90.9 KCBI FM seeks to be a “movement of God,” effectively communicating the Gospel to listeners through a city-grade, 100,000-watt signal.
KCBI is a hybrid radio station broadcasting music and educational programming to an audience of millions in the expansive Dallas-Fort Worth area.
KCBI was established in 1976 by W.A. Criswell, former senior pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas, with a mission to address growing concerns about the liberal theological teaching running rampant within evangelical communities. In 2010, First Dallas Media was formed to manage and oversee the radio station.
“God is moving powerfully through KCBI,” said KCBI assistant general manager and outreach director Sharon Geiger. “This continues to be one of the most exciting periods in the radio ministry’s history, as it seeks to meet the deep needs of listeners in DFW through encouraging music and Bible-centered words of hope.”
Matt Austin, general manager and vice president of operations at KCBI, said the station’s mission is three-fold: to host the most effective teaching programs, to be familiar to local families with popular contemporary Christian music, and to provide deeply connective radio personalities who share both their successes and failures with listeners daily. At KCBI, the team is focused on their listeners “every moment of every day.”
“Because of the teams’ radical focus on these things, we are consistently experiencing the highest market shares month by month in the station’s history,” said Austin. “Our online stream is often the highest-rated radio station stream in the entire DFW market, according to Nielsen, a direct result of our digital efforts. I’m blessed with a world-class team that is making a difference every day in ministry to those we serve.”
According to Austin, the KCBI team is working tirelessly to uphold the station’s core, founding values and resist the influence of “woke culture” that has infiltrated American society.
“Our entire team is studying the book ‘Mission Drift’ by Peter Greer and Chris Horst right now, nailing down the importance of our statement of faith, mission, why statement, and core values as the things that are immutable,” said Austin. “If we don’t talk about those things all the time, we’ll drift away from the foundations this ministry has been built on. We are stewards of that legacy and must get it right and with sharp clarity while also using new methods and technology.”
Austin noted that the station is “unashamedly pro-life.”
“We highlight efforts for free ultrasounds to influence women in crisis to choose life at local crisis pregnancy centers,” said Austin.
Through a partnership with PreBorn Ministries, KCBI listeners have helped save the lives of 4,300 babies from abortion, contributing to a total of almost 13,000 saved since 2020. In partnership with Embrace Grace, listeners of KCBI prepared 2,200 Love Boxes to assist women facing challenging pregnancies.
KCBI is actively engaged with the local community by sharing the good news of the Gospel in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, inviting listeners to serve the community and beyond. KCBI’s outreach efforts have touched the lives of more than 68,000 people.
In response to the war outbreak in Ukraine, KCBI’s international efforts included a collaboration with the Texas Baptist Men. Within a 24-hour period, supporters generously donated over $40,000 to fund the operations of four church refugee shelters located in West Ukraine and Poland. Through the generous giving of KCBI listeners, at least 30,000 Ukrainian refugees were provided with much-needed essentials such as clean water, food, clothing, and prayer. Additionally, 10,000 Bibles in the Ukrainian language and other supplies were distributed to those in need.
In 2022, KCBI’s extensive community outreach efforts included the distribution of over 40,000 Bibles to Texas prisons, local human trafficking organizations, and humanitarian aid groups. KCBI has also partnered with Buckner International in collecting 1,400 pairs of shoes for distribution to local children in need, contributing to a total of 4,500 pairs donated since 2019. Through KCBI’s Online Prayer Center, staff and volunteers also minister to the spiritual needs of listeners in person, by phone, and through email communications.
In 2023, KCBI and Gateway Church will collaborate on a joint initiative to install inmate-operated radio stations in four Texas prisons. Under the guidance of the prison chaplain, these stations will broadcast Christian teachings such as “Pathway to Victory” with Dr. Robert Jeffress and “Worship & The Word” with Pastor Robert Morris, as well as Christian music. KCBI is providing resources and training to support the project. The ultimate aim of this initiative is to reach an estimated 11,000 prisoners with the message of hope and faith.
Austin emphasized that in order to effectively engage audiences, it is crucial for Christian broadcasters to prioritize authenticity and genuinely connect with their listeners. He encouraged broadcasters to “be real” and to present their content in an honest and transparent manner to establish a strong and meaningful relationship with their audiences.
“A great communicator has to be able to express the entire spectrum of emotions—from laughter to tears. It’s when you get close to the ‘tears’ that most communicators become afraid of rejection and stop short,” said Austin. “At KCBI, we demand our [on-air] personalities to admit faults and failures, and when they do, our listeners are inspired to change, as many have told us they thought they were the only ones struggling with something but now have someone who identifies with the same struggles but with the hope of Jesus.”
Austin credited as influences radio veterans, including Bob Augsburg of WAY Media, Chuck Finney of Finney Media, Alan Mason of Educational Media Foundation, Joe Paulo of Hope Media Group, and Steve Young of Northwestern Media. Austin attributed his success in creating a “listener-focused” radio experience and a “results-based culture” at KCBI to the guidance and wisdom of his peers and mentors.
Austin addressed the challenges facing free speech and religious liberty, expressing concern for their impact on Christian broadcasters. He acknowledged the need for solidarity among believers and commended the efforts of NRB.
“We are in the most dangerous time in our nation’s history regarding free speech and religious liberty, and I believe there will be a day, maybe sooner than later, when we will be challenged for our stand for the Gospel,” said Austin. “I appreciate NRB’s efforts in both of those concerns. We need to stand together. But God is in control, and our intent is to continue to spread the greatest story told every day until His glorious return.”
KCBI, through First Dallas Media, has been an NRB member since 1987 and has won numerous NRB awards, including the 2018 Best Promotional Award and the 2002, 2011, and 2016 Radio Station of the Year.