Industry News

Jack Mortenson Has Passed

HisAir is sorry to report Mortenson Broadcasting Company owner Jack Mortenson has passed away at the age of 85.

Mortenson Broadcasting Company began with the vision of Jack M. Mortenson, and his late father, Dr. E. M. Mortenson. After several very successful joint ventures, including the start-up and pastorship of Faith Memorial Baptist Church in Canton, Ohio, Jack re-directed his career to focus exclusively on the development of his network of Christian radio stations after the death of his father in 1970.

The first Mortenson station began in 1960 (WTOF-FM “Tower of Faith”) in Canton, with the second being WHKK in Cincinnati.

After his father’s death, Jack decided to devote his full time and attention to expanding the Mortenson Christian network. WEMM-FM in Huntington, WV was his third station, with the call letter being in honor of his father.

As one of the early pioneers in the development of Christian radio broadcasting, under Jack’s leadership MBC was strategically and prayerfully built and expanded into the successful Christian radio broadcasting network that it is today. As the years have passed and with the progress of new technology, MBC continues to lead a growing trend of transition from general Christian formats to formats directed to specifically targeted audiences. These specialized formats have included Christian teaching and preaching, Christian talk, Contemporary Christian music, Southern Gospel music, Urban Christian Talk, Urban Gospel, and Hispanic, which is the latest and fastest growing targeted Christian audience.

Mortenson Broadcasting Company was the recipient of the 2012 National Religious Broadcasters Milestone award, honoring them for more than fifty years of broadcast service.  Sixty-one years later, Jack continued to work up until his hospitalization in mid-March. 

Jack is survived by his children Tanya K. Mortenson, Chad Mortenson (Michelle), and Dion Mortenson of Lexington, KY; Trisha K. Mortenson of Alpharetta, GA; and Preslee M. Gooch (Matthew) of Dahlonega, GA; grandchildren Tony, Kaylee and Justin Bradford, and Tori Mortenson Hollins (Nick) and Taylor Mortenson.  He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Danny, and is survived by his sister, Marianne Mortenson of Beverly Hills, CA and brother, Stan Mortenson, of South Carolina.

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