Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Missouri Gospel Announcers Guild

This is from a picture I took of the billboard over their offices on Broadway in St. Louis. I'm not mocking them, I kind of like the swagger in that hand-painted look actually. It says a lot to me.

They use the acronym GMWA because the obvious one would be MGAG. Earlier it was the "Missouri Radio Gospel Announcers Guild" Mr. Gag... That didnt work our either. After they joined up with The Gospel Music Workshop of America they started throwning the much more benign acronym around. I can't really blame them.

It's a loose coalition of Gospel Radio DJs and staff with member stations that create a network of sorts, that extends outward from Missouri. This list includes:
1600 KATZ-AM St. Louis, MO
890 KGGN-AM Kansas City, MO
89.9 KOPN Columbia, MO
1050 WDZ-AM Decatur, IL
830 KOTC-AM Kennett, MO

They are pretty direct about their purpose. They want to propogate gospel music. They go on, in great detail and clarity here: http://www.missourigag.org/OurPurpose.htm

I bring this up because in general I like small locally-focused coalitions. They distribute the load of the work and everyone benefits through networking. It can raise the bar for professionalism and quality. Usually it is a great thing. I was able to listen to a few of these stations in my pan-Missouri drive this week. These staitons are very different from each other but share a little programming and staff it appears. I was particularly partial to the programming at KOPN. But I'm a sucker for small-town DJs.

A local or regional network is entirely unlike a national network. With a national network, the primary focus is to lower costs. they syndicate, automate, voice-track, studio-share and consult the live our of a station. Quality immediately takes a hit in the talent department then with the loss of localism and all the connections with the community.