Group believes serving others is a primary way to live out their faith. Because of rising costs, food insecurity is a crucial concern throughout the region they serve. BRIGHT-FM formed The Pantry Project, and nearly every week, their team set up at a local food pantry to receive non-perishable donations. Generous BRIGHT-FM listeners impacted over 30 community pantries serving one million Marylanders. Hope is found through prayer, so BRIGHT-FM ade hope louder through prayer nights at area churches and were honored to partner with Maryland’s National Day of Prayer event at the Fallen Heroes Memorial. BRIGHT-FM’s Classroom Collection stocked four low-income schools in the Baltimore area with needed supplies. BRIGHT-FM’s sponsorship of the River Valley Run, Maryland’s premier trail festival, allowed 250 underprivileged children to attend camp at River Valley Ranch. BRIGHT-FM partnered with Chick-fil-A for the Toys for Tots Stuff-the-Truck event and continued their 17-year partnership with Operation Christmas Child, bringing hope to children around the world at Christmas, resulting in 700,000 shoeboxes collected. Their “Walk With Jesus Easter Text Experience,” a resource serving BRIGHT-FM listeners in growing and sharing their faith, impacted nearly 29,000 people across six states, with many saying it renewed their faith. Through 48Live, BRIGHT-FM’s concert and event division, 67,577 attendees in seven states were able to be closer to the artists they love while partnering with other Christian radio stations. These events resulted in over 5,000 child sponsorships through organizations like Compassion International.
The mission of Christian radio is to proclaim the Gospel and that’s essential to Compassion International’s mission as well. Together, Compassion and Christian radio not only proclaim the Good News, but they also release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Jesus is the core of Compassion’s ministry. His life, teachings, and character shapes their programs, reflect the spiritual commitments of their staff, and guides how they love people, respect communities, and cooperate with nations. Through a holistic approach to child development, Compassion carefully blends physical, social, economic and spiritual care together. Compassion’s local church partners tailor their holistic child development model to the contextualized needs of the children in their communities to best deliver the whole-life care that the children they serve most need. In 2022, through their community service efforts, Christian radio and its listeners fed 12,275 people through Compassion’s Global Food Crisis Campaign and impacted the lives of 42,795 people worldwide with the one-to-one sponsorship of 5,243 children.
Family Life Radio (Network)
Family Life Radio, based in Tucson, is dedicated to presenting messages and opportunities that inspire hope and lead people to live an intentional life in Christ. Last year, Family Life Radio donated over seven hours of airtime to local nonprofits promoting ways listeners can help those doing good in their community. Their promotions team was involved in over 308 local events. Family Life Radio’s annual Ultimate Baby Shower is presented nationally, partnering with local crisis pregnancy centers to help moms, dads and babies in need. The event impacted 7,000 families in 11 states with 19,500 items being donated. The annual Family Life Radio Toy Drive provides listeners with the opportunity to present gifts to disadvantaged kids who otherwise would not receive anything at Christmas. 5,600 unwrapped gifts were collected through the generosity of listeners. Each spring, Family Life Radio encourages listeners to call in and nominate a friend who could use a special blessing as part of their Love Your Neighbor campaign. Listeners then call in to help meet a need of another they hear about on air. Gas gift cards, yardwork, refrigerators and more have been provided as part of this annual event that encourages supporting and loving others as Jesus did. Family Life Radio’s passion is to connect our listeners with their local community by bridging the gap between the airwaves and real-world opportunities to bring the message of hope in Christ to life.
98.5 KTIS strives to point people in the Twin Cities to Jesus on the air, online, and on the street. Through remarkable service projects, 98.5 KTIS listeners are the hands and feet of Jesus to multiply the KTIS impact in our community. The first Friday of each month was 98.5 KTIS Drive-thru Difference Day, as listeners shared God’s love by paying for the order of the person behind them in the drive-thru. Moms overcame health, financial, and family difficulties through 98.5 KTIS’ Heart of a Mom initiative; meeting needs for a kitchen update, fulfilling a missed honeymoon with a cruise to Alaska, securing a reliable vehicle, and more. 98.5 KTIS’ Christmas Blessing resulted in remarkable stories of goodwill in the community, meeting needs by blessing people battling cancer, overcoming miscarriage, and recovering from financial devastation. Collecting thousands of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes filled with toys for kids around the world, the 98.5 KTIS Shoebox Showdown shared the hope of Jesus from the Twin Cities to children around the world. Listeners continued that generosity by working together to collect over 11,000 pencils for boys and girls in the Dominican Republic. 98.5 KTIS listeners ‘Shared the Warmth’ as a local business paid listener heating bills during the cold winter months, and listeners used those funds to bless their favorite Twin Cities nonprofits. 98.5 KTIS’ Ministry of the Month connected listener passions and talents to local ministries, highlighting the good being done in our community by these organizations on-air and online.
Spirit 92.9 / KKJM (St. Cloud)
Through intentional, community focused service initiatives, Spirit 92.9 partners with listeners and businesses to help make their community better, together. The station’s first “Community Spirit” project in 2022 focused on showing God’s love to children entering foster care in the area after the ministry learned that there were more children than ever before in the system. During a weeklong collection drive, Spirit 92.9 listeners and business partners generously helped provide a new pair of pajamas and a stuffed animal for over 1,100 kids. Hoping to lead by example through serving, the Spirit 92.9 team helped prepare over 800 free meals for individuals and families in need for Easter, prepared and served a meal at the local homeless shelter, and helped clean up trash at an abandoned property near their studios. Hundreds of women in the community were served and uplifted in January at the station’s first Ladies’ Night Out-an opportunity to worship, laugh, receive support and prayer. In the fall, listeners and business partners joined together to help three local organizations provide free homemade, holiday meals to those in need. This ‘More Than A Meal’ on-air and online fundraiser helped feed over 3,000 in Central Minnesota. At the end of the year, Spirit 92.9’s “Share The Joy” promotion offered listeners the opportunity to nominate someone to receive a financial blessing. Single mothers, elderly homeowners, and the family of a father badly injured and hospitalized out of state were among the 12 people granted a $500-$1000 gift.
Rich Mullins Artist Impact Award
Presented to an artist or group to recognize their long-time contributions to the music and ministry of Christian radio.