Gospel Channel Dream Becomes Reality

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This may be one group not about to start worshiping idols, but that didn't prevent the Gospel Music Channel (GMC) from giving one singer a chance to become the next Christian music superstar.

The channel drew sponsors including Ford (Ford sponsoring GMC, they've got to love that) and Black Radiance Cosmetics to the American Idol-like contest, Gospel Dream 2005, whose finale is scheduled to be broadcast Dec. 1 at 8 p.m.

The Channel got some divine marketing help with the contest, securing marketing partnerships with churches in addition to local radio stations.

The channel, which is celebrating its first anniversary, has carriage deals with Cox, Charter, and telco video provider Verizon, among others, and reaches approximately 3.5 million subscribers.

Spoiler alert: If you don't want to know who won, stop reading now.

Twenty-three-year-old Michigander Brian Smith, a disc jockey from Port Huron, Mich., beat out hundreds of would-be idols to win a record deal with Sony/BMG's Zomba label. the competition began in August. And, no, says a spokesman, he is not from a station that that had a marketing partnership with the show.

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