Christian radio station to go on air

Residents of North-Central Kansas will be able to tune in to their own Christian radio station when KJRL Radio for Life 105.7 FM officially signs on the air Thursday.

Word first got out about a new Christian radio station coming to the area in June when more than 400 churches in Dickinson, Marion, Morris, Geary, Harvey, McPherson, Chase, Butler and Saline counties received surveys and an introductory letter about the station.

The surveys asked for information about the types of programs and style of music people wanted to hear.

“I am really pleased with the response we got to the surveys,” said Doug Wedekind, the new station manager. “Summer is a really busy time for everyone and yet we got hundreds of surveys back and have made programming decisions based on the results.”

The station will feature a blend of light-contemporary Christian music and nationally syndicated radio programs.

Wedekind said KJRL will air 21 hours of music featuring artists such as Ray Boltz, Point of Grace, Michael W. Smith, and Kathy Troccoli.

The three hours of programming will be split into two 90-minute blocks. The morning block will start at 10:30 with James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family,” followed by Chuck Swindoll on “Insight for Living,” and ending with the program “Family Life Today” at 11:30.

In the evening, the family oriented radio-drama “Adventures in Odyssey” will air at 8 p.m., followed by “The Alternative” with Tony Evans, and ending with a second airing of “Focus on the Family.”

Weekends will consist mostly of music and some teen-oriented programming.

“We see a real need to minister to families,” said Wedekind. “According to our survey and experience, this format will prove to be very attractive to adults 25 to 45 years old and their kids will even listen to it with them.”

Wedekind worked at Great Plains Christian Radio in Meade. The non-profit organization is purchasing 105.7 FM from a local broadcasting company that had been operating the station with a classic-country format.

In 1992, GPCR went on the air with its first station, KJIL, which has earned “Station of the Year” recognition from both Focus on the Family and the Gospel Music Association.

In less than four years tho organization has grown to operating four radio stations and broadcasting on 22 low-power repeater stations scattered across Kansas, Eastern Colorado, Northwest Oklahoma and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles.

Wedekind attributes their success to the ministry’s emphasis on quality and local involvement.

“We’re doing things the old-fashioned way and I think people appreciate that,” he said. “What I mean is, the trend in radio is to rely on a satellite service to provide all your programming, but we program everything in-house and our air talent talks about local events. The people who win our contests will be from right around here. We can relate to listeners and they ran relate to us.”

GPCR has orchestrated many community events.

“In nine years we have sponsored over 50 large-scale concerts with artists like Michael W. Smith, Point of Grace, and the Newsboys,” Wedekind said. “The promoter we have worked with is anxious to do concerts in North-Central Kansas.”

KAM 105.7 FM plans to live play-by-play coverage of area high school football games. In September the station will promote the student prayer movement “See You at the Pole.”

KJRL will be operating 24 hours a day as a non-commercial, listener-supported station. Wedekind said it will air underwriting grant announcements that allow area businesses to support the station.

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