Tuesday, June 28, 2016


This is an updated version that first appeared September 14, 2015

Media consultant, blogger and scholar Mark Ramsey was a featured speaker at the 2015 Christian Music Broadcasters (CMB) Momentum conference

Last year, the CMB asked Ramsey to study  the best programming practices at CCM stations. Ramsey presented what learned at 2015 Momentum gathering.

[FYI – The 2016 CMB Momentum conference will be held September 7th  – 10th. Paul Jacobs is one of this year’s speakers. For more information go to link.]  

CMB is a noncom cousin of the Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD).  Momentum is CMB’s annual conference similar the annual PRPD conference.


One of the many things I admire about Ramsey is that he takes Christian Radio Broadcasters seriously, as you do I. The folks at CMB strive for radio znd digital excellence.

For the best practices study, Ramsey interviewed the leading managers and programmers at CCM noncom stations. He task was to identify the traits and strategies that make the stations successful.

The full results of Ramsey research were available only to CMB members. Thankfully, CMB allowed Ramsey to publish a top-line summary.  Here is a slide from Ramsey’s presentation:

The best practices for CCM stations are similar to stations in all music-driven formats:

• Play the hits, but keep new titles coming into rotation

• Feature new artists that the station can groom and promote 

• Talk frequently with fans of the music you play, learn devotees' evolving likes and dislikes

• Super-serve core listeners by being a daily part of their lives

• Use station events to add excitement and passion for your listeners


KSBJ, Houston, is often one of the most listened to noncom station in the nation, regardless of the format.

According to KSBJ’s most recent tax filing for 2013, KSBJ had revenue of $8,768,000. [Tax filings for 2013 is the source of all data, rounded to the nearest $1,000.]  Almost all of the station's revenue is attributed to gifts and contributions which were not itemized.

KSBJ reported expenses of $8,007,000 for an annual operating margin of $761,100.  KSBJ’s assets were $25,801,000, substantial for a nonprofit entity.  In 2013 KSBJ spent over $500,000 on political lobbying.

But wait, there is more money: KSBJ also operates a separate 501c3 for its concert business: KSBJ Special Events. This organization reported $1,787,000 in revenue and $1,669,000 in expenses for an annual operating margin of $88,000. KSBJ Special Events reported revenue of $8,376,000 since tax year 2009.

Wait again, there is even more money.  The exclusive ticket vendor for KSBJ Special Events is Ticket Servant, also operated by KSBJ. In 2013 Ticket Servant revenue was $329,800.

The total revenue for KSBJ Radio & Concerts in 2013 was almost $11,000,000. 

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