Station Spotlight

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Market:
Central VA, Hampton Roads VA, Northeastern NC

Frequency:
Various (9 full power signals and 16 translators)

CUME:
NA

Format:
AC

Non-commercial

Staff Size:
8

Tell us about your station:

The Journey became a brand new radio station on December 26, 2014. Since 1981 “Victory FM” was a well-executed and equipped talk-and-teaching format. The new format, called “The Journey,” was designed to encourage listeners with stories of life, words of hope, and great Christian music. GM Barry Armstrong said, “For a long time I was aware of the potential embodied in this great network of stations. I never dreamed that I would be the one recruited to lead the network into a fresh format with a mostly new team.” It took almost a year to get a full team in place, and now halfway through the second year for the Journey, there are many signs of amazing growth and momentum.
With recent upgrades, The Journey network covers a population of nearly 4 million in Virginia and northeast North Carolina. On air, “Kenny & Leigh” are a fresh new morning show. Kenny Robinson has many years of experience as morning anchor in Virginia, Florida and Maine. Leigh is a fresh new voice to radio. (We discovered Leigh by using a send-us-your-video, open audition process). PD Mike Weston, Amanda Carroll and Brant & Sherri round out the weekday on-air lineup. In addition, The Journey has created some specialized programming, like the “Fresh Music Café” on Saturdays, featuring the newest, freshest music on the radio and hosted by the station’s longtime engineer, Chris Wygal. Between the songs, the goal at The Journey is to create a genuine friendships on and off the air, to prove our calling through service, to welcome people at every stage of their “journey,” and strive to be genuine and transparent in our walk (OK, journey…) with the listeners.

Your station’s most successful promotion:

There are a 3 initiatives we are excited about under the heading of promotions. Two are station-specific but all three are on-going. One is our version of the Drive-Through Difference. We very quickly began to hear great stories from those who have been both the givers and the recipients of the Drive-Through Difference blessing.
The Journey Coffee Connection has help us build a lot of relationships and brought positive feedback. Every Friday right after the morning show, Kenny & Leigh from our Morning Journey bring a winning business fresh coffee and muffins from a local coffee shop. Kenny & Leigh love the opportunities to meet new listeners face to face and share some yummy goodies with them. Finally, The Journey has partnered with a South Carolina organization called “Operation Thank You.” This organization collects and delivers hand-written cards with notes of encouragement and support to our troops serving overseas, as well as to first responders. The Journey has been privileged to offer listeners the opportunity to handwrite these “Thank You” cards and then get them back to OTU for distribution them to those who serve around the world. We launched Operation Thank You last Christmas season and later decided to do this all year long. We have a huge new promotion brewing, but we don’t want to let that cat out of the bag just yet. (Ah… the tease!)

Resources your station uses:

The Journey has been using SongScore software for our online music research for about 6 months now and we are very pleased with the results. Our “Journey Music Crew” helps us get a good bi-weekly snapshot of the songs that our listeners tell us are their favorites. Also, we are thrilled to be a part of the KSBJ Mentoring program with Jon Hull and his team. Jon brings years of wisdom and experience to the table for us, not only in programming-specific areas, but also in the areas of marketing, fundraising, talent coaching and more. The KSBJ Mentoring program is a great resource to The Journey.

One bit of wisdom to share with others:

I think team building can be crucial in the success of the radio station. One of the tools that KSBJ introduced us to is the Core Values Index (CVI). We have spent significant time and focus with the entire team taking the survey. We found the results meaningful both individually and as an entire team. We found going through the CVI carefully, we can better understand and appreciate each individual and the individual’s place as part of the greater force that is the Journey team. We highly recommend the CVI for other radio teams.

Share an impactful listener story:

During our Spring Fund-raiser (We call it a Partner Invitation) JT called with the largest single gift received to date. He told us a story of incredible forgiveness after his brother and sister-in-law were killed in a vehicle accident. The other driver was at fault. JT was asked to attend the trial of the offending driver to give a “victim statement.” On route to the courthouse, JT felt the Lord saying to him, “Pay his fine.” In a tearful and hushed courtroom, JT offered his families’ forgiveness, hugged the other driver, and told the judge he wanted to pay the fine. This was the beginning of personal revival in two families. After we shared the story on-air, a lady came to the station with a check, and told us through tear fill eyes that the forgiveness story she heard on the radio prompted her to forgive the drunk driver that killed her teenage daughter 16 years ago. We began calling the day Forgiveness Friday, and heard from many others determined to put forgiveness into action.

Tell us why you’re a member of CMB:

Immeasurable value! The opportunity to be a part of Momentum as well as CMB summits continues to impact everything we do. For example, we sent our morning co-host Leigh, who also heads up our social media strategy, led our team in the formation of future social media strategy. Many of the ideas we are implementing came directly out of the CMB Summit which took place in Nashville in April.

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    Let’s examine how this all connects together, but approach it from an entirely different angle. Don’t just think outside the box. Kick the box to the curb and start at zero.

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