OnePeterFive contributing editor, Kennedy Hall, doubles as a journalist with LifeSiteNews and a daily radio host on The Crusade Channel. Part of rebuilding Catholic culture involves finding a way to use the good that media technologies can offer us by promoting true, good, and beautiful content.
Catholics have a long history in radio, from Saint Maximillian Kolbe, to Fulton Sheen, and with modern apologetic stations. Podcasting and YouTube shows presented by Catholic laymen have become popular in the past few years, but Hall and his colleagues at The Crusade Channel are on a mission revive that old-timey talk-radio experience with a Catholic spin.
OnePeterFive: The first question I have for you is, why radio? Why not podcasting or YouTube?
Kennedy Hall: Good question. Well, first I would say that we have to look at what the different media technologies offer us. Everything from pencils to iPads are a form of technology, and they all afford different experiences for the user. Comparing podcasting/YouTube with radio is a good comparison, because they are both similar and different.
On the one hand they are both spoken-word and largely unscripted, but there is a different energy in live radio that the listener feels. Podcasting is great (I release podcasts and YouTube shows often) but nothing compares to that live talk-radio feeling that you get when a ‘breaking’ story comes in, or when a caller calls in while commuting and chimes in on your ideas.
Who doesn’t have memories of listening to Rush or guys like him, maybe growing up while driving with their dad, it is a great experience.
1P5: Now, you mention shows like Rush Limbaugh, does this mean that your show is political, or is it more religious like the official Catholic radio we know of?
Hall: We are not an official “Catholic” station. Meaning, we don’t profess to be a canonically recognized Catholic operation within a diocese. Mike Church – the founder – is a famous talk radio host who spent a long time on terrestrial and satellite radio. He was the lead-man on The Patriot Station before Steve Bannon came in after Mike left.
Mike wanted to do something for Catholics, but not relegated to whatever a given bishop might approve. Our goal is to help build “The New Christendom.”
On my show, and the others on the network, we talk about everything from politics, to religion, to literature, culture, philosophy, music – you name it.
Basically, with our channel, you get your fix of socio-political-cultural commentary, but it is all from a Catholic perspective.
1P5: What would a typical episode of The Kennedy Profession be like? And is this a terrestrial radio station, or is it internet/satellite based?
Hall: I am live each day, we air from 3-5 EST, and I always offer a combination of political commentary on the big issues we are facing, mixed with regular guest call-ins, and even some literary or philosophical commentary.
I was trained as a teacher, and taught for many years, so I love to talk about philosophy and literature with the audience and my guests. We have regular guests like Charles Coulombe, Dr. Mazza, journalists from LifeSite, medical professionals who talk about vaccines and health care, and well known Catholic authors like Taylor Marshall and Eric Sammons.
One of my favourite segments we do is called “Detention Hall,” where I pick someone in the news who has been particularly egregious in their asinine behaviour, so we “put him in detention” for the day as a punishment. We have a lot of fun with stuff like that.
All shows on The Crusade Channel air at www.crusadechannel.com and there is an app people can use if they want to use something besides their browser. The great thing about how the station is set up is that it is virtually censorship-proof. Internet-radio is more flexible and allows the listener to tune in from multiple devices and locations, which is really convenient. If anyone is familiar with listening to satellite radio, they will understand how that works.
1P5: I have listened before, and the audio quality is top-notch, much better than the average podcast. How do you put out such a high-quality show?
Hall: As I mentioned, Mike Church is a long-time radio man, so he knows the business and the tech inside and out. We use professional equipment, and broadcast remotely from my home in Canada, and Mike and the team are set up in studio in Louisiana. We use the same caliber of equipment that all the major stations use.
1P5: So, I imagine you guys need support to make this happen? Is there a cost?
Hall: If we want to support good content from faithful Catholics, then we need to be willing to offer up a few dollars. People need to be careful with their money, and should support the professional endeavours of faithful Catholics if they think it is worth it.
We do offer some free content, and previews, and everyone who signs up has 30 days to decide about continuing their membership. You can sign up for as little as $10/month, and there are higher subscriptions with more benefits.
Think about it; the secular media industry operates with millions of dollars, but we can compete – and do compete – with financial support. One of the great things about the technological equity we have today is that we can reach people with good messaging for a low cost.
There is so much on the channel outside of the main shows as well. There are shows about classical music, literature, money, and more.
1P5: Final thoughts?
Hall: Lastly, I would like to say that it is imperative that we build our own networks and media channels as Catholics. We have so much talent as a group and so much to offer. Catholics used to be world leaders in art and thought, and if we are to do that again, we have to support each other in doing so.
We give our money to Starbucks, to cable companies, and the Apple. There are definitely “grifters” out there – people who exploit things for money – but this is not what we do at The Crusade Channel. We offer the best talk-radio there is, and we give men and women of good will an opportunity to be part of the cultural conversation, but not compromise on what they believe and hold dear as Catholics.
I hope readers will tune in!