Listener Supported K-LOVE Accepts Paid Advertising

KLOVE CarOne of the most frequent slogans you hear when you listen to Christian music giant K-LOVE radio is that the station is “listener supported.” When the fund drives are going on, listeners are bombarded with the message that the station wouldn’t be on the air without listener donations. As I have noted in the past, K-LOVE is sitting on millions in cash and investments and pay the executive staff extremely well, so they don’t really need all those “EZ Gifts” to remain on the air. In addition, K-LOVE is accepting paid ads for services.

I recently heard an ad for Medi-Share and learned from the health care group that Medi-Share paid K-LOVE for the ads. According to Michael Gardner, communications director with Medi-Share, “Christian Care Ministry receives media placements on K-Love because we support their programming through paid underwriting.” I also heard one from Pure Flix, a Christian comedy and entertainment group.* As far as I know, K-LOVE stations are licensed as non-commercial stations.

This might come as a surprise after hearing K-LOVE’s on-air personalities criticize other networks which use ads to underwrite programming.  In the past, K-LOVE has even boasted of being “commercial free” (see also here). Judging from online comments, listeners think the station is supposed to be commercial free (see for examples here, here, here, and here).

Also, K-LOVE recruits artists to make the pitch. Watch:

According to the K-LOVE website, avoiding commercials is a selling point.

The K-LOVE Difference is…

Most Radio stations play an average of 19 Commercials an hour. Not at K-LOVE.
This means we can play more songs every hour than most radio stations.

No doubt they play fewer commercials per hour. However, they do air commercials and they air spots from Bible teachers such as Luis Palau, Proverbs 31 Ministries, etc. I wonder if those ministries pay to play as well.


*This post is not meant to detract from either Christian Care Ministry or Pure Flix. Both groups may be fine organizations. My interest in this post is to inform donors who might be trying to decide to give to K-LOVE or allow their child to register for Little League or go to summer camp. Go with the child.

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