HisAir has learned that major radio stations across America have been signed to carry the 7th Annual KeepTheFaith Christmas Marathon, available for air December 21 to December 31. Set to appear in the beautifully crafted 12-hour special hosted by Keith Stevens and Donna Cruz are CCM staples Matthew West, Colton Dixon, Natalie Grant, Amy Grant, Michael W.Smith, Mandisa, Chris Tomlin, for KING & COUNTRY plus Kathie Lee Gifford and Chonda Pierce. Whether it’s the struggle with poor health, job loss, broken relationships, unrest in society, or just the anger and frustration that’s been so common this year, we could all use the reminder that a miracle could be just around the corner so this year’s theme centers around the miracle we’re all looking for and the miracle God gave us.
Mike Blakemore, CCM format VP of Salem and Program Director of WFSH, a.k.a. “TheFish Atlanta,” says “The KeepTheFaith Christmas Marathon is truly a treasure. We look forward to airing it on our stations each year. It’s produced specifically to make you feel as though you are listening in to event radio of yesteryear, when people were snuggled up and sitting around the fireplace, hot chocolate in hand, radio on, with the Christmas tree lights glowing nearby. We have garnered huge numbers for previous KeepTheFaith marathons and our sponsors love it. We offer it with limited commercial interruptions–so we are able to get premium dollars from just a couple of local title sponsors.” States Blakemore, “The KeepTheFaith Christmas Marathon contains just the right mix of CCM artists and nostalgic Christmas hits that we all grew up on with stories and host wrap arounds that are festive, funny, and heartwarming.”
Good Ratings Programming Consultant John Frost, who is one of three executive producers of the KeepTheFaith Christmas Marathon (along with KeepTheFaith Radio founders David Sams and Joe Battaglia), says that this year’s all-star line up of guest co-hosts will feature a combination of CCM staples and mainstream headliners. “Stations get an overwhelming amount of audience sampling during the marathon. This has become a calling card of sorts for them. So, this year we have specifically included family friendly, mainstream names like Karen Kingsbury, Scott Hamilton and Sadie Robertson Huff. We’ve also included features with the likes of Dolly! These stars serve as a magnet for people, especially women, who are not necessarily our everyday listener, but looking for truly festive holiday programming to share with their families while driving around town listening to Christmas music. This being 2020, the audience needs this encouragement more than ever.”
David Sams, CEO of KeepTheFaith, expects as many as 300 stations across multiple formats to sign up for the marathon. “We are well ahead previous years clearance efforts,” Sams states. “We’ve already signed up the majority of the Top 20 markets. One reason is that we’ve decided to open up this event special to include all CCM stations from coast-to-coast, not just regular our KeepTheFaith affiliates. While the marathon is 12-hours long, we are allowing stations to air on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or anytime between Dec. 21-31. Many are double or triple running it over Christmas weekend. We are being very flexible in an effort to meet the specific needs of affiliates. As a matter of fact, this year we are producing a stand-alone 4 hour Country version under the banner of “The Contagious Country Christmas Marathon” which is carried on iconic country outlets like WSM-FM, Nash Icon in Nashville.”
With the way the clearance list is shaping up, this year the marathon is anticipated to double last year’s audience numbers. The cume is expected to reach 2 million listeners. States Sams, “Stations that want to attract and grow an audience have found that this marathon is more than just a special, it’s a STATEMENT. The KeepTheFaith Christmas Marathon is truly the finest premium content on all of radio during Christmas week.”
To find out how you can air the KeepTheFaith Christmas Marathon on your station, contact Denise Payne at 615-610-2980.
Click here to listen to the KTF Christmas CCM demo: