The following is a reflection by Drew Crandall, the proprietor of Jacob’s Well Christian Coffeehouse and a member of FIC’s Media Advisory Council, on a major development in Hartford’s media landscape.
Perhaps you heard the news over the weekend: as of 5 pm last Friday afternoon, classic rock radio stations WCCC-AM 1290 and WCCC-FM 106.9 in Hartford are now part of the
K Love family of Contemporary Christian Music stations!
For decades, Connecticut has been a “Twilight Zone” for CCM between New York City and Boston. Many have been praying for a CCM station. Some have stepped to the plate, including WLVX in the 1980s and JunCTionradio.org in the 2000s. Earlier this year, an enterprising local couple with lots of experience in the radio business launched Y102.5, a low-wattage CCM station in Manchester.
From a sheer signal strength perspective, WCCC’s conversion to CCM is big news and in many ways, a big answer to prayer. The FM station broadcasts at 23,000 watts, transmitted off a huge tower on Avon Mountain in West Hartford. The fact that a station of this magnitude is now airing Christian content right here in Connecticut is exciting.
From a sheer financial perspective, the new owners of WCCC, Educational Media Foundation (EMF), put their money (and faith) where their mouth is. According to FCC filings, EMF is a non-profit 501c3. Sale price was $9.5 million. EMF is based in Omaha, Nebraska. It makes sense to me that an out-of-state organization would pony up that kind of money (to be paid in monthly installments). I can’t think of any Christian entity in our own state that would have the courage and resources to do that!
WCCC went on their air in 1959 and was originally owned by long-time Hartford jeweler Bill Savitt. Over the years, it went through several format changes, but it has been generally known for its rock music. Now it’s going to be the most authentic kind of Rock music–after all, Jesus is The Rock!
As a media hound, my biggest concern with WCCC being affiliated with K Love is that 100% of the content is produced out of state. As I understand it, WCCC will transmit the exact same content that’s on all other K Love stations around the country. Thus, the opportunities to publicize local churches, ministries and events, and deliberately weave together the area’s Christian community, is slim. For example, there will be no way to publicize Jacob’s Well or the other ministries I’m involved with. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps they will find a way to add local content. I’m hoping so.
With that said, let’s praise God for this new Light in Connecticut’s media landscape and culture. There are millions of souls right here in Connecticut who (a) need to hear the Good News and (b) need inspiration and encouragement from the Lord through contemporary Christian music. Let’s pray that God uses this “new” WCCC in wonderful ways for His Kingdom!