The station is among the first 24/7 Gospel and Christian internet radio stations to be based in San Antonio. The station will feature music, live sermons, special features/segments (i.e. bible studies) and interviews.
Hairston, who is also owner of 1067thebridge.com, an internet radio station that plays mainly R&B, Lite Rock, Smooth Jazz, and limited Gospel/Christian music, plans to launch the station in January, 2016.
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As a veteran of radio, Hairston has graced the airwaves as a radio personality and producer for more than 30 years in major markets, including his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, as well as Washington, D.C. He decided to make the transition to internet radio in 2010 due to the lack of urban radio stations in San Antonio, and the growing trend in internet radio listening and advertising. In fact, according to Xapp Media (2015), over half of the U.S. population now listens to internet radio monthly, with 95% of listening being done on mobile devices. By 2018, the study projects that 183 million people will tap into internet radio each day.
“Internet radio has, literally, revolutionized the way many consumers listen to music,” says Hairston. From personalized radio stations like Pandora, to personal playlists created on Spotify, internet radio has become a way of life for many people.” That’s why he created 1067thebridge.com. The station, which features more than 15 professional Deejays from across the country and shows, including Gospel and Christian segments on Sundays, has enjoyed a steady and dedicated listenership since its inception just five years ago.
Hairston, who actually comes from a long line of clergy, including his two grandfathers and dad, said that the listeners’ response to Gospel and Christian programming on his current station served as the impetus for him to create The Gospel Bridge. He discovered that there is a certain segment of his radio listeners who only listen to Gospel programming.
“Some people take a more spiritual approach and want to focus exclusively on the Christian music (and not mix it with, say, R&B),” he says. “Others are comfortable with the variety. Many of our die-hard Gospel listeners, in particular, told us how much they especially enjoyed listening to the sermons by the various pastors from across the country. They see a tremendous value in hearing from someone like the renowned Rev. Dr. Todd Davidson from the historic Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland,” he says.
“My main goal is to create a station that primarily focuses on the positive. We want to lift people’s spirits and give our listeners something to encourage them in these difficult times – help people in their day-to-day lives. Allow them to take a break from the world.” Hairston feels that one of the best ways to do that is to provide them with increased access to Pastors, churches, and evangelists who they would not normally be exposed to… “There is clearly a desire for this unique spin on gospel programming. Plus, the gospel radio market is not as saturated as other markets, so there is plenty room to grow,” he says.
In the end, thegospelbridge.com aims to bring quality and positive programming to as many listeners, as often as possible, while also providing churches and ministers with an affordable gateway to increase interest and awareness about their religious institutions, congregations and communities.”
For more information on thegospelbridge.com, including sponsorship and advertising opportunities, visit thegospelbridge.com Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Thegospelbridge.org, or contact John Hairston at 210-440-3968/ [email protected].