In 1978 when Jesus music had begun to attract some serious musicians, a magazine that captured the
times and the name of the new music style came about as an outgrowth of the Jesus movement in
Orange County, CA. John Styll, editor and founder of CCM Magazine, developed CCM as a catalyst
and clearing house for ideas and information, aiding the industry’s growth from the West Coast for a
Then in December of 1989, Styll moved his operation to Nashville’s “Third Coast.” “The creative
center has moved to Nashville, so from the standpoint of convenience, it was easier to do business
here,” says Styll. “Not only do we have a lot of interaction with other industry people, it’s also less
expensive than Southern California.” CCM Magazine’s parent company, CCM Communications, has
expanded greatly since that move, especially in 1992, launching Worship Leader and announcing a
weekly television program called CCM-TV, the creation of the CCM Broadcast Group for radio
specials, and a CCM Top Twenty Countdown. “Once you’ve done a magazine, you have the capacity
to do other things,” states Styll modestly.
“There are many natural outgrowths of CCM we’ve wanted to do for a long time, like the Top Twenty
Countdown show, We’ve been a leader in countdown charts; it made sense for us to do a radio show.
In the same way a radio show made sense, a music video show made sense,” Styll claims. “What has
developed is the capacity to reach a great many people every week through TV, radio, and print.”
Asked what the future holds for CCM Communications after it tremendous growth in 1992, Styll
says, “I think we’re gonna take what we’ve done now, and not expand, but grow bigger as we realize
the synergies between all these projects.”
Besides the growth of the organization, Styll has also seen CCM Magazine’s distribution increase in
1992 from the mid 40,000’s to almost 60,000 as a result of increased promotion and the synergy
among new branches of CCM Communications. CCM has provided a voice for many people since
1978, including this editor, and I look forward to watching them serving the industry, leading the way
in the years to come.
From our archives: Feb. 1993.