Here in the Los Angeles area there are 250,000 Spanish-speaking people. Our station, KGER, is heard as far north as Canada, and as far south as Arizona and Mexico. We present our program under the title "The Christian Hour," and do not mention that we are Seventh-day Adventists.
Our Spanish broadcast follows on the heels of a two-hour Spanish program made up of miscellaneous items, and winding up with a five-minute news broadcast. To follow a well-known and popular Spanish program, is about the only way we can secure a Spanish audience. To have a Spanish program sandwiched in between American programs in English, thus isolating it from any other Spanish program, would most likely be in vain, because most of the Spanish listeners would miss it.
We go on the air every Saturday at 9:05 P. M. for twenty-five minutes. Next to Sunday forenoon, Saturday night seems to be the best time for our purposes. For some time I had a broadcast at 6:45 in the morning, but I find that the hour we have now is far better. On Saturday night most people relax from the week's work. The 25 minutes at our disposal is divided, more or less, as follows : music, 4 minutes; publicity talk, 3 minutes ; sermonette, 18 minutes.
In our publicity talk we announce our Sunday night meetings conducted in the Spanish-American church at the corner of Boyle and Michigan Avenues, opposite the White Memorial Hospital. We have had a fair response to this type of advertising, considering the distances involved here in Los Angeles, and the difficulty of transportation. We also invite contributions, and promise in return to send each contributor a free copy of a Crisis Series book in Spanish. In this way, we secure names and addresses.
Most of the donations we receive come from our own Spanish believers. Just now we are organizing a radio rally program, which I am confident will greatly help to increase the number of regular contributors. We have not been able so far to meet expenses, but I believe in time we shall be able to do so.
The subjects which we are presenting over the radio are in sermonette form and touch the high points of the message. From reports which come in, we believe that they are well received and are heard over a considerable area. In seeking to increase our listening audience, some of our members have been quite successful in calling up Spanish names found in the telephone directory. The calls are made an hour or so before we go on the air.
The war has not materially modified our approaches and presentations, except that it provides a good setting and an interesting background for the message. We studiously avoid reference to any person in public office.
It is my belief that we are beginning now to realize the tremendous possibilities involved in radio programs. Here in Los Angeles nine regular broadcasts are carried on weekly by our people. Two of these are in foreign languages. I believe we shall be led more and more to utilize this avenue for the finishing of the message.
We do not conduct a Bible School of the Air at present because we have no material in Spanish. But plans are now being discussed to provide this material, and as soon as arrangements are completed, we shall launch out in this direction. I believe there are very great possibilities wrapped up in the Bible School of the Air.
As I think of the vast areas that are being cut off, one by one, from the home base, and the mounting difficulties of transportation, I am glad to see that our leaders are emphasizing more and more the channel of the radio.