'Joy FM' Targets Young Listeners

By Robert Gruber

A new Christian radio station has gone on the air in Kentuckiana. WJYL-FM (88.3/104.7) is the "Joy FM," offering up "sanctified jams with no religious after- taste." In other words, this station has a different target audience than other Chris- tian stations around town: young people.

David Michaels, program director at WJYL, describes Joy FM as "a ministry to reach a generation with the saving message of Jesus Christ through music." He uses a format known in the industry as C.H.R. — Christian Hit Radio — though Michaels is quick to add, WJYL's format is more "aggressive" than most C.H.R. stations.

Joy FM offers an excellent variety of styles for young listeners: urban dance and soul (Bebe and Cece Winans, Karthi, Out of Eden); rap (D.C. Talk, A-1 Swift, Gospel Gangstas); pop (Newsboys, Crys- tal Lewis, Eric Champion); alternative (Audio Adrenaline, Code of Ethics, Dakoda Motor Co.); and rock (Michael Sweet, PFR, Collective Soul). And that's just at few of the artists currently aired. "This is not a traditional-sounding Christian radio station," says Michaels. Nevertheless, the message in the music is pure and positive.

The station went on the air October 31 (Halloween, of all days!) after many months of setbacks, signal problems and great anticipation. Now that it's up and kicking, listeners have two frequencies to choose from: 104.7 (best picked up in the Louisville area) and 88.3 (best picked up in Indiana).

Joy FM is a non-profit ministry supported by the prayers and gifts of its listeners and underwriters. "You just have to believe, in faith, that it will work," says Michaels, "and that's our whole vision." Thus far, the response to Joy FM has been very enthusiastic.