The Network Minnesota Christian Broadcasters, Inc., is constructing a studio at its headquarters in Pequot Lakes to house Z100, the corporation's third station.
"I'm very, very exited at the possibility of getting the new station on the air," said Mike Heuberger, MCBI's general manager. "It will be aimed at teens and young adults. It will be all music -- contemporary Christian rock music -- and something they really enjoy."
KTIG 102.7 and KCFB 91.5 FM are the existing nonprofit radio broadcast ministries of Minnesota Christian Broadcasters, Inc.
"Each station is on the air to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in word and song. It is our desire to evangelize the lost, nurture Christians and inform listeners with quality teaching, music, news and public affairs programming," says the MCBI mission statement.
KTIG 102.7 broadcasts 24 hours a day from a transmitter near Pine River. "Its 50-thousand watt signal covers the Brainerd lakes area with quality Christian broadcasting," the MCBI Web site states.
KCFB 91.5 FM serves the St. Cloud area "with inspirational music, teaching and informational programs. KCFB broadcasts 24 hours daily with a signal of 15 thousand watts."
Recently, MCBI has been working to acquire a new automation system to replace the existing stations' old one. It will help support Z100. "The new automation system will allow greater flexibility for recording and airing of your favorite programs, music and features," says MCBI's latest newsletter. "It will also provide room for growth as we continue to provide the best quality programming for the evangelization, encouragement and education of current and potential listeners in central Minnesota."
Heuberger said, "We're in the process of building the studio right now." The Pequot Lakes facilities house both KTIG102.7, as well as the St. Cloud station, KFIB. Z100 will be housed there as well.
"With all that's going on in our culture today, they (teens) really need good, positive messages," Heuberger said, noting the Z100 programming will be entirely Christian in nature. None of the program content will include sex, drugs or violence related material, Heuberger said.
"It will be a great opportunity for us to provide an alternative for them to listen to. We've been working on it for seven years, and it's finally becoming a reality. It's taken a lot of time and patience and (now) the starting date is not far away."
Joe Kimbler, MCBI's program director, introduced youths to Z100 Wednesday night at a Brainerd Area Youth Ministries Rally. He showed a mini-video about the new station and fielded questions from youths at the rally.
Kimbler, who currently hosts several programs on the air for the two existing MCBI radio stations, will do a morning show on Z100.
"We're working out the more fine points of what we're going to be doing with the station," Kimbler said in an interview this week.
"We have set a target date of Sept. 1" for Z100 to go on the air, Kimbler said, "and that target date is assuming that everything goes smoothly. At this point it looks like that will be a realistic date. The studio should be completed by the end of this week. And we will then look at what equipment we have and what we'll still need."
They also will need to get the proper outdoor communications equipment in place.
"The hardest work, which was the waiting, at least as far as we can see, is over," Kimbler said.
The board of directors, and all MCBI officers, are volunteers who are elected to oversee the KTIG radio ministry in Pequot Lakes and the KCFB radio ministry in St. Cloud.
"We are going to be looking for teen and young adult volunteers who will work out by doing things on the air," Kimbler said, regarding who will do the DJ work for Z100.
MCBI continually looks for input from the community about programming content.
"And one of the things we are going to be dong to facilitate that for Z100 is putting together a board of youth pastors, youth workers and also some area teens and young adults who will meet here on a quarterly basis and give us direction. And we're hoping that will keep us going in a direction that those who the station is designed for will like."
MCBI has been working toward the goal of introducing this new station for seven years. That was when general manager Heuberger received the vision for the equivalent of what will be Z100.
"It's taken a lot of time and patience, and the starting date is not far away," Heuberger said. "There are dreams you have and that you want to become a realty. And we know now that it's going to happen."
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