The Christian Radio Homepage

column archive








John Frost

What Tim Tebow Means To Your Radio Station





I just did a Google search on Tim Tebow.  I got 70,400,000 results.  That’s more than three for each man, woman, and child in my beloved home state of Texas.   

Tim Tebow is an indisputable phenomenon.   That was true even before his recent longest overtime touchdown pass in the shortest overtime in playoff history.    

•Tebow hit more than 1 million mentions on Twitter that night, the rate of tweets announcing the victory hit 9,420 per second.  To put that in perspective Tebow beats the 8,868 tweets-per-second rate reached when Beyoncé announced her pregnancy during the 2011 MTV Music Awards.   

•Both Tebow and his favorite Bible verse, John 3:16, were in the top three Google Trends throughout most of the following Monday.

How much notoriety do you think Tim Tebow would get if he was a third string quarterback?   How many people would have googled John 3:16 and if Tim Tebow wasn’t a Heisman Trophy winner and record setting NFL star?     


Excellence is what has given Tim Tebow the platform to share his faith.   Excellence has helped make people curious about what makes this guy different.   Excellence is the one factor that gives him permission to speak into peoples’ lives.   

The landmark research study “Why Christians Don’t Listen to Christian Radio”, uncovered the top five reasons:

Reason #1.  Plays unfamiliar music
Reason #2   They don’t know you exist
Reason #3   They can’t relate to your station
Reason #4   Christian radio is out of touch
Reason #5   They see Christian radio as sub-par to other stations


How much more impact would your radio station have if you strived for excellence in everything you did?


My brilliant friend Dean O’Neal, the programming architect of Z88.3 in Orlando, a station that has been at the top in ratings like no other in the format, says,

“For us the goal has always been to do the best radio we possibly can by serving others and pointing them to Christ. When you serve others, people get to see your heart and become attracted to you. I believe the tipping point is when a CCM station embraces a culture of serving the community in ways that radio does better than any other medium.....It is their trusted friend on the radio, sharing real life with them...and in the process, having the opportunity to point them to Christ.”  

So, if excellence is the price of admission for your station to even have a chance to speak into someone’s life--the very purpose for the station to exist, I would suppose---then why don’t we respond to those reasons and..... music they know, and----dare I say----LOVE......

.....develop marketing, social networking, and on-air programming tactics that let people know the station exists...........

.......train our air talent to be listener-centric rather than station-centric or ego-centric......

.........strive to make our stations the MOST relevant on the dial by focusing on what our listeners care about......

...........hold ourselves accountable for excellence.  I know of stations where the staff doesn’t even listen to the station, much less hold each other accountable for what is coming out of the speakers.    


If striving for excellence became our own version of “Te-bow-ing” it could transform the impact of our radio stations.  


John is a partner in Goodratings Strategic Services, and has been a successful major market disc jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Sandusky, Gannett, and Alliance during his 38 year broadcast career.  John joined Goodratings’ partner Alan Mason in 1999.