Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Blog (and New Radio Station?) in Delaware

I just stumbled across a new Delaware blog -- WKNZ - Z88.7fm, Harrington, DE -- which will chronicle the effort of a group of local Christian folk to build and run a "25,000 watt HD Christian radio station."

The blog appeared June 10 after the group got its FCC construction permit. That alone took 10 years; the FCC is a slow beast. How long the next steps will take is uncertain, but the permit itself is a large step forward:

We are humbled, blown-away, and a little over whelmed, but after nearly 10 years, the FCC has finally given us the approval to begin building a very powerful Christian radio station on 88.7fm in Delaware. The tower will be in Harrington and the studios in Milton, DE (at least that was the plan 10 years ago!). We are currently in the process of dusting off those plans. Lots has changed in 10 years!

The blog-writers are Bill, Andy, and Elbert (with an "E"). I think Bill is likely Bill Sammons, who I used to know in conjunction with the Delmarva Poultry Industry and who I recall was leading an effort to found a Christian station some years back. I assume this is he and this will be that station, but I don't always pay as close attention as I should and so may be completely wrong.

There's a survey up now, looking for input on what sorts of things to program. I think I'll take it. I'm not particularly Christian, though the Lovely Karen is a woman of faith and we have friends among the Christians, but I applaud diversity on the airwaves. And I don't think we should automatically assume that a Christian radio station will automatically hew to the worst extremes of the "christian right."

The musical choices could be interesting. I'll make the argument, for example, in favor of playing some of the Grateful Dead catalogue. Seriously. One of the things that fascinates me about the Dead's music is the widespread use of the Bible as lyrical source material and inspiration. And their deep exploration into folk music and folk traditions included mining a vein of moral stories and cautionary tales that could fit in the new station's format.

That's my view, anyway.

6 comments:

That's Elbert With An "E" said...

Mike, we are trying to spread the word about the station, and I appreciate your post! Bill ran a commercial Christian radio station out of Milford, which was sold to Delmarva Broadcasting a couple of years ago. Delmarva changed the format about a year after their purchase. He currently runs Watermark Productions in Milford.I probably should have let him speak for himself though...

Mike Mahaffie said...

Thanks Elbert. I should have searched my memory more and found more about Bill's station. I think I knew that; just vaguely.

Bill Sammons said...

Hey Mike. I know our paths have crossed but not sure exactly where. I never worked for the poultry industry (maybe you are thinking of Bill Satterfield, another person blessed with the initials BS?) However I did work in marketing for the state department of agriculture from 1983 to 1990 when I started WXPZ in Milford. It was a commercial contemporary Christian music station which I operated for about 13 yrs. Before that I worked at WBOC-TV.
The new station is owned by Eagle's Nest Ministries out of Milton. (My dad is the founding pastor) They have Eagle's Nest Church, Eagle's Nest Christian School, and a daycare and a campground.

Thanks for the plug and glad you took the survey. We're still many months from being ready to launch. I doubt you'll be hearing the Dead on the new station...though I think you'll like some of the music we'll play. And don't worry... no venomous fire-breathing allowed. :o) We'll play nice.

Mike Mahaffie said...

Of course! I had my Bill S's confused. I do remember you as a DDA spokesperson now -- likely from when I was a news-dude at another local station. Good luck with the new place!

kavips said...

At least you will get some good music out of the deal.

The musicianship behind most Christian music is remarkable, and is better in quality than most rock and country artists.

Why?

My theory is that whereas new rock bands are formed from teenagers practicing in local garages, Christian musicians have been playing for a long, long, time, and have gotten pretty good at what they do.

That is my two cents. I am an avid listener of 89.1 FM up north. I sincerely hope you enjoy the quality of what you are about to hear...........

Carlo said...

Good Job! :)

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