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Radio Interview

Jon Hamilton

President/CEO

Christian FM Networks

Vero Beach, FL
 

To contact Jon click here
 

 

Jon's Career Capsule
Jon 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 Christian FM. 

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.


 

1. 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 local emphasis. 

(Christian 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 unique?

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 ChristianFM?

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 etc.  

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 ChristianFM?

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.

 

7. What 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.

 

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