Via Facebook today, the enLighten channel on Sirius/XM announced their regular Southern Gospel programming will be suspended until December 5 (except indirectly through their app). Listeners will instead be treated to an array of pop artists under the banner “Holly” singing Christmas music.
The announcement reads, in full: “Starting this Friday, we will be presenting “Holly” here on channel 65. Hear contemporary holiday hits featuring songs by Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Idina Menzel, and more. Holly will end its run with channel 65 on Thursday, December 5th. Regular enLighten programming will also be available online, with our app, or with SiriusXM connected devices and speakers, throughout the entire holiday season. Get into the Christmas spirit with us here on enLighten!”
Some of you may remember a few years ago when Sirius/XM planned to remove enLighten from its line-up. The result was many long-time subscribers calling to cancel their subscriptions.
I question the business intelligence of some of those making decisions like this at Sirius/XM. I completely understand the higher-ups in New York where Sirius/XM is based aren’t fans of Southern Gospel and may not understand why anyone would be, but I’d think at the very least they’d remember the results of the own actions in the not-so-recent past and how that affected their bottom line then.
If you are a regular MusicScribe reader, you’re well aware from our reviews posted in October that a great deal of brand new Christmas music has just been released by Southern Gospel artists. Why would Sirius/XM not see the value in playing those groups on the only satellite channel available for Southern Gospel vs. pop artists who can already be heard in numerous more outlets?
UPDATED (8:20 PM, 10/30/2019): Many Southern Gospel artists are now posting the following statement on their Facebook pages which includes a list of methods by which you can contact SiriusXM to express your displeasure. As some have suggested, SiriusXM may simply be “testing the waters” to see if many fans object to this temporary removal of enLighten. They’ve threatened to remove it permanently from the birds in the sky before, and this could simply be a prelude to doing it again.
Earlier today, Sirius/XM satellite radio announced it will replace “Enlighten,” their Gospel Music channel (65), with “Holly,” a secular-Pop Christmas music channel, on Friday November 1, leaving Gospel Music fans without a channel for their favorite music. According to the Sirius/XM News Release, Enlighten is scheduled to return on December 5.
If you are a Sirius/XM subscriber, you can call their Listener Care line at 1-866-635-2349, to let them know you love the great Gospel Music programming on Enlighten, and would like it to remain a part of the Sirius/XM channel lineup (in a nice way, of course.)
You can also contact them via email, using the Listener Care page of their website, athttps://listenercare.siriusxm.com/app/ask, or leave a comment on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/sxmenlighten/ .