Station Spotlight

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Market:
Bakersfield

Frequency:
88.3

Station CUME:
3.9

Format:
AC/Hot AC

Non-Commercial
.

Staff Size:
2 FT, 7 PT

Tell us about your station:

Life FM has been around for over 20 years, but has seen big growth in the last 3 or 4 years. We chose to make some hard changes that affected everything from our leadership structure to our sound, and even our mission statement. The results have been exciting, and humbling. Our ratings have grown, our TSL has gone through the roof, and our fundraising response has grown consistently.

There are several Christian stations that hit our market, so we got serious about focusing on what we could offer that set us apart. For us, the key ingredients became personality driven shows with local talent, hosting more local events, and some strategic changes in our music so that it wasn’t a clone of another station.

Your station’s most successful promotion:

I guess success depends on your definition. For me that is how much we engage the local audience, not just talk at them. I think our Show Love Bakersfield campaign is our best example. We have partnered with local ministries and charities for service events, and invite the listeners out. Whether that is a toy collection at Christmas time, or for victims of the Erskine fire, or going to a center that provides food and clothing for those in need, and completely cleaning, painting, and repairing the facilities. Our listeners have shown up in droves, sometimes literally with paint brush in hand, to work together with us on showing love to our city.

Resources your station uses:

We had been using a consultant for a couple years, when we decided to just hire him on board. Jon Engen now serves as a morning host, but also puts on his consulting hat for us. We network a lot. I make a point to talk to a lot of people who know much more about radio than I do. We also utilize some great groups on social media with others in our industry that range from production groups, to show prep groups, to fan groups for Jackie Chan movies.

One bit of wisdom to share with others:

I had a great phone call a couple weeks back. A listener called to tell us that she received a sales call from Sirius XM. She told them she listened to Christian radio here in town and they responded ‘but you can listen to the same music with us anywhere you go.’ She said ‘yeah, but you guys don’t have Matt and Aaron.’

1. Even if you are the only Christian station in your market, you are not the only option. Make sure that you are always offering something that nobody else can.

Share an impactful listener story:

During our fundraiser just a few weeks ago, a lady called to say she was going to the medical marijuana dispensary to make a purchase. She has been wanting to quit, and as she listened to the fundraiser, she decided that the encouragement from the music was much more important and effective than the pot. She turned her car around and brought in her drug money to use as a donation. Our staff was able to gather around her and pray for her and her family. It was an amazing moment.

Tell us why you’re a member of CMB:

We have taken and applied a lot of what we’ve learned from Momentum here at the station. From the great speakers that come in, to the research that is shared, to even just the networking and the encouragement from other people who are dealing with the same things. Momentum has become a high priority for us to be a part of.

    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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