Gospel radio station licensed

Radio listeners will have a new station to turn to this summer – Gospel 88.7, a sister station to Heaven 97.

Christian Communications Association director Steve Faucette received the formal documentation this week from Mr. David Archbold, managing director of the Information and Communications Technology Authority.

The ICTA approved an amendment to CCA’s existing licence to allow the new station earlier this year.

CCA brought Heaven 97 to local airwaves in 1997 with a format of contemporary Christian music.

Over the years, listeners have asked for traditional gospel music as well, Mr. Faucette said.

Plans were in the works for some time.

Then Hurricane Ivan destroyed Heaven 97’s studio on the ground floor of the GFK Industrial Park on Godfrey Nixon Way.

CCA directors decided to stay in the same building, but move up one floor. They also decided that it made sense to build two studios simultaneously.

Cayman now has more than a dozen radio stations, but Mr. Faucette is not worried about the size of Gospel 88’s potential audience.

‘The Christian listener is dedicated and doesn’t stray,’ he commented. A survey last year indicated that 42 per cent of Cayman’s population tuned in to Heaven 97 at least some of the time.

Advertisers have also supported the station well and the new venture is seen as a way of providing more inventory for them, Mr. Faucette explained.

The older station will continue its contemporary format. Gospel 88 will concentrate on traditional music along with spoken word programming and satellite feed from ‘The Word in Praise’.

The station will employ a programme director who will also serve as host of a morning show – similar to the work Steve Karanda does at Heaven 97.

CCA’s licence calls for Gospel 88.7 to be on the air in Grand Cayman no later than 30 August this year. It is to be on the air in Cayman Brac by 30 September.