New station rocks a Christian message
Posted: October 9, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — A new 24-hour Winchester radio station hopes to spread its Christian message and attract a younger audience.
The station, which bills itself as The Cross-FM — located at frequency 103.3 — went on the air Sept. 4 after streaming contemporary Christian music online since July 2011. The station is owned by nonprofit organization Timber Ridge Ministries (TRM), which also operates the Southern Gospel Music Network.
“There are no local contemporary stations in this area,” said TRM founder Rick Choy. “Our board of directors decided we should start another venture with a new station to fill that need of the other listeners out there who might not necessarily follow us on the gospel side.”
Charlene Putprush, assistant general manager at The Cross-FM — located at 2045 Valley Ave. — said its “big vision” is to be a community radio station.
“We have other Christian stations that we can hear, but the vision was that we wanted to be a station that could partner with our community here, our churches here,” Putprush said. “We’re really unique in that we’re trying to really be a family station.”
She added that because of the station’s wide range of music — made up of Christian rock, pop, hip-hop, rap and gospel — The Cross-FM can appeal to most listeners.
“We really wanted the youth to be able to have something here that they could listen to and dig in to and that their youth pastors could also use as a tool to keep them engaged,” Putprush said.
Morning disc jockey Belinda Loudan said she’s received a lot of positive feedback since The Cross went on the air.
“I met one guy and he said, ‘I used to listen to the dark music, but since I’ve come to know Christ and found you guys, now I can listen to your station and I don’t have the desire to listen to the dark music anymore.’
“I just think that’s amazing,” she added. “Not that the music’s any different, but the lyrics are always encouraging, always positive, always giving you hope, and that’s the difference in our station. You never have to worry about what words your kids are going to hear, what the message is going to be, because if you hear it on The Cross-FM, it’s going to be an encouraging message with positive re-enforcement.”
According to Choy, because TRM is a nonprofit organization, it doesn’t have the resources to determine how large its listening audience is.
“It’s really hard to find out the exact numbers,” he said. “All I know is that every person I talk to and know is listening, and just the response we get is incredible.”
Putprush said the station has received feedback from across Northern Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland, which are part of its broadcast area.
“Everybody is starting to really jump on board and hear us, and the response has been unbelievable,” she said.
The station’s website is www.thecrossfm.com.
— Contact Matt Armstrong email@example.com