Air1 Changes Direction

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After 20-plus years of playing Christian hits to its more than four million listeners, Air1 (headquartered in Rocklin, CA) has fine-tuned its playlist with a focus on worship music. The new Air1, Worship Now debuted January 1 with 10,000 songs in a row, commercial-free. While the new playlist features current, familiar artists such as Jeremy Camp, Tauren Wells and NeedtoBreathe, the majority of the new line-up focuses on songs that have received little-to-no airplay, including Hillsong, Elevation Worship, Vertical Worship and others.

“During the past year, we’ve talked to the most important people we know, our listeners. We asked them what aspects of the station resonate with them and what was missing,” said Randy Chase, VP of Radio at Air1. “The result is a high-concept station where every hour of music is custom mixed, with an emphasis on worship.”

“The new Air1 has a one-of-a-kind design,” added Mandy Young, Program Director. “While supporting multiple Contemporary Christian Music styles, we heard what our listeners want. We deliver music variety with a focus on contemporary worship.”

The station features Dan and Michelle in the Morning, middays with 10-year veteran Mandy, afternoons with Mike Shaeffer and Lauren Lee, and nights with Ashton.

48 COMMENTS

  1. Well, well, well, I usually take a break from listening to Christian music on the radio from November through early January because I have no desire to hear Christmas music for various reasons that I won’t go into except to say that most of it is so worn out from being played over and over again year after year after year. Anyway, last night I started listening to the radio again while I was driving around in my car and doing some shopping. When I selected Air1 (which is one of the five Christian radio stations that broadcast in my city), I kept hearing “the new Air1” and didn’t have a clue what the word “new” meant until I found this article. After reading all of the negative comments about the stations format change, I felt compelled to leave a comment as well.

    To be honest, this is a tough call. I can understand the younger generation preferring the old format, but I can also understand the station owner’s desire to serve all of its listeners by filling a gap that was missing in the old format. Personally, I prefer the new format because I think there aren’t enough worship songs being played on any large network Christian radio stations—including KLOVE and Family Life Radio—especially worships songs by not-so-big-name Christian worship artists. However, perhaps Air1 can accommodate both the older generation and the newer generation by adjusting its playlist during certain times of the day so that the songs being played reflect the make up of the listening audience during those times (for example, playing more “hits” during those times when people are driving home after work). One of the stations in my city (KLYT or star88.fm) has been doing this for years with considerable success. If you are one of those “die-hard older format” younger generation listeners who have given up on Air1, perhaps this station will be more to your liking.

  2. I would wake up to Air1 on 91.9 FM each morning. It was the radio station I had set as my alarm. I listened to the new format for about a week, then the station stopped broadcasting. Was Air1 dropped in some of the L.A. markets? Was it moved to another channel? Where are my monthly donations going?

  3. I enjoyed the old Air1, but we’re living for the Lord. I liked the alternative music, that’s how I ran across the station. They were playing a familiar song. I’ll get used to it. God gets all the glory.

  4. Change is never easy, but the emphasis is not about us. It is about the Lord and the scriptures are full of God’s blessings upon those who worship Him. Air1’s decision can only be a good thing in that regard. Now, if I don’t like the style or I prefer the old format, perhaps I should ask if my comfort is more important than letting the Spirit of God speak to me. Sure, it’s easy to enjoy the familiar, but change is never easy, and if done for the Lord, it will always be good. So maybe we as Americans should realize our consumerist approach to life is not the best. Letting someone else be in charge and seeing the value in their leadership is also a very biblical attitude.

  5. i loved the old one way better cuz u do not find another station who plays christian pop rock and rapp all the other christian stations play all the same and i like faster music and my life is not ht e greatset and i always looked toward air one and when it changed staion channel i could not get the singal for it no more and i finally got signal yesterday and it kept sayin the new air one and i was like what what is this. and i no and i am really sad. it was the only christain statio n to keep me with the lord. i hope i end up liken it. for like a month straight i was asken the lord plaese let me be able to here air 1 on the redio and it was answered but i kind of wish i didnt im happy mandys still on there though. i will try listen to it

  6. I’m bummed because I’ve lived with Air1 for so many years as my go-to music station. I get that the world is changing and I’m guessing large parts of their audience for the “hits” format now stream.

  7. Hey everyone, don’t write Air1 off quite yet. In the last hour I have heard Skillet, NF, and quite a few of the usual songs from 2018. Seemingly our statements are making a difference. 🙂
    👍❤️🙏😇

  8. From here:
    On the other hand, and just maybe:
    “That’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, God wants it, uh-huh, uh-huh.”
    Just kiddin’ around.
    (Huge smiley-face.)

  9. I am okay-ish with the new Air1 songs, but I want to hear more of the DJ’s. Their stories were always so welcoming and made me feel like I had caring, loving friends who were devoted to Christ but openly, not all church and no life but loving their savior and living the life that he died for to the fullest by living it without the boxes most Christian channels cater to. Where are the pastors? Where is the worship and Christianity outside of the music? My Brother has lied to me, and stabbed me in the back many times in the past and he does not like when I show my faith, as such the Air1 of 2018 felt like an incredible addition to my life and faith and even seemed to be leading my best friend who has been burned by religion in the past to the arms of Jesus. I’m Air1 all the way, but this is definitely not an improvement.

  10. Wow, it seems like a lot of listeners feel the same as I do, air1 used to be way better with Skillet, Red, P.O.D, and TobyMac as well as Jeremy Camp, I miss knowing who sang the song, the heart to heart from the DJ’s at least they kept Ashton wish they could have a happy medium mix or have listeners pick the songs

    • I agree. I miss the old format and songs. I also really miss hearing the DJ’s comments and life stories. I wonder every day, “How’s Lauren doing with her wedding planning?” or other similar thoughts. They were my friends as I commute to and from work every day.

  11. I am super sad as well… I feel like I lost a good friend. I am glad that the Crossing was mentioned so that I could search it up and now I am listening to that from my phone. What is missing that also make me sad is that I don’t know the names of the songs or who sings them anymore as they are not displayed on my phone or in my car thru the bluetooth. Also, I don’t know if it is my phone (Just got a new one) or the station, but there are a lot of disruptive “drops” where I guess the station is buffering or something.
    Really missing Air1 of 2018 🙁

  12. I have listened to Air1 for years – my kids grew up listening to it. They are now 26 and 30. I am not sure who they “listened” to that caused them to make this drastic change. Air1 is different from the other Christian station that we can get on our radio – we love it too – but Air1 seemed to have a different reach, attracting the young and the old. I LOVED listening to it on the way to work. I, like others, have tried and tried to listen to the “new” Air1, and I am so, so sad… It just doesn’t feel the same. It feels impersonal – like they just stuck a bunch of songs on a reel and left it to play. And, I LOVE hearing my favorite songs several times during the day. I look forward to it, because those songs are the ones that are speaking to me at the moment. I love the old songs too… But… Sad.

  13. I am delighted to see we are not the only one willing to voice our opinion on this change. It brings great sadness to have my car full of carpool school kids (believers and non-believers) ask me to turn off Air1 now. Our $40 a month pledge has been 100% consistent for over 15 years. Tonight we discussed as a family where we can better put those funds that would impact a ministry we are passionate about like the old Air1. I have two amazing kids that ask for Christian concerts for their birthday gift. I am sad they have no station that will support that passion. The change is devastating to a mom who wants her sons to love Christian radio. Air1 WAS different! I logged on hoping to find that the old Air1 had been relocated…not changed. Please consider bringing it back!

  14. I really love this new focus on praising and worshiping the Lord. Awesome! We were CREATED to love and adore the Lord! <3 <3 <3

  15. I miss the old Air 1. They were different in the way they would play more rock, rap and dance music. This is great music for the younger crowd to get closer to Christ. Air one sounds like all the other Christian stations out there, which is not bad a bad thing, but is too contemporary for me.

  16. So sad about the change. Air1 was different and allowed me to enjoy Christian music that wasn’t the norm like all the other stations. Super disappointed in this change and I’m actively looking for another station to turn into going forward.

  17. Air 1 WAS my favorite Christian music station. You played upbeat music from Skillet, Manafest, Toby Mac and so much more. Now it’s just like Family Life or Klove. So bummed. My teenagers were even into it before. Now it’s just like all the others. Don’t get it why you had to lose your uniqueness. I will gladly give monthly again if it goes back to the way it was.

  18. I’m so sad! I can tune into 5 different Christian music stations where I live. Air 1 has always been my favorite, it played the most JAMMIN’ music. The others all focus on an older generation & play more worship music & more “soft” hits. I love to worship, but I also love to spread the love of God through music that reaches those that find Church off-putting. I find there a great need to show non-believers that following God doesn’t mean sacrificing things that bring us joy – like loud and rowdy music. But the new playlist makes our church Praise & Worship music look more fun & exciting than the radio.

    • This is a well targeted comment. It seems that what is missing somewhat is a heartfelt consideration of the Great Commission. It is great to feed believers but we must have that recognition of a connection with the world (in but not of). But we must be in it and the Air1 of 2018 was, I cannot say that same about today’s New Air1.

  19. Air1 was interesting and fun to our kids before the change. They are 6yrs to 17yrs old. Now they find it boring. Worshiping God is energetic to them not sleepy and boring. It was on in our cars always and we gave quite a bit monthly toward it. With 4 kids we spend a bunch of time in the car. If it is a matter of money just add some Christian acceptable adds. We are going to miss Air1 dearly. We love and pray for all at Air1.

  20. Not a fan of the change. I miss Jeremy Camp, Skillet, Toby Mac, Third Day. Now it’s boring. The old Air 1 WAS worship music. I guess I will have to go back to my cds.

  21. Yes we all have our preferences and I certainly do as well. Can I gently offer a diferent opinion? Maybe Christian music shouldn‘t be meant to relieve our boredom and entertain us – maybe it’s purpose is to point to God and help us connect with our creator. (By the way some songs help me connect more than others) But, if you are feeling dissapponted or bored by the slow music that does not appeal to your preferences, ask God to help you connect. Making an assumption here but I suspect nearly all of the worship songs – R&B, Rock, Contemporary, old school and new school – were written and performed by artists who bathed their work in prayer and who poured their God-given gifts into it. I bet if we self-evaluate our motivations and ask God to check us we can discover beauty in places we didn’t expect.

    • You have good points. However, God did create us with our own personalities and ability to have preferences. I don’t think that’s bad. Also, I’m fairly certain ratings and the impact of streaming services impacted this decision, which really has little to do with connecting with God.

    • Amen! Thank you! I have an 11 and 14 year old and we enjoy ALL worship music. It is meant for worship, not to lift ourselves up, but to honour our mighty Saviour!
      Everyone is commenting about missing the contemporary artists, but they are still being played along with a whole new variety.
      Self reflection and prayer is a great suggestion.

  22. We are so so so sad and disappointed about the change. I told my kids and husband about the format change to more worship music and they said “the previous format WAS worship music!” Which is absolutely true! Any music that glorifies the Lord is worship! And I’m sad for all the Christian hip hop, R&B, etc musicians that have lost a platform to praise the Lord in the way He has placed on their hearts.

  23. During the time I have had to listen, I love the new format: more variety songs; more worship; not the same ones over and over and over.

  24. I have tried to listen to it and just can’t do it. I don’t like the change and I am dropping my monthly donation. Not a good move on your part Air1

  25. I am sad about the change but glad I am not the only one that doesn’t like it. I also tried to listen to it all day today (Jan 3) and had a hard time getting into it. I don’t care much for KLOVE and now I am not fond of the new format on Air1. I can only assume it is because of lack of funding (donations). On the last donation drive (and I think the previous one) they didn’t make their goal.

  26. I’ve been listening all day trying to like the new Air1. I finally gave up and went to a local AAA formatted station. The new Air1 is more of the same old same old. I wish them well. I’m sure it appeals to someone but that someone isn’t me.

  27. I am so very disappointed and sad for the change. My 18 year old son just became a Christian and I truly believe that Air1 played a part. I was hoping that he would change his music choice (because it is not good) but there is NO WAY he will listen to Air1 now. I actually don’t see the younger generation listening at all to Air1. As Christians we should cater more to the younger generation! So sad and disappointed!

    • There are plenty of online stations to cater to a wide variety. Check out ChristianHits.net for a format similar to what Air1 played (but with more variety). They’ve also got several other formats as well (Rock, Hard Rock, Power Praise and Classic Hits).

  28. This is very disappointing. We actually were ready to become financial supporters and cancel SiriusXM but now this change has made it another boring station. I might as well have stuck with SiriusXM.

    Too bad, this station was so good in the past.

  29. So disappointing. You set this station apart by playing more upbeat and fun worship songs. That’s why we listened to Air1. It’s slow and boring now, and very much like so many other stations. Sad.

  30. I remember back in the day, when Air1 would play killer bands such as: Skillet, P.O.D, Kutless (pre cookie cutter worship junk), Day Of Fire, Piller, Bleach, etc!! Man were those the days! Even my non-Christian friends started listening to it, and many of them came to know Christ! But now?? Same old cookie cutter, boring, non original, non thought provoking, bland worship music.. Sad..

  31. Are the DJs still on. I miss Mike and Lauren and Mandy. I also miss the more contemporary hipper music. I used to listen to KLove and this music sounds just the same. The station sounds very soulless.

  32. Wow!!! This is such a disappointment!! We loved the other format but won’t be listening now. I loved hearing my 9yr old son singing every word from the backseat. With the mix of music genres that were played I felt it was easier to avoid secular radio stations because the music was so hip and fun. This new format is way too boring and definitely won’t get us going in the mornings. So sad! We will miss Air1.

  33. Why? There is already a sindicated station that already plays that type of music…K-Love. We a station that will play more Christian Rock.

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