Posted In: Christian Music
EMF has officially announced that New Year’s Day will bring a revamped version of Air1: The network will now use a new tagline, “Worship Now” (presumably replacing “Positive Hits”), which emphasizes the new focus on worship music. The logo apparently will also change, and there might be a bit of tweaking of the airstaff.
A bit more is at both https://radioinsight.com/headlines/173290/air-1-moves-to-worship-music and http://hisair.net/air1-goes-worship-for-2019. In addition, the website has very much been updated, if not overhauled–reflecting just how much of a promotional push is being put into this.
Air1 is THE worship station. NO judgement, just God’s grace and great music. pic.twitter.com/VwwGFyYxce
— Air1 Radio (@air1radio) January 1, 2019
This is the third major Christian music network this decade that has dropped the younger targeted Christian CHR format. First, Way-FM flipped to CCM. Then, Reach Radio flipped to Urban Gospel and now Air1 has gone Worship. Even though I will miss the old format, I will give the new Air1 a try. Here is a video for the station ID of my local Air1 station WKLV-FM HD2 below.
The “nones” are the fastest growing religious (or lack of same) group. Younger people are leaving the white Evangelical brand of Christianity, thus, EMF re-focuses on those more likely to donate.
I wouldn’t assume that the “nones” are that direct or specific of a cause. But, I do agree that this move likely has its roots in changing listening and/or donation habits, partly because of something that didn’t sink in earlier: EMF could’ve easily kept the old version going, in some form–either online-only or, potentially, as an HD subchannel. Instead, the old mix appears to have been abandoned altogether–even though there are still plenty of folks (both terrestrial and online-only) who have similar offerings.
Meanwhile, the new airstaff lineup reportedly starts next week. And, here’s Mandy Young discussing the new format…
— Air1 Radio (@air1radio) January 2, 2019
Finally, on a semi-related note, I might as well plug HisAir’s recent interview with Obadiah Haybin, of RadioU–which does offer some food for thought…
I didn’t see it originally, but Radio Ink’s write-up of the revamp is still attracting reader comments–which are very similar to what I’ve seen on social media…
Speaking of which, I really do like that the folks at EMF/Air1 are still being very responsive to those comments.
Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this until after I wrapped up my immediately previous reply, but here’s a post by Mark Blackwell–the PD of San Diego’s KYXY, who also runs the HD subchannel “The Crossing”–that does cover a lot of the same issues…
I give EMF a lot of credit for making this move. Kinda going off on what borderblaster said, it is about reaching younger demos and getting them to listen both on-air and online, and a major portion of them are “nones.”
With a network like Air1, with near-national reach, they wouldn’t make a change like this if they didn’t feel it would resonate… and had the research to back it up (especially when their promotional push is centered around “no judgment, just God’s grace,” that phrase is striking to me).
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