The No. 1 radio station in Minnesota’s largest market, Minneapolis/St. Paul, doesn’t play mainstream pop and rap, 80s rock or even the latest country hits.
That’s because the No. 1 radio station in Minneapolis/St. Paul – as measured in the share of the market – is a Christian music station that plays songs by artists such as Phil Wickham, For King & Country and Katy Nichole.
The station is KTIS, a noncommercial, nonprofit station with its own on-air personalities. It delivers live and local news, sports and weather – just like its rock-and-roll, country and pop radio counterparts. One of its morning DJs, Pam Lundell, is in the Minnesota Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
MinnPost.com recently profiled KTIS.
In July, KTIS attracted an 11.6 percent share of listeners, which ranked No. 1 in the market and was more than MyTalk 107, Cities 97, and WCCO Radio – three popular stations – combined, MinnPost said.
“The most popular radio station in the Twin Cities for several months running has been KTIS (98.5 FM),” MinnPost reported.
It is rare for a Christian station to rank so high, especially in a large market. (The Twin Cities are the 15th largest radio market in America.)
“The only other top 50 markets with a religious broadcaster in the top five are Tampa-St. Pete (3rd place, 6.4 share) and Houston (5th place, 5.4 share),” MinnPost reported.
Like other Christian stations nationwide, KTIS has pledge drives. It’s owned by the University of Northwestern in Roseville, a Christian school. The radio station has 15 employees.
“We wanted to be part of making Christian radio more fun,” station manager Dave St. John told MinnPost. “The goal is to play the music that reaches as many people as possible.”
The station first reached No. 1 in April. It reached No. 2 in 2020.
“It’s very well done, it’s good radio, produced quite well,” Dan Seeman, VP/regional manager for Hubbard Radio Minnesota, which owns KS95 and MyTalk, told MinnPost. “They’ve got resources, marketing, a feeder system for talent and producers at the university.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Stockarm
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.