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News @ CSPS

A new focus on audio content

From the September 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal

We’re so grateful for our readers’ and listeners’ love and support of Sentinel Radio, and want to share some upcoming changes that will take place in early 2012. These changes will offer local broadcast groups both lower costs and find new opportunities for reaching the public, as well as prepare The Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and Herald (JSH) for the launch of the new subscription JSH Online edition.

To get a sense of the scope of these changes, you have to go back to November 2009, when over 70 broadcast groups from all over North America traveled to Boston to participate in a broadcast summit. Throughout the weekend these broadcast groups met with editors, publishers, and members of the Board of Trustees of The Christian Science Publishing Society (CSPS) in open discussions about Sentinel broadcast activity. They shared wonderful fruitage from their activities, along with explaining the challenges of rising costs, fewer appropriate broadcast stations, and the difficulty of quantifying the size of the real listening audience. In an effort to control costs, many of the groups had turned to non-radio alternatives such as an 800 phone line or other “dial up” services. CSPS shared similar concerns about the costs, scale, and the sustainability of the current broadcast activity. Everyone agreed that the Internet would play a growing role in the future. 

By the end of the summit, it was clear that Sentinel Radio programming was perceived as being of the highest quality and was well loved, even though the broadcast model itself was not financially sustainable for either CSPS or the local broadcast groups. Everyone at the summit agreed that CSPS should seek out a new audio model that more thoughtfully embraced the use of the Internet to reach listeners. 

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