Music Selection Guidelines

WVHM is a charting station with Singing News Magazine and abides by the Singing News Code of Ethics.

Payola is “the act of accepting any favors, loans, entertainment, or other considerations from persons seeking the airing of any broadcast matter.” It is also “the direct and non-disclosed payment of anything with a cash value or other valuable consideration to influence programming and music selections.” This includes the receiving of cash, gift cards, trips, cruises, etc. This practice is called payola and it is illegal. Offers or items that could be perceived as payola by WVHM’s music director or other staff will be declined and returned or discarded. A second occurance will be brought to the attention of Singing News staff.

WVHM only plays music delivered in a high-quality format. Wave files are preferred but we will accept an mp3 if its bit rate is 320 kbps. Files may be provided as a file download or on CD. We cannot accept a YouTube video as a music submission.

Requests from artists, promoters, or record labels to review songs and help decide which song should be released as a single will be declined.

Music must only be sent by the artist or a record label or promotor who has contact with the music director. Submissions from friends, family, or fans cannot be accepted.

Music is judged on how well it fits the format of WVHM and the quality of the performance. If we feel your music does not fit WVHM, we cannot play it, regardless of how well done it is.

Music is judged on its lyrical content and how well that fits the vision of Heartland Ministries Radio. Our mission and vision is based on Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Music is also judged on its technical and production quality.

We receive a lot of music for review – between 40 and 80 songs in an average month. If a song makes the format/technical/production cut, it then goes up against all the other songs currently being considered for airplay on WVHM. Approved songs may be added within the week they’re approved or may be delayed in receiving airplay by as much as a few months, depending on how well the song is performing in the southern gospel community as a whole and depending on how other songs currently on WVHM are performing.

Promoters and record labels are asked not to call WVHM for chart and rotation information unless prior permission or request has been stated by the music director. The prefered method of contact is email. While it would be great if we could communicate with each promoter and artist by phone, the unusually small staff of Heartland Ministries Radio makes this difficult. Artists, promoters, and record label representatives are asked to communicate with WVHM’s music director by email at music at hmiradio dot com.

Artists and promoters should not ask that a song be given a specific chart position, for a song to fall within a specific range of positions on the chart, or for the music director to “do anything you can to chart the song as high as possible.” The music director and on air staff make an effort to have minimal influence on chart positions by intentionally increasing or decreasing a song’s total number of spins. Songs in their respective rotations (heavy, medium, light, etc) have a nearly equal chance of receiving a number of spins equal to all other songs in that rotation. When filling out the chart, there is no use in asking the music director to “do anything they can” to help the song; the number of spins the song has determines the song’s position on the chart and there is nothing that can be done at that point.

While listener feedback is generally very limited, we try to ensure a given song’s chart position is a reflection of the impact it has had on our listening audience and their requests to hear the song – or lack thereof. If little or no feedback on a song has been received, we make our best effort to play most heavily those songs we believe best fit the format and mission of WVHM.

The fact that a song is doing very well with an artist in their concerts or that other stations are indicating a great listener response to a specific song does not necessarily mean that the same song will do well among WVHM’s listeners. The chart does not determine what WVHM plays; what WVHM plays is what determines the outcome of the chart.

What are the criteria for artists being played on WVHM?

  • Quality. We have a responsibility to our listeners to play the best written, best produced, most ministry laden songs and artists.
  • Perseverance. While we try not to discriminate against new artists, we respect artists who have an established reputation of consistently creating quality southern gospel music with the highest ministry value.
  • Fit. Is the music style and lyrical content consistent with WVHM’s sound as determined by the staff of WVHM, based on input from listeners?

Some things to know about WVHM:

  • Heartland Ministries Radio has a very small staff. We are not able to return all calls or all mail, but we respond when appropriate as we’re able.
  • Each month we have to choose from many new songs (40-80) with a limited number of open slots. Choosing which songs to play and how often to play them can be tough.
  • Our responsibility is to our listeners. We attempt to always keep their listening habits in mind when making choices of which songs to play.

If WVHM decides not to play your music, here are some things to remember:

If you sincerely feel God is directing you to be involved in music ministry, do not let WVHM’s decision to not play your music prevent you from establishing and pursuing music ministry. However, also remember that just because you feel Spirit-led in music ministry does not necessarily mean that your ministry is meant for radio.

A few favors we have to ask of you:

  • Please be patient with us. We receive a lot of music and we can’t play all of it. We pray and ask God to give us the wisdom to help us be selective.
  • If you think WVHM is wrong or in error to not play your music, pray.
  • Please do not call and request your own music, and do not ask your friends and family to call. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to have a song pulled from the station. It will be much more gratifying to have true fans of your music call unsolicited. That’s when we know that something is happening, when we start getting calls from listeners who have seen you in concert or have been ministered to by your music.
  • Please do not approach us in public places to give us your music. Also do not give your music to our family members to give to us. Mail your selected single to WVHM, Music Director, PO Box 281, Hardin, KY 42048 or email it to music at hmiradio dot com.
  • Please do not develop a “what can WVHM do for me?” mentality. We are not here for you, “the Christian artist.” WVHM’s goal is to glorify God and encourage the body.

One last thing:

We understand that a lot of effort, prayer, and financial resources go into the production of music and that it’s discouraging when the song it turned down for airplay. However, we do have to make tough choices, and sometimes the recording, the writing, or the performance does not reach WVHM’s standards or audience. Please understand that if we do not play your song, it does not mean that you are not good enough or that the Lord can’t use you. It may be that your song is not the right fit for WVHM at this time.

Submission Address:

Attn: Music Director
PO Box 281
Hardin, KY 42048