The legendary KSBJ/Houston signed on the air July 8, 1982 – 40 years ago today! The late Buddy Holiday was at the helm playing Dallas Holm “Rise Again” as the first song. The original KSBJ frequency was 88.1 but that changed to the current 89.3 in 1987. Through the years KSBJ expanded its reach adding signals, 96.9 FM (South/West of Houston), 99.9 (Beaumont/Liberty), 92.3 (Livingston), 92.5 (Navasota/College Station), 89.7 (Brenham) and 99.9 (Victoria). KSBJ is owned and operated by Hope Media Group (formerly KSBJ Educational Foundation). In January this year Hope Media Group and WAY Media announced they would merge into one media organization, the cash-free transaction closed in May this year.
Current Hope Media Group CEO/Pres Joe Paulo told HisAir today expressed is feelings of what an incredible legacy of this ministry he’s privileged and humbled to be part of. Here’s more of what he said, “40 years of ministry outreach means that there is multi-generational impact. What a legacy of impact already. I’m so blessed and humbled every time I pull up to our building and get to walk into this place. I have often shared how I envision the floors to be holy ground as this place has been God’s chosen conduit to reach into thousands upon thousands of hearts over the years. The legacy of Buddy Holiday lives on and is stronger than ever. The leadership of Tim McDermott for so long and the passion and expertise of so many people in the past and present who serve here is simply remarkable.”
Tim McDermott served as President of KSBJ for 27 of it’s 40 years. Tim says, “I really believe the success of the organization was the people we had on the team – many of whom today are still among our industry’s best. They not only had the talent, they had a heart for God and a heart to serve people. Visitors would tell us when they came by our offices, there was something special about the staff of KSBJ.”
Tim added, “We have had a lot of great successes over the year. We were always committed to first reaching the people of Houston – and making a difference in their lives. One of my board chairs Randy Schroeder once said “if we have great Sharathons and are reaching a million people and aren’t making a difference in their lives, then our ministry isn’t working very much.”
Here’s some of the successes KSBJ had had over the years:
-Consistently a weekly cume of 850,000-950,000 (just KSBJ)
-Very successful God listens campaign that increased audience and ministered to people.
-Major concerts and events where we required that the Gospel be presented (if artists wouldn’t do this – KSBJ didn’t have them in concert). KSBJ had big anniversary concerts with as many as 30,000 people attending.
-Numerous CMB, GMA and NRB Station of the Year and Community Impact Awards
-Prayer stations all across Houston
-Mentoring radio stations all across the world
-Raising $3-3.5 million dollars on the air during Sharathon
-Great workplace culture – certified by Best Christian Workplace
Here’s what some current and past employees had to say about KSBJ:
“I’ve been blessed to have been a part of the ministry of KSBJ for more than 26 years of its 40-year history. Those are 26 of the most impactful years of my life. During that time we’ve seen record-setting concert events, fundraisers, and outreach to the neighborhoods of Houston. We’ve added signals and formats, reached new communities, heard testimonies of lives changed, and seen listenership and engagement grow year-after-year. I’ve had the distinct blessing of working with some of the most dedicated servants of Christ in my media career, and can honestly say that there has never been a more exciting time in our history than today – unless it’s tomorrow! But what excites me most is the restlessness I see in our organization to invite others to experience the joy of serving Christ. It’s something I feel compelled to do, because of what Christ has done for me, and I’m so thankful that I am not alone.” Jon Hull
“I love KSBJ and the people come to mind first. KSBJ is such a special place. When you work there, you’re aware that you’re just a steward—a caretaker of this amazing heritage and connection and trust that’s been built faithfully by so many people over many years. Look what God’s done! Praise the Lord for KSBJ’s listeners, donors, staff, board, and leadership, who’ve always stayed on-mission. Happy Anniversary, KSBJ!” Ty McFarland
“Happy 40th KSBJ! Look at what God has done, touching lives all over the amazing city of Houston and around the world, including mine. I am honored that God blessed me with the opportunity to serve from 2011 to 2019 on the KSBJ Morning Show, the Afternoon Show, NGEN and even now, helping the new Spanish station, Vida Unida, with fundraising this year. What a blessing! Sharing life with the KSBJ family for those years was an honor and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the next 40 years! Happy Anniversary, friends!” Coppelia Rivera
Pictured below from 2014 when Dr. Bill Maier and CoppeIia hosted the KSBJ morning show and Lisa Marie joined them for the live broadcast at the famous Nutcracker Market!
“KSBJ has had a special relationship with the people of Southeast Texas for the past 40 years, and I count myself incredibly blessed to be a small part of that. The station really captures the “heart” of Houston, and I have fond memories of meeting and greeting literally thousands of listeners at the major concerts KSBJ produces, as well as events like the Houston Rodeo, the Wings Over Houston Air Show, Astros games and dozens (hundreds?) of Chick-fil-A Brown Bag concerts. At every one of those events, KSBJ staff members would always take time to listen to listeners’ personal stories and pray with those who were hurting. Congratulations on 40 years–may God richly bless the next 40!” Bill Maier, KSBJ morning show host, 2012-2016
“When I first started at KSBJ in 1997 the entire staff, 36 of us would all gather in Tm McDermott’s office, which wasn’t all that big for a staff meeting. KSBJ has grown a bit… okay a lot since then. I was a young Christian back then. I got saved two years before I started at KSBJ. When I first came here, I kind of expected to be clobbered over the head with a Bible everyday… and that didn’t happen. Instead I learned what loving Christians was really like. They’re people just like anyone else, except they have a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Bill Ingram
On a personal note, I (Ted Semper) will always be grateful to Tim McDermott, and the entire KSBJ staff, who in 2014 reached out to me while I was receiving cancer treatments at MD Anderson in Houston. They invited me to the station staff meeting, prayed for me and made such a great impact that day that I will never forget.