Editor's Note: This year, NRB will be recognizing a record number of organizations with the NRB Milestone Award, which is presented each year at the annual NRB Convention in recognition of pioneers in Christian communications who have demonstrated exemplary service in the industry for five decades or more. In each weekly edition of NRB Today leading up to the NRB 2013 Convention & Exposition, one of this year's recipients will be spotlighted. This week, we recognize Bott Radio Network (BRN), which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Here is their story:
The broadcasting career of BRN Founder Dr. Dick Bott has its origins in his ninth-grade class in Minneapolis, MN, when his teacher instructed the class to prepare a report on a profession. Dick Bott picked radio broadcasting.
In 1952, his broadcast career began in San Francisco, where he became the youngest general manager of any major market radio station. Five years later, Dick and Sherley Bott went on to buy a radio station in Monterey, CA. While working in Monterey, the Botts began to think about starting a new station with a Christian format. Both had grown up in Christian homes and wanted to establish an all-Christian radio station in a major metropolitan area. With their new purpose in mind, the Botts sold the Monterey station and began a search for a new station in a city with a population of one million or more people where they could realize their dream.
The Botts found what they wanted in Kansas City, and in 1962 they packed their belongings and moved to Kansas City with four children and a dog. Utilizing many key radio format concepts honed on the west coast, Bott Radio Network was born as "Kansas City's Christian Voice" on November 12, 1962.
In 1975, Bott Radio Network grew with the acquisition of a radio station in Oklahoma City. Stations serving Fort Wayne, IN; St. Louis, MO; Memphis, TN; and Fresno/Modesto, CA, followed.
Today, BRN broadcasts its format of Christian talk radio on 91 radio stations reaching into 15 states with a combined coverage of 50 million people. BRN also is heard nationwide on SkyAngel Channel 403, worldwide online at bottradionetwork.com and on mobile devices with free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android users. Bott Radio Network also connects with listeners on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
Bott Radio Network features award-winning Christian talk radio. Time magazine listed several of BRN's talk show hosts among the nation's 25 most influential evangelicals. The listing included Dr. James Dobson, a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and host of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk; Dr. Richard Land of For Faith & Family; and attorney and judicial advocate Jay Sekulow, who hosts Jay Sekulow Live from Washington, DC. BRN also features Back to the Bible with Dr. Woodrow Kroll, as well as broadcasts by Billy Graham, Phyllis Schalfly, Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans, June Hunt, Charles Stanley and many other national Christian leaders. National program topics range from family and faith issues to live call-in shows about current events.
Looking to the future, BRN President/CEO Rich Bott, Dick Bott’s son, expressed his vision: "God has blessed the proclamation of His Word to the hearts of millions of people through Bott Radio Network over the past 50 years and we are excited about the future. It is thrilling to harness the power of radio together with new digital technologies to touch even more hearts and lives with the power of the Gospel message and the timeless Truth of God's Word, which is the same yesterday, today and forever!"
In addition to his service as President/CEO of BRN, Rich Bott serves as Chairman of NRB's Board. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Life Issues Institute and Back to the Bible. Furthermore, he serves on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee for the Council for National Policy in Washington, DC.
Published: December 20, 2012