Victory Television Network, based in Arkansas, is a huge supporter of Southern gospel music and reaches more than 1.2 million homes. SGNScoops recently talked toÂ Jim Grant, General Manager and Associate Minister of VTN.
Grant tells us that VTN is a network of three full power Christian TV stations headquartered in Little Rock, AR. The networks cover over 200 communities across Arkansas and into the Memphis area, the boot heel of Missouri and northwest Mississippi via cable, DISH, DIRECTV and over-the-air.
SGN: What prompted you to begin airing a block of Southern Gospel (SG) on your network?
Jim Grant: Southern Gospel music isÂ hugeÂ in Arkansas. VTN always carried Southern Gospel programs since its launch in 1988. Shortly after I arrived in 1996, we decided to dedicate Saturday nights to Southern gospel music, branding itÂ Super Southern Saturday Nights. The viewer response has been amazing. Typically, 5 of the top 10 Christian TV programs in the Little Rock DMA each week are Southern Gospel programs on VTN.
SGN: Where do you get your content? If artists want their videos to be aired, how do they go about that?
Grant: We work with a variety of SG program producers to hand pick the very best programs available. We are always scouting for new 30-minute SG programs.
Artists can send us a link to any videos they would like us to consider for air.
Also, we love recording live performances in the VTN studios with artists who come through in the area. Same process. We use videos and in-studio performances in musical breaks, in special programming and on our web site and You Tube Channel.
SGN: Tell us about yourself. Are you married with kids, grandkids? How did you get interested in SG? I see you are also a minister. Where and how does that intersect with your tv duties?
Grant: Iâ€™ve been married to my college sweetheart, Cindy, for 44 years. She is our Office Manager. We have two kids and two grandkids that we serially overspend on.
I came to VTN after a wonderful 20 year career as a secular radio station VP/GM.
I was a late-blooming Christianâ€¦saved at age 25â€¦I was struck with an immediate passion to share The Good News. While working full time in radio, I became part of a childrensâ€™ evangelistic team for 11 years that produced the internationally syndicated TV show,Â Kids Like You. I played the character Jailhouse Joe. It was not type casting.
In 1996, I accepted a calling into the ministry at VTN as General Manager/Associate Minister.
As a manager, I work with an amazing staff to do TV, day after day, striving for excellence.
America needs great Christian programming now more than ever before.
As a minister, I am responsible to the Lord for our viewers. I am certainly not their pastorâ€¦but VTN is air support for all the local pastors across our coverage area. These great pastors are the boots on the ground.
I have a ministerâ€™s heart for our viewers and head up The VTN Prayer Team. We pray for thousands of our viewerâ€™s prayer needs every year.
SGN: Please share your testimony. How did you open your eyes to the reality of Jesus Christ? Has it always been easy?
Grant: As noted, I was a late bloomer. It took six people to lead me to the Lord: my wife; a boss; a VP and co-worker in my broadcast corporation, and two guys in my Army reserve unit.
The Army Reserve guys gave me a copy of Hal Lindseyâ€™sÂ Late Great Planet EarthÂ book. I tossed it in a drawer. Two years later I read it and gave my heart to the Lord. Iâ€™ve been on fire ever since.
SGN: Do you sing yourself? How do you promote your SG block? Please give us any links or addresses that might help people to reach you.
Grant: I sing in the shower and it breaks the tile.
I am a bass guitar hobbyist. The only people who hear me are my wife and the next door neighbors who wish Iâ€™d turn the amp down.
We promote our Southern gospel block with tons of on air promos, web site, Facebook, Twitter, etc. VTN is the only Christian TV network with a full time Promotion Director (Andrea Qualls). She is the bestâ€¦and a real SG fan.
VTN web site is:Â www.vtntv.com.
Best way to reach us:Â firstname.lastname@example.org
VTN is a non-profit organization that relies on viewers to keep them on the air.
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