May 31, 2005:
First I want to thank you all for supporting FreeRock1.com over the last 6 years. I have been able to form partnerships, as well as friendships, with a number of listeners and people in the industry through this ministry, and for that I am grateful.
FreeRock1.com was, I believe, birthed out of a God-given passion for Christian youth-oriented radio, and was a ministry into which God called me for a while. We have had quite a bit of help with promotion, and I want to thank all of you who have assisted in promoting the station. However, daily operations for the station have rested primarily on my shoulders, without the support staff needed to keep a radio station going. With this, combined with the fact that FreeRock1 listenership has become somewhat stagnant over the last few months, it has almost become more of a burden to try and keep things going than the fun that it once was. When a ministry appears to have grown as much as it is going to and you begin to lose the drive you once had for it, perhaps it is time to step back and re-evaluate whether continuing in a ministry will be serving the Kingdom of God to the fullest.
Over the last year or so the sound of FreeRock1 has really drifted away from straight-up Rock/Alternative to more of a very Rock-oriented Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) format. Largely this is what has started testing fairly well with our audience. Also, I've become more interested personally in hip-hop music recently. There is a significiant lack of availability of hip-hop music on Christian radio, whereas this stuff dominates mainstream radio. While there is some decent Christian urban music out there, many potential listeners have a difficult time finding it.
With prayer, I had been considering the possibility of converting FreeRock1 into more of a mainstream top 40-sounding station. Before long, I was contacted by William Yeager, a friend who also runs the annual Contemporary Christian Madness song competition, and apparently the Lord had been dealing with his heart about this kind of ministry as well. Thus, ChargeRadio.com was born.
At ChargeRadio.com, our intention is to provide a Christian radio station with a true mainstream top 40 sound. We will be incorporating alternative rock, hip-hop, R&B, dance, and pop music. This WILL be different from the typical Christian CHR/Pop station. One of the biggest complaints about Christian CHR is that there isn't really that much difference between it and the typical Christian contemporary station. While there might be the occasional Rock track, much of what gets played on the average Christian CHR station is typical CCM, and little (if any) hip-hop or urban music (without regard to the fact that it dominates mainstream top 40 radio).
ChargeRadio.com WILL NOT be the typical Christian radio station; over half of the current singles in our playlist are taken from other sources than the Christian CHR top 30 chart.
In addition to a new name, new sound, and new website, we are also moving to a higher-quality audio stream, with long term plans upgrade even further.
However, a few things will not change. First, we will still be playing the music that you won't hear on most radio stations. This should be obvious from the fact that we will be playing more urban music (not just rap, but also contemporary R&B/soul from artists like Kierra "Kiki" Sheard, Deitrick Haddon, LaShun Pace, and Canton Jones). But we will also continue to play quality independent artists, and we still invite indies to send us their submissions. In addition, we will continue our commitment to listener feedback. You will still be able to rate the tracks you hear on ChargeRadio.com, and we are in the process of adding more ways for listeners to interact with us (among them an easier way to request songs).
And for our Rock fans out there: We've not sold you out. Even though there will be a little more urban and pop music incorporated into our sound, we will still be spinning plenty of rock and alternative stuff. How do Anberlin, Project 86 and Disciple strike you as the rock segment of a CHR playlist? (You'd probably be pretty hard-pressed to find too many Christian Hit stations playing all of those artists.)
I am pleased to be working with the ChargeRadio.com team. William Yeager and I will serve as Co-General Managers of the station; William will be handling more the operational aspects while I will continue to serve as the primary contact for programming and production. David Healy from KECC in Missouri is also joining our team.
Labels and promoters: For now please keep the same contact address and phone number that you have for us; just change the name from FreeRock1.com to ChargeRadio.com. I will still be the main one working with you folks. Definitely keep sending us your Rock singles (and if we're not getting your CHR or Rhythmic singles, please add us to your list! I will be sending you another e-mail with complete updated contact information.)
We invite you to check out the new station and send us your feedback. As always, if you need to get in touch with me, my e-mail box is open -- dan [at] chargeradio.com.
Thank you again for all your prayers and support during this time of transition. We look forward to continuing to turn out the best music on the Net for years to come!
Former General Manager, FreeRock1.com
Co-General Manager/Program and Production Director, ChargeRadio.com