THIS SUMMER 2005
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JUNE 3rd 2006
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EXECITING NEWS FROM TIMMY D OF WORDFM AND WZZD FAME
(Initially written March 26, 2005 and “applies” ‘til further notice…most likely the rest of 2005)
My name is Tim DeMoss.
I’ve been a DJ on both mainstream and Christian radio (mostly in Philadelphia
on WZZD) for close to 20 years and am writing this open letter to anyone who would love to help launch a great
nationwide Christian radio station with me on satellite (XM or Sirius) radio—something very different than what
you’ll find almost anywhere on AM, FM, or even what’s currently on satellite radio.
Here’s the quick idea:
A music mix that routinely incorporates rock, pop, hip-hop and alternative—not light stuff during the week with a
“youth show” on the weekends, but whenever
you turn on the radio!
Third Day…Switchfoot…Rebecca St. James…Kirk Franklin…Jeremy Camp…Relient K…Jaci Velasquez…P.O.D….tobyMac…Out Of
Eden…MercyMe…KJ-52...Michael W. Smith & Steven Curtis Chapman…and many great songs by others ranging from Cross Movement, Apologetix & Five Iron Frenzy to Sarah Kelly, Grits & Sanctus Real to Downhere, Stacie Orrico & VeggieTales!
A salt & light approach which would include non-believers (both guests and listeners) calling in and participating in a town-square setting that would make the station much
more culturally integrated and connected.
(imagine listening in on bridge-building conversation with TV & movie stars…politicians…sports & entertainment personalities…and many other public figures…people like Will Smith…Arnold Schwarzenegger…Madonna…Tom Hanks…etc)
Real-life conversation to challenge you in your walk with God—not just feel-good stuff, but dialoguing about things you are truly dealing with in your life
A uniting of cultures (white, black, Hispanic, and so on) through the music and dialogue—not just radio for the “white suburban Christian” which Christian radio so often targets
Contests to win plenty of free music, concert tickets & other prizes
Interviews with artists, athletes & many others in the public spotlight
And of course lots of fun too!
Christian radio (if you can get a station where you live)—no matter where you go in the U.S.—is generally
pretty tame. One main reason? It usually targets a “35-44-year old white suburban minivan-driving soccer mom”
who theoretically drives the listening habits in her home. Make her happy, and she’ll get the station to be
listened to in the home
(and eventually make a donation to the station or support the advertisers). It’s assumed
such a mom likes middle-of-the road “bright, uplifting, etc” songs and does not like much rock, alternative, or
hip-hop. Those sorts of songs are relegated to nights or a weekend “youth show” (when moms generally aren’t
listening) if at all. Few chances (musically or otherwise) are taken for fear of losing her support. To be fair,
such stations do certainly provide encouragement for some and can do a good job.
However, what I’ve seen firsthand over the past 20 years on a street level says many people are very hungry for much more—beginning with that very 35-44-year old minivan-driving soccer mom who not only can handle a livelier music mix personally but also is passionate to see her family walk with the Lord. As such, she knows the cultural assault they are under (musically and otherwise) and would LOVE it if there was a station as described above—something that would keep the interest of her kids & husband.
Beyond the soccer mom though, I’d love to present a channel that reaches and touches the lives of many from all walks of life—married, single, divorced, widowed…older or younger…black, white, Hispanic, Asian & more…all within a Christian framework where the gospel is used to both strengthen believers and reach those who do not know Him.
If this sounds like something you’d like to see happen, check out the scoop below.
Please feel free to email me or call me directly with any questions or thoughts.
Thanks & God bless you!
Willow Grove, PA
Satellite Radio Primer
Recently I’ve had some discussions with the two main players in the Satellite Radio world—XM and Sirius—
about the possibility of launching a channel as described above.
In fact, I’ve had the privilege of
dialoguing directly with the head of XM and the VP for Sirius! There has been interest…but they need to see
evidence before it would be seriously considered. What follows is a brief outline of what satellite radio is,
and then what you can do to make this happen!!
Is nationwide…you can get it anywhere in the 50 states
Features dozens of channels—music, sports, news, etc.
Is 100% commercial-free
To get it, you must have a special receiver (costs vary, usually between $99-$149) and a subscription (currently $13 a month) to utilize the receiver. Receivers can often be taken out of the car and brought into the home or work and used there. Some people buy additional receivers for the sake of convenience so they don’t have to keep swapping it from the car to the house, etc. Please note that each receiver requires its own subscription to the service—but after the initial one it’s $7 a month per receiver. E.g., if you have two cars and wanted satellite radio in each car—as well as one in your home—you’d need to purchase 3 receivers and have 3 “subscriptions” going ($13/month + $7 / month + $7 / month = $27 / month). Please also note that most of the major car manufacturers have deals with XM or Sirius so that it is becoming increasingly possible your next new(er) car will already come satellite-radio ready and all you’d have to do is activate it & pay the monthly fee. No contract is required, and you can cancel at any time.
Much more can be discussed about satellite radio. Yes, Howard Stern leaves the FM band and lands at Sirius in January 2006, courtesy of a 5-year, $500 million contract. Eminem has his own hip-hop channel on Sirius. A percentage of both XM and Sirius programming is certainly less than godly—but then again, that’s exactly where I want to be with this channel if I can help it…in the middle of the spiritual battleground. Then there are other plusses and features…all of that stuff can be checked out at www.xmradio.com or www.siriusradio.com.
What can you do?
Write a check for $13 (one subscription) + $7 for any additional subscriptions you’d be interested in
IMPORTANT—By sending a check, you’re NOT committing to this…you’re simply saying this interests you.
The main goal is to show XM or Sirius that people are interested in this to the point of having taken
the time to write & mail a check. However, your check will NOT be cashed unless we can get the channel approved,
and even then you’d be contacted first to make sure you were still on board. I fully expect some would wind up
saying no, with many or most saying “let’s go forward.” Point is, get enough “likely subscriptions” in-hand,
get their attention, get a channel.
Make the check payable to “XM Radio OR Sirius Radio” à VERY IMPORTANT IT IS WRITTEN EXACTLY THIS WAY
*** When you write a check to “John OR Sally Smith,” either party can cash it…this will allow your check to be
used with whichever company we’d wind up with and puts pressure on the competition to say yes (e.g., if XM sees
the checks could be used for Sirius instead, they will see people really want this regardless of if its XM or
Sirius and that Sirius could be a huge benefactor if XM passed)
Mail it to
Attn: Satellite Radio
12 Eves Place
Willow Grove, PA 19090-4221
Obviously while you & I appreciate the spiritual value of such a channel, ultimately the language the folks at
XM (3 million subscribers) and Sirius (1+ million subscribers) speak is money.
My guess? Anywhere between
50,000 and 250,000 “likely subscriptions” are needed to get this done. While it’d be great to have this happen
quickly, the reality is it’ll simply be a matter of steady & deliberate work. 50,000-250,000 is a big goal, but
I believe it can be done one step at a time! 2 receivers (e.g., one in the car & one at home) mean your $20
initial check would count for 2 subscriptions toward the overall goal…and so on.
I would also gladly welcome opportunities to come speak to your church or group AND encourage you to pass this email on to anyone you believe would be interested in jumping on board.
I’ve spoken with many radio folks and after hearing their wisdom—combined with other research I have done—I can comfortably say I believe satellite radio is here to stay and will likely grow much like cable TV has. That’s what makes the timing on this so important. Presenting 50,000-250,000 subscriptions to XM or Sirius in the near term will stand out much more than even in a year or two.
Please feel free to email me or call me anytime to discuss these things further. I would be HAPPY to dialogue with you.
Thanks very much!
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