Family Radio selling stations, moving headquarters to Nashville

Family Radio
Construction on the new Nashville, Tennessee headquarters for Family Stations, Inc. The facility is expected to be completed in January 2020. |

Family Radio, the theologically conservative radio station once headed by controversial author and radio host Harold Camping, will be moving from its longtime California headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee.

A new headquarters is presently under construction in Nashville, with the move expected to take place sometime in January of next year.

Meanwhile, Family Radio has sold multiple stations that were losing money and will host their first on-air fundraiser in more than 30 years this week, on Oct. 29-31, called Vision 20/20.  

Richard Whitworth, senior director of Marketing at Family Stations, Inc., explained in comments to The Christian Post that the move came “after considerable prayer and discussion” and came in large part because of the operating expenses in California.

“We want to be good stewards of our finances, the gifts from our listeners, and the gifts God has given us. The decision to move to Nashville was made primarily because of the cost of doing business in the Bay Area,” explained Whitworth.

“Nashville is a hub for Christian music and ministry, which makes it easier to both attract and retain staff and talent.”

Family Radio
Construction on the new Nashville, Tennessee headquarters for Family Stations, Inc. The facility is expected to be completed in January 2020. |

Whitworth called the move to Nashville and the other recent changes “gifts from God” and “a fresh start for Family Radio.”  

“We also made the equally important decision to ‘right-size’ Family Radio’s operations. This meant selling several stations that were losing money and had little or no hope of reversing that trend. Honestly, we still have a few more stations we will need to sell,” he said.

“Selling a station and letting go of staff members is like letting go of family. So there have been a lot of emotional, hard decisions that had to be made. But we trust that God has brought us to this point and He will lead us through.”

Whitworth noted some positive news, such as Family Radio stations being able to reach an estimated 80 million people and ongoing popularity for their digital and online platforms.

Family Radio had its first broadcast in 1959 from an FM radio station in San Francisco, Calif. Over time, the conservative Christian station expanded to have programming heard nationally.

However, during the 1990s and 2000s, the station garnered controversy as its long-serving president, Harold Camping, claimed that all churches were apostate and predicted that the Rapture would take place on May 21, 2011.

harold camping
Harold Camping, president of Family Radio, fixes his mic as he prepares for a live radio broadcast on Monday, May 23, 2011. Camping delivered his first public statement on Monday since his failed prediction that the rapture would occur on May 21. |

Following Camping’s death in 2013, Family Radio reported an increase in donations. Last September, the station officially decided to remove all of Camping’s programs.

"We decided as a team, as a board of directors, and as the leadership team to remove all of Mr. Camping's teachings," said Tom Evans, president and general manager of Family Radio, told CP in an interview last year.

"Family Radio has come out of self-imposed isolation and we've repented from many of our former positions, date-setting the end of the world and all that, as well as the condemnation of the church."

As part of this change in direction, Family Radio formed partnerships with other ministries, airing programs from Parkside Church Senior Pastor Alistair Begg and the young-earth creationist organization Answers in Genesis.

Whitworth was optimistic about the financial future of Family Radio, telling CP that it is “closer today to overall financial health than at any time in the last 20-plus years.”

“Tom Evans, our general manager, has led and is leading the organization through a massive reorganization including the reduction of staff, the sale of non-producing assets, and the move to the Nashville area where operating costs are significantly less than in California,” stated Whitworth.

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