On Friday, October 12 at 1:01 p.m., Clear Channel's Christian contemporary radio station 101.1 shocked listeners with a drastic change in music style. Instead of its normal fare of A.C. Christian music, after a station break early Friday afternoon, hip-hop. R&B, rap and urban music came on along with a new slogan "The Beat." The call letters even changed from WZTO-FM to WUBT.
Facing the same obstacles Christian Activities and other Christian media face, David Alpert, Clear Channel's regional vice president in Nashville, said in a Tennesseean interview. "It never got the advertising response we wanted."
Finding the urban market only has one local station, the decision was made to try targetting the African-American market.
101's change came without warning."I was as shocked as everyone else," says Chrissy Luther, formerly with WZTO promotions and now with WLAC promotions. Clear Channel also owns pop station WRVW-FM 107.5, country's WSIX-FM 97.9, WNRQ-FM 105.9 and WLAC-AM 1510.
Maybe this will serve as a timely reminder to the Christian community that in order to keep Christian media alive, there has to be support from the community in the form of advertising to underwrite the costs involved in bringing good Christian entertainment and news your way.