Educational Media Foundation (EMF) (Website) is a non-commercial religious broadcaster. As of April 2009, EMF owns and/or operates approximately 2 AM and 256 FM radio stations and 339 FM Translators. EMF is located in Rocklin, California. and their stations are located across the entire United States. EMF IS a member of the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability
Most of EMF’s operations center on two Contemporary Christian music networks – K-Love and Air1. Air1 is targeted more at young people, and plays what could loosely be called Christian Rock music. K-Love is modern Christian music targeted more at adults who have children.
The story of K-Love begins with Bob Anthony. While working at a San Francisco top 40 radio station in 1980, he conceived of the idea of starting a Contemporary Christian music radio station in the Bay Area. In 1982, he was able to buy radio station KLCB-FM in Santa Rosa, California.
About five years later, the KLCB Board hired Dick Jenkins to run KLCB’s operations. Bob Anthony (his full name is Bob Fogal) now lives in La Quinta, California and is in the Vacation Real Estate business.
The following year, disaster struck. A 9000 acre brush fire destroyed the transmitter site. The transmitter was relocated to a much better location on top of Mount St Helena, significantly increasing the broadcast are of the station.
In 1988, K-Love was officially created and began its process of acquiring a network of satellite fed radio stations and FM translators. In 1998, K-Love launched its web site and began streaming its programming to the world.
In 1999, K-Love and Air1 were officially merged under the umbrella organization of EMF.
In 2002, EMF moved into its new (and current) headquarters in Rocklin, California.
On September 30, 2008, Dick Jenkins resigned from EMF after 20 years with no advance warning, and no stated reason more specific than it was time to move on. He was replaced by Mike Novak, the current CEO and leader of EMF.
March 28th, 2009, long time morning show hosts Jon and Sherry Rivers suddenly vanished from the K-Love airwaves and web site, citing family issues,
July 2009 update – Jon Rivers left the air abruptly to enter treatment for addiction to prescription pain medication.
People other than listeners probably know EMF from their rapid expansion campaign. EMF has been active in recent FM license auctions, including the controversial one in 2003. While non-profit FM stations are mostly in the NCE band, FM translators can be in any part of the FM band. As a result, EMF now has translators in the commercial part of the FM band (mostly very low power and in rural areas). Some people in the commercial and educational radio broadcasting communities seem to resent EMF’s presence.
Major Stations – top 25 markets
The large majority of EMF’s radio stations are in very small communities and/or low power. The only stations they own in major markets are:
WJKL-FM – Glendale Heights (6 kw)
KLVR-FM – Middletown, California (830 watts) – Flagship
(EMF is not affiliated with Educational Media Foundation of Brazosport, operator of KYBJ and KSBJ in Texas)
According to the most recent ECFA report, EMF receives about $80 million a year in donations. About $7 million is used for fund raising and administrative expenses, $55 million to run the organization’s programs. Presumably the excess funds are being used to acquire and build new radio stations (non-recurring capital spending)
EMF has assets of about $220 million, Liabilities of $120 million with a net value of $100 million.