transition, as the parent organization of the Chicago Area Gospel Announcers Guild began reorganizing, restructuring and changing its name from the "Gospel Announcers Guild" to the "Alliance of Gospel Music Professionals". The idea and theory associated with the changes to the organization appeared plausible but as a career professional radio announcer I could not accept the name "Alliance of Gospel Music Professionals" but who am I?
The name of the "Alliance of Gospel Music Professionals" suggests the demotion of radio and the announcers as the focal point. As a professional radio announcer, researcher and educator, that name was totally unacceptable. Why in world would an organization abandon the impact and power of radio and digital Streaming with regards to music promotion? The announcement of the name change was like seeing the “handwriting" on the wall. It would only be a matter of time before I would conclude not to be a part of this "Alliance". I cannot participate with an organization that "says one thing and represents something else".
What and who are these Gospel Music Professionals? I did not accept the concept because the concept had not been defined. My first question in a meeting was "What is the Guild becoming, the Alliance of Gospel Music Promoters?"
Since the passing of Al "The Bishop" Hobbs, a true "radio personality", a radio sales manager, radio general manager, program director, convention organizer, gospel artist, master of ceremonies and record label owner the national organization did not have another qualified radio person with a background as radio talent in the cabinet. The most qualified person to lead the National GAG met an untimely death a year or so before Mr. Hobbs passing. So the national organization was being administered by individuals who were primarily interested in artist relations (more revenue for the organization is generated from gospel artists than radio announcers). So quite naturally changes related to radio, the demotion of the announcer and elimination of radio as a focal point were inevitable.
I listened to what was being said and took time to examine what was happening (same agenda as before (artist promotion) just different people being directed). No elections were held and selected members were appointed as "heads" of the Chicago Alliance. I concluded that with a new name for the organization the operation was still the same. The new cabinet continued the monthly operations like a religious social club. The same "agenda" of auditioning Gospel Artists (for a fee), eating, and promoting the interests of "Gospel Artists" were being perpetuated. The new version "Chicago Alliance" is "wasting an opportunity" to really help to move the Gospel Industry forward into the new frontier by continuing the same promotions model as before and NOT embracing radio in its new form (digital broadcast).
Only the names of the people directing the organization were changed however, the power and control of the Chicago Alliance remains under the control of the “self proclaimed" Founder of the Chicago Area Gospel Announcers Guild. Scripture says you can't pour "NEW WINE" into old WINE SKINS.
In my most humble and educated opinion, after 20 years, the Chicago Alliance should elect NEW LEADERSHIP that is not controlled by the self proclaimed "FOUNDER" (this is not a "CHURCH"). The NEW LEADERSHIP should locate an OFFICE and start an INTERNET STREAMING station ( this will allow new leadership to form an example). The Chicago Alliance has none of these. The Chicago Alliance is a religious social club masquerading as a professional organization. This social club meets monthly to fellowship, audition independent gospel artist and discuss ways to educate gospel artists in promotion and marketing strategies. These meetings offers limited information to Internet Station Owners and announcers on performance mainly because only a few announcers and owners still attend these meetings. On the other hand, the artists that attend these meeting lose an opportunity to expose their art and ministry to individuals who can actually PLAY their music (the bottom line of promotions). The most important thing for any artist in any genre of music is for their art to BE HEARD by people who can further expose the art to more people. The meetings basically are attended by Gospel artists who expose their ministries basically to other Gospel artists seeking the same thing.
What is missing is a COLLECTIVE of radio announcers and stations that can help to give an artist exposure by "PLAYING" their song (The more people playing a song create more opportunity for exposure of the art and the possibility of greater sales for the artist). Organizing a COLLECTIVE of radio personnel in Chicago is one of the hardest things to accomplish (leaders in the Gospel Community have not been able to come together for anything that will be for the common good of the Gospel community or the industry). Everybody in this town "Chicago" are KINGS and QUEENS and everybody wants to be the "RULER"! Collectives just don't happen here. The wasted opportunity is in not having an office for the Chicago Alliance with a radio station so that the announcers who want to present Gospel music can come together and have an affordable outlet to play the music to the community to benefit Gospel artists, the radio announcer and the organization alike. The Internet is the happening thing now and so many people are in the field trying to make their station and ministry popular. There are several members of the Alliance who own radio streaming stations, members who are Gospel artists and members in the Chicago Alliance are paying other internet streaming owners to narrowcast their programs so why have your members go elsewhere? It would beneficial for the Chicago Alliance to have it own streaming operation to generate revenue to sustain the organization. The failure of establishing a collective of these individuals, an office and radio streaming station by the Chicago Alliance keeps the Alliance of Gospel Music Professionals in Chicago from being the "true" leaders and star makers in the industry. - "The wasted opportunity" to be leaders. An out of town attendee to the Chicago Alliance 2018 Celebration even suggested the formation of a radio station.
There is so much talent and desire to broadcast in this city it made me to wonder why a WCAG, WGAG, WAGP or W(whatever) doesn't exists? Doesn't it make sense to create a service that the members in the organization could benefit from? Why should the members pay someone else to host their programs, when the organization could better serve the members by creating an Internet Station operation for the organization?
The reason is simple "lack of vision" and leadership that does not want to share revenues with others - MONEY. Everyone in the organization should receive a benefit other than just being a part of the organization and getting CD's. The organization should present documented evidence of "benefits" of being a part of the organization. Why pay dues and the only benefit is hearing a new Gospel artist ?
There are several streaming operators in Chicago that are doing well. Oh if only they could come together as a single organization realizing that there is "POWER" in numbers. Unfortunately, many in the Gospel Industry don't understand that the value of strength in numbers (Check out the Internet Broadcasters Alliance). Because the new configuration of the organization does not invest in its own space, establish an internet station, and form a collective with "By-Laws" that includes benefits for announcers and internet station owners. I have to move away (wasted opportunity). The major radio stations and their personalities CANNOT and WILL NOT serve every Gospel Artist. Therefore there is an opportunity in Internet Digital Streaming services to expose communities to the music that the majors won't play and new artist can't afford to pay for.
The Chicago Alliance is merely a religious social club that benefits only the "self proclaimed" FOUNDER whether the self proclaimed founder is THERE OR NOT. It does not make sense to be in a social club where your expenses to participate in the activities constantly cost you more. You only pay tithes to the church not social clubs.
Finally, I can no longer act insane.... Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. The Chicago Alliance, Chicago Gospel Announcers Guild or whatever the name will only move forward when members remove themselves from under the control of the self proclaimed founder's dictatorship. To be quite frank, I can't be a part of anything that I don't believe in. Peace be with you.. prayers for the individual members who continue to believe in something that is a LIE.