“We’re striving to use new media to reach the younger generations, to get people my age to listen,” she said.
Mr. Wright acknowledged the demographic challenges for Christian broadcasters, but also asserted “part of this is the seasons of life” that people in their teens and early 20s will encounter. Once in the work force and raising children of their own, he said, these people will turn to inspirational programming.
At the same time, Mr. Wright said, “we do need to address that generational issue.”
Christian broadcaster and advocate for the disabled Joni Eareckson Tada said in an interview she was not concerned over the loss of younger viewers and listeners.
“People still have radios,” she said, adding that religious communicators “have many more options, such as the Internet and podcasts” to reach audiences.
Ms. Tada, a Maryland native now living in California, added, “The onus is on us to be relevant.”
But some Christian broadcasters at the convention said they were pleased with the current state of the market.
“Our revenue is up, and our engagement with listeners is higher than in years past,” said Todd Payne, general manager of WCRV-AM in Memphis, Tenn., one of 88 outlets owned by Bott Broadcasting, a chain of religious stations.
Patti Souder, who co-hosts a program on WPEL-FM in Montrose, Pa., said the outlet has received “wonderful letters from listeners,” noting that “the Lord has provided, and we’re doing OK.”