Station Spotlight

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Market:
Multiple, from New England to South Texas, New York to California

Frequency:
Multiple

CUME:
1 million on our 24/7 stations, 3 million reach by personalities

Format:
AC

80% non-commercial 20% commercial
.

Staff Size:
25+

Tell us about your station:

Christian FM is often called a “network”, but we really are simply a content provider for a large number of independent, Christian formatted radio stations and networks. We come alongside stations to help them grow audiences. In some cases, Christian FM is asked to provide virtually all of the music, imaging and personalities on stations. For others, we might simply handle weekends, overnights or a single daypart.

We help bring personalities like Brant Hansen, Lisa Williams and Amanda Carrol to some of America’s best Christian stations.

We currently work with more than 250 radio stations. Just under half of those receive some form of music programming from us.

Your station’s most successful promotion:

So many of our client stations do amazing promotions, but our co-located sister station here in Florida (WSCF-FM) has one underway at the moment that rocks the community every year. If I have to share one promotion story, this would be the one.

It’s called “The Great Treasure Hunt”, and it’s unique to the market. Seven keys are hidden in secret locations throughout the area. Over seven weeks, clues are broadcast at intervals to help listeners locate the keys. Each key finder wins a prize package that includes a genuine “piece-of-eight” from the 1715 Fleet wreck from whence “The Treasure Coast” earned it’s name. At the end of the contest, all seven keys are invited to try and open the Grand Prize Chest (only one will) which contains thousands and thousands in genuine Spanish treasure artifacts recovered from the ocean floor.

Here’s why it works: In a real sense, the contest becomes like a reality TV show as the contestants become part of an ongoing part of a fascinating story-line unfolding on air and in social media and text messaging.

It gets a great deal of attention in the market, introduces new listeners to the station every year, and sponsorships flat sell out. It’s complicated and requires a couple of staff member’s full-time attention for a few months, but it reminds us of why we all got into local radio.

Resources your station uses:

We use practically every resource and have drawn from many consultants! John Frost and Chuck Pryor were very instrumental in laying the foundation for what would become our music services to stations. They imparted the initial philosophy and DNA. Chuck Finney was also invaluable steering the programming ship and coaching for much of our growth. More recently Tim Maranville has also been coaching some of our personalities. Paul Martin of Advocace played an important role helping develop our business strategies for what would be a very unique concept in our industry. (There was really no model for us to follow!) Finally, in recent days Paul Goldsmith of CURE International has become a critical part of our team as we continue to connect compelling personalities to radio stations.

One bit of wisdom to share with others:

Simply being “live and local” isn’t going to fix all of radio’s problems.

(I’ll duck now to avoid incoming projectiles!)

A warm body in your control room does not guarantee your success. Not unless that warm body can consistently say something that listeners find compelling.

Present something compelling. There is no shortcut.

Share an impactful listener story:

SO many, across so many great stations, but this one just happened:

A mom was seated on a park bench seemingly deep in distant thought as her toddler played nearby. My daughter Hope was in the park that morning and couldn’t help but notice her and sense that she was supposed to try and engage her. The conversation was light and friendly at first, but the woman soon shared that her husband of 20 years had recently left her when she refused to terminate a late, unplanned pregnancy.

Hope asked one of those innocuous evangelism questions, “Do you have any spiritual beliefs?” The woman responded, “I’ve never thought much about what I believed spiritually. But recently I’ve started listening to this guy on the radio. He’s really different. His name is Brant Hansen. What HE says, makes sense to me! For the first time, I think I understand what Christianity really means and am ready to be a Christian.”

It was a moment for sure, and Hope was able to lead her right then to Christ. But the work of faith had already happened in her heart, because of a relevant, compelling radio communicator knew how to “let your speech be flavored with salt.” Just a little story, but one that is fresh from the fire.

Tell us why you’re a member of CMB:

CMB events and especially Momentum are must-attends for Christian FM team members. I can think of no industry with the kind of support that CMB brings to Christian music radio. CMB reflects the passion and faith that drives our industry.

Christian FM launched at the very first “Momentum” and we haven’t missed one. The relationships become a source of encouragement and the ongoing equipping grows us. The members of CMB really are an extended spiritual family.

    Wise, Weird & Welcome: Learning and Leading with the Lepers and the Locust Eaters

    We’ve all read the same books about teamwork, leadership, communication, and culture that everybody reads. We’ve mastered Maxwell, studied Sanborn, Sinek, and Sun Tzu, and liberally cribbed Collins in aborted attempts to go from good to great, but…

    How’s that working out for you? 

    What if you left St. Louis with an entirely new lens through which to view and act upon improvements in:

    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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