began his broadcast career in 1980 as a DJ at WAME in Charlotte,
N.C. Over the years he has worked as a broadcast personality,
programmer, network executive, and general manager at both
mainstream and Christian stations. Florida and WSCF-FM have
been home base for Jon in the recent years before the launch of
Jon is also an ordained minister and is a frequent speaker at
churches and conferences. In 2000, Jon helped establish the
first Christian station on the FM dial in the nation of Peru, which
has now expanded to 3 markets nationwide. The Hamilton family
also has an established work in the Philippines, providing health
care and maternity services to women in the slums, and actively
rescuing and housing children and teens who are victims of the Asian
sex industry. The work is overseen by their oldest daughter, an RN
and Midwife. Jon and his wife Tammye are the parents of
eight children (all were homeschooled). Three of their adult
children are missionaries, two in the Philippines and one in Peru.
How was the concept for
ChristianFM first initiated?
I was first approached to develop the
ChristianFM concept for a Dial-Global subsidiary in 2007 based on
some amazing new technology that allowed total customization and
control by each local station. I was floored by what I saw and
jumped at the chance to bring this to Christian radio. It
makes sense for broadcasters and keeps them maintaining a strong
FM is the first fully customizable 24/7 content provider for
Christian Radio, and is distributed via Dial-Global)
2. How is the ChristianFM service
Christian FM is unlike anything else
available. First of all, all the music and imaging stay on an
automation system at the local station, instead of coming across a
satellite feed. Minute by minute, each automation system is
receiving custom voice tracks for that station in virtual real time.
Instead of the station joining a network, the network really joins
the station, providing a custom, unique station in each market.
Some people have called us “the Un-Network!”
3. What advantages are there to a
station utilizing ChristianFM?
The first advantage is the quality of
the music and talent. Most stations have a hard time finding good
talent and affording the type of research we do. Christian FM gives
a station proven music and talent selected from coast to coast.
But a close second is the fact that we uniquely keep you local and
in total control. Of course the other major advantage is the
significant cost savings. That means a lot these days.
4. How can a station remain local with
Christian FM doesn’t just “sound” local.
We actually talk just like local jocks. Our patented technology
allows us to send different segments to different stations, all
virtually in real time. We talk up local concerts, remotes, events
and happenings. We can do weather, live read PSAs, etc. Our
jocks go through extensive briefings about each local market before
they work with a station. Every station PD has online access to our
personalities. They can easily update copy, hand off promos, PSA’s
We even cross promote non “ChristianFM”
dayparts. We talk up your local morning team, promote local weekend
shows, teaching programs and anything that matters to the station.
5. How is the music chosen at
We started with a solid playlist that
John Frost brought to us. We wanted very proven music. We use Troy
Research. Chuck Pryor (formerly of KSBJ) consults our ongoing
music selection as well.
6. How would using ChristianFM help a
station’s bottom line?
We have an immediate impact.
Obviously stations can save money with ChristianFM. For what
many stations are paying for a couple of voiced tracked dayparts,
they can have custom 24/7 programming that is fresh and interactive.
At the same time,
the quality programming will build a larger audience, which in turn
will produce higher revenues for the station. So the long term
bottom line is impacted as well.
technical needs are there for a station to use ChristianFM
Our STORQ system
can be used as a station’s primary automation system, or, if a
station is already committed to another automation system, it easily
interfaces. We deliver by satellite or by broadband.
8. How can a
station do local promotions with ChristianFM?
Simple. It’s no
different! Just like you post talking points in that three
ring binder in your studio…you post them to EZ Localize (our
electronic system). Again, our jocks are promoting what
matters to you. Actually, we make it easier to do promotions,
because your local staff can get out on the street and in the
community, while we mind the shop!
9. In your
opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
I can give you the
stock answers about new media competitors and the significance of
social networking, but I think our greatest need is for faith and
vision. We need faith to see obstacles as opportunity.
Honestly, I see in scripture how God’s people always seemed to excel
in times of famine and crisis. Isaac sowed in the time of famine and
became wealthy. Joseph used vision and wisdom to rise to the top of
civilization during famine. I could go on. Christian radio
needs to think out of the box. God wants to expand us during this
time, and I believe we will.
10. Where do
you see Christian Radio in 5 years?
I don’t have to be
a prophet to predict changes are coming! I think we’ll see some new
groups emerge, because radio’s economic woes will present some
opportunities to pick up stations in the coming months.
Overall, I believe the success of and market for Christian music
will continue to expand.
I hope we will add
to that a greater passion for souls and a vision for world missions.
I would not be surprised to see some of the better known brands
expanding their coverage outside of the
US. In my own
experiences, some of the real spiritual frontiers for Christian
radio are in the developing world.